It would be so much easier if your dog could just tell you when he felt sick. That would take a lot of the work out of the guessing games and it might even prevent a clean-up. Unfortunately, most dog owners do not know their dog is feeling under the weather until it is too late. Not to sound too grim, but you could be picking up dog vomit before you know it. So how can you tell your dog has an upset stomach without them telling you?
Also Read: Could my dog have salmonella?
Dog Stomach Upset Symptoms
Monitor His Diet
The common cause for an upset puppy tummy is usually due to diet. He could be eating too much too fast or he could be eating too slow. If he’s eating too slow, check his food for staleness. He could be letting it sit out too long and that can attract parasites. There could be inedible substances in his food like hair ties, bread clips, coins, strings or even rocks and glass.
Always make sure your dog has access to water, upset stomach or not, remember, you aren’t a sadist. A diet of water and nothing else just might do the trick.
Borborygmi or ‘Dog Stomach Gurgling’
A surefire way to tell if your pup has an upset stomach is to listen for dog gurgling, also called borborygmi. Borborygmi is common and happens quietly in dogs every few minutes. What you are hoping to hear, or not hoping to hear, is if the sound is audible from across the room. If you can hear noises coming from your dog, it is either A) he is hungry or B) he is experiencing gastrointestinal problems.
Gastrointestinal problems can lead to excessive vomiting with blood or blood in feces, lethargic behavior, fever, bloating, or biting his sides. These problems eventually lead to intestinal blockage and thus must be dealt with immediately. Contact your veterinarian.
Also read this article if your dog has ingested some ibuprofen!
How To Treat Your Dogs Diarrhea
Gastrointestinal problems is also the common cause of diarrhea. If your dog has diarrhea, as gross as it sounds, you may just need to let your dog’s system continue to do its thing and purge. The dog’s natural system is already doing its work and getting rid of the toxins on its own disgusting terms. Red flag: if diarrhea lasts longer than 48 hours, definitely contact your veterinarian.
Your veterinarian will either prescribe something or recommend pepto bismal, if your dog is inclined. Another home remedy that vets usually suggest is slippery elm bark. Slippery elm is an OTC medicine used to combat a range of human diseases and can be useful for dogs too.
Home Remedy Options
If you’ve determined that the issue isn’t serious and your dog doesn’t need medical attention, there are many other home remedy options to try. The most common is fasting your pup 12-24 hours. Fasting your dog builds up macrophages that help fight bacteria. Once again, this is another natural option your dog would employ on its own to reset its system. A healthy dog with an upset stomach just needs to benefit from being denied food while his stomach has time to settle.
The really amazing part of your dog’s immune system is much like ours, it has the ability to rid itself of foreign toxins; but a dogs intestinal system takes it one step further and has a built in memory to remember the toxin to combat it next time it enters its system. Although your dog has many ways to combat bacteria naturally, he still needs you and TLC to help get him over this sickness.
The Bland Diet
You should avoid giving them greasy or oily foods as this recovery period is critical. When they are ready to eat, implement The Bland Diet. The bland diet should last a total of 3 days and basically contains rice or plain chicken. You wouldn’t eat anything exotic after a stomach ache and your dog wouldn’t either.
Some options for the bland diet are baby banana food or canned pumpkin. If your dog doesn’t prefer the banana and pumpkin, stick with the rice and chicken.
If your dog doesn’t seem to be enjoying the bland diet, stick with plain chicken and cut out the rice. If your dog doesn’t begin to get better, this is the point to re-classify the situation as critical and contact your veterinarian.
Grass Might Do The Trick
Another option is to let your dog eat grass. Dogs are smart enough to realize their stomachs are upset and this method is a way to make them vomit. If your dog starts eating grass, you’ve been warned. However, eating grass isn’t always effective and if you let your dog eat too much of it, that stomach ache is only bound to get worse. If your dog is successful in his vomit endeavor, make sure there is water available to him directly after.
Hydration Is Key
An instant remedy for your dog is to make sure your dog is hydrated. H2O will instantly help your dog, obviously. The best way to check for dehydration is to check your dog’s skin elasticity. If the skin is too tight and too rough, your dog is lacking water and providing it might do the trick. Another way to check for dehydration is to check Fido’s gums. The gums should be a salmon pink color.
Check His Gums
This would be a good time to tell you to always be checking your dogs gums for any changes. Having a baseline assessment will help distinguish if there are any changes. There’s a term and method that goes to checking a dogs gums and its called Capillary Refill Time. CRT is applying pressure directly to your dogs gums to see how long the blanched spot returns to the correct salmon color.
Remember, not to overreact. Your dog has an upset stomach and your only job from here is to provide water first and a bland diet. Granted he doesn’t need to go to the veterinarian, your dog should be self-cured in 24-48 hours thanks to natural selection. You are there for support and providing a ride to the vet if need be. Read more about treating dog rash.