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How do I know if my dog has digestive issues?

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By LITTLE PUPPY PAWS | April 21, 2023
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Dogs are known for having sensitive stomachs, and digestive issues can be a common problem among them. Recognizing the signs of digestive issues in your dog is crucial to ensure they receive prompt and appropriate medical attention. But did you know how to prevent a dog from having digestive problems?

Maintain the suggested schedule for your dog’s medical examinations, immunizations, and parasite control. Give your dog balanced, premium food suitable for its life stage whether puppy or adult.

Home Remedies for Digestive Problems

Dogs can experience various stomach problems, from vomiting and diarrhea to constipation and bloating. While these issues should always be taken seriously and addressed by a veterinarian if they persist, some home remedies can help alleviate symptoms and promote digestive health in dogs.

One of the most critical steps to prevent and treat dog stomach problems at home is ensuring that your dog eats a healthy, balanced diet. Many commercial dog foods contain fillers and additives that can be difficult for dogs to digest, leading to stomach upset and other digestive problems. Consider switching to a high-quality, grain-free dog food or a home-cooked diet rich in lean protein and easily digestible carbohydrates.

Another home remedy for dog stomach problems is to offer your dog small, frequent meals rather than one or two large meals per day. This can help prevent overeating and aid in digestion. Additionally, it’s essential to ensure that your dog has access to clean, fresh water at all times to help keep their digestive system functioning correctly.

If your dog is experiencing diarrhea, try feeding them a bland diet of boiled chicken and rice, which helps soothe their stomach and reduce inflammation. Similarly, adding a tablespoon of canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) to your dog’s food can help alleviate diarrhea and constipation by regulating their bowel movements.

Probiotics can also be a helpful home remedy for dog stomach problems. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help restore the natural balance of bacteria in your dog’s gut, promoting healthy digestion and reducing the risk of stomach upset. You can give your dog a probiotic supplement or add plain, unsweetened yogurt to its diet to boost its probiotic intake.

Finally, if your dog is experiencing stomach bloating, taking immediate action is essential, as this can be a life-threatening emergency. One home remedy for dog stomach bloating is to offer your dog some fennel or ginger tea, which can help soothe their stomach and reduce inflammation. However, it’s essential to seek veterinary care immediately if your dog is experiencing bloating, as this can be a sign of a severe condition requiring prompt medical attention.

Natural Ways to Alleviate Symptoms and Promote Digestive Health


Dogs can experience various digestive problems, including vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and stomach pain. While it’s essential to seek veterinary care for these issues, natural remedies can also help alleviate symptoms and promote digestive health in dogs.

One of the simplest ways to promote digestive health in dogs is to ensure they eat a healthy, balanced diet. Consider feeding your dog grain-free food rich in lean protein and easily digestible carbohydrates. You can also supplement your dog’s diet with digestive enzymes, which can help break down food and promote healthy digestion.

Another natural remedy for dog digestive problems is to offer your dog small, frequent meals throughout the day rather than one or two large meals. This can help prevent overeating and aid in digestion. Additionally, it’s essential to ensure that your dog has access to clean, fresh water at all times to help keep their digestive system functioning correctly.

If your dog is experiencing diarrhea, try feeding them a bland diet of boiled chicken and rice, which helps soothe their stomach and reduce inflammation. Similarly, adding a tablespoon of canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) to your dog’s food can help alleviate diarrhea and constipation by regulating their bowel movements.

Probiotics can also be a helpful natural remedy for dog digestive problems. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help restore the natural balance of bacteria in your dog’s gut, promoting healthy digestion and reducing the risk of stomach upset. You can give your dog a probiotic supplement or add plain, unsweetened yogurt to its diet to boost its probiotic intake.

Finally, it’s essential to avoid giving your dog table scraps and other human foods that can be difficult for them to digest. Foods like chocolate, onions, garlic, and avocado can be toxic to dogs and should always be avoided. Stick to healthy, dog-friendly foods to promote digestive health and overall wellness.

Why are Digestive Problems Common in Small Breeds?

Small dogs are prone to digestive problems due to several factors. Here are some of the reasons why small dogs are more susceptible to digestive issues:

  1. High metabolic rate: Small dogs have a high metabolic rate, meaning their bodies process food more quickly than larger dogs. This can lead to digestive problems, such as diarrhea, vomiting, and constipation, as the food moves through the digestive tract too quickly.
  2. Small stomach size: Small dogs have smaller stomachs than larger dogs, so they must eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. Overeating at once can lead to digestive problems, such as bloating, which can be life-threatening.
  3. Dental issues: Small dogs are more prone to dental problems like gum disease and tooth decay. This can make it difficult for them to chew and digest their food properly, leading to digestive issues.
  4. Sensitive stomachs: Small dogs are also more likely to have sensitive stomachs, making them prone to food allergies, intolerances, and other digestive issues.
  5. Breed-specific issues: Certain small dog breeds, such as Chihuahuas and Yorkshire Terriers, are more prone to digestive problems than other breeds. This may be due to their smaller size, genetics, or other factors.

To prevent digestive problems in small dogs, feeding them high-quality, easily digestible dog food appropriate for their size and breed is essential. Small dogs should be fed smaller, more frequent meals daily to prevent overeating and bloating. It’s also necessary to provide them with dental care, such as regular teeth brushing and dental cleanings, to promote healthy chewing and digestion. If your small dog is experiencing digestive problems, it’s essential to consult with your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment.

What Medication is Commonly Prescribed for Digestive Problems?

Digestive problems are a common issue among dogs, and veterinary medicine offers a range of treatments to help alleviate symptoms and promote healing. Depending on the specific issue your dog is experiencing, your veterinarian may prescribe medication to help control symptoms and address underlying medical conditions.

One common type of medication used to treat dog digestive problems is antiemetics. These drugs block specific receptors in the brain and stomach that trigger vomiting and nausea. Commonly used antiemetics in dogs include ondansetron, maropitant, and metoclopramide. Antiemetics can help control vomiting and nausea caused by various issues, including infections, inflammatory conditions, and adverse medication reactions.

Probiotics are another type of medication that can help treat dog digestive problems. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help restore the natural balance of bacteria in your dog’s gut, promoting healthy digestion and reducing the risk of stomach upset. Probiotic supplements for dogs are widely available and can be given in capsule or powder form.

Antibiotics may also be prescribed to treat bacterial infections that cause digestive problems in dogs. The type and duration of antibiotic treatment will depend on the specific type of infection and the severity of the symptoms.

Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as corticosteroids or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and pain in the stomach and intestines. These drugs can help treat inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, and other conditions that cause inflammation in the digestive system.

Laxatives can be used to treat constipation in dogs. Common laxatives used in dogs include lactulose, psyllium, and mineral oil. These medications help to soften the stool and promote bowel movements.

It’s important to note that while medication can help treat dog digestive problems, it should always be administered under the guidance of a veterinarian. Some medications can have serious side effects, and improper use can lead to long-term health complications. Additionally, medication should not be used as a substitute for proper diet and lifestyle management, which can help prevent digestive problems from occurring in the first place.

What Food is Advisable for Dogs with Gastrointestinal Issues?

If your dog is experiencing gastrointestinal problems, it’s essential to feed them a diet that is gentle on their stomach and easy to digest. Here are some options for feeding dogs with gastrointestinal problems:

  1. Boiled chicken and rice: This diet is classic and practical for dogs with gastrointestinal problems. Boil boneless, skinless chicken breasts and plain white rice until both are fully cooked and then mix them. Feed your dog small amounts of this mixture throughout the day.
  2. Prescription gastrointestinal diets: Your veterinarian may recommend a diet specifically formulated for dogs with gastrointestinal problems. These diets are often lower in fat and fiber and contain highly digestible ingredients to support digestion and absorption.
  3. Lean, easily digestible protein: When feeding dogs with gastrointestinal problems, it’s important to avoid high-fat foods, as they can be challenging to digest and may exacerbate symptoms. Lean protein sources, such as chicken or turkey, are often easier for dogs to digest.
  4. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help restore the natural balance of bacteria in your dog’s gut, promoting healthy digestion and reducing the risk of stomach upset. You can give your dog a probiotic supplement or add plain, unsweetened yogurt to its diet to boost its probiotic intake.
  5. Small, frequent meals: Instead of giving your dog one or two large meals, offer small, regular meals throughout the day. This can help prevent overeating and aid in digestion. It is essential to follow your veterinarian’s recommendations on feeding, including the amount and frequency of meals.

It’s important to note that every dog is different, and what works for one may not work for another. Additionally, some dogs may require a specific diet based on their medical needs. Working closely with your veterinarian is essential to determine the appropriate diet and feeding schedule for your dog with gastrointestinal problems.