How to care for a dog with an upset stomach

Written by laura latzko
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How to care for a dog with an upset stomach
Eating human food can give a dog an upset stomach. (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

As with humans, a dog can get an upset stomach. The most common symptoms of an upset stomach in dogs are vomiting, diarrhoea and an unwillingness to eat food or drink water. Dogs can develop an upset stomach as a result of a bacterial or viral infection, or from the foods they eat. You should take your dog to see a veterinarian if it develops bloody diarrhoea or if it becomes lethargic or dehydrated. Otherwise, use either home remedies or medicines to soothe your pet's upset stomach.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bland dog food
  • Diarrhoea medication
  • Oral rehydration solution
  • Chicken and rice or chicken broth
  • Canine medicine

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    Dog Healthcare

  1. 1

    Do not feed your dog while it is experiencing stomach problems, as you could cause its condition to worsen. Refrain from feeding your dog for a day or more, depending on how long its symptoms persist. A puppy older than seven weeks may havewater and bland dog food made with chicken and rice after about 12 hours in order to keep the puppy from getting too weak, according to the Dog Breed Info Center (See Reference 1).

  2. 2

    If your dog has symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhoea, give it over-the-counter stomach or diarrhoea medication designed for dogs or for humans. Give the dog about 1ml of medication for every 4.54 Kilogram it weighs, according to (See Reference 2).

  3. 3

    Keep your dog from getting dehydrated by giving it an oral rehydration solution, such as those designed for children. Mix the solution with water. Give your dog between 2 and 4ml of oral rehydration solution, depending on how dehydrated your dog has become (See Reference 3).

  4. 4

    Call or take your dog to your veterinarian if you believe that your pet has ingested something that has upset his stomach, such as chocolate, insecticide or cleaning solutions.

  5. 5

    Start to feed your dog small amounts of food and water once its symptoms start to improve. Give it a combination of bland dog food and human food, such as chicken and rice mixed with water or chicken broth, but only for one day after it gets better (See References 1 and 4).

  6. 6

    Take your dog to see your veterinarian if its symptoms persist for more than a day or if its symptoms become worse. Take a puppy under seven weeks old to the veterinarian immediately if it has symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhoea. Your veterinarian can perform diagnostic tests to find out if your pet has a more serious condition, such as an ulcer. Your veterinarian may prescribe medications to treat or improve your pet's condition. Surgery may be necessary if it has a major stomach problem.

  7. 7

    Change your dog's diet permanently if it continues to have stomach problems. Gradually switch the animal to a diet of blander dog food. Feed your dog small portions of food throughout the day instead of filling its bowl once a day.

Tips and warnings

  • You may need to make your dog vomit if it has eaten a harmful substance, but you should talk to your veterinarian or poison control centre before inducing vomiting.
  • Certain human foods can cause dogs to have digestive problems. Avoid giving your dogs dairy products, chocolate, foods or beverages with caffeine, grapes, potatoes, alcoholic beverages or fats from meat.

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