Dogs, as many other animals, are prone to getting an upset stomach every now and then. In these cases, it is important to evaluate carefully the dog on a case-by-case basis. Having worked at a veterinary hospital for some time, I have learned about some good home remedies for a dog's upset stomach. At the veterinary clinic, we offered these vet-approved tips as an option to clients when we had no same-day appointments and the dog was still acting bright and alert.
If followed carefully, these natural home remedies may help sooth an upset stomach or even heal it in the best cases. However, while most cases may benefit from a home remedy, there are some circumstances where home remedies are not sufficient and where medical treatment is really the only option.
Home remedies for an upset stomach may help those dogs that have an indigestion due to an abrupt diet change or have been subjected to a dietary indiscretion.They are not supposed to be used for dogs that are acting lethargic, have non-stop diarrhea and vomiting, bloody stools or an upset stomach possibly due to eating something potentially toxic or a foreign body. Because vomiting and diarrhea can be caused by so many medical conditions, it is best to err on the side of caution and consult with a veterinarian first to make sure there is nothing serious going on.
How to Treat Your Dog's Upset Stomach Naturally
1) Pick up all food
The general protocol for dogs vomiting or with diarrhea is to fast these dogs for a minimum of 12 to 24 hours. Puppies should not be fasted for more than 12 hours, usually the whole night will suffix. The fast means no food or treats. Water may further upset a vomiting dog, so ice chips may be a good alternative until the dog feels better.
2) Bland diet
After the 12-24 hour fast offer a bland diet composed of boiled rice and chicken or boiled rice and hamburger. If you chose chicken, make sure the skin and bones are taken off. If you choose hamburger make sure the fat is drained off and to use only lean meat. Make sure the rice is the bulky part of the meal; the meat added is just to entice the dog to eat.Offer this bland diet in 3-4 small meals throughout the day.
3) Good bacteria
Add a dollop of plain yogurt or cottage cheese to allow some good bacteria to help out the inflamed intestines. If your dog is prone to upset stomach and has been on antibiotics, it may be a good idea to invest in some probiotics to help restore some healthy bacteria in the gut.
4) Check hydration levels
You need to make sure your dog is not becoming dehydrated if he has been vomiting or having diarrhea. Gently lift the skin on the dog's back or between the shoulder blades in a tent. If it snap back into position good; if it delays, or worse, stays lifted, then the dog may need subcutaneous fluids from the vet.
5) Replace electrolytes
If the dog is having frequent liquid squirts of diarrhea or continuos vomiting,the odds of becoming dehydrated are great, especially if this is a puppy or a small dog. You may help by giving some unflavored Pedialyte or mix in some Gatorade into the dog's water bowl. If the dog is vomiting persistently offering water may further cause vomiting making the situation worse. You can try to freeze some Gatorade and offer it to lick. However, in severe cases, the only way to keep dog hydrated is through fluids provided by the vet. So if your dog is dehydrated, see your vet!
At this point, if your dog is still active, you must continue to monitor your pet. Do not hesitate to have your dog seen if he becomes lethargic, laying around and not acting its normal self. Ensure that following the bland diet your dog has no more vomiting episodes and that the stools are better formed. At this point, gradually add the regular diet and taper off the rice meal. If the vomiting or diarrhea is still present, then the dog needs medical attention. The underlying cause needs addressed. The dog may have a parasite infestation, or if vomiting consistently, the dog may have swallowed a foreign object that is causing a blockage or the vomiting and diarrhea may be caused by a virus such as parvo.
The natural home remedy of a bland diet may be, therefore, helpful in many cases, however, there are those cases that need immediate vet attention. Usually, your dog's behavior will give you hints on what to do. Chances are, if your dog is not acting right the vet may need seen the same day to properly treat your dog's upset stomach.