Tips To Cure Your Dog’s Upset Stomach

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Dog laying on sofa sickDoes your dog have an upset stomach? Normally dogs will eat grass to clean out their system. This is the natural method to cure your dog’s sick tummy.

However, this won’t always do the trick. In fact, your dog may not even feel like eating grass. So, here are some additional tips to help cure your dog’s upset tummy.

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Tips To Cure Your Dog’s Upset Stomach

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Here are a few things you can try at home before seeking medical attention.

Keep Your Pup Hydrated

One of the most important things is to keep your pup hydrated at all times. This is especially important if they are experiencing diarrhea. With diarrhea, they may very quickly (within hours) become dehydrated, as they will lose water that they would retain under normal conditions.

Don’t assume that you can prevent dehydration by offering water to your furry pet. Your pet also needs electrolytes and vitamins to retain fluids. One possible solution to this dilemma is to use Pedialyte.

You can obtain a dry mixture made for animals by going to your nearest farming store. The packet is mixed with water and then fed to the dog. If your dog does not improve quickly though, do not continue to try self-treating. Dehydration in dogs can quickly progress from a passing concern to one of possible organ failure and even death.

So, please if your dog’s symptoms last more than 24 hours, take him to the vet immediately for treatment.

Pepto-Bismol Or Pepcid

In this case, it can help to give your dog a little bit of Pepto-Bismol or Pepcid crushed and mixed with water (the amount will depend on your dog’s weight — consult your veterinarian). It is possible that the manufacturers of these products may change their formulas over time and they may not be as safe as they once were for pups. As with any treatment, always consult a vet before proceeding with treatment.

Note that the Pepto-Bismol or Pepcid may make your dog’s stool darken quite a bit — this is not a reason for alarm.

Check Your Dog’s Temperature

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We recommend using a rectal thermometer as it is the most accurate option. An ear thermometer is also an option but not as precise. A dog’s normal body temperature should be about 101.5°F. A temperature of 102°F or higher is considered to be a fever. If the temperature is higher than 102°F or lower than 99°F, you should go to the vet or emergency vet hospital immediately to find out the cause.

Find Out What Your Dog Ate

Looking for clues may help the vet’s diagnosis of your situation. If any of your houseplants have been nibbled on that’s a sure red flag as many houseplants are toxic to dogs. Also, check the trash bags and cans around your home for signs of scavengers. Be sure to reference our list of foods not to feed dogs for more possible toxic foods to consider.

Ways To Help Your Dog’s Upset Stomach

Here are a few products you can try out that have proven to be successful for other sick pups.

DiarRice For Dogs

DiarRiceView DiarRice on Amazon

Rice is a natural remedy for symptoms of diarrhea for humans, but pups can’t digest it as well, and therefore it could further upset their stomach. However, DiarRice is a rice-based probiotic that has all the same soothing properties of rice in a format that is easily digestible and tastes like chicken.

You can mix with either wet food or dry food (adding a little water). DiarRice should start doing the trick immediately, so if you don’t see signs of improvement right away you should seek further medical attention.


PedialyteView Pedialyte on Amazon

If your dog still isn’t feeling well and you wish to feed it Pedialyte or some other mixture that will help prevent dehydration, you’re going to need a syringe (without a needle) and a towel. Your dog isn’t going to want to be fed anything, just as you don’t want to eat when you don’t feel good. Because of this, you may need some assistance when feeding your dog.

After filling the syringe with the mixture, lay the dog on its side. Open the mouth of the dog and use the syringe to inject the fluid down the dog’s throat. If the dog still doesn’t want to swallow the mixture, massage the throat to prompt the swallowing response.

Another method is to inject the mixture inside the back of the cheek of the dog. Again, massage the throat as needed for swallowing. If you choose to use the cheek method, watch to make sure the liquid does not come out the other side of the mouth. Sometimes dogs will let the liquid drain out if they don’t have the energy or urge to swallow.

Probiotics For Dogs

If your dog suffers from chronic digestive problems, a dog probiotic could help. Probiotics for dogs work the same way as they do for humans. They’re formulas that contain living gut-friendly bacteria found naturally in the digestive tract and other areas of the body.

The goal of ingesting probiotics is to maintain healthy levels of good bacteria, prevent gastrointestinal problems and boost the immune system after it’s been disrupted by illness, infection, antibiotic treatment or other stressors.

There are a ton of pet probiotic products available, so be sure to read our article that highlights the best probiotics for dogs and includes more information on how these products can help solve your pup’s digestive problems.

Natural Remedies To Cure Your Dog’s Upset Stomach

If you prefer not to give your dog human medications, some natural home treatments can do the trick. However, these may not be the best cure for your dog, so make sure you check with your veterinarian before proceeding.

Some natural home remedies include:

  • Banana baby food
  • Rice with boiled chicken (boneless and no salt or seasonings added) – Exact portion can vary by dog. We suggest starting with a half cup of cooked rice and about 4 ounces of chicken. If your dog isn’t drinking water, add some water to the mixture as well.

Do not use hamburger meat – this is a fairly common recommendation on bulletin boards, but the fact is the meat is too greasy and will not help your dog’s upset stomach (nor is it healthy for your dog).

What Causes Dogs To Get An Upset Stomach?

You might be curious to know what caused the upset stomach to begin with? Here are some possible causes and why.

Changing Your Dog’s Food

Although dogs will eat most anything you put in front of them, their stomachs don’t always agree with this free-for-all type of consumption. One of the most likely causes for an upset stomach is a change in diet. You can’t assume that they have eaten something unhealthy either. Sometimes they get an upset stomach from something as simple as a change in brand or flavor of dog food. If these causes seem unlikely, you might start searching for another reason, such as illness.

So make sure you still have some of your dog’s current food to allow time for the transition. Over the course of about a week, slowly start mixing in more and more of the new food into less and less of the current food until the transition is complete.

Dog eating out of bowl (caption: How To Change Dog Food)Read our articles on changing dog food and transitioning your puppy to adult dog food for more specific details. Go slow and keep an eye on your dog while changing food to make sure they remain healthy. And make sure your dog doesn’t eat too fast as that can also cause result in an upset tummy. Consult your vet if you have any questions during this process of changing dog food or run into any health concerns.


Dogs (and especially young pups) are very susceptible to occurrences of dehydration, just like humans are. If you notice that your dog has diarrhea or doesn’t seem to have an appetite or be interested in drinking his or her water, then your dog is taking the first step towards dehydration.

You can check to see if your dog is already dehydrated by assessing the appearance of his or her skin and gums. If you lift your dog’s lip, the gums should be coated with a shiny wet film. If not, then he or she may be dehydrated.

To check the skin to see if your dog is dehydrated, squeeze the skin behind the neck as if you were going to pick your dog up as his or her mother would. Release the skin. If the skin stays in the pinched position, your dog is dehydrated. If it automatically goes back to lying flat on the neck, your dog is not dehydrated.

This is the same method used to check humans. If you’ve ever had someone pinch the skin on your hand and then watch to see if it goes back to its original form, you have experienced the same kind of dehydration test.

Common Causes and Treatments For A Dog’s Upset Stomach Infographic

Common Causes and Treatments For A Dog

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Dangers Of An Upset Stomach

Sick dog on bed with fluAside from the fact that our dog is likely to be uncomfortable and even in pain, the upset stomach may be a symptom of an underlying issue. Your dog may have something as mild as the flu or as life-threatening as the parvovirus. If your dog has a bacterial infection or a virus, they are likely to show other signs along with the upset stomach.

Should the condition persist, the most dangerous threat is likely to be dehydration. This occurs when the body is unable to retain fluids. Water makes up around 75% of the body weight of dogs, but even consuming large amounts of water may not be enough to prevent dehydration in your dog.

If You Have An Emergency, Call The Vet

If your dog is very ill and you cannot figure out how to help it, please call the vet.

No website can match the help that a trained veterinarian and an actual in-person physical exam to determine the best plan of treatment and help guide you through this difficult time. And if you don’t already have pet insurance, consider getting it as it can help save you money at the vet (in addition to saving your dog’s life). Check out our comparison of the top 3 providers for more.

Watch this video to learn the benefits of getting pet insurance and how it can help your dog and their upset tummy (plus your pocketbook) in the future.

As dog owners ourselves, we know how challenging it can be to see your pup suffer. We hope your dog is feeling better soon.

Any other sick tummy treatments that you’ve found successful?

About The Author:

Michelle holds an MBA from Vanderbilt University and has worked in marketing at Bank of America, Mattel and Hanes. Her expert advice and opinions have appeared in many outstanding media outlets, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Forbes, People, Reader's Digest and Apartment Therapy, among others.

She is the proud co-founder of Canine Journal and a dog lover through and through. Since the day she was born, she has lived in a home full of dogs. Her adult home is no exception where she and her husband live with Lily and Barley, their two adorable rescue pups.

In addition to her love for snuggling with dogs, she also has enjoyed working professionally in the canine field since 1999 when she started her first dog-related job at a dog bakery.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
Disclaimer: The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.

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Mike jj
July 4, 2020 11:53 am

I have a jack Russell who had a noisy stomach and was off her food, I stopped giving her dry food, hard treats and dental cleaners, I changed her diet to soft food only and this cured her instantly.

Mike j
July 1, 2020 11:46 am

To cure a dog of indigestion is simple: don’t feed dry food, don’t feed hard treats or dental cleaners as they are difficult to digest, and don’t overfeed or give scraps to, just feed recommend amount of ‘chappie’ and maybe one small soft treat a day.

tom kk
June 15, 2020 1:47 pm

ALL dogs need meat, they are carnivores. This may be the reason your dog isn’t well, but now isn’t the time to start him. Boiled chicken and rice is bland so may encourage him to eat – can a member of your family go out and buy him some chicken?

May 25, 2020 3:55 pm

My baby is a 2yr old catahoula Pit mix. The last three days his tummy has bee gurgling. He is fine otherwise. He has not lost his appetite, he’s not dehydrated, and he is acting just as normal, very playful. But I don’t know why his stomach is being so loud. Should I worry?

Apiffany Gaither Billings
May 26, 2020 1:29 pm
Reply to  CATT

It sounds like he may just have gas. If he starts showing signs of upset stomach including not eating, diarrhea, vomiting, or change in behaviors, I would contact your vet.

May 23, 2020 10:02 am

Great article! This is very informative. It’s true. Simple stomach upsets normally happen to dogs from time to time. This must be because of a change in diet or from ingesting rubbish on the ground. Dog’s stomach is sensitive, sometimes and they can hack up foreign objects from their system involuntarily. Anyway, if symptoms are worse you should always take your dog to a vet and have them properly diagnosed.

May 12, 2020 2:27 am

My dog is very sick. We’ve been to the vet 4 times in the past six weeks and has been on antibiotics, stuff for nausea, vitamins and prescription dog food since the first visit. He’s been give fluids as well. The vet thinks he has a low grade pancreatitis. He says is blood works is comes normal, his X-rays are fine. I trust my vet .I’ve been with him for over 15 years. But my dog has lost 11 lbs in the past two months. He is so skinny you can see his ribs. He sleeps all the time and only goes out side to do his business. There are days he’ll eat and drink on his own and days he’ll only eat if I feed him with a spoon. He’ll only moves to follow me around. I try to make walk as much a possible but he’s very tired. The vet doesn’t think he is any pain but is uncomfortable,. I don’t want to lose him and l don’t want to put him down either. not that the vet has even suggested that but I don’t want him to suffer either. I’m at a lost. Terri

CiCi Merrell
June 13, 2020 7:10 pm
Reply to  Terri

I would suggest getting a second opinion as soon as possible. I had a Shelty that displayed those same symptoms. The vet, after x rays said he thought my dog had an intestinal infection and kept him overnight for IVs. I picked him up the next day and thought he would be fine. The dog dropped dead several hours later. I demanded a full autopsy and the result showed the dog had severe cancer of his pancreas. The loss of this sweet dog devastated our whole family.

March 25, 2020 9:32 am

My dog had eaten some bloody toloet paper and he is not throwing dark greenish yellow stuff and it had a spot of blood in his vomit he is in pain can someone help my out on what to give him cause I honestly don’t have the money to take him to the vet

Apiffany Gaither Billings
March 25, 2020 4:39 pm
Reply to  Samatha

We always recommend speaking with your vet if you think there is something wrong with your dog as we are not trained professionals. If you cannot take your dog to a vet, perhaps this online vet service can help. Here is an article regarding vomit that may help as well to steer you in the right direction but we recommend a speaking with a vet.

March 23, 2020 5:09 am

The veterinarians could give you proper advice on how to treat your dog’s upset stomach, so giving medication without consulting a vet can worsen the condition of your canines. Unhealthy food, parasites, and rubbish stuff could be the most common cause of an upset stomach for dogs. With a proper diagnosis, you may treat your dog’s condition and prevent this to happen again in the future. Thank you for sharing this

March 7, 2020 9:04 am

My dog juno has a very upset stomach and i dont know what to do, i dont have a visa so i cant pay to talk to you in the messaging thing please help

Apiffany Gaither Billings
March 9, 2020 7:59 am
Reply to  johan

Sorry to hear Juno isn’t feeling well. We always recommend talking to your vet as we are not trained veterinarians.

March 2, 2020 10:57 am

I have a 10 yo staffordshire pit that was so sick from stomach upset she wouldn’t move, after several visits to the vet and a blood test nothing was really diagnosed, It sounded like explosions in her stomach, then one coworker that had lactose intolerance said what foods made him sick, and I thought what the heck, I will put my dog on a lactose free diet, after years of battling this condition within 2 days she was running through the woods like a pup. Dogs are typically lactose intolerant after weaning, nobody told me.

May 25, 2020 3:51 pm
Reply to  Jim

My vet said to feed him 2tbsp of goat milk a day

Angel pancho
January 11, 2020 2:03 am

Hey guys i need advice on what to give my 3 month old shi tzu because she doesnt wanna lie down and is dizzy plus she keeps on vomiting all-around..for now she only wants to drink water and has no apetite

Christina Lynn
March 13, 2020 4:15 am
Reply to  Angel pancho

Please get her to a vet as soon as you can, your dog urgently needs trained help

June 8, 2020 1:53 am
Reply to  Christina Lynn

Calming advice is best for pet and pet parent in times like these…

January 31, 2020 3:54 pm
Reply to  Angel pancho

She may have low sugar. This happened to maltipoo when she was 2 months old. Give her a little sugar water and see if that helps

November 22, 2019 9:25 am

My dog is a german shepard 123 pounds. Hes 3 and randomly had starting to have diarrhea he pants crys and shakes when he needs to use the bathroom he also vomits here and there.

November 26, 2019 1:01 pm
Reply to  Sydney

Get him to a vet ASAP, preferably a holistic one.

November 18, 2019 2:21 am

Consulting a vet is the best option you should do if the condition of your dog continues to worsen. Getting your dogs diagnosed properly is the best solution. You shouldn’t risk it because your dogs might have other medical condition and the symptoms are just the trigger. With a proper examination, you can treat your dog and prevent his illness in the future. Thanks for sharing this.

October 30, 2019 12:38 am

My 5 year old chihuahua has been throwing up he won’t eat . And everytime he drinks water he throws it up . Please help me out . What can I do ? I’m getting worried . I can’t afford to take him to the vet .

January 19, 2020 10:24 pm
Reply to  Jazmin

If you can’t afford to take your dog to the Doctor when they’re are sick, you can’t afford to have a dog. Bring it to a shelter and don’t get another dog. You can’t afford it.

Kimber Lamm
November 30, 2019 10:47 pm
Reply to  Jazmin

I believe if you cannot provide heath care by taking your dog to the Vet, then you should not have one.

September 10, 2020 12:51 pm
Reply to  Kimber Lamm

Sometimes stray/homeless animals will come into your life. Do you suggest not doing what you can for it?? Food, water, a safe place to sleep, and, of course, love and affection. Pet ownership is a privilege, I agree. But not everyone is as blessed as you may be. I am but have not always been.

Cristina E. Amariles
June 17, 2020 8:47 pm
Reply to  Kimber Lamm

I was thinking the same thing about all these people that say they can’t take their dog to the vet, there are places that help in situations like this

December 29, 2019 12:19 am
Reply to  Kimber Lamm

Sure, she could always take it to the pound since she can’t afford a vet right now.. so that the pound can put it to sleep!?…. Sorry, I disagree. Not the best situation, but it happens to the best of us.

December 28, 2019 4:10 pm
Reply to  Kimber Lamm

What a horrible thing to say to someone. She may have saved that dogs life you have no idea, maybe she Took the dog out of another Bad situation, or maybe not at all however, I can’t agree with you there because things happen in life ( I temp lost my job for 3 weeks before Xmas & make decent money but bills are extremely high so I know, stuff happens- but there’s no black & White here) it’s a gray area- If she bought that dog for hundreds Of dollars & can’t care then its her fault … & she needs to seek help ASAP to find a home or*** ask for free help once. Then make sure she always can afterwards. People learn As a result of their mistakes,& as long as the dog is not suffering or dies, then she will feel terrible enough to be prepared… and I don’t think people are on the site seeking information If they could just go get it done. As a human, you should apologize to her. Secondly I rescue, for life. I find a lot of resources on here very handy. Many work. Giving her that answer will make her not do anything at all if she feels she’s getting bullied online as well. I honestly feel bad for the dog you own. He or she, is clearly not loved, properly. You might think so, or surely think so in your mind, but I guarantee my dogs & others are loved to the max & have healthy happier lives.i can Bet my life In that one. I put them before myself always. You would not, you are the type where you would personally say, can’t take care of you bye, go to a shelter & hope for adoption (again bc there is no gray area in your mind) . Anyway it’s a waste of time To reply to you. Very sad comment. People are here to help each other. Someone here should ban the last commenter. I Also hope you (Lady w/sick dog) got the help you needed & your dog is doing better, or great now. Please let us know.

Capone’s Mom
July 21, 2020 6:50 pm
Reply to  Adrienne

Absolutely! I rescued my dog because he was 2 days away from being put down. He was 9 months old with great energy and so well behaved. There was no reason this guy should’ve been put down. And his type of breed (pit bull) go to the top of the list. So yesterday, I saved him. I would struggle to get him to the vet but I know I will always have money for good food, treats, toys. And he didn’t get sick and I had to beg and borrow just to get him to the vet for an office visit. That wasn’t I including all the testing x-rays or any other minor thing they might perform. I’m sorry but veterinarian visits are so OVERPRICED for the tiniest little things they do! I mean it shouldn’t cost $90 for 1 X-ray and then $150 to test for parvo. Am doing the reason being isn’t bc of they have a broken bone or parvo the money should go towards the treatment! And if it were the case people shouldn’t have been pets because they can’t afford vet visits then almost NO ONE would have any pets because the people who are are loaded with money and can just spend and don’t have the time or love for an animal! My love and affection I give my dog can never have a price tag! Because I’m sure to him it’s priceless. And you who say we shouldn’t have averaged person of we can’t afford unexpected vet bills should be ashamed of yourself! Because I guarantee my dog would rather me show love and affection than a wallet full of money! So that’s was so rude to say and who are you kid judge anyone? You don’t know people’s circumstances for not having a ton of money! At least they’re on here trying to figure out cheaper alternatives then just saying “F” it and not care at all and take them out back and shoot them! So next time you open your mouth maybe consider people are going through different things in life and money isn’t everything to some people! As long as I have love and affection in my life and am surrounded by good-hearted people at night that’s all that’s matters to me and I’m sure dogs would tell you the same if they could talk!

Kimberly Alt
October 30, 2019 9:15 am
Reply to  Jazmin

We suggest trying out this online vet service to see what could be wrong with your dog.

September 15, 2019 8:43 am

My dog has been coughing and puking white foamy liquid

Carmen Lacy
April 3, 2020 2:00 pm
Reply to  John

Heartworms could be the cause. I’m late to the reply, but was here looking for other information and I have been through the heartworm treatment with my dog and he came out of it fine and has been heartworm free for 2 years.

Cindy Carroll
January 12, 2020 8:30 pm
Reply to  John

Exactly what my dog is doing today.I bought her some dog food and gave it tr. Mistaking didnt notice it contained dried chicken and she can’t handle chicken. Next time I’ll wear my glasses.

October 13, 2019 1:39 pm
Reply to  John

I’m not a vet, but have had dogs that have done this. In one case it was kennel cough. Another time it was a respiratory infection. Both cases needed meds when it happened to my dogs.

Iris Moreano
August 26, 2019 12:35 am

My dog ate this morning and she was fine til this afternoon her tail was down . She didn’t eat dinner and later before bed she threw up and is panting fast what to give her

August 9, 2019 10:01 pm

My puppy is not eating anythng after having a kind of diarrhea n vomit Iam very worries becoz he is so small can anyone tell me what can I do I can’t give him meat to eat becoz our family is vegetarian ?

March 13, 2020 4:27 am
Reply to  Ashika

Your dog needs meat. ALL dogs need meat, they are carnivores. This may be the reason your dog isn’t well, but now isn’t the time to start him. Boiled chicken and rice is bland so may encourage him to eat – can a member of your family go out and buy him some chicken?
Otherwise, I’ve been told pumpkin is good for an upset tummy but don’t put salt or season any of it. Fingers crossed for your little guy, but please don’t force your family’s vegetarian standards on any dog you own, now or in the future

Janan Platt
April 15, 2020 4:04 am
Reply to  Christina

Living where there are many coyotes, we often see coyote scat. Surprisingly, it is full of fruit seeds! It’s a fruit that grows rampantly on trees in this area–I forget the name, because we are new here. The seeds in the poop are many. So, it looks like coyotes eat a majority of these fruits, when in the wild. Baynuts? Something like that. Bears eat berries, and fruits, and plants. My dogs prefer raw meat. But, the vegetarian option is worth researching fully. However, if a puppy is sick, it is likely from something they ate–or heat stroke. So, nourishing food, like boiled chicken, would be my first suggestion. And plenty of water. And, I ALWAYS call my vet and ask to speak to a vet tech. We have pet insurance, with a $500 deductible. In hard times I’ve used my credit card to pay for vet visits. I’ve had great vets with great vet techs, and they’ve often been very generous with discussions over the phone. One of my dogs several times broke dishes and ate what was in them. I was afraid he had eaten the glass! Rather than bring him in, the vet tech told me to feed him a loaf of bread, to soften the potential glass and bring it out. That was a first step. And it worked! Many times the vet tech got us through situations–for free, over the phone. With six animals, I gave them some business, but they also saved me money with that free help. I recommend you develop a relationship with a good vet who will do that for you in these cases. And always keep in mind that you might need money for pet care, and save money for that!!! And have pet insurance. $30 per month per animal is a good deal. Petsbest is what we use.

October 23, 2019 5:56 pm
Reply to  Ashika

Some people shouldn’t be allowed to have pets and you are one of them. Please find your dog another home with someone who can take care of it properly.

October 25, 2019 10:32 pm
Reply to  Michelle

Some people shouldn’t be allowed to write on message boards. Please toss your keyboard in the trash or give it to someone who knows what they’re talking about.

October 5, 2019 11:24 am
Reply to  Ashika

I wish I could be as kind as Dan. Ashika, you are killing your dog. Your HUMAN family chose to be vegetarian, but your poor dog needs to eat meat. If you can’t educate yourself on how to take care of a pet, don’t have one!!! I hope you have taken your puppy to the vet by now and that he is happy and healthy.

Daniel Ives
March 19, 2020 11:42 am
Reply to  Alyson

I agree… A Dog is from decendants of Wolves , and last rime I checked Wolves dont eat a vegan diet.

October 25, 2019 10:30 pm
Reply to  Alyson

You’re not only being unkind, you’re grossly misinformed. Dogs do not need to eat meat and many are much healthier on a vegetarian diet. Perhaps you are the one who needs to educate yourself. Some of the longest living dogs were fed a vegan diet. They lived in England and lived into their late 20s.

March 13, 2020 4:32 am
Reply to  Jamie

What a load of rubbish. Dogs need meat, or a professionally designed diet to compensate

August 25, 2019 7:59 pm
Reply to  Ashika

Is your puppy okay? I am no expert but dogs are meat eaters and your human diet may be doing more harm than good for your puppy. Please, if your little one is still alive, please seek veterinarian care!

October 25, 2019 10:28 pm
Reply to  Dan

Dogs are not omnivores and often do much better on a vegetarian or vegan diet. In fact, among the oldest living dogs, two were fed an exclusively vegan diet and they lived until 27 and 29. I do agree that a vet visit is in order.

December 21, 2019 1:40 am
Reply to  Jamie

Dogs can live on a vegan diet, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they should. In an interview with WebMD, Dr. Cailin Heinze, VMD, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist and assistant professor of nutrition at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, puts it this way:

“For dogs, certainly vegetarian and vegan diets can be done, but they need to be done very, very carefully. There is a lot of room for error, and these diets probably are not as appropriate as diets that contain at least some animal protein.”

According to WebMD, an improperly-balanced vegan diet can lead to a few serious deficiencies:

Inadequate protein intake (levels vary depending on a dog’s age and activity level; in general, an adult dog’s diet should be 15-30% protein)
Amino acid imbalance (can lead to heart problems and other illnesses)
Vitamin and/or mineral deficiency (dogs require B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, and iron, which are most commonly and effectively found in meat)
Protein levels can be adequately reached with plant-based diets, so long as your dog is able to digest high-protein meat alternatives like legumes and beans. However, the amino acids provide more of a challenge. Commercially-available vegan dog food will be formulated to make up for what’s missing without meat, but if you make vegan dog food at home, you’ll need to include supplements.

July 2, 2019 2:02 pm

My vet actually recommended boiled ground beef along with rice as an alternative to boiled chicken and rice. As another alternative, they also recommended non fat cottage cheese and rice. Proportions were 1/3 boiled meat, chicken, or cottage cheese to 2/3 rice, but my pup would not eat it until I increased the meat ratio a bit. After boiling the meat, I refrigerated the leftover water until I was able to scrape all the oil off. I then added the water to my pup’s food to help with my his water intake as he was not drinking water at the time.

Deborah Dennis
May 8, 2019 9:52 am

Can dogs getting their shots,give them an upset stomach

Kimberly Alt
May 9, 2019 8:23 am
Reply to  Deborah Dennis

A dog may have an upset tummy after receiving a vaccine. If your dog is vomiting or has diarrhea, you should contact your vet immediately. Depending on other symptoms your dog may have, your vet may ask to see the dog again or they may deem it safe to stay home.

April 14, 2019 7:15 am

My dog is 9 years old a chihuahua, took her to the vet cause he’s not eating for days and was told she has abdominal pain and dehydration, I heartbreakingly can not afford all the x rays and blood draws they wanted to do so they injected some fluids and gave me amoxi drops to give to him it’s been 3 days he’s still not looking good he can barley pick himself up he drinks on his own we’re giving him Pedialyte but he’s still lays down on his right side all the time and I just don’t know what to do to help him I desperately am trying to gather money to help him but is there anything I can do here at home to help him ? Please.

Renee M
June 28, 2019 7:40 am
Reply to  Ana

Find a vet that will take payments. If you google paying for pet visits, there’s a credit card that strictly for vet payments you can get.

October 25, 2019 10:34 pm
Reply to  Renee M

Yeah, there is something wrong with a vet that would risk a dog’s life because its human didn’t have enough money for expensive tests.

April 15, 2019 6:18 pm
Reply to  Ana

Also Anna check her gums. If you press on them they should return to pink right away. If they are sticky it indicates dehydration. (Feed her water with a child’s medicine syringe-Free at cvs or other pharmacy) If she is holding her tummy super tight then she’s in pain. If those two things (sticky gums & tight tummy) last more than a day then i would return to the vet and hopefully they will help you with low or no cost treatments. Beg, plead, cry, payment plan. Whatever it takes

April 15, 2019 6:09 pm
Reply to  Ana

Ana when my dog was sick like that the vet sent us home with an IV bag, but it was subcutaneous not actually in the vein. It was immensely helpful. Also we gave her pepcid and some type of anti-emetic. We didn’t do the tests due to cost but with that and feeding bananas, watered down smooshed up rice mixed with water (like a gruel (?) ) she recovered perfectly in about a week.

Laura B
April 8, 2019 3:10 am

My 10 year old dog has been having very bad gas and diarrhea for the past three months. She has been to the vet several times. The vet changed her food twice. The first time to Natural Balance for Sensitive Skin and Stomach. Now she is on Royal Canin Satiety dog food which is a prescription. I purchased a bowl which is like a maze to slow down her eating. She is taking Budosinide as well as Proviable probiotic. She cannot get comfortable. Tonight she also threw up all her food. The vet did blood work on her and it came out fine. I am wondering should she have an xray of her stomach? I am desperate to find an answer.

Patience Jennings
April 5, 2019 5:31 am

My 8 month old pit boxer has been throwing up, barley eating, barely going to the bathroom. He drinks water but just throws it up in like an hour.

Nancy Gruttemeyer
March 30, 2019 3:31 pm

my chihuahua is 15, for the last 6 month has been drinking tons of water.. has become very fussy on eating, and I’m sure has doggy dementia.
we give him metacam occasionally for pain in his back. we have resorted to giving him people food, We gave him grass fed, organic hamburger the other day because he just doesn’t want dog food anymore. The last 3 days his stool has been tarry and lose. today when I helped wipe his bottom I noticed it was dark reddish blood color. Because of his age and his dog dementia we don’t want him to have to go through all the testing I’m reading about to diagnose whats wrong.. any suggestions? We are both seniors and have a limited income and a thousand dollars in diagnostic is not feasible.

Lori kayser
February 2, 2020 3:17 pm

Sorry your dog so sick. When you see black tarry stools its blood. At his age I know you love him but he is in pain and thats the reason hes not eating. We to get the same way when we are close to our end of life. I know this I worked with Hospice. When your so close to death your need for food just isn’t what you want. I know your Dog can’t tell you hes hurting But this is what is going on it maybe be time for you ease his pain as your last Loving thing. Let him go to Heaven, and Yes animals do go to Heaven. I see this a old post but my commit may help some one who needs this advice 🙂

Gayle Clay
November 15, 2019 2:57 am

You didn’t state the age of the dog, but it sounds as though he is a senior dog. Maybe it is his time. If he has dementia and is sickly, u may think about putting him down so he doesn’t have to suffer anymore.

Sara Sunland
April 4, 2019 12:04 am

I’m sure you have asked around but depending on your area there maybe some pet organizations that help offset veterinariannd lets me carry a large balance.
costs. Some vets will even let you accrue a bill and let you make small payments over time. Good luck. My vet loves animals and let’s me carry a latge balance. Try a local vet and not a vet conglomerate like VCA owned place.

March 19, 2019 3:40 pm

I think my Shih Tzu ate a small amount of foil. This was from a candy wrapper. I took most of it out of her mouth but I do believe she swallowed a small amount. I am concerned because now she has an upset tummy. She threw up once and now has loose stool and seems lethargic not wanting to play or do much, just lying down mostly. I have been feeding her a bland diet of boiled rice and chicken. She eats it all up and hasn’t thrown up anymore. This started Sunday night and it is now Tuesday. Would a small amount of foil cause her an upset tummy?

Drew Ghent
November 22, 2019 9:33 am
Reply to  MMaske

Maybe for your dog because of there tiny ness i have a german shepard who ate fol once a lot he had the same thing but he got over it in about four to five days. Good luck.

Gigi L
March 9, 2019 7:44 pm

3 month old chihuahua puppy was fine last night. Completely normal. My happy healthy baby boy. This morning he seemed fine, I fed him but didn’t want to eat or drink water. He took a nap and hour later we woke up crying and vomiting. He threw up what look like stomach acid. I also noticed that his stomach hurts when applied pressure. He won’t eat or drink. All he wants to do is sleep. I’m worried. What can I do? What could it be?

August 14, 2019 4:08 am
Reply to  Gigi L

My Chihuahua is doing the same he’s 1 year old how can I help him.

Chi owner
August 15, 2019 4:46 am
Reply to  Noemi

My chi does this when they need something to eat like their sugar levels dropped. I try a paste “regutum “. That sometimes helps. She’s normally okay the following day.

August 14, 2019 4:11 am
Reply to  Noemi

My dogs stomach is hurting he threw up his liquid acids, he’s crying what can he take to make him feel better not eating or drinking

Kimberly Alt
March 11, 2019 9:10 am
Reply to  Gigi L

I’m not a licensed vet but the fact that applying pressure to his stomach is causing pain raises concern in my mind. How is he doing today? Did you take him to the vet? Sorry we didn’t get back to you sooner but we don’t moderate comments on weekends. And remember, whenever you think something is seriously wrong with your dog, your vet should be the first point of contact. Hope he is doing well!