Remember last week when we learned how to tell if your dog’s upset stomach is life threatening or not? If you’ve spoken to your vet over the phone and determined that your dog’s upset stomach is nothing to rush to the vet over, there are many home remedies that can help your dog heal the natural way. Natural home remedies are great to know, and they work wonders when put to use. If symptoms worsen or your dog doesn’t show significant improvement, then it’s time to take her to the vet.
Take Your Dog’s Temperature
A dog’s temperature should be between 101-102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is higher than 103, that is considered a fever for dogs. If your dog’s temperature is is lower than 99 degrees or higher than 103, it is time to go to the vet! When your dog’s temperature reaches 106 degrees or higher, life threatening complications can be expected.
It’s recommended that you use a rectal thermometer, because taking a dog’s temperature with an ear thermometer will not be nearly as accurate and you could risk a false reading or worse – a false alarm! Learn how to take your dog’s temperature here.
Let Your Dog Eat Grass!
Unless you use fertilizer or any other poisons in your yard, it’s perfectly healthy and instinctual for your dog to eat grass when she doesn’t feel good. It’s a natural way for her to induce vomiting if she feels that throwing up will help her feel better. If you notice your dog eating grass obsessively and vomiting profusely more than once or twice, call your vet to make sure the following at home remedies are appropriate for helping your dog’s condition.
Rest Your Dog’s Stomach: Fasting
You know how you don’t want to eat anything when you’re sick? Even the sight of food on a TV commercial makes your stomach turn upside down. Your dog feels the same way. 12-24 hours at the most of fasting helps clean your dog’s system out and heal the gut. Don’t feed your dog for the day so her stomach can calm down. You may think this sounds cruel, but it’s a great way to help your pup feel better when she doesn’t know how to help herself. You can feed her broth using the recipe that you will read below.
Staying Hydrated Is Most Important!
Encouraging your dog to drink plenty of fluids is the best thing you can do in place of food. Keeping your dog hydrated is crucial for helping her get better and preventing a more serious issue due to dehydration, especially if your dog is experiencing diarrhea. A dog with diarrhea can easily become severely dehydrated within only a few hours of being sick. If your dog is uninterested in drinking water on a regular basis, a pet fountain can be a huge help! Jem and Zoey have both started drinking so much more water since getting ours!
If your dog doesn’t want to drink water, you can add some chicken broth for flavor. Dog love ice cubes like my Jem does? Ice chips are a great treat and the perfect method for getting your pup to hydrate.
Some dogs will refuse to drink water, and they may need electrolytes. You can purchase a Children’s Pedialyte to give to your dog to prevent dehydration. This is a great product to go out and buy now while your dog is perfectly healthy so you will have it on hand if you should need it in the future. Give your sick dog at least 15ml per lb of body weight per day. Zoey is 15 lbs so I would give her 225 ml for the entire day. It’s recommended to divide that dose and give it to your dog a minimum of 4 times per day, not all at once. That means I would give Zoey about 56 ml each time if I’m doing it 4 times per day.
Use a syringe to squirt the Pedialyte or water into your dog’s mouth As unpleasant as this experience can be sometimes, but it’s better than letting her condition deteriorate! Don’t squirt the Pedialyte down your dog’s throat. A sick dog may have trouble swallowing, and this could cause her to choke. Take it slow to make sure she’s actually ingesting it in a healthy way.
Over The Counter Medication: Pepcid AC
If you’ve never heard of this at-home remedy, you may be a little surprised or skeptical. My vet is the one who recommended I buy OTC Pepcid AC for Zoey when she has a belly ache. Consult your veterinarian over the phone for how many milligrams you should give to your dog, because it depends entirely on the weight of YOUR pup!
I have also heard of some people using Pepto Bismol for their pet. But again you’ll want to ask your vet over the phone before using that remedy too! Both Pepcid AC and Pepto Bismol are known for causing dogs’ poop to darken significantly. If you notice this color change don’t worry – it’s completely normal!
Rice Water When Fasting
You may want to feed rice water to your dog instead of solid food if you aren’t going to have your dog fasting. In order to make rice water, boil and stir 1 cup of rice in 1 quart of water for 20 minutes.
Homemade “Chicken Noodle Soup”
When you’re finally ready to eat after a stomach bug, all you can imagine eating is something simple like soup, right? Your dog is the same way. You can make a “homemade chicken noodle soup” by boiling the rice you already cooked. Combine approximately 1/2 cup of rice in a pot of 1 quart of chicken broth (usually the size of 1 carton). Simmer at a low boil for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The rice grains will become mushy and look like little stars.
First Real Meal: Make Sure It’s Bland
Boiled chicken and rice, possibly with a little bit of canned organic pureed pumpkin is the perfect bland meal for coating your dog’s inflamed stomach. You can also add a tiny bit of plain yogurt which has healthy pro-biotic bacteria to regulate your dog’s digestive system. Don’t feed your dog any other meats like ground beef because they are too greasy and will only make your dog’s belly ache worse. Plain, boiled chicken is extremely light and healthy on a sick stomach. I used my Ninja to grate the boiled chicken into fine pieces to make them easier to eat and mix with the rice.
Food Additives: Maintenance For The Dog With Chronic Stomach Upset
- Sweet potato
These foods help regulate your dog’s digestive system to prevent stomach problems on a regular basis. I add a spoonful of organic canned pumpkin to Jem and Zoey’s food for every meal they get. It helps keep their bellies regulated and helps dogs with diarrhea or constipation. But the can you buy has to have only 1 ingredient: pumpkin! Some brands will have ingredients like soy, sugar, and other additives that are bad for your dog.
Most Importantly: Monitor Your Dog
Keep a poop journal if you think you will have a hard time remembering. Monitor your dog’s poop, vomiting, overall demeanor, and health condition. If you think her condition is declining even slightly, you should stop the home remedies and take her to the vet. As long as there is improvement in her condition with the home remedies, then you know it was just a simple stomach bug.
When Zoey or Jem are sick, I take them to work with me to keep a close eye on them. Well, let’s be honest I take them to work with my any chance I can! If you can’t take your pup to work, you should try to find a friend or family member who you trust that can monitor your dog for the day. If you don’t have anyone, you really should do a vet drop off so they can take care of her while you’re away at work. Imagine if you were sick with the flu and there was no one home to help take care of you? It’s even worse for a dog, because if she’s struggling with diarrhea and you aren’t home to let her outside, she had the added stress of having accidents in the house.
What Do You Think?
Do you have any tried and true methods for managing your dog’s stomach issues at home? I’d love to hear them!