What Causes Upset Stomach in Dogs?

Nobody enjoys having an upset stomach—and that goes for dogs just as much as it does for people. But if your dog does have an upset stomach, the only way to help them find relief is first to figure out what’s causing their symptoms in the first place.

Unfortunately, your dog can’t simply tell you what’s wrong. Which means that in a lot of cases, you’ll need to do a little detective work to figure out what’s causing your dog’s upset stomach. But not to worry, because we’ve put together this guide to help you narrow down the cause of your dog’s problems as quickly as possible.

Just note that this is a guide only. Please contact your vet with any health-related issues.

Let’s start with the most obvious question: how do you know when your dog has an upset stomach in the first place? Well, some of the warning signs could include:

  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain or swelling
  • Blood in the feces or vomit
  • Severe lethargy

But of course, this doesn’t tell you what’s really causing the problems. In order to figure that out, ask yourself the following questions.

Is Your Dog Eating Something They Shouldn’t Be?

Dogs are known for eating all kinds of things that they shouldn’t be—from grass and sticks to toys, bones, bugs, and more. If your dog has an upset stomach, that’s a good time to be a little more observant. Keep a closer eye on your dog than usual to make sure they aren’t eating anything that could be causing their upset stomach.

Here’s another tip: make sure your dog has enough healthy, nutritious food—such as this health-boosting raw dog food recipe or this ground beef dog food recipe. Getting enough good food might help discourage your dog from chewing on things it shouldn’t be.

Is Your Dog Drinking Something They Shouldn’t Be?

This is an extension of the last question, but it could also be part of the problem. Make sure your dog has clean, fresh water in their bowl, and make sure that’s the only water they drink. Keep the toilet seats down, don’t leave drinks out where they can get at them, and if you have a pool, make sure your dog doesn’t drink from it.

Has Your Dog Recently Taken Antibiotics or Other Drugs?

In the right situation, antibiotics can be a life-saving drug. However, they can also do damage to the delicate gut bacteria that are essential for optimal health. If your dog has taken antibiotics for a recent illness, their gut flora might be out-of-whack as a result.

Does Your Dog Have Food Allergies?

Just like people, some dogs just don’t get along well with certain types of foods. Common culprits can include ingredients like soy, wheat, gluten, and artificial products. Now, here’s the good news: here at Bully Max, we don’t use any of those unhealthy additives or fillers. So go ahead and feed your dog Bully Max products with confidence.

If you suspect allergies may be the source, try out this hypoallergenic dog food recipe.

Could Your Dog be Sick?

Of course, an upset stomach could also be a sign that your dog has some kind of illness. If you think this might be the case, it’s definitely time to take your dog to the vet. Sickness is nothing to mess around with. Whether it’s the common flu or something much more serious, only your vet will know how to diagnose the illness and create a treatment plan to bring your dog back to health.

Finally, here are 2 last tips when your dog has an upset stomach:

Tip #1: Do NOT try to diagnose and treat an illness yourself using OTC products.

While OTC products exist for vomiting and nausea, we recommend not using these to treat your dog’s upset stomach unless instructed to do so by your vet. Especially if it’s a product intended for use by humans, since some products that are safe for humans could be toxic for dogs.

Tip #2: DO give your dog plenty of fluids.

Vomiting can lead to dehydration, which can create further health risks. So if your dog has an upset stomach, make sure they have access to clean, fresh water to drink. This will at least help prevent them from getting too dehydrated until their upset stomach can be resolved.

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