Things to do if your dog has an upset stomach

Upset stomachs in dogs can stem from various causes, but they all have a common factor: your dogs ate something that they shouldn’t have or something they’re not used to digesting. 

These can happen for a variety of reasons like suddenly switching from an old dog food to a new one, food intolerances, general indigestion, and even protein allergies. While not limited to these causes, there are ways to treat an upset stomach if it happens to your dog.  

What is an upset stomach? 

The technical term for this is indigestion, which refers to an inflamed, irritated stomach and intestines. This often leads to different symptoms like nausea, vomiting, bloating, or diarrhea. 

The first cause of action to take is to get rid of the food that caused this condition, but if blood is present in your dog’s stool or vomit, then be sure to take your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible as this symptom may be a sign of more severe conditions like Acute Hemorrhagic Diarrhea Syndrome (AHDS), a disease that typically affects small-breed dogs. Its exact cause is unknown but it is said that abnormal immune responses to bacteria or food ingredients can trigger it in dogs.  

Causes of upset stomach in dogs and treatments 

Several things can cause indigestion. When treating upset stomachs, always remember that each cause requires different solutions. 

1. Gas buildup

Gas naturally builds up in the stomach as your dog digests their food. Much like humans, this gas needs to be expelled. If not, constipation happens. Burping or flatulence can solve most cases, but if bloating happens, then it might be time to take your dog to a veterinarian.  

If the stomach swells to the point of feeling tight or hard to the touch, this is a sign that the buildup is serious and medical attention is needed.  

2. Improper transition from old food to a new one

When switching to another brand of dog food, it’s important to introduce little amounts at a time with the old food. This is needed for the dog’s palate and stomach to get used to the new food.   

If the switch is too sudden, your dog may likely have indigestion or intolerances. These can also result in diarrhea, vomiting, or loose stools. 

In this case, there are usually 3 options you can take. First is to stop feeding them anything for at least 12 to 24 hours, so that they can expel the food as waste. Majority of upset stomach cases usually pass after this period. Second, you can have them lick ice cubes so that they don’t take in too much water, especially after vomiting. 

The third option is to give them canned Pumpkin, a food often recommended by holistic veterinarians. 

“It has a low glycemic index, so it slowly absorbs, which helps with upset stomach and digestion,” Dr. Jody Bearman, DVM at Anshen Veterinary Acupuncture, Madison, Wisconsin, said.  

3. Inflammation and obstructions 

Some dogs have a habit of eating things that might harm them. Much like children who chew on toys and accidentally swallow them, dogs may also have this tendency. If a foreign object gets caught in a dog’s stomach and intestines, inflammation in the stomach lining and intestinal blockage can happen. 

If this happens, seek medical attention immediately. 

4. Protein allergies

Allergies may also be one of the possible causes of an upset stomach. These happen when the dog’s immune system mistakenly identifies a food ingredient as harmful.  

These proteins can come from the usual Pork, Beef, Chicken, and even Lamb. In this case, the dog can also have symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea but with itching, sneezing, and red eyes. The first solution is to give them a diet with limited ingredients, which means taking out food that would most likely trigger their allergies.  

If that doesn’t work, then you can avoid giving them common farmyard proteins, and switching to novel proteins instead. These are rarely eaten meats like Kangaroo, Venison, or even Brushtail.  

Unlike farmyard proteins like Beef, Chicken, or Pork, your pet isn’t often exposed to these proteins, so they are unlikely to be misidentified as harmful by your dog’s immune system.  

Addiction Pet Foods’ Viva la Venison, which uses New Zealand Venison, Perfect Summer Brushtail Raw Alternative Dog Food which is made with New Zealand Brushtail Possum, and Wild Kangaroo and Apples, made with Australian Kangaroo, are formulas specially made for dogs with skin and digestive sensitivities. These can be fed regularly to sensitive dogs with no problems, as customers have noted in their reviews.

WKAD Testimonial Old Packaging

However, if your veterinarian has determined that the allergies are still caused by animal-based novel proteins, then it might be time to switch to plant-based nutrition. 

What is plant-based nutrition? 

Animal meat is not the only source of protein. Vegetables and soy products also contain quality protein which can be a suitable alternative for highly sensitive dogs.  

In severe cases, holistic veterinarian and animal nutritionist Dr. Jean-Paul Ly recommends switching dogs to a plant-based diet, especially if the dog is suffering from extreme skin allergies and other sensitivities. 

One particular brand is Addiction Pet Foods’ Zen Vegetarian, which is 100% free from added meat and other animal-based ingredients. 

ZV Testimonial

This formula is made with Soybeans, Rice, Oats and Peas. It’s ideal for giving relief to dogs with severe allergies and itching, and easy to digest as well, as customers have noted in their reviews. Its holistic vegetarian formula has all the dietary protein they need for optimal nutrition. As an added benefit, Zen Vegetarian also has Coconut Oil and Omega-3 fatty acids from Flaxseeds to promote a shiny skin and coat – the first indicator of a healthy pet. 

Buy Addiction Pet Food’s Zen Vegetarian at a store near you!  Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram for more pet health and nutrition updates.   

– Addiction Pet Foods 

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