All dogs get stomach aches or gastritis which is an inflammation of the stomach lining. Typically, many dog owners will let the problem pass on its own but there are several home remedies that can be tried to shorten the duration of the sickness. However, these treatments should only be utilized on adult dogs and puppies experiencing stomach problems should be seen by a veterinarian.
If your dog only has limited vomiting and/or diarrhea, can keep water down, and generally appears to be healthy, owners can help their pet recover at home. Withholding food for a 24 hour period can help calm the digestive tract but do not limit a dog's water supply. Your dog needs closely monitored during this period for any serious signs of illness.
After the 24 hour period has passed, your dog should be feeling better and you can again start your dog back on a bland diet. Meals should be provided in small amounts which can include grilled chicken mixed with boiled rice or potatoes. Consider adding healthy bacteria to your dog's diet with a spoonful of plain yogurt.
Gradually increase the amounts over the next three days. Once your dog is back on a feeding schedule and the symptoms have stopped, you can gradually place your dog back on his normal food. If the symptoms reappear after introducing the dog food, the problem could be with the food and you should consider a different brand.
Some owners have had success with administering Pepto-Bismol to their dogs for an upset stomach. However, contributing vets for the book "The American Animal Hospital Association Encyclopedia of Dog Health and Care" only recommend Kaopectate, following the dosage requirements for humans. Some owners may notice their dog grazing on grass in the yard. Dogs will eat grass when they have a stomach ache to help induce vomiting. Owners should be careful to not let their dogs eat grass in areas that may have been treated with chemicals or pesticides.
When a dog has repeated bouts of vomiting and/or diarrhea, the owner should try to find the culprit and remove it from the dog's environment. Common causes can include dog foods made from cheap ingredients, eating certain plants, and human foods. Dogs may sneak into the trash when their owner isn't watching and unfortunately, dogs are notorious for consuming things that aren't good for them.
It is important that owners seek veterinarian care if their dog appears to be lethargic, continues vomiting, or has diarrhea for longer than a 24 hour period. Canines can become dehydrated fairly quickly if they are unable to keep water in their system. A veterinarian will be able to single out the source of the stomach ache and rule out any serious complications like bloat, poisoning, or internal parasites. If your pet is experiencing explosive vomiting and diarrhea, seek care immediately as this is a sign of parvovirus (parvo) which generally requires hospitalization. There are many serious disorders that can cause upset stomachs in dogs, if in doubt, get your pet professional treatment.
THE AMERICAN ANIMAL HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION ENCYCLOPEDIA OF DOG HEALTH AND CARE, copyright 1994.