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4 min read

Is It Okay to Give My Dog Medicine for an Upset Stomach?


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Does your dog seem to frequently have an upset stomach? Do they have more than occasional bouts of diarrhea? If so, your dog is pretty normal since dogs tend to suffer from an upset stomach more frequently than most humans. However, if your pooch eats something they shouldn't, eats a questionable food (one that may be rotten or on the verge of going bad), or overeats, these are all common causes of nasty stomach issues.

Does my dog have an upset stomach?

The hardest part of dealing with your dog's upset stomach is that they can't simply walk up to you and tell you their belly is hurting. However, if you know what to look for, more often than not you can spot the symptoms before the problem becomes severe. Among the most common symptoms of a queasy stomach are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Pacing
  • Eating grass or licking the carpets or floor
  • Lack of appetite 
  • Gurgling noises in the stomach
  • Gas

If you notice any of the above symptoms, chances are good that your dog has an upset stomach. In most cases, the problem will go away on its own, but there are also ways you can help your dog feel better faster.

What gave my dog a queasy stomach?

The most common cause of an upset stomach is when your dog has eaten something they shouldn't have. Canines explore the world with their mouths and often sample things they shouldn't. It's a natural thing they do that can often get them into trouble as they chew and bite their way through various items, especially as puppies. With some dogs, stress can also lead to an upset stomach in much the same way it does in humans. If your dog's gut and digestive system have a bacterial imbalance or sensitivity to foods and additives, these can also lead to problems with the tummy.

What can I do about my dog's nausea and stomach issues?

The first step you can take to help your dog with an upset stomach is to call your veterinarian to discuss the problem and ask if he thinks your dog needs to be seen. Beyond that, there are several treatments you can try at home that may help. These include:

Let the issue run its course by doing nothing beyond taking your furry companion's food away for 12 to 24 hours. When your dog has an unsettled stomach, the last thing needed is to be trying to digest more food. Remember, your dog can easily go this long without eating and doing so will give the stomach plenty of time to settle down.

If you don't want your dog going on a 24-hour fast, you can add one tablespoon of unsweetened plain yogurt to their food. This will not only soothe the gastric issues, but the probiotics in the yogurt will also replace the healthy bacteria that should be in the digestive system. The yogurt may even help to stimulate a lost appetite.

Can I give medicine for my dog's upset stomach?

Before you give your dog any type of medicine intended for human consumption, be sure to check with your vet to make sure the one you plan to use is safe and that all your pup has is an upset tummy. You can also give your dog a dose of Pepto Bismol, but always verify the dosage with your vet before administering it. You can give them Pepto every 6 to 8 hours. Never use Pepto for more than 24 to 48 hours. If the problem persists beyond this time, take your dog into the clinic.

Unless you have a breed related to the Collie, you can also use Imodium. Imodium seems to work very well, but again, ask the clinic about dosage amounts. If the condition lasts more than 2 days or seems to be getting worse, be sure to take your pup to see the vet or to an animal hospital emergency room.

Alternatives to medicine

If you have verified that there is not a serious problem going on with your dog, you can look to other remedies to "ease the quease" and stimulate a lack of appetite. If you have leftover cooked chicken at home, simmer the bones in a pot of water for the day, releasing stomach-soothing marrow and minerals into the water. Canned pumpkin (not spiced, canned pumpkin), when added to food has nausea abating properties. Add a dollop to a small amount of food.

Every dog gets an upset tummy from time to time, it seems to be quite normal and generally does not have any lasting effects. In most cases, you can simply let the problem run its course, but if your dog appears to be overly uncomfortable, there are medicines you can give them to ease discomfort and reduce vomiting and diarrhea. If you have any doubts at all about your dog's condition, be sure to contact your vet for further assistance.

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