Dogs will eat anything if left to their own devices. As a responsible pet parent, you need to be mindful of what your furry babies consume to ensure they get the nutrients they need to grow and stay healthy.
But even as you feed them the best Dubai pet food available, there is no way you can keep them from getting an upset stomach at least once in their lifetime. After all, you can’t always be with your pets to monitor everything they put in their mouths.
What you can do instead is to learn all there is to know about stomach pains, starting with possible causes, symptoms, and remedies.
Why do dogs get an upset stomach?
Stomachache in dogs can be caused by the same things that leave humans clutching their tummies and rushing off to the loo.
Dogs often experience stomach pain for more obvious causes, like running around immediately after eating. But there are also instances when the reason for their upset stomach is not apparent.
Below are several possibilities behind your pet’s stomach pain:
● Inflammation and obstruction
Some people take their pets to the vet for an upset stomach only to find a tiny toy, a piece of spicy human food, and other things lodged in their gut.
When dogs eat things they shouldn’t, it could lead to inflammation, which then impedes their stomach’s capacity to digest food.
Like people, dogs also get gas as they digest food. If they can’t pass it, it can lead to a build-up and cause stomach ache.
Like humans, dogs also get constipated. This happens when their stool gets backed up with gas, leaving them with discomfort or pain.
● Gastrointestinal obstructions
Some obstructions in your dog’s digestive tract aren’t caused by something they ate. Instead, it could be due to an intussusception (the intestine folds into itself), an intestinal stricture (the narrowing of the intestines), a hernia, an abdominal tumour, etc.
All these can lead to an upset stomach.
● Motion sickness
Yes, dogs get motion sickness, too.
This can happen when you take your dog for a ride or even when rocking them in a chair. If they’re not used to the movement, your dog can feel nauseated and may even vomit.
Ulcers happen when the lining of a dog’s stomach is damaged. This can be caused by medicines, inflammation, or other things that may injure the stomach lining.
● Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Like humans, dogs experience inflammatory bowel disease where the bowels become inflamed without any clear cause.
A very contagious virus, parvovirus gets passed to a dog via direct contact with infected dogs, stool, or even people. Diarrhoea is a common symptom of canine parvovirus.
There are cases when even giving them the healthiest wet dog food won’t do your pet any good. This is often because of a condition called malabsorption, where dogs are unable to digest food properly.
A potential result of enzyme deficiency in the pancreas, malabsorption is a condition that can be difficult to diagnose because it shares similar symptoms with other conditions.
Rare cancer in the digestive system in dogs can start from the intestines or stomach. One of the early signs of this condition is stomach pain.
How can I tell if my dog has an upset stomach?
Not all signs and symptoms of stomach pain are obvious in dogs. Since they can’t tell you exactly what they feel, you’ll have to watch for any changes in their behaviour and other things that manifest in their body to know if they are sick.
To make sure you can catch an upset stomach in your pup early on, be on the lookout for the following symptoms:
● Bad Breath
Though their breath is never as fresh as roses, acidic-smelling breath could be a sign that your dog is experiencing a build-up of stomach acid.
● Safely carrying your cat or dog on a leash
With most airlines charging over $100 for a checked bag that can accommodate your pet, checking your pet as part of your luggage is not only logistically difficult but potentially introduces dangerous differences in pressure. Safest way to travel with your pooch or pug is to veil them when traveling. This will help you walk your furry friend in the safest way possible. Just make sure to get a proper leash while doing so, as the last thing you want to happen is that your buddy runs away. you can find high-quality leashes easily online on sites like Neewa.
● Excess gas
More burping and flatulence than normal is never a good sign as it could mean gas is building up in your dog’s stomach.
● Lethargy or discomfort
Like people, dogs feel weak when they experience stomach pain. They also seem lethargic because they try to minimise the discomfort they feel by not moving too much.
You may also notice your pet scrunched-up the same way humans clutch their stomach when in pain or they may repeatedly stretch their front legs to ease the pain.
● Lip-smacking, gulping, and gagging
Gulping, gagging, or lip-smacking are all signs that your pet may feel nauseous. This could also mean they are trying to hold back the urge to vomit.
● Distended or bloated belly
Gas build-up can also manifest in the form of a bloated or distended belly. If it becomes too tight or hard to the touch, take your dog to the vet immediately.
● Diarrhoea and vomiting
Vomiting and diarrhoea are two of the common signs of an upset stomach. Excessive or repeated episodes in both symptoms could lead to serious health consequences like dehydration.
Is eating grass a sign of an upset stomach in dogs?
It is a common belief that when dogs eat grass, they have an upset stomach. However, researchers have found nothing conclusive to confirm this.
Although some grass-eating could be an attempt to settle an upset stomach, it’s not the only possible explanation for this behaviour.
For one, dogs may just like the taste and texture of grass. It could also be a manifestation of boredom.
Dogs who suddenly munch on a lot of grass could also be feeling unwell. In some cases, it may be a sign that they’re about to vomit.
What can I do to help soothe my dog’s upset stomach?
How you can help your dog recover from an upset stomach depends on what’s causing it in the first place. This means that some stomach pains can only be alleviated with the help of a vet.
But that doesn’t mean you should rush your canine pal to the animal clinic every time you observe symptoms of a digestive issue. After careful observation and consideration of the possible cause, you can also try the following remedies for upset stomach in dogs:
● Short fast
Putting your pet in a short fast of 12 to 24 hours may just be what their stomach needs to set itself right. This will give your pet’s gastrointestinal system a chance to process whatever caused the trouble in the first place.
● Soaked kibble
Soaking kibble in water softens it enough to make digestion easier for some dogs.
● Bone broth
Offering your dog bone broth is an excellent way to keep your pet hydrated even as they experience the effects of an upset stomach.
As much as it’s important to keep your four-legged baby hydrated, there are instances when you must prevent them from drinking too much water as it could worsen their upset stomach. Instead, offer them ice cubes every few minutes to help pace their drinking.
Put Your Pet at Ease
Putting your dog at ease from stomach pain is easier when you understand what is happening to them.
Keep your vet’s contact information handy, so you can call for help in case of an emergency or when you’re not sure what to do.