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? Does he 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 dog eats something he shouldn't be eating, eats a questionable food (one that may be rotten or on the verge of going bad), or overeats, these are all common causes of an upset stomach.


Your Dog Can't Tell You He Has an Upset Belly

The hardest part of dealing with your dog's upset stomach is that he can't simply walk up to you and tell you his 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 an upset belly are:

■ Diarrhea
■ Vomiting
■ Excessive drooling
■ Eating grass or licking the carpets or floor
■ Lack of appetite
■ Gurgling noises in his 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 also ways you can help your dog feel better faster.


What Gave My Dog an Upset Stomach?

The most common cause of an upset stomach is when your dog has eaten something he shouldn't have. In many ways, dogs are a lot like little kids; they are very curious and like putting things in their mouths that don't belong there. 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 food sensitivities, these can also lead to problems with his tummy.


What Can I Do About My Dog's Upset Stomach?

The first step you can take to help your dog with his 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 that may help. These include:

Let the issue run its course by doing nothing beyond taking his food away for 12 to 24 hours. When your dog has an upset stomach, the last thing it needs is to be trying to do is digest more food. Remember, your dog can easily go this long without eating and it will give his 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 his food. This will not only soothe his stomach, the probiotics in the yogurt will replace the healthy bacteria that should be in his digestive system. It may even help to stimulate his lost appetite.


What About Medicine for His 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 be sure to use the tablets, not the liquid. The recommended dosage is 1/4 of a tablet for every 20 pounds. You can give him 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 in to see the vet.

Unless you have a breed related to the Collie, you can also use Imodium. The recommended dosage for Imodium is 1 mg for every 20 pounds. Imodium seems to work very well, but again, if the condition lasts more than 2 days or seems to be getting worse, be sure to take your pup to see his vet or to an animal hospital emergency room.


Last Thoughts

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 him to ease his 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.