How to Identify If Your Dog Has an Upset Stomach

If you’re a dog owner, you know that our furry friends can experience stomach issues from time to time. An upset stomach in dogs can be caused by a variety of factors such as eating something they shouldn’t have, changes in their diet, or even stress. As a pet owner, it’s essential to know the signs of an upset stomach in your dog so that you can take the necessary steps to help them feel better.

The most common signs of an upset stomach in dogs are vomiting and diarrhea. However, there are other subtle signs that you should look out for, such as decreased appetite, lethargy, and excessive drooling. Your dog may also show signs of discomfort, such as whining or pacing. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to take action to help your pet feel better.

In this article, we’ll discuss the signs of an upset stomach in dogs, what causes it, and how you can help your furry friend feel better. We’ll also provide some tips on how to prevent stomach issues in dogs and when it’s time to see a veterinarian. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of how to care for your dog when they’re not feeling their best.

Common Symptoms of an Upset Stomach

Dogs can experience gastrointestinal issues like humans and may display some or all of the following symptoms when they have an upset stomach:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Excessive drooling/salivation
  • Lip licking
  • Nipping at their sides
  • Gulping
  • Eating grass or licking the floor
  • Passing very smelly gas
  • Flatulence and/or loud gut sounds (known as borborygmi)

If your dog displays any of these symptoms, it’s important to monitor their hydration and activity level. Call your vet if your dog is showing any signs of gastroenteritis such as sudden vomiting, sudden diarrhea, or lethargy. Dogs suffering from gastroenteritis may lose a large volume of body fluids and electrolytes, which can cause dehydration.

It’s important to note that these symptoms may also indicate other health issues, so it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian if you are unsure or concerned about your dog’s health.

Causes of Upset Stomach in Dogs

Upset stomach in dogs can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from mild to severe. Here are some of the most common causes:

  • Dietary changes: Abrupt changes in your dog’s diet can cause an upset stomach. This can happen when you switch from one brand of food to another or when you introduce new foods to your dog’s diet.
  • Food intolerance: Some dogs may be intolerant to certain types of food, such as dairy products or grains. This can cause digestive problems, including diarrhea and vomiting.
  • Food poisoning: Dogs can get food poisoning just like humans. Eating contaminated food or garbage can cause an upset stomach and other symptoms.
  • Infections: Dogs can get gastrointestinal infections from bacteria, viruses, or parasites. These infections can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and other symptoms.
  • Stress and anxiety: Dogs can experience stress and anxiety just like humans. This can cause digestive problems, including an upset stomach.
  • Medications: Some medications can cause digestive problems in dogs as a side effect.

If your dog is experiencing an upset stomach, it’s important to identify the underlying cause so that you can provide appropriate treatment. In some cases, an upset stomach may be a sign of a more serious health problem, so it’s important to seek veterinary care if your dog’s symptoms persist or worsen.

Home Remedies for Upset Stomach in Dogs

When your dog is suffering from an upset stomach, there are some remedies you can try at home before taking them to the vet. These remedies can help alleviate some of the symptoms and make your dog feel more comfortable.

Bland Diet

Feed your dog a bland diet of rice and low-fat meat. This can help soothe their stomach and make it easier for them to digest food. You can also add plain canned pumpkin, a tablespoon or two of yogurt, or probiotics to their diet to help regulate their digestive system.


After your dog has vomited or had diarrhea, it’s important to give their stomach a break from food. Fasting for 12-24 hours can help their stomach settle down and recover. Make sure to provide plenty of water during this time to prevent dehydration.

Small, Frequent Meals

Once your dog’s stomach has settled down, start feeding them small, frequent meals throughout the day. This can help prevent them from overeating and upsetting their stomach again. Gradually increase the amount and frequency of meals as their symptoms improve.


It’s important to monitor your dog’s hydration levels when they’re experiencing an upset stomach. Make sure they have access to clean, fresh water at all times. You can also offer them ice chips or small amounts of water if they’re having trouble keeping fluids down. If your dog is dehydrated, take them to the vet immediately.

Herbal Remedies

Some herbal remedies, such as chamomile tea or ginger, can help soothe your dog’s upset stomach. Make sure to consult with your vet before giving your dog any herbal remedies to ensure they’re safe and won’t interact with any medications your dog is taking.

While these home remedies can be helpful for mild cases of upset stomach, it’s important to take your dog to the vet if their symptoms persist or worsen. Your vet can identify the underlying cause of your dog’s upset stomach and provide appropriate treatment.

When to Seek Veterinary Care

While most cases of upset stomach in dogs can be resolved with simple home remedies, there are times when it’s best to seek veterinary care. Here are some signs that your dog’s upset stomach may require medical attention:

  • Severe vomiting or diarrhea that lasts for more than 24 hours
  • Bloody or black stools
  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Loss of appetite or refusal to eat for more than a day
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort, as evidenced by whining, pacing, or restlessness
  • Fever or other signs of infection
  • Dehydration, as evidenced by dry mouth, sunken eyes, or lethargy

If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, it’s important to take them to the vet as soon as possible. Your vet can perform a physical exam, run diagnostic tests, and prescribe appropriate treatment to help your dog recover.

It’s also important to note that certain breeds of dogs, such as brachycephalic breeds (such as bulldogs, pugs, and boxers), are more prone to digestive issues and may require more frequent vet visits to manage their stomach issues.

Remember, your dog’s health is important and it’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to their well-being. If you’re ever unsure whether your dog needs veterinary care, it’s best to consult with your vet to determine the best course of action.

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