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Natural Remedies for Your Dog's Upset Stomach

I like to write about canine behavior, animal husbandry, and breeding chickens.

Natural Remedies for Dogs With GI Issues

Natural Remedies for Dogs With GI Issues

Natural Remedies for Upset Stomach in Dogs

With little notice, it can become apparent that a dog is suffering from an upset stomach. Knowing natural remedies for your dog's gastrointestinal issues can quickly save you from a very large and unnecessary vet bill!

Many pet owners don't realize that a few of the most accessible and natural treatments are also the most inexpensive and effective around. As humans, we can mix up a cup of herbal tea to help ease our painful guts. However, our canine friends must resort to eating the green blades of grass found in the yard—making for a cold and chewy serving of canine herbal tea.

This behavior and remedy is just about as natural as it gets, but if you're looking for more than backyard grass remedies, read on! Before we dig in, be sure to read the article "People Foods That Can Kill Your Dog" so that you know which foods are safe to share with your dog and which may send them to the vet (or worse!).

Dogs naturally eat grass to settle their stomachs.

Dogs naturally eat grass to settle their stomachs.

Does Eating Grass Naturally Relieve GI Upset in Dogs?

Often times, when a dog has stomach issues, he or she will chomp on fresh, chlorophyll-rich grass. This doesn't necessarily mean your dog is sick, however, as healthy dogs exhibit this behavior, too.

Should I Let My Dog Eat Grass?

Grass may cause a dog to vomit—which may be just what your canine needs to make things right again. Some dogs like to add greens to their diet just like you or I would enjoy a crisp salad. Others utilize grass as an effective means for gastrointestinal relief. If your dog does take to eating grass, however, you will want to keep an eye out for the dangers and warning signs below.

1. Stray Fecal Matter Mixed in With the Yard Grass

Stray fecal matter mixed into the grass can transmit parasites and disease if your dog eats it, so a clean yard is best.

2. Pesticide Residue

Pesticide residue can make your dog very sick and can even kill them. For this reason, you should only use "pet-friendly" or "pet safe" yard supplies. (Check every label for this distinction.)

Important Note: Most snail bait can result in a death sentence for dogs that consume it. Look for "pet safe" brands. Snail bait regularly attracts animals because it has a very tempting scent.

3. Excess Vomit Following Consumption of Grass

Excess vomiting following grass-eating is a sure indicator that your dog is sick. The grass gets swallowed in long strands because the dog won't chew it completely when feeling ill. The long grass stimulates the stomach, causing him or her to experience involuntary vomiting. When this occurs, a trip to the vet can ease your dog's ailment and your mind.

4. Habitual Grass-Eating

Habitual grass-eating may be a sign that your dog is lacking in needed nutrients. To make sure your dog is getting a balanced diet—whether it's strict kibble intake, wet intake, or a combination of both—look for labeling that boasts of complete nutrition for dogs.

A pretty good indicator that a dog food is of good quality is when it offers real meat products (not meat by-products) as the first ingredient. (This is not a guarantee, so look for the "100% complete nutrition for dogs" stamp!)

Holistic Approaches to Helping Your Dog

Holistic Approaches to Helping Your Dog

4 Holistic Treatments for Upset Stomach in Dogs

As long as you use common sense and have a genuine concern for your pet's well-being, you can count on a long, fulfilling life with your canine friend. Keep in mind that no matter what you do to help your sick dog—using herbs, bland food, or fasting—be sure to check in with your veterinarian. Even natural or herbal treatments can cause drug interactions in dogs taking prescription medications. Your vet will know how to guide you in such situations.

1. The 24-Hour Fast

Our dogs gain real excitement when it comes to dinner time. Food, to a dog, consist of just about anything that fits in his or her mouth. Because of this, a dog with an upset stomach may not seem all that rare. After all, moldy trash to a canine is a real treat. Providing no blood is found in the vomit or stool, the drama of a queasy-feeling dog can usually be resolved with a 24-hour fast.

Note: This fasting time does have rules attached, which should be followed to keep your dog hydrated and safe.

Fasting Guidelines

  • Puppies cannot be fasted and require a visit to the vet if sick.
  • Adult dogs can manage a full 24-hour fast if they have no other health issues.
  • Younger dogs must receive small meals of easily digestible bland foods during the 24-hour period.
  • Supply plenty of fresh water; even though a sick dog may not want to drink, you must encourage liquid consumption.
  • Should the dog refuse to drink (sometimes drinking water makes the stomach feel worse), ice cubes or ice chips may be offered. Chicken or beef broth (unsalted and unseasoned) and unflavored Pedialyte may also be offered.
  • Following the 24-hour fasting period; reintroduce small, easily digestible bland meals to your dog three or four times a day for the first day or two. (Boiled rice and bland chicken work well.)
White rice and chicken can help to settle an upset stomach.

White rice and chicken can help to settle an upset stomach.

2. The Boiled Rice and Chicken Diet

This is a really simple yet effective treatment for dogs with gastrointestinal issues. Simply boil boneless, skinless chicken and then white rice as you normally would. If you aren't sure how, follow the recipe below.

How to Prepare Chicken for Dogs

Use boneless, skinless chicken (chicken skin adds fat that your dog may not be able to handle right now; never give chicken bones to dogs).

Instructions

  1. Add the chicken to boiling water (do not add seasoning!).
  2. Boil the chicken until completely cooked (170°F internal temperature); juices must run clear and show no sign of blood.
  3. Allow it to cool completely.
  4. Cut the chicken into small, bite-sized cubes.
  5. Add a small amount of chicken to a small amount of prepared white rice and feed to your dog according to his or her age and size.

How to Prepare White Rice for Dogs

If you boil the chicken first, you can use the bland, unseasoned broth for cooking the rice. This will enhance your dog's appetite.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unprepared white rice
  • 2 cups of water (or bland broth)

Instructions

  1. Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. Add the uncooked rice.
  3. Return it to a slow boil.
  4. Cover and reduce the heat to low.
  5. Simmer for 20 minutes (or until the water has been absorbed).
  6. Fluff the rice and allow it to cool completely. Serve it with cubed, boiled chicken.

Tips for Feeding

The age and size of your dog will determine the amount of chicken and rice to feed. Remember: You are feeding really small portions no matter what size or age your dog may be. Your vet is the best source for determining your dog's specific meal-size requirements.

Ginger is a natural remedy for gastritis.

Ginger is a natural remedy for gastritis.

3. Will Ginger Help My Dog's Upset Stomach?

If you don't already know, ginger is well-known not only for its wonderful spicy flavor, but for its use as a medicinal aid for stomach discomfort. We, humans, stir it into dishes and steep it into herbaceous teas, not just for the flavor, but as a natural remedy for an upset stomach. If your dog is suffering from GI upset, you can use it in small amounts to relieve gastric upset.

4. Will Goldenseal Help My Dog's Upset Stomach?

Goldenseal is used as a topical antibiotic for treating dogs that suffer from eye infections or those that have weepy eyes. When it is made into a tea for these applications, save a sip or two to resolve gastric upset in your dog. Goldenseal is helpful for reducing bowel problems as well!

No Pepto-Bismol for Dogs Without Veterinary Supervision

No Pepto-Bismol for Dogs Without Veterinary Supervision

Can Dogs Take Pepto-Bismol? Ask Your Veterinarian!

The consensus is that Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate or "the pink stuff") can be fatal to cats—the aspirin now included in the compound has major negative health effects on cats.

But is it okay for dogs? Not really. Unless a vet prescribes it with a complete dosage schedule and is monitoring your dog regularly, avoid such OTC drugs and those found in the medicine cabinet. This is particularly true if your dog is afflicted with any of the following conditions:

Never give Pepto-Bismol to a dog with the following conditions:

  • Aspirin sensitivity
  • A history of gastrointestinal ulcers
  • Bleeding disorders of any kind
  • The combined use of steroids or non-steroidal medications (has caused fatal bleeding episodes in dogs)

Better Safe Than Sorry

When your pet is suffering from GI upset (or anything for that matter), it is always best practice to take your dog to the veterinarian—always! Many modern vets can provide you with a holistic treatment plan should you request one.

Always Follow Correct Homeopathic Dilutions

Always Follow Correct Homeopathic Dilutions

Natural Remedies for Dogs in Homeopathic Dilutions

Natural RemedyCondition

Chamomilla (Chamomile)

Helps dissipate pain especially in the mouth. Works well on teething puppies.

Cocculus (Indian cockle)

Great for dogs that get motion sickness when traveling. Also helps with exhaustion and sleeplessness.

Drosera (Round-leaf sundew)

Often a first choice for dealing with spasmodic kennel cough considered violent hacking, like something is caught in the dog's throat.

Euphrasia (Eyebright)

A tonic for the eyes. Eye irritations that burn and sting. Possibly used for conjunctivitis.

Mercurius Solubilis (Mercury, quicksilver)

Conditions with acrid discharge like infected anal glands. Can also help to resolve gingivitis and bouts of diarrhea with mucus.

Pulsatilla (Windflower)

Helpful for clingy or sensitive dogs, especially those that suffer separation anxiety. Commonly used in false pregnancy.

Silicea (Silica, pure flint)

Regenerates dead tissue and knit bones and tendons. Cleanses the body of congestion, infection, and mucus. Also helps to heal scar tissue.

Thuja occidentalis (Arbor vitae)

Antibacterial properties. Sometimes used to combat side effects of over-vaccination.

With a few natural remedies in your arsenal, your dog's problem stomach may turn out to be no problem at all!

With a few natural remedies in your arsenal, your dog's problem stomach may turn out to be no problem at all!

Homeopathic Remedies for Dogs Are Great When Used Responsibly

While a chronic condition certainly requires a veterinarian or trained homeopath, there are a few common acute conditions you can resolve using natural substances at home.

Never use homeopathic treatment in place of consulting a vet. Remedies listed in the chart are basic everyday treatments that are used for acute conditions like mild GI upset or bee stings in dogs that have no history of anaphylaxis. Anything more serious than these minor ailments requires professional care.

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.

Comments

MelindaJGH on October 05, 2015:

Our vet also recommends 1T of Kaopectate.

jim on July 15, 2013:

flat gingerale for a dogs upset tummy can it be used

basset hound ( oliver ) on July 15, 2013:

can you give a dog flat gingerale

T4an from Toronto, Ontario on January 29, 2013:

Great information. Thank you for sharing. I have a large older dog and whenever he has become sick, I have given him rice mixed with his food. It has always settled his stomach. Voted up!

Ann from Round Rock, TX on October 07, 2012:

Great article. I am a vet tech so I am more familiar with the more medical treatment methods so this is good info. I love how you make sure to let people know that vet visits are still important when home treatments don't work! In regards to blood in the stool, this is more common in dogs than many people think. It is how most dogs respond to many GI issues, but really scares a lot of owners since it is something that would be of high concern for a human. Although, I am not saying it isn't a problem. Thanks for the great article!

cardelean from Michigan on March 18, 2012:

LOL, we recently got a cat (Charlie Raisin). We decided that this was as much "extra responsibility" as we could handle right now, since cats are a little more independent. :) I would love to get a dog but not until my schedule is a little easier and the kids are just a little older to take on some of the responsibility. So I'm sure I'll be referring back to this in the future!

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on March 18, 2012:

Cara! I can't believe you don't have a dog! I agree with you, why would we assume that human meds would be acceptable for canine peoblems, the doseages alone are of serious consideration. I sure appreciate that you found time to visit, thank you for sharing your thoughts on the article!

Big HubHugs my friend~

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on March 18, 2012:

alissaroberts~ So nice to see you here today, thank you for stopping by. Natural treatments definitely have their place in the care of our dogs. But, knowing when it is time to give the vet a call is important as well! It always nice to have options, especially when it comes to vet costs!

HubHugs~

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on March 18, 2012:

rebeccamealy~ Pesticides can be that hidden poison which silently lurks in our backyard. When our dogs munch on this resideue covered grass, the suffering can be beyond repair. Thank you for leaving your comments, I really appreciate the support!

HubHugs~

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on March 18, 2012:

livelonger~ So sorry you have a dog allergy, I would be mortified, to say the least! I wonder hoe a Chinese Crested would do for you,...they are virtually hairless! ;)

Thank you so much for sharing your comments, I am always honored that you do!

Big HubHugs and Shalom, my friened!

cardelean from Michigan on March 17, 2012:

What a fabulous source of information. Like Shanna said, if I had a dog, I would be referencing this often. We did have a couple of dogs growing up and I never once thought to use human medication for them. It's funny that people would think of that. Nicely done my friend!

Alissa Roberts from Normandy, TN on March 16, 2012:

Such useful information for all dog owners! I never knew there were so many natural remedies for dogs - wow this will help tremondously cut down the vet bills. Great hub! Voted up!

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on March 14, 2012:

Good food for thought here. My dogs chew on grass occasionally. I use to think they were really sick until I learned that it is normal in moderation.I never thought about pesticides though and I think this Hub will be of great interest!

Jason Menayan from San Francisco on March 14, 2012:

I don't even HAVE a dog but was enthralled by this Hub (I do love dogs, but am sadly allergic to them). Such great information! A terrific reminder that what works for us doesn't necessarily work for dogs, but that plenty of natural remedies are safe and effective for our canine friends. Thank you, HubHugs, and shalom, my friend!

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on March 14, 2012:

Missolive~ Give Ollie a pat on the head for me! Sounds like he is one lucky K9 to have you as his friend. I think the chicken and rice will serve him well. I am so happy you liked the table and the Gilligan's Island riff! ;)Thank you for taking the time to stop by the HubHood today, I really appreciate it.

HubHugs~

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on March 14, 2012:

Thanks Paulart! I appreciate that very much.

Cheers~

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on March 14, 2012:

What a cute name 'Rosco' is! Thanks for leaving your remarks, I am very grateful for your valuable time!

HubHugs~

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on March 14, 2012:

theclevercat~ Thank you for the comments. I was actually unaware of goldenseal until I did some research on dog's upset stomachs. I am so glad you found the hub pleasurable to read, that makes me feel like the work is worth the time!

HubHugs~

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on March 14, 2012:

You are so very welcome Mary.

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on March 14, 2012:

Chatkath! Big smile for K9 seeing you here today! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and for the thumbs up, I really appreciate you!

Namaste, & Big HubHugs my friend~

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on March 14, 2012:

Thank you so much for the high praise, Daisy. I am so happy that enjoyed the hub, even as you have no pets. Sure appreciate the HubLove!

HubHugs~

Marisa Hammond Olivares from Texas on March 14, 2012:

Hi K9 - Great tips here. There are so many elements that we forget about. Such as the pesticides around the yard. My Ollie is getting up in age and his upset stomach days are a bit more frequent. He tends to naturally want to fast during these times. I had not even thought of ginger or goldenseal...that is so easy. I'll give the chicken and rice a try too. By the way, your table at the end is priceless. Great info K9.

Thanks for throwing in the MaryAnn quip LOL. I love having a little chuckle whenever I read. :)

Paulart from 2510 Warren Avenue Cheyenne,Wyoming 82001 on March 12, 2012:

Nice information is given on this hub.

Teresa Coppens from Ontario, Canada on March 11, 2012:

Excellent hub. Lots of great info I will refer to when our pup Rosco shows signs of a tummy ache!

Rachel Vega from Massachusetts on March 11, 2012:

Wow, I never knew that about ginger and goldenseal! Thank you for a well-researched and pleasurable to read Hub.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on March 10, 2012:

Good Morning, I just want to say thank you for your response to my question about flea prevention. I feel better now using the product to prevent fleas. When I no longer saw fleas after my daily inspection, I stopped using the product. Shortly after that, she begin to scratch until she had a "hot spot" where she had chewed all the way down. It took 3 visits to the Vet and her wearing a cone to get it cleared up. Have a wonderful day, and again, thanks!

Kathy from California on March 09, 2012:

This is another must-read k9! Especially for dog parents, this is a thorough and comprehensive guide that provides an answer for everything! Rated up, useful, interesting and awesome -- Just like you my friend!

Daisy Mariposa from Orange County (Southern California) on March 09, 2012:

K9keystrokes,

Thanks for publishing this very comprehensive, well-researched, well-written, well-formatted article. I personally don't own a dog or cat, but I know several people who do. I'm going to share this article with my followers, some of whom I know are pet owners.

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on March 09, 2012:

stephhicks68~ I have heard that epilepsy will cause queasiness following an episode (in dogs and in humans). Your dog is lucky to have you as his owner; good dogs deserve good people!

Fantastic that you found the hub up to your high standards, honored that you approve. Glad you made it by today, I sure appreciate your valuable time my friend!

HubHugs~

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on March 09, 2012:

Awesome hub - love the chart you included! Like others, I am bookmarking for future reference. We have a dog with epilepsy, on anti-seizure meds, and he does appear to have an upset stomach after an episode at times. The 24 hour fast is good advice. Its great to have other options too. Thanks much! Steph

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on March 09, 2012:

Dog Adviser~ Thank you so much. I have to say that I really found your hub on "Early Socialization and Physical Development of the Newborn Pupppy" (and who doesn't love pictures of CUTE poppies?) a dynomite read. I will return to comment shortly. It has great information, and you made me fan right away! Sure appreciate that you stopped by today!

Cheers~

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on March 09, 2012:

Shanna11~ You are so nice. I sure appreciate that you shared your comments here!

HubHUgs~

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on March 09, 2012:

mary615~ I think you must weigh the advantages and disadvantages for your little cutie. As long as she can tolerate the spot-on flea meds, and you are cautious in using it STRICTLY as directed and within the timeline for reapplications, things should be fine. My Golden has the same issue, so for me, the misery he encounters from flea bites far outweighs the downside of using the chemicals. Unfortunetaly, I have yet to find an effective flea treatment that is natural, and provieds the same level of flea protection (but I am always looking). The facts for me are this; when my dog gets bitten by fleas his skin allergy kicks into high-gear, swells and gets irritated, thus causing him to scratch and bite himself wildy. His skin erupts from these actions and often breaks open, his hair falls out and red angry raw flesh replaces powder pink furry skin. He is simply miserable. With the spot-on supplies, this is avoided all together. I think he would agree that the spot-on meds are his first choice--if he could talk ;). I hope this helps you.

I hope you and your Miniature Schnauzer have a wonderfully long and itch free life!

HubHugs Mary~

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on March 09, 2012:

iamaudraleigh~ Thank you for leaving your kind remarks, and for the votes! I really appreciate it. I hope your parents find the hub as helpful as you do.

Cheers~

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on March 09, 2012:

cclitgeirl~ I just love Labs, they are really great loyal dogs! I think you are very smart to always make sure that whatever you treat an animal with (natural or prescribed) you double-check. This is just a good practice. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts today!

HubHugs~

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on March 09, 2012:

Brett~ Thanks so much! Cute dogs in your profile image!

Sarah Falkner from www.facebook.com/Family Dog Advice on March 09, 2012:

Useful indeed. Thank you for the information. I will follow for more great info!

Shanna from Utah on March 09, 2012:

If I had a dog, this would definitely be my go-to reference. Full of lots of great information. Great hub!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on March 09, 2012:

You are so knowledgeable in pets! I use K-9 Advantix II to prevent fleas on my 14# Miniature Schnauzer. She is terribly allergic to flea bites. I hate using this poison on her, but I hate for her to get flea bitten too. Am I doing the right thing by her? I voted this Hub UP,etc.

iamaudraleigh on March 09, 2012:

This will benefit my parent's dog and them. Nice job...voted up!

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on March 09, 2012:

Comprehensive and I feel like I have a personal vet to consult with when it comes to my dog. He's a yellow lab and though he's 5.5 years old, he's still into everything. :D This is wonderful; I'm going to have to bookmark for future reference. I didn't know ginger and goldenseal were safe. I err on the side of caution and don't feed my dog anything herbal until I'm sure it's safe; my cats, too. But, I love herbal remedies and once I find out I can use something, I'm all over it. Thank you so such a great hub!

Brett Winn from US on March 08, 2012:

VERY nice job!!! Voted way up, and bookmarked!