If you change your pup's food or he gets into something he shouldn't, he may show signs of an upset stomach, like vomiting or diarrhea. There are some things to calm a dog's stomach that you can try at home to help him feel better. However, monitor him closely, as an upset stomach may be a sign of an illness that needs veterinary treatment.
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Evaluate symptoms of upset stomach
If you see your dog eating grass in the yard, this is an indication that he has a bit of an upset stomach. He may vomit or have some mild diarrhea. Some other common symptoms include salivating, gas, stomach noises, and licking the floor. When he experiences these symptoms, you can try some things to calm a dog's stomach at home.
Often, an upset stomach is caused by stress or a change in diet, including snacking on human food. However, there are some serious medical conditions that can cause an upset stomach and require veterinary treatment. Some examples include poisoning from a toxic plant or human medication, bloat, and parvovirus.
If you have a puppy who is less than 6 months old and starts vomiting or showing signs of upset stomach, take her to the vet immediately. Parvo can be fatal, and quick treatment will increase her chances of survival. Other symptoms that require veterinary attention and not just home treatment include bloody stool or diarrhea, continuous vomiting or diarrhea, distended stomach, fever, and dehydration.
Fasting and hydration
In many cases, taking food away from your dog for a period of 12 to 24 hours is all it takes to relieve a sour stomach. Small dogs and puppies should not fast for more than 12 hours, while larger dogs may need additional time without food to resolve the symptoms.
Make sure your dog stays hydrated, though. Allow your dog to drink water but make sure he isn't gulping it down, which can make the stomach upset worse. Offer ice chips instead. Plain Pedialyte or diluted chicken or bone broth can offer electrolytes but avoid these remedies if your pup is vomiting up the plain water.
If your pup starts to show signs of dehydration, take him to the vet right away. Gently pinch your dog's skin between the shoulder blades and lift it up. The skin should quickly fall back into place. If it seems to stick or is slow to lower back down, your dog is dehydrated. You can also check hydration by looking at his gums. The gums should be slimy; sticky gums indicate a lack of hydration. If you press a finger against the gums, the pink color should return within two seconds. If it takes longer, your pup may be dehydrated.
Feed your dog a bland diet
If your dog's symptoms seem to subside after fasting, you can give her some food. Start with a bland diet of plain rice and chicken or hamburger. Chicken is usually better because it has less fat. Make sure to drain as much fat from the meat as possible and remove chicken skin and bones.
If the upset stomach seems resolved, slowly reintroduce her normal dog food. Start with a ratio of three parts chicken and rice to one part dog food. Gradually increase the amount of dog food and decrease the chicken and rice until your pup is back on her normal diet.
Things to calm a dog's stomach
Dogs like to eat grass when they have an upset stomach. It is not known why this helps to make them feel better, but it is possible the grass induces vomiting, clearing the stomach of the substances causing the irritation. While the grass itself is safe for your pup to eat, the fertilizer and other chemicals on the grass may not be, so try some other remedies.
One to 4 tablespoons of canned pumpkin can help settle his stomach and firm his stools. Make sure the pumpkin has no additional seasonings. Some people recommend honey for a dog's upset stomach. While a small amount won't harm your pup, honey is high in sugar and is not recommended for dogs with certain medical conditions. There is also little scientific evidence that honey is effective.
Over-the-counter medications for dogs
There are some medications you can offer your dog to soothe his stomach, but make sure to speak with your vet first. An incorrect dosage can worsen the problem. Pepto-Bismol, for example, can help treat vomiting and diarrhea. Dogs can have between 1/2 to 2 milliliters for every 2.2 pounds of body weight.
Imodium is helpful for some dogs. However, some dogs, especially collies, may develop allergies to it. Immodium should not be given to senior dogs, dogs who weigh less than 20 pounds, or dogs with certain conditions, like kidney disease or hypothyroidism.
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- Canine Journal: What To Give A Dog For Upset Stomach: Remedies To Settle A Sick Tummy
- Thomas Labs: Relieving Your Dog's Upset Stomach
- Southwind Animal Hospital: Does My Dog Have an Upset Stomach?
- PetHelpful: Vet-Approved Home Remedies for Upset Stomachs in Dogs
- American Kennel Club: Can Dogs Eat Honey?