Upset Stomach in Dogs

Upset Stomach in Dogs

Chances are at some point in your dog’s life he will experience an upset stomach. Pet parents are most-likely to get nervous and concerned when they see their dog experiencing vomiting, diarrhea and other symptoms. While most dogs only experience an occasional upset stomach others may have chronic bouts with it. There are a variety of causes and symptoms that surround canine upset stomach. Learning more about it will help pet parents determine the cause of upset stomach in dogs and you can also help the veterinarian to properly diagnose the problem.


If your dog experiences symptoms such as:

  • extreme thirst
  • fever
  • bloating
  • eating grass
  • diarrhea
  • refusing to eat
  • gas
  • vomiting
  • dry-heaving


Or if he becomes lethargic, it may be due to an upset stomach. Another symptom of an upset stomach is sensitivity or pain to the touch in your dog’s stomach area. These symptoms may arise individually or in combination with each other. If your dog is experiencing more than three of these symptoms, it may indicate that a more serious problem is present.


The first thing pet parents will want to observe is if their dog appears to be stressed out by environmental issues. A new addition to the family and less attention and focus on your dog is enough to emotionally affect your dog and cause anxiety, which leads to an upset stomach. In this case it is highly recommended to have the cause of the anxiety remedied in the best way possible. However, if your dog does not appear to have anxiety or stress there are other possible causes.

The most common cause of upset stomach in dogs is related to their diet. Sudden changes to the diet like introducing a new brand of dog food can cause upset stomach. Dog owners will want to gradually add the new type of dog food to the existing dog food at each serving until the new dog food is the full serving.

Causes of upset stomach in dogs

Allergic reactions to dog food and treats can also cause an upset stomach. Usually this will cause the stomach upset symptoms to last as long as your dog is consuming the ingredient they are allergic to. Eating too fast and large quantities will also be the source of an upset stomach in dogs.

Many times dogs feel the need to eat quickly either by habit or necessity when other dogs are in the household. If you have more than one dog, you will want to try feeding them in different rooms, so they each can eat at their own pace, instead of racing through the process.

Since dogs explore their world with their mouth by licking, chewing and sometimes eating things, pet parents will want to avoid exposing their dog to small objects such as strings, food wrappers, potpourri and other objects. If your dog does ingest a small item, it is essential that you take him to the veterinarian office immediately.

Exposure to poisonous plants can also be the culprit behind your dog’s upset stomach. Although house plants are beautiful, it may be toxic for your dog. There is an extensive list of plants, bushes and trees that can have negative effects on your dog’s digestive system.

It is wise to remove these toxic plants from your dog’s environment immediately. If you feel that you absolutely can’t live without your plants, at the very least, place them high on a shelf or hang them from the ceiling where your dog will never be able to have contact with them.


Serious Stomach Issues

Pet parents should be aware that any sight of blood in the feces or vomit could be related to a serious issue. Diseases such as a twisted stomach, pancreatitis, stomach ulcers or parvo can produce an upset stomach as well.

If your dog has swallowed a small object that is not able to pass through the intestines, surgery may be required to remove the object and prevent infection or further illness.

Pet parents should take their dog to the animal hospital or veterinarian office at the first sight of blood.


Once the veterinarian fully exams your dog and determines the cause of the upset stomach, specific instructions will be provided to you in order to care for your dog and help heal his upset stomach. Usually veterinarians will advise non-serious upset stomach instruction such as not feeding your dog for 24 hours to allow their stomach to rest. Then follow up with gradually introducing food in small servings. You will always want to provide fresh water for your dog at all times. It is essential that you always follow the instructions given to you by the veterinarian in order to heal their dog’s upset stomach issues.

Keeping an Eye on Your Dog

Monitoring your dog and his upset stomach condition is recommended. It is imperative that dog owners observe if the condition is lessening or worsening. Your quick actions can save your dog’s life. Keeping a notebook close by and noting any improvements or problems will help the veterinarian determine if your dog is improving or not.


Dog owners should do their best to prevent upset stomach by providing a safe, clean environment for their dog. Keep cleaning products and other chemicals in cabinets or storage bins that your dog is not able to access. Provide a healthy diet, plenty of clean water and rid your home of toxic plants and objects that may be ingested by your dog.

Since there are a variety of causes for canine upset stomach, with some being hazardous to your dog’s health, it is highly recommended that you visit the veterinarian or local animal hospital immediately at the first sign of upset stomach in your dog. Your dog’s digestive health is important. Make sure you always act quickly to help solve the illness.


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3 Responses

  1. It’s so frustrating when you know your dog isn’t feeling well, but they can’t tell you what’s wrong! This list of symptoms will at least help me narrow it down.

  2. My dog used to eat grass and that’s how I knew he was sick. Come to find out, the food I was feeding him wasn’t the greatest, and was often associated with dogs getting sick and puking. Wish I knew that before feeding him that garbage.

    Anyways I will make sure to feed my dog right from now on.

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