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Essential Care For Dog With Upset Stomach Or Diarrhea

Updated on December 22, 2017

Have you ever observed the dogs eating grass and vomiting? That’s the natural method for dogs to cure upset stomach. So if your dog is attentive to eat grass, that’s a signal for upset stomach and you need to observe him and check his body temperature. Usually normal body temperature of dogs varies in between 99 to 101 degrees Fahrenheit. But if the temperature is less or more to this range, then that’s a worry and you need to visit the vet. Do not try giving human medicines to the dogs, that’s a wrong belief and can be harmful. When you feel your dog is behaving unusual and it seems he is suffering with stomach problem, he can have

  • Digestive problems or stomach pain
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea


Symptoms of Upset Stomach

If your dog is behaving usual and looks restless, that can be a sign of stomach pain. You must observe his activities that will give you an idea if he is suffering with stomach pain. Notice these two activities closely to get an idea,

  • The dog looks restless and changing his sleeping positions frequently or sleeping in unusual position(Like 1st Image). That is a sign that the dog may have stomach pain or digestive concerns.
  • If your dog is stretching his body frequently, like in praying position (As in image 2nd below). Then he is trying to release gas and pain.

Unusual Sleeping Positions: Symptom of an upset stomach
Unusual Sleeping Positions: Symptom of an upset stomach
Frequent Stretching: symptom of an upset stomach
Frequent Stretching: symptom of an upset stomach
Most common stretching position for dogs with upset stomach
Most common stretching position for dogs with upset stomach

Dog Vomit

If your dog is vomiting frequently then chances are, he consumed too much food or ate something which he is not able to digest. But it's an indication for other serious concerns like dog is suffering from dehydration or diarrhea.

Dog upset stomach | Dog vomit
Dog upset stomach | Dog vomit | Source

Dehydration in Dogs

Dehydration is a common problem with dogs that may cause serious complications and need immediate attention. The main reason for dehydration is lack of water in a dog’s body, it usually happens when dog released more fluids than intake. Normally the dog’s body contains 80% water that controls the circulation, digestion and waste removal from the dog's body.

Symptoms of dehydration

Check if your dog is already suffering from dehydration,

• Notice the nose of your dog’s nose that should be wet and cold and sticky to touch. If nose is wet, then, chances of dehydration are less. If that looks dry and sticky then can be a possibility of dehydration.

Check Dog's health by it's nose
Check Dog's health by it's nose | Source
  • Pull his lips and notice the gum, if that is wet and shiny then chances are less of dehydration else dog can be dehydrated.

  • Squeeze the skin of neck from top and hold for a minute, leave that and notice if skin remain squeezed then that is another symptom of dehydration.

3: To check if dog is dehydrated
3: To check if dog is dehydrated | Source

Symptoms of Diarrhea

Diarrhea is worst stage for the dog with an upset stomach. If you observe any from below, then you can doubt for diarrhea.

  • Abdominal or rectal pain
  • Detected mucus or blood in stool
  • Sickness
  • Dehydration

Dog with diarrhea
Dog with diarrhea | Source

If dog is dehydrated or with diarrhea. And didn't observed progress within 24 hours, then you must visit to vet.

1. Offer Plenty of Water

Dogs body contain huge amount of water (liquids) that's around three fourth of his total weight. When dog’s body lack required amount of liquids in the body, they can face dehydration. The best way to cure is to offer them plenty of water. Water consumption can help them to prevent dehydration.

Normally sugar, glucose or any flavor is not recommended for dogs, but in such situation you can give glucose water or a tablespoon sugar to small dogs and puppies and 1-2 table spoon for bigger dogs. Though some vets do not approve glucose or sugar for dogs, so it’s may be a controversial.


2. Give Rest and Pamper

You must pamper and allow him to take rest. Do not take him for walk or play, any physical exercise like walking, running or playing need fluid consumption from the body and that can create lack of water and energy from the body and dog may get more complications. But in case of mild diarrhea or low digestive problems, a slow and little walk is fine.


3. No Human Medicine

Giving human pills to a dog can work sometime, but it's not safe always. You must check with your vet and ensure that doesn’t have any side-effect.

Commonly people ask,

  • Is it safe to give human medicines to the dog?
  • Can we give Aspirin to the dog?
  • Does human medicine have side effects?

And the answer is, sometime it may work, but it’s not safe always.

  • Sometime it may work, but it’s not safe always. Also it depends upon the dog’s capacity and size.
  • Aspirin is not suggested for all the dogs. Though may vet believes for medium or large dogs its OK. Please, refer the chart below for details about which human medicine you can give to your dog.
  • Yes, human medicines can have side effects for dog. You must check with your vet and ensure that doesn’t have any side-effect.

List of human medicines to your dog

Click thumbnail to view full-size

4. Fasting for 12 - 24 Hours

If the dog is dehydrated or suffering from diarrhea then you should keep him on fasting for min. 12-24 hours. Fasting will not effect and it will help him to prevent upsetting his stomach from further stomach and digestive problems also it will help gastrointestinal tract to rest and recover. For puppies, it's suggested to keep on fast for less time 10-12 hours is sufficient for them, but for elder or bigger dogs its good to keep on fast for 20-24 hours.

Keep on Fast
Keep on Fast | Source

5. Keep Warm and Relaxed

Check the body temperature of your dog, normal dog’s body temperature varies in between 99 to 102 Fahrenheit. If your dog has a fever then provide him a soft bed and keep him warm. Cover him with a soft blanket and give him rest and sleep.

Keep warm
Keep warm | Source

6. Heat Therapy

If you feel a dog is suffering from stomach pain, then stomach heat therapy can be a good idea. Fill therapy water bag with little warm water to give stomach therapy. Also, you may use a hand towel, put that in a little warm water and sneeze that to use for therapy. Do observe, if your dog likes that if you feel your dog doesn't like and wants to get away, then stop that.

Dog stomach heat therapy
Dog stomach heat therapy

6. Start with Bland Diet

After 12 -24 hours of fasting, you can start with the bland diet.

  • For puppies you may start after 12 hours with one fourth of his normal quantity.
  • For bigger and adult dogs, start after 20-24 hours, with one third of his normal quantity.
  • Do not start regular food. Start with bland diet, that is good for easy digestion and to get immediate energy.
  • For their first feeding, It’s good to start with white rice water.

Cooking Rice water:

Boil a tea cup white rice in 4 tea cup water for 20- 30 minutes (until it became pasty and creamy white).

Do not add salt or sugar, you can add a tablespoon chicken powder to make it tasty. Wait till soup comes at normal temperate, don’t serve warm rice water.

Cooked rice water for dog suffering with stomach
Cooked rice water for dog suffering with stomach | Source

Cooking Bland diet for dog with upset stomach


You can give a small amount of cooked rice (2-3 tablespoon for small dogs and 5-7 for bigger dogs). To prepare chicken rice you need to add cooked (boiled) chicken with rice, remember the amount of chicken must be the half of rice. Continue this food till you see some progress in your dog or till your dog cured and became normal.


Dog's bland diet
Dog's bland diet | Source
  • Ingredients:
    1: Plain boiled chicken, 2: Plain yogurt 3: Boiled pumpkin.
  • Ratio of Ingredients:
    Around 50% amount of boiled rice and rest 50% ingredient can be any one, two or all three ingredients.
  • The amount of food:
    For a small dog 3-4 tablespoon is sufficient and for large dogs you can give 5-8 tablespoon.

7. Recommended Human Foods

There are many human food that you can give to your dog with normal good health, but not to the dog with upset stomach or diarrhea. So it’s better to avoid giving table food or you must know which table or human food is good for them. Some human food can be a good option to give occasionally, like mashed potato, sweet potato, boiled and mashed carrot and many other. Though its always advisable to consult your vet before experimenting.

8. Dangerous Human Foods

It’s equally important to know which human foods are good in normal health, but bad if the dog is with upset stomach, even some food can be dangerous and cause some serious health problems. You, must know to avoid that, like raw milk, kelp, raw meat, cheese, peanut butter and some other.

© 2016 ARADHYA


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    • srai01 profile image

      ARADHYA 17 months ago

      Hi Sarah,

      There are many possibilities for vomiting and diarrhea.

      Some times its not serious if frequency is not high. But if that's very frequent and dog looks dull then you must visit to Vet.

      Also change his diet as suggested in article and give him more drinking water and limited (less than regular) food and rest.

    • profile image

      Sarah Vallejo 17 months ago

      What does it mean when puppy is vomiting and diarrhea he got his first shot last week I'm worried about him