Upset stomach in dogs can occur for many reasons; some common and curable, others serious and health-related. Upset stomachs are most commonly attributed to changes in diet or consumption of unusual food and non-food objects. Unfortunately dogs have no way of directly telling us that their tummies hurt, but if you notice that your dog acting lethargic, vomiting, or experiencing diarrhea, these are all pretty good indicators of upset stomach.
If your dog has an upset stomach, he will likely seek out grass to chew on. Eating grass is a dog’s way of clearing out its digestive system. Though chewing on grass often induces vomiting in dogs, don’t discourage this behavior. He’s acting on his instincts, and this natural remedy may help him feel better.
Upset stomach in dogs is often linked to something they’ve eaten recently. If your dog is vomiting or has diarrhea, withhold food from him for about 12 hours. Fasting allows his digestive tract to cleanse itself of the cause of the upset stomach without interference from newly eaten food. After 12 hours, feed him a small portion of half boneless, boiled chicken or turkey breast and half cooked brown rice. The bland diet will help him regain lost nutrients from his sickness.
For a faster cure, give your dog medicine. Pepto Bismol is one of very few human medications that can be used safely for dogs. The recommended dosage of Pepto Bismol is 0.5 to 1 mL for every pound of weight. Use only regular strength Pepto Bismol. Administer the dose every six to eight hours.
Some herbal remedies can help ease your dog’s symptoms. Plantain, Podophyllum, and Alchemilla vulgaris are commonly used to treat upset stomach in dogs and can be found at most alternative or herbal medicine stores. Ginger root is an effective treatment for nausea and vomiting.
Visit the Vet
If your dog doesn’t get better with these treatments, or if you know his upset stomach was not due to a dietary change or something unusual he ate, take him to the vet. Though most stomach upsets are normal and easily cured, sometimes a stomach upset is an indicator of a serious medical problem such as stomach ulcers. Get your dog checked out if you suspect this is a possibility.