Health

What Can I Give My Senior Dog for an Upset Stomach? Tummy Turbulence

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Author: Jacob Kay

If you are a pet parent of a senior dog, then every day might be the day of a new adventure. A senior dog’s body must be changing, you might be observing the change in their body, activity level, sleep pattern, and most importantly in their food habits.

What Can I Give My Senior Dog for an Upset Stomach?

Other changes in a senior dog can be tackled but the problem of an upset stomach may give you a slight headache. You might be confused about what to give your senior dog suffering from an upset stomach.

So here in this blog, “What can I give my senior dog for an upset stomach?” we will try to provide you with all the required information to lighten your burden.

Why Senior Dogs Are More Prone to Digestive Issues?

Here are the reasons why senior dogs are more prone to digestive issues:

  • As the dog ages the intestine becomes sensitive and does not digest the food as it used to do before the digestive issues occur. The senior dog might require low-fat and protein food, this is the reason you should switch dog food according to their age.
  • Senior dogs suffer from a lot more health complications and are on frequent medications like anti-inflammatories, steroids and antibiotics. These medications can irritate and damage the stomach’s inner lining leading to an upset stomach.
  • As the dogs age, they are more prone to illnesses related to kidney, liver, pancreas and diabetes. This disease can have adverse effects on a dog’s health and lead to digestive issues.
  • Senior dogs are more prone to experience stress and anxiety as their daily habits change. This stress can lead to an upset stomach in them.

Common Causes of an Upset Stomach in Senior Dogs

Here are some causes of upset stomach in senior dogs:

Causes of an Upset Stomach in Senior Dogs
  • Eating leftover food or food which does not suit their gut health can cause an upset stomach in senior dogs.
  • An object stuck in the intestine can upset your dog’s stomach. If your dog has a habit of eating anything lying on the floor then it can be dangerous. The object can cause blockage in your dog’s stomach and make it upset.
  • IBD can too cause an upset stomach in dogs. In IBD[1] the inner wall of the dog’s intestine gets irritated which leads to inflammation. If your senior dog is suffering from IBD then his stomach is likely to get upset.
  • A dog suffering from an upset stomach can also be due to pancreatitis. It can be triggered due to excessive fat eating, medications and infection. As the senior dogs are more prone to infections and eating medications they tend to suffer from pancreatitis.
  • The dog’s diet changes according to their size and their age and so does their food. This new change may take time to adjust with your dog’s gut thus causing an upset stomach.

Home Remedies for an Upset Stomach in Senior Dogs

Here are some home remedies for an upset stomach in senior dogs:

probiotics for dog

Bland diet

A bland diet[2] consists of soft and low-dietary food. Giving your dog a bland diet of boiled chicken and rice can help soothe their stomach and give relief from irritation.

Starting with a small quantity and then gradually giving it along with regular food helps in the dog’s digestion. A bland diet is suitable for dogs suffering from upset stomachs and helps in early recovery.

Probiotic supplements

Probiotic supplements such as kefir and yoghurt help in a dog’s digestion process and are proven to provide relief from an upset stomach. It has bacteria that help in restoring gut health and easy digestion.

Fasting

To treat your dog’s upset stomach at home, you can consider fasting him for 24 hours. Giving your dog’s stomach rest for 24 hours will help in the reduction of irritation and inflammation.

A dog can easily live without food for 12 to 24 hours, so you need not worry about their health.

Increase hydration

The best remedy for a dog suffering from an upset stomach is to keep it hydrated. Due to an upset stomach dog’s body loses a lot of water and becomes dehydrated. Dehydration leads to nothing but increased health complications.

For a dog suffering from an upset stomach, provide them with an adequate amount of water on a regular basis.

Grass grazing

Dogs tend to graze grass whenever they get a chance. This grass grazing can be beneficial in treating your dog’s upset stomach. It helps the dog to vomit out or pass out the irritant providing them relief.

Though grass grazing helps dogs, make sure the grass is free from fertilizers and pesticides.

The most common signs of upset stomach in dogs are diarrhea and vomiting. If your dog is nauseous, you may also see him eat grass to soothe his stomach or try to induce vomiting, says Jody Bearman, DVM at Anshen Veterinary Acupuncture, Madison, Wisconsin through petmd.

Rice water

Rice water being rich in starch helps soothe the intestinal lining and reduce inflammation in the dog’s stomach. You can either give the dog the rice water to drink or just add it to his daily food both ways it will help treat your dog’s upset stomach.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin is rich in fibre and helps regulate bowel movement of dogs. You can feed your senior dog 1 to 4 tablespoons of pumpkin per day. You can either serve it as raw or cooked depending upon your dog’s liking.

When To See a Vet for an Upset Stomach in Senior Dogs?

Though the problem of upset stomach is common among senior-aged dogs there will be times when it will be an indication of serious health issues. Here’s when you should see a vet for an upset stomach in senior dogs:

Vet for an Upset Stomach in Senior Dogs
  • If your dog has been suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea for more than 24 hours.
  • Blood is found in the stool or the mucus of a dog.
  • Your dog is feeling a loss of appetite and not even drinking water.
  • The dog suffering from a fever and is lethargic and lacks energy.
  • The dog has having hard belly and going through abdominal pain.
  • The dog is retching but is unable to vomit it out.

These are the situations, if your dog is facing them then it is high time you should visit a vet.

FAQs

What can I give my senior dog for an upset stomach?

If your senior dog is having an upset stomach you can try giving him the low fibre bland food, ginger, probiotics like kefir and yoghurt, and even chamomile. This food will help your senior dog feel relief from the problem of an upset stomach.

What settles a dog’s upset stomach quickly?

To settle your dog’s upset stomach give him light and easy-to-digest food, which is low in fat and fibre, even the 24-hour fasting method is also good for dogs with upset stomachs. Fasting provides relief to the stomach and thus cures easily and quickly.

How often should you feed a dog with an upset stomach?

If your dog has an upset stomach then you can withhold the food for 12 to 24 hours depending on the seriousness of the situation. If your dog especially a senior dog has an upset stomach then it’s better to not feed them their daily quantity of food.

Can a dog recover from an upset stomach?

Yes, a dog can recover from an upset stomach. With proper diet and proper medical treatment, it is possible to treat your dog’s upset stomach. But if the main cause behind your dog’s upset stomach is a parasite infection, toxins or dehydration then it can take time to recover.

How can I tell if my dog has an upset stomach?

A dog with an upset stomach might be showing the following signs vomiting, diarrhea, lip smacking, drooling, stomach licking, loss of appetite, inactive and feeling lethargic. These signs can be shown by your dog having an upset stomach. It is very important to have a close eye on the dog’s movements.

Conclusion

Life of senior dogs is as it is difficult due to ongoing changes, illness and medication, in this situation you can only provide them with love and care. We hope that through this blog, “What can I give my senior dog for an upset stomach?” we were able to help you.

An upset stomach might be common in senior dogs, you might provide your dog with the best medications but along with that, it is necessary to provide them with a good diet.

If you still have any confusion regarding what to feed your dog suffering from an upset stomach, consult your vet. A vet may be able to guide you better.

Reference:

  1. Inflammatory bowel disease in dogs | VMBS News. (2022, March 11). VMBS News.
  2. Dacvim, D. E. L. D. M. (2022, February 22). Does my pet need a “Bland diet”? Clinical Nutrition Service at Cummings School.
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About
Jacob Kay
Jacob Kay is a Veterinary Advisor and Editor at WWD. He’s also a dog lover and has two pet dogs of his own. He has extensive knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine and is always happy to share his insights with others.

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