How to Prevent and Treat Stomach Upset in Dogs

dog stomach upset


Your dog may have stomach upset or suffer from dog nausea once in a while, you would not only need to identify these dog health challenges, also need to know how to prevent and solve them. That will go a long way to help you keep your dog alive and well all the time.

It is not all stomach upset issues that need a vet’s attention, especially if it not a real critical one. There are natural ways, or home remedies available that you can readily use to take care of the situation.

There are two guides below, created out of long research into dog stomach health issues

The first article is: 10 Ways to Prevent and Treat Stomach Upset in Dogs 

The second article is: Dog Nausea & Natural Remedies

These two articles will give you a total view of dog stomach upset and nausea, and also provide the true solution that they need.

First, note if your dog is frequently showing signs of stomach upset along with vomiting and diarrhea. When you notice these symptoms too often, it’s likely your Fido could have a food allergy, is sensitive to specific foods or ingredients in his meals, or he might have a serious medical problem and should be seen by a vet. But a dog with upset stomach on occasion can be handled with a minor dietary adjustment and remedies.

See extra tips from the video below this article

Symptoms Of An Upset Stomach In Dogs

Dog With Upset StomachHow do you spot a dog with upset stomach? Since our pets can’t tell us what they’re going through, there are specific signs of an upset stomach in dogs to tell if your pooch isn’t feeling well. The most common signs a dog with upset stomach shows are:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Eating Grass or licking the floor
  • Nipping at their sides
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Passing very smelly gas
  • Gurgling noises from the stomach

Each of these symptoms by themselves doesn’t necessarily indicate an upset stomach. But if your pet has two or more of these symptoms, it’s likely he has tummy issues which can come due to a variety of reasons.

Preventing An Upset Stomach in Dogs

Dog With Upset Stomach

Obviously the best way to treat a dog with upset stomach is to prevent this problem from happening in the first place.Here are five easy ways to prevent an upset stomach in dogs:

1. Change Your Dog’s Water Frequently

When was the last time you changed your dog’s water? Water that sits around in your dog’s water bowl can get stale and even start growing bacteria from your dog’s saliva.

Always make sure that your dog has plenty of fresh cold water to drink. Not all tap water is also safe for dogs. While it may not necessarily cause stomach issues, hard tap water may have more serious consequences like urinary health problems, according to a 2016 study from Trupanion.

If you have hard water at home, you may have to give your dog bottled water or distilled water that is kept in the fridge so it’s nice and cool. Distilled water is very inexpensive and is much better for pets than hard water from the tap.

2. Don’t Change Your Dog’s Food Suddenly

Completely switching a pet’s diet all of a sudden can be the reason for a dog with upset stomach. Veterinarians warn pet owners that any diet changes should happen gradually because the dog’s stomach needs time to adjust to new ingredients.

You might think that it’s good to give your dog a variety of foods because you like variety in your food, but it’s a myth that dogs need variety in their diet for taste reasons. As long as your pooch receives all the necessary nutrients, variety is completely unnecessary and more than that, dogs need consistency when it comes to their diet.

If you are going to change your dog’s food, do it slowly over the course of 6-10 days. Add a handful of the new food to your dog’s regular food and then slowly increase the amount of new food mixed with the old food until your dog is comfortable eating only the new food.

3. Don’t Feed Your Dog Human Food

There are certain human foods for dogs that pet experts and veterinarians say are very healthy for our pets to consume. However, a large number of other foods you yourself would eat can be the reason for you now dealing with a dog with upset stomach. Dogs’ digestive system isn’t designed the same way as ours is, therefore they may not be able to process certain foods properly, and other foods may even be downright deadly.

Typically, it’s fine to give your Fido an occasional treat of human food as long as it’s not toxic to canines, but you shouldn’t regularly be giving your dog human food. This is a poor habit not only for the dog’s general health but also the one that may cause behavioral problems in canines. Don’t feed your table scraps to your dog or give them human food every day, and when you do that on occasion, pick beneficial foods.

4. Give Your Dog Probiotics

More and more studies are coming out every year showing the benefits of probiotics not only for humans but also our pets, and dogs in particular. If you have a dog with upset stomach, you’ll need to first deal with this problem until it goes away, and start giving your pet probiotics after to prevent future stomach problems.

Probiotics for dogs are a great way to keep their digestive system healthy and prevent diarrhea, vomiting and upset stomach. You can add probiotic supplements for dogs to your dog’s regular food once or twice a day to prevent your dog from getting an upset stomach.

5. Avoid Too Many Dog Treats

All dogs love treats, and they can be a great training tool to reward your pooch. But too many rich and high calorie treats are often the reason a pet owner now has a dog with upset stomach. Experts agree that no more than 10% of your pet’s daily caloric needs should come from dog treats.

While there are certain healthy dog treats that are better fed to dogs than high calorie, non-organic, low quality treats, you must still keep the amount to a minimum and only use them as a reward on occasion. You can also use your dog’s regular dry kibble as treats, which will normally be lower in calories and healthier for the dog.

How to Treat a Dog With Upset Stomach

10 Ways to Prevent and Treat Stomach Upset in DogsSometimes despite your best efforts you still end up with a dog with upset stomach issues. Your pooch may have vomiting and diarrhea or just appear to be generally distressed. If you notice that the pet seems to have an upset stomach problem, here are some ways and home remedies to make your dog feel better.

1. Fasting

The best thing you can do for a dog with an upset stomach is put them on a food time out, and it’s completely safe for dogs as long as it’s for a short period of time. To prove this, in a 2014 study with 20 dogs being treated for cancer, scientists observed that fasting helped with vomiting and diarrhea, and did not pose any dangers.

Veterinarians also generally agree that therapeutic fasting is not the same as starving your dog, and it’s necessary when a dog is going through bouts of diarrhea and/or vomiting that are caused by tummy problems.

So a 24 hour fast for a dog with upset stomach will give his digestive system time to recover from whatever has upset it. While your dog is fasting, make sure that he has access to lots of cold fresh water. The more water your dog drinks the faster the upset will subside. If you suspect the water from the tap is what upset your dog’s stomach give your dog purified water or bottled water.

2. Bland Meals

Bland foods are best for a dog with an upset stomach. When your stomach is upset you don’t want to eat foods that are rich, heavy, of spicy. Neither should your pet. If you need more ideas on how to structure a healthy and safe bland diet for a dog with upset stomach, take a look at this vet-approved guide PDF here.

The best bland diet for a dog with an upset stomach is a mixture of plain cooked rice and cooked boneless and skinless chicken. You can also cook up some hamburger to mix with the rice, just make sure the hamburger is lean and not too greasy. Keep your dog with upset stomach on a bland diet for a day or two to prevent any further stomach upset.

3. Yogurt

There are certain foods that are great for a dog with upset stomach. As I’ve mentioned before, probiotics are great for a dog with upset stomach. Yogurt, for example, has those natural probiotics, the helpful live bacteria (albeit a very small amount) that will relieve an upset stomach and help get rid of gas and diarrhea.

In a “Scientific FridayNPR article/interview here, a scientist explained some of the studies that demonstrated how a helping of yogurt can affect the digestive system in humans, mice and, most likely, our pets – dogs and cats. Just make sure that it’s plain yogurt, the kind used for cooking and not flavored or sweetened yogurt.

4. Broth

Broth is a very popular “food” choice for those who are fasting, and it’s particularly good for pets who are going through therapeutic fasting after and during bouts of diarrhea or vomiting caused by tummy problems.

If your dog wants more than just water but isn’t really up to solid food yet, unseasoned chicken broth or beef broth is a good compromise. But read the label carefully to make sure it contains no spices like onion or garlic. It can be difficult to find truly plain broth and you need to read the label closely. You can also make your own.

5. Sweet Potato

Finally, another great bland food for a dog with an upset stomach is sweet potato. Cook up a couple of sweet potatoes. Remove the skins and mash up the insides then give your dog a couple of tablespoons to help get rid of diarrhea, gas and upset stomach.

Sweet potatoes are often part of the bland diet guide for any dog with upset stomach because of their low calorie content and nutrition, and that they’re easy on your pet’s digestive system.


Dog Nausea & Natural Remedies


dog nausea

Dogs are resilient, loveable animals who have been a part of human history for centuries. According to Archaeology Magazine, the earliest potential dog remains, first excavated from the Goyet Cave in Belgium, can be dated as far back as 31,700 years ago. For certain, dogs have been around for at least 10,000 years, playing a vital role in early humans’ hunting, rituals, and general companionship.

While it seems like dogs can eat just about anything and survive just fine, they can experience nausea just like you. Let’s a closer look at dog nausea, what causes it, and some natural remedies to help ease the symptoms.

Dog Nausea

The Mechanisms of Dog Nausea

As common as nausea is in dogs, properly diagnosing and treating nausea in dogs can be difficult. That’s because it’s generally a subjective experience that involves emotional, physical, and physiological symptoms. While humans can often tell you when they’re feeling nauseous, dogs can’t exactly speak up about how they’re feeling until they’re already vomiting. This has made it difficult for researchers to properly study nausea in animals.

Objective means of measuring nausea can prevent proper diagnosis. More often, it comes down to any abnormal or sudden irregular behaviors you notice in your pup.

Causes of Nausea in Dogs

Nausea in dogs can be caused by a wide range of factors. Much like nausea in humans, dog nausea is often diet-related. This could be anything from eating too much food or eating too quickly to changing your dog’s diet or feeding them something they shouldn’t have eaten. Dogs can also suffer nausea as a result of motion sickness, like from riding a car or chasing a tail.

Other common causes of nausea in dogs include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Worms and other parasites in the intestines
  • Anxiety, including separation anxiety
  • Viral infections
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

Nausea isn’t breed specific, so from Boston Terrier to Newfoundlands, you can expect generally the same chance of your dog succumbing to nausea. However, you can expect older dogs to be more susceptible to nausea than younger pups.

Causes of Dog Nausea

Symptoms of Nausea in Dogs

To be clear, nausea is a symptom in itself that could point to other conditions, but it does come with certain signs and symptoms, including:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Consistent licking
  • Consistent chewing
  • Dry heaving

Nausea is most commonly noted by vomiting or diarrhea. Remember that nausea can point to a more serious condition. Isolated incidents of vomiting are common in a dog’s life and aren’t always a cause for concern. As long as your dog maintains a good appetite and isn’t uncharacteristically lethargic, you shouldn’t have to worry too much. However, consistent diarrhea or vomiting can point to a sick dog. Thankfully, there are numerous natural remedies that can soothe your dog’s nausea and help it feel better.

Symptoms of Dog Nausea

Tips for Preventing Canine Nausea

It’s hard to always nail down when your dog’s nausea will hit or what triggers nausea in your dog, but you can take specific steps to keep your dog from succumbing to nausea. For instance, avoid feeding your dog immediately before car travel, and consider walking or playing with your dog before getting into the car to help your dog digest any prior meals.

When in the car, try to position your dog in the front or middle row of the car. Rear compartments tend to provide bumpier, more uneven rides. Take frequent breaks so that your pup can stretch its legs, go to the bathroom, drink water, and relieve and pent up stress or anxiety.

In terms of food, try to stick with good old fashioned dog food. Avoid:

  • Spoiled food
  • Food that has been in the fridge for more than 3 days
  • Eating food rich in fats
  • Sweets
  • Processed meats
  • Seafood

If your dog experiences nausea from eating food too fast, consider providing smaller amounts of food more often or mixing dry food with water. You may also consider splitting individual meals, providing half the food, waiting fifteen minutes, and pouring the second half of food.

Preventing Dog Nausea

Natural Remedies and Treatments for Dog Nausea

Veterinarians commonly use a variety of prescription medications to help dogs with nausea, however natural remedies exist and can be equally as effective. Common medications include Cerenia for dogs, Metoclopramide, and Famotidine or Pepcid. Natural remedies are often equally effective and can be used for dogs with sensitivities to medications. Common natural remedies include the following:

  • Baking soda and water
  • Hemp Supplements
  • Kefir
  • Lavender Oil
  • Catnip
  • Ginger
  • Peppermint
  • Acidophilus Probiotic
  • Slippery Elm

Baking Soda and Water

It’s not the fanciest of remedies, but the simplicity of baking soda and water is exactly why it works. The bubbles can calm the stomach and help reduce bloating and feelings of nausea. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to a half cup of water. Give your dog a few sips of this mixture every two hours or so.

Hemp Supplements

Many people go to their pets looking for what they can give their dog for nausea and vomiting. Hemp supplements, like those provided by Canna-Pet, have shown to reduce nausea and vomiting while offering a wide range of potential health benefits. Some of these benefits include:

  • Pain relief
  • Anxiety relief
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Improved skin condition
  • Nervous system support
  • Reduced digestive tract issues

Provide hemp supplements as recommended on the label.


Kefir is a fermented milk beverage that, much like yogurt, offers beneficial probiotics, which are gut bacteria that can aid in digestion and general health. While regular milk can potentially irritate your dog’s intestinal tract, often leading to upset stomach, kefir can strengthen your pup’s digestive system.

You can buy kefir on its own or convert regular milk to kefir using kefir starter granules. Simply pour a half packet of the granules into a quart of organic, unpasteurized milk and leave overnight.

After your dog vomits, provide some kefir once an hour for about three hours. For small dogs, provide 1 to 2 teaspoons. Medium dogs can have up to 2 tablespoons, while larger dogs can have up to 4 tablespoons. Once your dog’s tummy has been soothed by kefir, you can make it a regular part of his diet by adding up to 3 teaspoons of it to your dog’s food. This can improve your dog’s gut defenses, potentially reducing the potential for nausea.

Lavender Oil

In a study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, researchers found that the ambient smell of lavender helped reduce over-excitement in dogs during travel. In the results, dogs exposed to the smell of lavender spent less time in an excitable state of moving and vocalizing and more time sitting and resting.

This can be a big help for dogs who get nauseous during car rides. Add a drop of lavender oil to your dog’s collar, or soak a cotton ball in lavender oil and leave it in your dog’s general vicinity.



Known for providing cats with a distinct sense of euphoria, catnip isn’t just for the felines. It can offer similar soothing, happy feelings for dogs, helping to calm upset stomachs. Create a simple catnip glycerin tincture by soaking catnip in filtered water and food-grade vegetable glycerin for a few weeks.

When your dog experiences nausea or vomiting, drop about 12 to 20 drops for every 20 pounds of your dog’s weight into their food or water bowl.


When you were younger, your mother may have prescribed some ginger ale to soothe your upset stomach. Ginger is a powerful root that can calm your upset stomach, among many other potential benefits. In dogs, it can reduce nausea and motion sickness and prevent bronchitis, heart disease, and colitis.

Ginger is available in capsules, ensuring calm, restful car rides, but consult your vet for dosage amounts. If you provide raw ginger, generally keep it to smaller amounts. Too much ginger can cause heartburn and actually lead to more upset stomach. Ginger is also available as an essential oil. You may also consider making or buying dog treats that contain ginger in them, which makes it much more scrumptious for your pup.

Dogs are also a big fan of ginger tea. Drop a teaspoon of ginger powder or 1 tablespoon of grated ginger into a pot with a half cup of coconut milk. Simmer for 10 minutes. Give your pup 1 to 3 teaspoons of the ginger tea ever 1 or 2 hours.


Peppermint is most well known for helping to freshen the breath, which can be a big help in of itself if your dog’s breath is smelling a little fishy. However, peppermint is also commonly used by humans to aid in digestion. It can help calm nausea and car sickness and regulate peristalsis to help fight symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.

You can find peppermint tinctures for kids in health food stores or try the methods mentioned above to make a concentrated peppermint solution of your own. Follow the label and dose by body weight.

Thankfully, most dogs enjoy the taste of peppermint, so getting them to take it shouldn’t be a problem. Try offering them a weak, diluted peppermint tea in a bowl. Make sure the tea is lukewarm or room temperature to avoid any burnt snouts. Avoid peppermint if your dog experiences acid reflux.


Lactobacillus acidophilus is another probiotic consisting of bacteria that naturally occurs in a dog’s body, generally focused on the intestines. Along with easing nausea and issues with digestion, acidophilus can help to

  • Improve your dog’s immune system
  • Provide a shinier coat
  • Prevent shedding
  • Eliminate bad breath and flatulence
  • Counteract the side effects of strong antibiotics
  • Relieve arthritic pain

Acidophilus is easily obtainable as a supplement from your local pet supply store, though it can also be found in low fat and low sugar plain yogurt. A teaspoon of yogurt added to your dog’s food can provide all the good bacteria it needs.

Supplements can also be mixed with food, but the dosage differs based on the number of live acidophilus organisms contained within the supplement. Most vets recommend a daily intake of 20 million to 500 million organisms. Read the label and talk to your vet if you’re not sure.

Slippery Elm

Slippery elm, also known by its scientific name Ulmus rubra, is a type of elm tree native to various parts of North America. It is available as a supplement for dogs and is something of a cure-all for digestive problems, including nausea, upset stomach, diarrhea, and loose stools.

While you can find slippery elm in the form of a tablet or capsule, go for the loose powder form, which allows for easier dosage and modification. You can mix it with warm water, forming the slippery elm into a gelatinous consistency. From there, you can feed your dog the mixture alone or combine it with food. Thanks to its slightly sweet taste, your pup shouldn’t have a problem consuming it either way.

Natural Remedies for Dog Nausea


Your dog’s nausea should generally subside on its own after a couple hours or after vomiting. Regardless, make sure your dog has a ready supply of clean water, especially if he has been vomiting. Vomiting forces a lot of water out of the dog’s body. This can potentially lead to dehydration, which could spell numerous other, more serious problems for your dog.

In terms of food after vomiting, try to stick with bland, solid foods, including white rice, cooked chicken, or jacket potatoes. You may combine these with peppermint or ginger tea suggested above.

If your dog vomits more than once or twice a week for over a week or continues to show signs of nausea or lethargy for a few days, consult your vet. There may be something more serious causing his illness. For example, his nausea combined with a dull coat and round belly might point to possible parasites or worms. As always, before introducing something new to your dog’s diet or using a new home remedy, consult your vet for guidance and information.

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