PET HEALTH

How to Help your Dog’s Upset Stomach 

3 min read Jan 10, 2022

Although your dog's upset stomach  (including vomiting and diarrhea) can be a common sign of poisoning or illness, the most common culprit in dogs is simple digestive upset.   More often than not, your dog could have eaten too much, too fast, or ate something he or she should not have consumed at all, causing an upset stomach or even vomiting.   

If scavenging trash, ingesting moldy, rotten food, or scarfing food too quickly is the culprit, then offering an at-home remedy for upset stomachs may do the trick. However, keep in mind that while isolated episodes may not be serious, if 2-3 episodes in a 24-hour period occur, or the upset stomach is accompanied by other symptoms, it could in fact be something more serious. 

According to Julie Reck DVM, Veterinary Medical Center of Fort Mill, South Carolina and Co-Founder of Aspire Vet, upset stomachs accompanied by other symptoms could warrant immediate medical attention.

“If a dog has other symptoms, such as a lack of appetite or is acting tired or sluggish, then even an isolated episode should be evaluated by your veterinarian,” Julie Reck DVM said.1

Can I Give my Dog Pepto-Bismol?

As far as giving an antacid to your pooch, avoid Pepto-Bismol® and other products containing salicylic acid, which inflame canine tummies. Your veterinarian may suggest Pepcid®, Mylanta® or Gaviscon® (except for pets with kidney disease).2 Additionally, oral probiotics may help with stomach issues, as long as the brand you choose does not contain xylitol.

Home Remedies for your Dog’s Upset Stomach

Other tummy soothers for Fido may be found in places as close as your kitchen cupboard!  Consider checking out some do-it-yourself home remedies that may help your dog’s upset stomach:

Ginger

Ginger can be a simple solution for a dog’s upset stomach, and what works better than ginger snap cookies? Two cookies for a medium-sized dog can generally does the trick.  If your dog will drink, you can also try peeling fresh ginger root, and boiling it in water. When cool, let him lap it up. All of these options can also help your dog with motion sickness. 

Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin Puree is a natural remedy for diarrhea since fiber helps firm up loose stools.  

Rice

Rice is very easily digested by a dog with an upset stomach.  Better yet, adding a spoonful of pumpkin to it can boost its benefits and make it taste yummier as well.  

Honey

Honey is packed with antioxidants and flavonoids, and its pH is low enough to slow or prevent the growth of many types of bacteria. There is substantial evidence that New Zealand’s Manuka honey may be effective against Helicobacter pylori bacteria which causes stomach ulcers.3

Carob

Carob (aka pet-safe chocolate) is great for calming an upset tummy and curbing diarrhea. Mixing carob powder with a little honey and filtered water, or even into non-fat plain yogurt, can be a treat for your dog

Cinnamon

Cinnamon has long been considered a treatment for nausea, fever and diarrhea!    

Slippery Elm

This is one of the greatest remedies for digestive disorders. When the bark is mixed with goat milk or goat milk yogurt, it lines the gut and intestines, protecting the mucous membranes from irritation. It is best to check with your veterinarian regarding dosing.4

Cabbage

Cabbage contains many nutrients that support the tummy and intestinal lining.  The veggie has anti-inflammatory properties, and cabbage can help curb stomach pain

How to Dog Proof your Home

  • Prevent pets from drinking out of lakes, streams, gutters, buckets and unsanitary sources.
  • Wash water bowls daily.
  • Don't feed table scraps or change a pet's diet suddenly.
  • Ensure all leftovers or potentially harmful foods are kept out of a pet’s reach
  • Check with your veterinarian regularly 

Dogs sometimes get into things that they should not, however vomiting and diarrhea can also be signs of serious illness.  When in doubt, always check with your veterinarian to ensure a quick recovery.  

Consider Investing in Dog Insurance  

Looking for more ways to keep your pup happy and healthy? Consider investing in a dog insurance policy with MetLife Pet Insurance.1  Get your free quote today. 

Protect your Dog

Enroll in 3 Easy Steps

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Personal interview with Julie Reck, DVM, Veterinary Medical Center of Fort Mill, South Carolina and Co-Founder of Aspire Vet, June 2020. 

2Toxicity to Pets,” Pet Poison Helpline. 

3 Antioxidants” VCA ANimal Hospitals, Steve Marsden, Shawn Messonnier, and Cheryl Yuill,  

4Slippery Elm” VCA Animal Hospitals, Rania Gollakner,