When you have an upset stomach, you probably reach for ginger ale, crackers or Pepto-Bismol to settle your tummy. But what should you do when your dog’s stomach is out of sorts? Learn more about the tips for how to make your pup feel better with natural remedies
1. Do Nothing
When your dog’s stomach is trying to get rid of something, it can be helpful to stop putting more things in his stomach for 12 to 24 hours. If the GI system is having a tough time, you don’t want it to digest things.
Fasting for that long is absolutely fine for the dog, and it’ll likely be harder for the pet parent to withhold food than it will be for the dog not to eat.
2. Ice Cubes
When your dog is vomiting or has diarrhea, you want to make sure he stays hydrated, however, giving him too much water may make his stomach even more upset.
Remove his water bowl from his reach, and give him ice chips every 2 to 3 hours. See if he can keep that down, then give him some more ice cubes and a couple teaspoons of water.
3. Bone Broth
One of the most powerful things you can give to your dog to soothe and heal his stomach while keeping him hydrated is bone broth. Simmer meat (on the bone) with apple cider vinegar and water in a crockpot. Once the meat falls off the bone, continue to simmer the bones until the minerals and marrow are released into the water.
Bone broth takes at least a day to make, so you’ll need to make this meal before your pet actually gets sick. If you make it ahead, however, you can skim off the fat and freeze it, then you can give your dog bone broth ice cubes when he’s sick. In a pinch, you can also buy boxed bone broth.
4. Canned Pumpkin
When fighting indigestion, canned pumpkin is a favorite of many holistic veterinarians. It has a low glycemic index, so it slowly absorbs, which helps with upset stomach and digestion. Make sure to get canned pumpkin, and not pumpkin pie mix, as you don’t want to feed your dog spices.
Smaller dogs (approximately five pounds) can be fed ½ teaspoon of canned pumpkin, while larger dogs (approximately 75 pounds) can be fed 1 tablespoon. You can even try adding a tiny bit of ginger to the canned pumpkin. Like ginger ale, it soothes the stomach.
5. Seek A Veterinarian
Watch the overall pattern of the symptoms, which should slowly subside over 24 to 48 hours. However, if your dog seems to be constantly uncomfortable or if the symptoms get worse—for instance, the frequency continues to increase every few hours, you see blood in their vomit or stool, or they collapse—call a veterinarian, as these symptoms could be indicative of pancreatitis, stomach bloating, a severe allergy, leaky gut syndrome, abnormal parasites, or another serious condition.
If you discover that your dog ate something he’s not supposed to—like a plant, food, toy or chemical—seek help immediately. If your pet dog has ingested something potentially poisonous and your veterinarian is unavailable, talk to an expert at the Pet Poison Helpline.