Upset Belly = No Fun!

Occasionally, just like people, dogs get nauseous.  You may notice your dog wanting to go out more so that they can eat vegetation, grasses, sticks, weeds.  They may lick lick lick – your couch, carpet, bedding, your clothes – anything they can get their tongue on.  Perhaps your dog is drooling (with regular droolers we’ll just say its MORE than normal) and you aren’t sure why.  Licking their lips more than normal, being generally restless and out of sorts.  While these

Sometimes continuous licking of their lips or licking strange objects can signify a dog suffeing from nausea

symptoms can mean different things, they can also mean that your dog has what we would call an upset tummy.

Oftentimes an upset stomach is just that – an upset stomach.  They may have eaten something that didn’t agree with them or caught some sort of bug that is flying around the dog world.  Can this be serious?  Certainly – if your dog is exhibiting these signs and others you need to be observant – he could be bloating OR could have ingested something poison or toxic.  Know your dog and know what else to look for in these cases.  What we speak of here?  Regular old upset stomach, usually lasts less than a day, may only last a couple of hours but if a persistent type of bug could go on for days.  You may see diarrhea, you may see vomiting, you may see neither.

Depending on who you are and what problems you may have experienced in the past, your reaction to this may be to make a call to the vet.  That’s fine and its ALWAYS prudent to get things checked out.  In fact, a vet visit is definitely warranted where they problem persists more than just a few hours/single day.  Here we simply want to talk about steps you can take to help your pup out in minor cases of stomach upset – nothing more.

Usually, whether you take the trip to the vet or simply make the phone call to get advice, the first thing they will tell you is to fast your pup.  Usually for the day (approximately 12 hours) in order to allow their system to rest.  This is perfect advice.  Some dogs will naturally turn their noses up at their dinner when they aren’t feeling right.  Others, piggies that they are, will continue to eat whatever you put in front of them regardless of the fact that it may bring on more vomiting, more diarrhea, more nausea.  Fasting them for a short 12 hours is a great way to give their digestive system a bit of a rest and to let some of the natural flora repopulate itself.  Generally, if you just keep on feeding, they have no time to recoup and the vicious circle will continue.

Another directive that is usually heard almost immediately is to feed your dog a bland diet.   To most vets, this means feeding boiled chicken or ground beef along with rice.  Is this a magic diet?  Not really.  Looking at it from a realistic standpoint, we know that MOST dogs are fed a diet of commercial kibble.  Whether admitted or not, vets realize that kibble isn’t the most digestible food in the world.  A bland diet is one that can be easily digested – boiled burger/chicken and rice is relatively easily digested by our canine companions – especially when compared to the work that goes into digesting dog food nuggets from a bag.  If you already feed a raw diet, there is absolutely NO reason to switch your dog to boiled chicken/beef and rice.  You see, you ALREADY feed the blandest diet there is.  For some reason, people think that because the dog is eating raw meat, its some sort of ultra rich diet, too much of which can make a dog ill.  Not so.  Its, in reality, the most digestible diet you can feed.  After all, its what nature intended our dogs to eat – housewolves that they all are.  If you choose to follow along and when your dog exhibits some sort of GI upset start to feed them cooked meat and rice you are more likely to see MORE problems.  Its harder for your dog to deal with than his normal diet would be.  Tougher to digest than raw (though easier than kibble).  The rice?  Just a filler.  It makes the dog feel full but really serves no purpose at all.  They don’t use it, they don’t need it.  Empty calories and useless grains getting in

Raw Green Tripe is one of the best things to give your dog when he is suffering from GI upset. Its gentle and full off good bacterias that will get him back on track

the way of your pup getting back to normal.  Stick with something easy and stick with one thing until your dog is back to normal.  Generally speaking, if you can feed raw green tripe at a time like this, all the better.  Tripe is gentle, complete, full of good bacterias and probiotics.  All perfect for getting your dog’s system back on track.  Barring the use of tripe, try picking one item such as chicken or beef and after your 12 hour fast, stick with it for a few days.  Introduce variety back into your pooch’s diet slowly.  If you remember how YOU have felt after having a bout of upset than you’ll appreciate the fact that your dog probably feels much the same way.  Easy does it.

Another way to help your pet recuperate is to give them plenty of probiotics such as DogZymes Canine Paste (for use in acute circumstances such as when your dog first starts to exhibit symptoms of diarrhea or nausea) and continue with use of DogZymes Digestive Enhancer as a supplement thereafter.  Chock full of prebiotics, probiotics and digestive enzymes, it will help to repopulate your pup’s upset gut with all the things that KEEP him from having an upset gut.  Often, if given at the first sign of digestive distress, the Canine Paste will head the problem off at the pass and correct whatever imbalances are causing the issue.

Stay away from rich treats when your dog is fighting an upset stomach.  Don’t give marrow bones – marrow is incredibly rich and even a dog who is used to it can have a hard time handling it when their system is in disarray.  Simplify, give his system a chance to heal itself.  Generally, with a random case of GI trouble, doing these simple things will go a long way to quickly bringing your pet back to normal.  Remember, sometimes these symptoms are NOT a problem that you can deal with on your own and if it seems that your pet is in acute distress or that things are lingering far longer than they should, a visit to the vet is absolutely important.  The vet can rule out things like parasites, blockages and other infections.  If you think for even a second that your dog is bloating, RUN don’t walk to the vet.  We all know our dogs relatively well.  We can tell when things are a little off and more often than not we can catch a minor problem when it happens, treat it as such and solve it to our dog’s benefit.  When in doubt, call the vet, but if your dog is struck by a little minor nausea, a trip to the vet isn’t always necessary and there are things you can do to get him back to normal relatively quickly.