Doggy Poop: Treating Upset Stomach and Digestive Issues

I’m sure you already had an upset stomach before. The first thing you probably tried was some ginger ale, or cracker, or maybe Pepto-Bismol to settle down your tummy. But do you know what the best thing to do when your furry friend is suffering from some digestive issues is? As a dog owner, I understand when doggie is experiencing an upset tummy, he will naturally start to eat grass. For us, humans, it may seem like abnormal behavior, and we may wonder what is so delicious about that grass, but for dogs, it can reduce discomfort when the tummy is feeling sick.

For dogs, eating grass is an automatic reaction, a protective response when they feel there is something that doesn’t agree with their digestive system. The reason why they eat grass is that it can clean out their intestinal tract and can help to get rid of any special material that may cause sickness.

However, sometimes dogs can get sicker if they don’t get the right treatment. If you notice that your pooch is too sick to eat grass, and he can’t solve the tummy problem on his own, it’s time to look for other methods to treat your Fido’s tummy woes. But before you try anything, first consult with your vet to make sure it’s safe for your beloved pet.

Causes of Upset Stomach in Dogs

Just like humans, dogs can experience upset stomach and digestive issues for a variety of reasons. It can be very difficult to narrow down what the real cause might be why your pup is feeling so icky: it’s because of the big number of potential culprits. However, there are a few common causes of upset stomach in dogs.

Food Changes

Most dogs eat anything you give them. Despite it is also true that some dogs are picky and seem to be more particular about their food; usually, they just eat anything.

The problem with eating anything is that sometimes their stomach doesn’t like what they just consumed. Some dogs have very sensitive guts, and even a small change in their food can mess with their digestive system and can make them sick.

If you decide to change the food of your Fido who has a very sensitive tummy, and you still want to avoid any digestive issues, then at the beginning just simply mix the two different formulas, the old and the new ones together. Later on, you can slowly phase the old one out of his plate, rather than making him sick with a sudden change.

Eating Too Fast or Too Slow

As a dog owner, I know that pups can get sick quickly if they eat too much. Just like you or I can overeat ourselves, dogs can do that, too. And later, they will pay for it. The other end can also happen: it is possible that your dog doesn’t eat enough food, and he is going to feel sick because of that.

Another issue is when your dog ate his food too fast. Most of the dogs are well known to gobble down their food fast, so this is definitely something you should keep your eyes on, especially with younger canines.

Other times, dogs can eat foreign (non-food items) that they shouldn’t, such as fuzz or plastic, or whatever they find interesting. These objects in your dog’s tummy can cause painful gastrointestinal problems.

Spoiled Food

Another way to avoid an upset stomach and digestive issues to watch out for what your Fido getting into the trash and start to eat food that may be spoiled. Dogs can get sick easily from eating contaminated or spoiled food just like humans. And what dogs don’t like to search for in the garbage? Yes, this searching for food can cause a quickly upset stomach in the canines.

Stress and Anxiety

Just like humans, dogs also can become stressed and anxious, and this could cause an upset tummy for them. Stress and anxiety may rock the balance of bacteria and can cause diarrhea or vomiting, as well as cause exhaustion. Your pooch may experience loss of appetite, and start to eat grass to cam down his stomach. If you are a dog owner, you probably have experienced when weather changes occur, such as thunderstorms, your dog can get anxious. This also can get his tummy upset.


Viruses are other reasons why your dog’s stomach can get sick. Especially if hard-core vomiting or explosive diarrhea occurs, his tummy seems particularly virulent. This could be a sign that his problem is viral.


Such as the parvovirus and coronavirus are extremely nasty little parasites of illness for pups. When you have doubt any type of virus, take your dog to your veterinarian as soon as possible. Your pup may not need medications, but he still has to get the right treatment to help him stay hydrated until the virus runs out of his body.


Another cause for upset stomach in dogs is the dehydration. This is a very common thing in young puppies because their small body can easily get dehydrated.

Diarrhea is often come with dehydration, and probably you will notice that your pup doesn’t show any interest in drinking his water or have a lot of appetites. If you think that your pooch may be dehydrated, you can easily do a skin pinch test on your puppy’s neck.

If his skin remains in the pinched position, it indicates dehydration. Another option is to check your dog’s gums. A healthy gum is shiny and wet-looking, so if the gums look different, that could be a sign of dehydration as well.

Symptoms and Signs of Upset Stomach in Dogs

Vomiting and diarrhea are the two of the most common beings that dogs may present when they have an upset stomach and digestive issues.

There are other signs of upset stomach in dogs may include:

  • Lethargy and exhaustion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Your dog has more gas than usual
  • Fever with an upset stomach
  • Trouble defecating or constipation
  • Your pup’s tummy feels hard or distended, and noticeable painful
  • Your pup may drool if he feels nauseous

If you notice any of these symptoms and signs, you will need to keep your eyes on your furry friend, and if you still see these signs and symptoms after 24 hours, you have to take your dog to your vet as soon as you can.

Treating Upset Stomach and Digestive Issues in Dogs

You can treat your dog’s upset stomach in many ways, but in the first place, it all depends on the cause of the upset. If you notice that your dog became very ill, then taking him to the vet is the best option.

Your vet may give you prescribe antibiotics as well as bacterial or anti-fungal medications if necessary. If your pooch is extremely dehydrated, your vet may also administer fluids, and also give you specific recommendations based on your canine needs.

Although, if your pooch’s upset tummy in on a mild case, you can find other ways to treat the symptoms and keep him comfortable until the sickness runs out of his body.


Obviously, when your dog has an upset stomach, and you give him his regular food, it will make him sicker. Just like for humans, fasting can provide a period of relief, and give your canine’s stomach a little time of rest.

It is important during the fast to give your pup water and fluids, but make sure that you give it to him in a small amount frequently. In this way, you can avoid consuming too much fast and make his tummy worse.

Fasting usually recommended with adult dogs for anywhere from 12 to 24 hours. When the fasting is over, you can introduce him to flavorless food very slowly. Do not give him his regular food until you make sure that his stomach is back on track and can handle a normal diet.

Pumpkin and Bananas

Just like for humans, adding pumpkins and bananas to your pup’s diet may be beneficial to an upset stomach. Pumpkin is very high in fiber and loaded with antioxidants so it may solve the problem.

banana eating continental bulldog

Bananas are loaded with lots of nutrients such as Vitamine C and potassium, and it can also boost your dog’s immune system, prevent the growth of bacteria, and also provide essential electrolytes that help to prevent dehydration.

Author Bio:
Judit Mio is a dog enthusiast and freelance writer based in Southern California. She is going to be a Vet Technician student soon, and her future goal is to identifying natural-based solutions for common dog health problems. She is a mommy of a 2-years-old Doxie girl. Together, they enjoy hiking, and all things outdoors. Connect with Judit through her website

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