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How To Help Your Dog With Sensitive Stomach

February 15, 2021 5 min read

Dog eating grass due to sensitive stomach

If your dog is like mine, they may put anything in their mouth if their nose can reach it. Unfortunately, not everything is safe for dogs to consume. When your dog eats something they're not supposed to, their body will try to get rid of it from their system. Usually by vomit or diarrhea.

Watching your dog have diarrhea and vomiting after a meal is never fun- not for the owner, not for their pet, and especially not for your carpet. Not only is it gross but it may be a sign of something fatal, or not. Sometimes, it´s just because of a sensitive stomach.

Dogs with sensitve stomachs are much more common than you may think and caused by a handful of possible factors. If you have taken your dog to the vet and ruled out any illnesses, here are some tips on how to help your dog’s sensitive stomach.


Symptoms of a Sensitive Stomach

If your dog is displaying any of these unpleasant symptoms after dinnertime, they may have a sensitive stomach:

  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Frequent gas or burping
  • Eating grass
  • Loss of appetite
  • Decrease in energy and/or focus
  • Lip smacking, drooling, or gulping
  • Inability to sit still
  • Change in attitude

Each of these symptoms can be alarming for a dog mom or dad, which is why it’s essential to contact your veterinarian before wholeheartedly deciding your dog has a sensitive stomach. Beginning symptoms of sicknesses like irritable bowel disorder, pancreatitis, and gastroenteritis are easy to mistake as only a sensitive stomach.

What Causes a Sensitive Stomach in Dogs?

There are a variety of factors that can cause a sensitive stomach in dogs. The biggest reason is, assumably, their diet. A poor diet, or any changes in your dog’s current diet, might be responsible for your pup’s stomach issues. Your dog may also be allergic to something in their diet, especially if they are fed kibble.

Another reason for your dog’s sensitive stomach could be their genetics. Some breeds, like Scottish Terriers or Yorkshire Terriers, are especially prone to hereditary stomach issues. Even if your pup’s sensitive tummy is caused by their genetics, however, it can still be helped!

If your dog is dehydrated, they may show signs of a sensitive stomach as well. To check if your dog is dehydrated, look at their gums. If your pup’s gums are shiny and pink, they should be fine. Another way to check if your dog is dehydrated is by pinching the skin on top of their neck; if the skin doesn’t fall back down into its natural form immediately, your dog may be dehydrated.

Ingredients That May Be Causing a Sensitive Stomach

It may be to your surprise to learn that what you feed your dog could potentially be harming them. Common commercial kibble brands contain handfuls of harmful chemicals that can give your dog a hard time after dinner. Check your dog’s food for any of these ingredients before you feed it to them:

  • Meat by-products
  • BHA or BHT (Chemical preservatives)
  • Sodium Hexametaphosphate
  • Cellulose
  • Animal fat
  • Food dyes
  • Ethoxyquin
  • Carbs like corn and rise

In addition to the harsh chemicals, food dyes, and indigestible protein in kibble, they are also simply biologically inappropriate. In the wild, dogs didn’t depend on carbohydrates and grains; they fed on raw, unprocessed meat. For these reasons, kibble is the last thing you should be feeding your dog.

How to Treat Your Dog’s Sensitive Stomach

Once you find the root cause of your dog’s upset tummy, treatment will be much easier. Since there are tons of possible causes, a great way to find the root cause is by eliminating parts of your dog’s meal and checking if anything changes.

Change up Their Diet

If your dog is fed kibble, there’s a high chance that their sensitive stomach is caused by their diet. Above, we talked about why kibble is an inappropriate food for dogs. Instead, you should be feeding your dog what they naturally require: a BARF (Bones and Raw Food) diet.

A BARF diet will heal your dog’s stomach in many ways, being unprocessed and completely natural. After starting on raw food, you’ll notice a number of changes: your dog’s stool will smaller and healthier, your dog’s teeth will become cleaner, and your dog won’t feel the need to eat grass to fulfill his nutritional requirements.

If switching doesn't completely remedy your dog's sensitve stomach, try feeding them lamb. The lamb protein is easier to digest meaning your dog's stomach won't need to work hard to break their meal down. We would also recommend cleaning up their treats by feeding healthy and natural snacks instead of those bacon "flavored" snacks. Treats like lamb lung are great for these dogs!

Keep in mind that changing your dog’s diet, even to a healthier one, has the chance to cause stomach issues at first. While your dog adjusts to the dietary changes, they will experience side effects during the transition period identical to the symptoms of a sensitive stomach.

Control What Your Dog Consumes

Oftentimes, a dog may rummage through the trash or eat a strange plant outside. When this is allowed to happen, there will definitely be repercussions. Since trash and plants, especially plants toxic to dogs, don't belong in their stomach a lot of sensitivity issues are caused.

This could be easily prevented by controlling your dog’s environment. Keep trash can lids closed and move strange plants out of their reach. Make sure toilet lids are always down, and laundry hampers are always closed. Make sure that whenever your dog is in an environment without your supervision, that it’s safely dog-proofed.

Slow Down Their Eating

A lot of dogs experience sensitivity because they eat their food as quickly as possible. This can cause the food to quickly come back up, leaving your dog hungry because they never fully digested their food. To fix fast eating, investing in a slow feeder is a great idea. Another solution is to space out your dog’s meals into smaller, more frequent feedings.

Plan Their Walks and Accordingly

Walking your dog close to the time they usually eat is dangerous for them-especially bigger breeds. This is because they can develop gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), which is a dangerous condition.

Walking your dog closely after they eat can make them nauseous and display the symptoms of a sensitive stomach. In order to help your dog, you should walk them at least 1 hour after mealtime, and feed them at least 30 minutes beforehand.

Feed Natural Remedies

A great way to help your dog’s sensitive stomach is to give them a natural remedy, like unpasteurized goat’s milk, slippery elm, or canned pumpkin.

Unpasteurized goat’s milk is a great way to ease your dog’s sensitive stomach. It contains a large number of vitamins and minerals that are largely beneficial to your pup’s gut health. Raw goat’s milk is compatible with lactose intolerant dogs, and it even serves as an anti-inflammatory.

Slippery elm is great for dogs with a sensitive tummy. Its effects are similar to a Pepto-Bismol, easing stomach aches and soothing the digestive tract. Give your dog half a teaspoon of slippery elm for every 10 pounds of their weight, twice daily with their meals.

Finally, canned pumpkin is great for your dog’s gut health and it tastes delicious to them! Since pumpkin is rich in fiber, it gives a great boost to your pup’s digestive tract. It’s essential to make sure that the pumpkin is unseasoned since seasonings can upset your dog’s tummy further.

Read More:

1/ Natural Remedies For Sensitive Stomach In Dogs

2/ Best Food For Dogs With A Sensitive Stomach