Why Does My Dog Have an Upset Stomach

Why Does My Dog Have an Upset Stomach

Digestive problems are a frequent worry for dog owners. Although these issues are usually not serious, our dogs can’t communicate their discomfort, so watching for signs is important.

Explore the reasons behind canine upset stomachs and find helpful advice to enhance your dog’s digestive well-being. Whether it’s adjusting their diet, understanding the importance of hydration or recognizing when it’s time to consult a veterinarian, we want to equip you with the knowledge to protect and support your well-being.

Your Dog's Digestive System

A dog’s digestive tract is specially adapted to process certain foods, like proteins and fats, more efficiently than humans. This is because dogs have a shorter gastrointestinal tract. This shorter tract allows for rapid nutrient digestion but a less efficient breakdown of simple carbohydrates.

This means that foods that are safe for humans can often upset a dog’s stomach. It also means that overfeeding your pup can lead to digestive upsets. When considering “how much should I feed my dog,” be sure to not only provide the right amount of food but also the appropriate type of food that supports your dog’s digestive health.

Common Causes of Upset Stomach in Dogs

Most dogs will experience an occasional mild upset stomach, which may result in symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea. But any illness in our pets can cause us stress and anxiety. When your dog experiences an upset stomach, there are several common causes to consider.

Dietary indiscretion. Dogs are curious and often eat things they shouldn’t, like garbage, spoiled food or toxic substances. These items can irritate their stomach and lead to digestive issues.

  • Food allergies or intolerances. Just like humans, dogs can develop allergies or intolerances to certain foods. The most common allergies are to proteins in dairy and eggs and plant proteins from soy and wheat.

  • Infections. Dogs can suffer from infections caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites, such as Campylobacter, Salmonella, parvovirus and tapeworms. These infections often lead to an upset stomach and require veterinary attention to diagnose and treat.

  • Stress or anxiety-related issues. Emotional distress can manifest physically in dogs, affecting their digestive system. Situations like changes in environment, separation anxiety or loud noises can trigger these responses.

  • Chronic diseases. In more serious cases, persistent stomach issues may indicate certain chronic conditions such as pancreatitis or inflammatory bowel disease. These diseases usually require long-term management strategies and veterinary care.

Symptoms to Watch For

Identifying the signs of an upset stomach in dogs is key to providing timely care. Be aware of the following symptoms, especially when occurring together.

  • Vomiting and diarrhea. These are the most common symptoms. Occasional episodes may not be cause for alarm, but frequent or severe cases require veterinary attention as they can lead to dehydration and malabsorption of nutrients.

  • Loss of appetite. A dog refusing to eat can indicate discomfort or pain in the digestive system.

  • Lethargy. If your dog is less active than usual or seems abnormally tired, it could be a sign of discomfort or illness.

  • Abdominal pain and bloating. Watch for signs of discomfort in their belly area. A bloated or tender abdomen can signal a serious condition.

  • Changes in stool consistency or frequency. Changes in stool texture, such as unusually hard or soft stool or color, like white or tarry black stools, can indicate digestive issues. The same goes for more frequent or less frequent bowel movements.

When to See a Vet

Persistent symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite or changes in stool consistency should not be ignored. If these symptoms continue for over a day or two and are accompanied by signs of pain, lethargy or bloating, it’s time to consult a vet.

Some symptoms may indicate a serious condition and require immediate attention. For example, blood in vomit or stool, extreme lethargy or sudden severe bloating are all emergencies.

Maintain regular veterinary check-ups for your pup to monitor their digestive health. Regular visits can help catch and address any underlying issues early, ensuring your pup stays healthy and happy. Always consult a vet if you notice anything unusual going on with your pup as well.

Home Care and Prevention

Maintaining your dog’s digestive health starts with a positive diet and adequate hydration. Water is essential for your pup’s digestive health. Dogs require approximately one ounce of water per pound of body weight per day, which would be 100 ounces per day for a 100-pound dog. Adequate hydration helps in food digestion and absorption and ensures the smooth passage of waste.

Prioritize your dog’s diet. A diet high in dry dog food may lead to constipation and digestive distress in some dogs. To support your pup’s digestion, you might wonder, “is freeze dried food good for dogs?” Open Farm's range of products, including our Freeze Dried Raw lineup, is made from ethically sourced single protein, organic veggies and superfoods like blueberries and coconut oil, minimally processed to preserve the nutrients and promote better digestion.

Open Farm’s RawMix dog food combines the benefits of raw nutrition with the convenience of dry food for dogs, helping to re-wild dogs with sensitive stomachs. These products are made with only the best ingredients in dog food, ensuring a meal that’s easy on your pup’s digestive tract.

Additionally, consider incorporating bone broth into your dog’s diet to increase hydration and provide easily digestible nutrition. Purchase Open Farm’s bone broth bundle and take advantage of the benefits of bone broth for dogs, including high collagen levels to repair and protect the digestive tract.

Support Your Pup’s Digestive Health With Open Farm

As a dog parent, it is essential to prioritize your dog’s digestive health. Open Farm’s nutritional products help you do just that. Our commitment to using only the finest dog food ingredients ensures your pooch gets the nutrition they need and no additives they don’t.

Browse Open Farm’s range of healthy options and give your furry friend the digestive support they need to live their happiest, most comfortable lives.

This article is meant only as an example meal with fully balanced nutrition, please reach out to our customer experience team if you have any questions about your pet’s own unique circumstances! To ensure these products are a good fit for your pup, we also recommend consulting your pup’s vet about any new supplement or diet changes, especially if there is a medical concern. They should be able to help as you and your vet know your pup’s medical history best!

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