One time, my corgi, Gwen, got into a can of peanuts on a table I didn’t think she could reach. And they weren’t just any peanuts — they were honey-roasted barbecue peanuts, covered in a sugary, crunchy coating. I feverishly researched each ingredient on the can to see if it was toxic for dogs and kicked myself for underestimating my short-legged but extremely food-driven pup. Thankfully, Gwen was totally fine — but she did vomit from eating so much rich, fatty food at once. If you have a dog, chances are, you have a similar story. Just like humans, dogs can get an upset stomach, whether it’s from eating too much, too quickly, or getting into something they shouldn’t have. Read on to see what foods veterinarians say can help settle your dog’s upset stomach when they aren’t feeling their best.
When To Seek Emergency Help
Always consult a veterinarian if your dog is experiencing consistent discomfort, vomiting, diarrhea, or any change in usual habits or demeanor. Dogs can only use their body language to communicate, and many pups will be stoic when it comes to managing pain and discomfort — so you have to be extra vigilant when observing their behavior.
Canine Campus notes that if your dog is trying to vomit but can’t (a sign of life-threatening bloat), projectile vomiting, vomiting frequently, has bile or unusual material in their vomit, can’t keep water down, or is showing signs of lethargy, bloating, discomfort, or depression, you should call your vet immediately. Other causes for concern are a combination of severe bloating, stomach pain, and diarrhea, or decreased urination. And if your dog has eaten raisins, chocolate, garlic, onions, or macadamia nuts, call the vet immediately, as these foods are highly toxic for them.
If in doubt, always call your veterinarian. You can also use resources like JustAnswer.com, which instantly connects you to certified vets online via chat, and websites like EmergencyVet247.com, which lists emergency veterinarian clinics in every state and many cities. Not every upset stomach is an emergency, but it can be a symptom of a larger problem, so always err on the side of caution when it comes to your dog’s health.
Gentle Foods to Help Soothe Your Dog’s Upset Stomach
Not to be a broken record, but make sure you consult your veterinarian before you make major changes to your dog’s diet. You love your dog, so keeping Fido safe, comfortable, and happy is of the utmost importance. When your dog has an upset tummy, veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Coates recommends letting them fast for 12-24 hours after vomiting, and only feeding them a small, bland meal once they’ve gone six hours without throwing up.
When people feel queasy, we tend to reach for bland foods like crackers or toast and tummy-soothing drinks like ginger tea. Dogs also benefit from bland foods when they don’t feel good — but there are some better options for them. Here are four vet-approved foods that could help settle your dog’s stomach if they’re experiencing minor upset. (A free tip from me: Honey-roasted barbecue peanuts are NOT on this list.)
Plain pureed pumpkin is a soothing superstar for dogs. Not only is it a delicious, versatile treat, but it’s packed with vitamins, and its high water and fiber content can help ease diarrhea and constipation, says the American Kennel Club (AKC). Just be sure that you’re using plain, unseasoned, cooked pumpkin (canned is fine) and not pumpkin pie filling. The pros at Veterinarians.org note that dogs should only eat the flesh of the pumpkin, and not the rind or seeds.
If your pup isn’t lactose intolerant, try giving them a bit of plain, low-fat or non-fat yogurt to settle their stomach, says First Vet. (Just steer clear of sharing any of your flavored or fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt varieties, Canine Campus warns.) Only feed your dog plain, unflavored yogurt that’s free of sweeteners — especially artificial sweeteners like xylitol, which is highly toxic for them. Plain yogurt is full of protein and easy for Fido to eat and digest. When it comes to serving sizes, pet blog My Pet Child recommends about 1 tablespoon for smaller dogs and 2-3 tablespoons for larger dogs. Plain Greek yogurt may also be good for your dog, due to its high levels of gut-healthy probiotics.
Shredded Chicken and White Rice
Shredded chicken and white rice is an especially easy option because your dog probably already loves chicken and it will stimulate their appetite. The AKC recommends unseasoned (not even salt!), boiled, plain shredded chicken as a snack or part of a meal for your under-the-weather pup. It’s filled with protein, essential nutrients, and fats and will be easy for your dog to digest. Dr. Coates notes that you should make sure you’re only feeding your dog the meat, and not the bones or the skin; ideally, the chicken will also be served alongside cooked, white rice. The AKC notes that white rice is lower in nutritional value than brown, but is much blander, so it’s better for upset stomachs. It’s also cheap, easy to prepare, and a pantry staple — meaning you might have it on hand already.
It hurts to see your dog not feeling well. Hopefully, these tips help them heal. Once they feel better, check out these commands that can help prevent them from getting into dangerous situations or eating something bad again, and give your pup a big hug. They deserve it!
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