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Turbulent tummies: A guide to dogs with sensitive stomachs

Have you ever overindulged at thanksgiving dinner or eaten some questionable looking chicken from a cheap diner? That nauseous, sick feeling is very uncomfortable. This is what it’s like being a dog with a sensitive stomach. Sensitive tummies are a pretty common problem in dogs and can be a regular or periodic problem. An upset tummy is no fun for dogs and even less fun for humans who have to clean up the mess. To help soothe your dog’s turbulent tummy, here are some causes and solutions for what you can do if your dog starts to feel a little queasy.

Sick puppy Sick puppy sick dog stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Causes and solutions for a turbulent tummy:

  1. Allergies

One of the more common reasons for a persistent sensitive stomach is allergies. Certain food ingredients may cause irritation and inflammation to the stomach lining. This will often cause rejection of the food, seen as vomiting, diarrhea or satiation. 

The most common food allergies in dogs are common proteins like chicken, turkey and lamb. Secondary allergens can sometimes include grains, soy and dairy. For a dog with allergies, we recommend a highly digestible grain-free diet, with a novel protein like duck, bison, kangaroo or venison or a diet with hydrolyzed protein. Limiting the number of ingredients in their diet can also help as it reduces the number of possible allergy triggering ingredients.

  1. Pathogens (bacteria, virus, parasites)

Dogs can get the stomach flu just like humans. The most important thing to remember with a sick dog, is to keep them hydrated. If they are interested in eating, a diet with highly digestible ingredients, like chicken and white rice, are the best option. The Kabo Tender Chicken Recipe is the perfect remedy for a dog with an upset stomach. With ingredients that are highly digestible and gently cooked, this diet will help get your dog feeling better in no time! Not to mention, the high moisture content will help keep them hydrated if they are not interested in drinking water. 

Overall, if you have a dog with the flu, it is often just a waiting game until they feel better. There are a few things you can do to make them comfortable but ultimately, they may just need some rest.

  1. Foreign body

Some dogs just love to taste test and eat weird things. Unfortunately, gobbling down a sock or their favourite rope toy can sometimes lead to an obstruction in their GI system. Sometimes they will be able to naturally pass the foreign body through their system but it can be very dangerous if they cannot. A bowel obstruction often means a trip to the vet and surgery to remove the blockage. To avoid a foreign body problem, keep swallowable objects out of range of sniffing noses (similar to having a toddler).

8 weeks old Pied French Bulldog puppy chewing on sock in the graden Close up of Pied French Bulldog puppy chewing on a piece of sock dog sock stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images
  1. Ulcers

Ulcers are lesions on the inside of a dogs stomach. There are many different causes but ulcers can become very serious. If you see some of the more severe symptoms such as weight loss, pale gums, anemia and disorientation, it is best to seek veterinary care.

  1. Extra GI diseases

Extra GI diseases are any sort of disease that affects gastrointestinal function but the root cause lies outside of the GI tract. For example, kidney or liver disease can affect the GI system and cause your dog to feel sick. These types of diseases are often only treated through veterinary care.

Take home message

There are many causes for an upset stomach (more than just what’s listed here). Symptoms like vomiting, lethargy, and diarrhea are no fun for anyone. The best first step is to ensure that your dog remains hydrated and consider switching their diet to something that is fresh cooked and easily digestible.

Lethargic adult beagle wrapped in a soft baby blue blanket with an ice pack on your head
Lethargic adult beagle wrapped in a soft baby blue blanket with an ice pack on your head

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February 20, 2024
5 minutes
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