What To Give a Dog for an Upset Stomach

Four Minutes
Sep 25, 2023

While vomiting and diarrhea in dogs can be common signs of poisoning or illness, they can often the result of an upset digestive system. Your dog could have eaten too much, too fast, or something that isn’t dog-friendly.

Isolated episodes may not be serious, but it’s advised to watch out for more than two episodes of vomiting or diarrhea within a 24-hour period and look for any other symptoms such as eating grass.

According to Julie Reck DVM, at 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.”1

There are also some home remedies if your dog has an upset stomach due to eating rotten food, scavenging trash, or just eating their kibble too quickly. Read on if you’re wondering how to help your dog’s upset stomach.

Can You Give Dogs OTC Medicines for an Upset Stomach?

Don’t raid your medicine cabinet to care for your pup just yet. Many over-the-counter (OTC) medications for humans are unsafe for dogs to use. Here are a few options for treating your dog’s upset stomach.

Safe OTC medicines

Your veterinarian may suggest Pepcid®, Mylanta®, or Gaviscon® for constipation (except for pets with kidney disease).2 Imodium may also be a good option to help treat your dog’s diarrhea.

Additionally, oral probiotics may help with stomach issues, as long as the brand you choose does not contain xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. Probiotic supplements could also work to restore and maintain healthy gut flora in the digestive tract, which can help heal upset tummies. Be sure to consult your vet before giving your dog any of these medications or supplements, just in case.

Avoid these OTC medicines

As far as giving an antacid to your pooch, avoid giving your dog Pepto-Bismol® and other products containing salicylic acid, which can inflame canine tummies.

Giving your dog Tums® is also no-no. Many types have xylitol in them and even xylitol-free Tums® may contribute to an abundance of calcium in your dog’s blood, which can harm their kidneys.3

If your pup isn’t getting better, a trip to the vet may be in order. Luckily, a dog insurance policy with MetLife Pet can typically help cover diagnostic testing, exams, and prescriptions needed to help your dog recover. Enter your information below to get a fast, free quote.

Home Remedies for a Dog With an Upset Stomach

Other tummy-soothers for your furry friend may be found in places as close as your kitchen cupboard. Consider checking out some home remedies that may help your dog’s upset stomach:

Ice chips

If your dog isn’t drinking water, you can offer ice cubes or ice chips for a crunchy and cold treat. This may help them stay hydrated and may help settle their stomach problems.


Ginger could be a simple solution for a dog’s upset stomach, and it typically helps treat motion sickness in dogs. If your dog will drink, you can also try peeling fresh ginger root, and boiling it in water. When it has cooled, let them lap it up.

If you can get your dog to eat treats, sugar-free ginger snap cookies can be an option. Make or buy sugar-free (and xylitol-free) gingersnap or gingerbread cookies. Two cookies for a medium-sized dog could help ease their belly.  

Pumpkin puree

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


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


Honey is packed with antioxidants and flavonoids, and its pH is low enough to help 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.4


Carob (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 has long been considered a treatment for nausea, fever, and diarrhea.   

Slippery elm

This is considered one of the greatest remedies for digestive disorders. When slippery elm bark is mixed with goat milk or goat milk yogurt, it lines the gut and intestines, helping protect the mucous membranes from irritation. It is best to check with your veterinarian regarding dosing.5


Cabbage contains many nutrients that can help support your dog’s tummy and intestinal lining. The veggie has anti-inflammatory properties and can help curb stomach pain to help make your dog feel a little better.

Are Expensive Vet Bills Giving You a Bellyache?

Pet Insurance Can Help

What To Feed Your Recovering Dog

After it has been 12 – 24 hours since your dog’s last diarrhea or vomiting episode, you’ll want to start reintroducing solid dog foods. Consider a bland diet. A bowl of plain rice and chopped unseasoned chicken breast can be a great bland option that’s also nutritious. You can also offer some bone broth for even more nutrition.

How To Dog-Proof your Home

The best way to care for your dog is prevention. But dogs are notoriously mischievous and love to eat things they’re not supposed to consume. Here are a few things you can do to protect your dog’s sensitive stomach:

  • Prevent them from drinking out of lakes, streams, gutters, buckets, and unsanitary sources.
  • Wash water bowls daily.
  • Don't feed table scraps to your dog.
  • If you change a dog’s diet, slowly introduce them to the new food so their system gets used to it.
  • Ensure all leftovers or potentially harmful foods are kept out of a dog’s reach.
  • Check with your veterinarian regularly.

Consider Investing in Dog Insurance

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

Now that you know what to give a dog for an upset stomach, you may be looking for more ways to keep your pup happy and healthy. Consider investing in a dog insurance policy with MetLife Pet Insurance. Our policies may help you cover vet visits, injuries, illnesses, and much more, which could make dog insurance worth it for you.6

We Can Help You Protect Your Pup

 Dr. Hunter Finn

Dr. Hunter Finn is an integrative veterinary expert first, and social media star second. America’s favorite veterinarian owns Pet Method in McKinney, Texas, where he cares for pets while prioritizing their emotional well-being. When he’s not at his clinic, he’s starring in viral videos on TikTok (2 million followers) and Instagram (500K followers) — where he’s been known to snuggle puppies and conquer the latest dance trends.

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

2 “Toxicity to Pets,” Pet Poison Helpline.

3 “Can Dogs Have Tums?,” Emergency Vets USA

4 “Antioxidants,” VCA Animal Hospitals

5 “Slippery Elm,” VCA Animal Hospitals

Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.

Coverage underwritten and issued by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 11333 N Scottsdale Rd, Ste 160, Scottsdale, AZ 85254 or Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886. Coverage subject to restrictions, exclusions and limitations. Application is subject to underwriting review. See policy or contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC for details. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator for this coverage. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois).

Disclosure for Maine Residents

L1222027809[exp1224][All States][DC,GU,MP,PR,VI]