How to Ease a Dog's Upset Stomach

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Baby your pup when he's under the weather.
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When your dog has an upset stomach, evidenced by lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting or diarrhea, you can make him more comfortable with a change of diet and a little TLC. If symptoms persist or your dog develops other symptoms such as a fever, it's time to see your vet for a consultation.


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Causes of Nausea

Your dog can get an upset stomach for the same reasons you do. He may have eaten too much or ingested something that didn't sit well with him. He could be experiencing a side effect of a medication, be car sick, hot or tired, dehydrated or have a flu virus. If your pup recently underwent sedation, vaccinations or surgery, nausea could be a side effect of the procedure. Many other serious conditions present with nausea, however, so if you notice blood, pain, trouble standing or walking or fever, contact your vet right away.

Feed a Bland Diet

Feed your ailing pup several small meals of bland food. This could be white rice, boiled chicken or even baby food. Giving him food in small doses will make things easier on his digestive tract and you'll be able to see if he holds them down or seems to like one food better than another. If your dog has been throwing up or having diarrhea, he needs to stay hydrated. In addition to giving him a constant supply of water, consider an electrolyte replacement fluid such as Pedialyte.


OTC and Prescription Meds

Pepto Bismol is safe for your dog and can help coat his stomach and relieve digestive distress. It's not safe for cats, however, so if you have felines in your house, keep the pink stuff away from them. For best results, contact your vet for dosing information. If nausea doesn't abate, or if other worrisome symptoms develop, seek medical attention. Your vet may prescribe an anti-nausea medication or recommend tests if he suspects an underlying illness.

Tender Loving Care

Encourage your dog to take it easy until his upset stomach goes away. Avoid rough pay, heavy exercise or road trips. Keep him in a warm, quiet place but make sure air is circulating so he doesn't get too hot and more nauseated. If he eats a little grass and throws it up, it's generally nothing to be worried about. It's one of a dog's natural remedies for easing an upset stomach.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.