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Dogs are prone to upset stomachs, just like their owners. The cause of your pet’s upset stomach could be many things, and we usually do not know our pet is feeling under the weather until they start vomiting. Vomiting is a common occurrence for pets and as an occasional problem it is nothing to worry about. Provided that your dog has no other symptoms and the vomiting does not go on for more than a couple of days, the best thing you can do is to make your pet comfortable and help them get over their upset stomach. However, it is important to keep in mind if your dog has been vomiting for more than a few days, has other symptoms, or cannot keep water down, it is time to call your veterinarian.
What to do for dog vomiting
Most digestive problems are minor and will clear up quickly. Sometimes the best remedy for vomiting is simply an adjustment in feeding for a few days. Fasting is one of the best ways to clear out your dog’s digestive system. Dogs in the wild go a day without food frequently. Sometimes they go two or three days, depending on the availability of prey. So, a short stint without food will not harm your pet and might help to heal whatever is ailing them. It is typically recommended that food be withheld for a period of 6 to 24 hours. Do not remove your pet's water bowl, however, because dehydration can occur.
When it is time for your dog to start eating again, a bowl of boiled chicken mixed with cooked rice is the best place to start. You can add broth instead of water to make it more palatable, but start with very small quantities. If your companion responds well and keeps the mixture down, you can gradually increase the quantity over a couple of days before returning to their usual diet.
Once they are better, you can add a small amount of other foods to the meal. Good foods to help soothe an irritated digestive system include pumpkin, bananas, oatmeal, and sweet potatoes.
Natural remedies for dog vomiting
If you want to try natural remedies, consult a holistic veterinarian. Digestive systems can be sensitive and dogs come in a wide range of sizes so choosing the appropriate dosing can help avoid further upset. It can be detrimental to give your dog the wrong amount of any natural remedy. Here are a few of the alternatives available from the vet:
Kefir or probiotics – Kefir is a fermented milk. While dairy typically upsets a dog’s digestive system, fermented milk does not. Kefir has probiotics which can soothe your dog’s stomach. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that occur naturally in the digestive system. They aid in digestion and help boost the immune system. You can also add probiotic powders and supplements to your dog’s food, but these can be expensive.
Digestive enzymes – Proper digestion requires enzymes and while dogs produce some of the enzymes on their own, they do not produce enough to digest their food properly. A dog’s natural diet before domestication included the enzymes their bodies lacked. The average pet food today is void of enzymes and this can create stomach problems for some dogs.
Herbs such as catnip, fennel, chamomile, peppermint, and ginger – These herbs serve to calm an irritated stomach. Many herbs have anti-spasmodic properties which ease nausea.
Lavender oil – For relief of nausea leading to car sickness in dogs, put lavender oil on a cotton ball and leave it in an area so that your dog can breathe the scent. Do not put it within reach of your dog, however.
Homeopathic remedies – For car sickness in dogs, Cocculus (Indian cockles) is one of the most popular remedies. You can give this to your dog right before you leave on a trip.
When to go to the vet for dog vomiting
Nobody wants to rush into the vet for every little stomach upset or minor problem. However, there are many different diseases, disorders, and conditions that have vomiting as a symptom. A few of them are:
- Disease of the inner ear
- Addison's disease
- Stomach ulcer
- Foreign body in the stomach
- Liver or kidney failure
If vomiting persists for more than a couple of days, your dog cannot keep water down, or has other symptoms such as fever, it is vital your dog sees a veterinarian right away. Other symptoms to watch for include bloating in the abdominal region, lethargy or nervousness, hacking and heaving, or chronic diarrhea. A dog that has both vomiting and diarrhea can become dehydrated rapidly and may need to go to the vet for IV fluids.
Most dogs experience stomach upset and vomiting at least once in their life. Some dogs, like people, just have sensitive stomachs. A bit of stomach upset is nothing to worry about. Be on the lookout for any other symptoms that might indicate something more than a bit of upset stomach and keep a careful watch on how long the vomiting persists. It might be time to have your veterinarian dig a bit deeper to ensure your dog does not have an underlying condition that needs treating.
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