Adrienne is a certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, former veterinarian assistant, and author of Brain Training for Dogs.
Vet-Approved Home Remedies for Canine Stomach Upset
If your dog vomits, has diarrhea, or both, it may be a sign that he has an upset stomach. As a matter of fact, vomiting and diarrhea are two of the most common reasons dogs are seen by veterinarians each year. This may be due to the "scavenger" nature of dogs; they often pay visits to the garbage can and eat things that do not agree with them.
What Causes GI Upset?
Symptoms of an upset stomach may also be the result of a sudden diet change or stress, and sometimes your dog may still be acting like their usual self. This is very likely if the symptoms are mild, in which case the upset tummy can be easily treated at home. With some rest, proper hydration, and the use of a few ingredients found in your kitchen, your dog may be back to normal in a couple of days.
Tips From a Vet: How Sick Is Your Dog?
When to See a Veterinarian
Keep in mind that if your dog is lethargic, has severe diarrhea, is vomiting continuously, has a fever, or if there is blood in their stool, then you need to take them to a veterinarian for proper care. Dogs can get dehydrated fairly quickly and may require fluids to recover.
Puppies are particularly at risk of dehydration as their state can become critical fast, so if they are vomiting, have diarrhea or bloody stool, they should be seen by a vet right away. There are many conditions that affect puppies such as canine parvovirus that are serious and can be deadly if left untreated.
How to Check Your Dog's Hydration Level
If you are concerned about dehydration, you can check it yourself by lifting your dog's skin between the shoulder blades.
- In a well-hydrated dog, the skin will spring back promptly.
- In a dehydrated dog, the skin will be slow to return to position or may remain tented in severe cases.
At-Home Tummy Ache Remedy for Dogs
Gather together the following items or purchase them at your local grocery store:
- White rice
- Chicken (boneless, skinless, and unseasoned)
- Unflavored Pedialyte
- Plain yogurt or cottage cheese
- Karo syrup
Step 1: Fast Your Dog
At first, the dog's stomach needs to rest. Ideally, this rest-time should last 12 hours. Adult dogs may be fasted for 24 hours, but puppies should only be fasted overnight if they are not in critical condition. Here are some guidelines to follow:
- Water may be offered, however, some dogs may not be able to hold it down and may vomit it right back up.
- You may rub a small amount of Karo syrup on puppies' gums in order to keep their glucose levels up. This may help to perk them up.
- The water bowl may be filled with half water and half unflavored Pedialyte to replenish that which may have been lost due to diarrhea and vomiting.
Step 2: Feed a Bland Diet
Once 12 to 24 hours have passed with no food, the dog must be fed a bland diet that is easy on the stomach. Here's what can be offered and how it can be offered:
- Feed boiled rice with chicken; the chicken must be boneless, skinless, and unseasoned.
- Serve food in small quantities and often throughout the day.
- Offer a bland diet until vomiting subsides and the stool becomes firm again.
Step 3: Monitor and Introduce a Normal Diet
- It is important to re-introduce the regular diet gradually. Failing to do so may cause a relapse.
- Adding a dollop of plain yogurt or a bit of cottage cheese to food or offering it on its own may introduce good, healthy bacteria that may help soothe the irritated intestines.
Step 4: Monitor Recovery
Vomiting and diarrhea may mean nothing more than a dietary indiscretion, however, there can be more serious issues at bay. Always practice the "better safe than sorry" philosophy when it comes to your dog's health.
Minor cases of upset stomach should show improvement pretty quickly. If symptoms do not resolve quickly, then a more serious problem may be present, in which case you'll want to take your dog into the vet for an examination.
More Vet-Approved Home Remedies
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2010 Adrienne Farricelli
Susan Hazelton from Sunny Florida on July 19, 2010:
A few years ago my dogs vet suggested feeding rice to him to help relieve his tummyache. He loved it and it worked wonders on his digestive system. Very good advice, well written hub.
Dallas W Thompson from Bakersfield, CA on July 13, 2010:
Reading this hub will save me money... Thanks for sharing.
Shalini Kagal from India on July 13, 2010:
That's great advice! I'd never have thought of rice and Gatorade - but they both make so much sense.
bayoulady from Northern Louisiana,USA on July 12, 2010:
Great advice as usual, and excellently written. I have used the rice and chicken, but I never knew about using gatorade. Thanks!
Darlene Sabella from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ... on July 12, 2010:
Thank you for this great hub, I learned how to treat my dog, love this hub thank you and rate up
India Arnold from Northern, California on July 12, 2010:
Thanks for such easy to manage options for my fuzzy buddy. This will live on my fridge door from this day forward.
TylerCapp from Los Angeles, California on July 12, 2010:
Wow! Who would have thought? I'd almost like the opportunity to try these methods but, at the same time, I don't wish that on any dog.