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Do Australian Shepherds Have Sensitive Stomachs? Vet Advice

If you have an Australian Shepherd with an upset stomach, you may be wondering how you can best help them. Ranging from rumbling stomachs to severe GI upset, a sensitive stomach can deeply impact a pup’s life.

So what causes a sensitive stomach in Aussies, and is this a common issue with the breed?

Australian Shepherds can experience sensitive stomachs or digestive issues at any point throughout their life. There are many reasons behind sensitive stomachs, some of which are more serious than others.


What Is Considered A Sensitive Stomach In Aussies?

So how do you determine if your Australian Shepherd has a sensitive stomach? Every dog will have a run-in with gastrointestinal upset at some point, but some have it harder than others.

  • If you can recall more than two episodes of any type of GI upset in your Aussie, their stomach may be more sensitive than others. 

The term ‘sensitive stomach’ is a generic way to describe dogs that struggle with digestive or intestinal complications. This term may describe dogs that have chronic upset stomachs without a known cause, dogs that cannot consume anything outside of their normal diet, or even pups that get sick from eating everything that crosses their path. 

Not only can a sensitive stomach in Aussies lead to uncomfortable symptoms, but it can also impact their overall health.

Gut health plays a huge role in obtaining proper nutrition, and GI sensitivities can make this more challenging. 

A sensitive stomach can quickly turn into a serious complication if it is not addressed properly, showing how important it is to be aware of this common issue in our pups. 

➡️ This makes it crucial to feed Aussie puppies the correct kinds of treats.

Do Australian Shepherds Have Sensitive Stomachs?

Sensitive stomachs are possible in every canine breed. And while Australian Shepherds might not be considered high risk for having stomach issues, many of them will at some point experience an upset stomach for various reasons.

Whether their symptoms are minor or severe, they have to be a bit more careful with their food consumption than others. Aussies can struggle with a sensitive stomach due to a number of issues, ranging from unknown causes to damage from a previous illness.

To help you better understand your Aussie’s sensitive stomach, let’s dive into the most common causes below!

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6 Causes of Sensitive Stomachs In Australian Shepherds

As we mentioned above, ‘sensitive stomach’ is a generic term that can be a result of many complications. To help you better understand your Aussie, let’s discuss the most common causes of a sensitive stomach in our canine friends. 

1. Change In Diet

A sudden change in diet can cause a dog to experience stomach sensitivities. Our dogs have gastrointestinal flora that helps to maintain digestive health, and any abrupt diet changes can cause a sudden shift in these microorganisms. 

This causes a shock to the system, leading to an array of GI symptoms. This is why it is so important to gradually change a dog’s diet over the span of 1-2 weeks, helping to prevent any stomach sensitivities along the way. 

2. Over-indulgence

Similar to humans, an Aussie will not feel their best if they over-indulge in their food. Eating too much makes it more challenging for a dog to digest their food, leading to serious discomfort for some furry friends. 

A dog that eats too much food in one sitting can experience abdominal pain, gas, vomiting, and even diarrhea. If your dog is known to scarf down their food too quickly or eat way too much at a time, you can always invest in a slow feeder. 

3. Current GI Illness

If your Australian Shepherd has a current GI illness of any kind, this can cause their stomach to be more sensitive than usual. Not only can the illness itself come with a list of symptoms, but it can lead to a disturbance in the intestinal flora. 

A dog with a current GI complication of any kind may have a hard time keeping down their usual food, or even shy away from their food altogether. Common GI illnesses in our canine friends include infectious diseases, pancreatitis, intestinal parasites, HGE, and more. 

4. Previous GI Illness

GI illness has the ability to damage or irritate the stomach and intestines in our Aussie friends. Even a small amount of GI irritation can lead to stomach sensitives for extended periods of time, often ranging based on how severe their illness was. 

If your Australian Shepherd is recovering from an illness that caused GI symptoms, it may take some time for things to return to normal. Some pups require a bland diet in the weeks after their sickness, as their normal food may be challenging for them to digest properly. 

5. Dietary Indiscretion

Australian Shepherds are extremely curious pups. Due to this, they are known to scarf down things they shouldn’t. Eating food outside of their diet can upset a dog’s stomach, especially if the food is high in fat or sodium. 

If a dog with a sensitive stomach is known to eat things outside of their normal diet every day, this can be the rouse of their problems. It’s best to avoid offering your dog any unhealthy table scraps, and try your best to stick to a normal feeding routine. 

6. Food Intolerances

Food allergies are fairly rare in our canine friends, but they can happen. Aussies can experience dietary intolerance to some ingredients in their food, leading to an array of GI discomfort. 

If your dog’s stomach sensitives began soon after switching to a new diet, it may be time to discuss a diet switch with your veterinarian. They may have a specific diet suggestion for your pup, so it’s best to take this approach first. 

Related Read:
Why your Australian Shepherd isn’t eating and how to help

6 Signs Of A Sensitive Stomach In Aussies

So how do you know if your Australian Shepherd has a sensitive stomach? A dog with a sensitive stomach will typically struggle in a few ways, ranging from constant gas to intermittent diarrhea.

The most common signs of a sensitive stomach in Australian Shepherds include:

  • Intermittent loose stool or diarrhea
  • Intermittent vomiting
  • Frequent gas
  • Increased bowel movements
  • Occasional blood in their stool
  • Stomach gurgling

The signs of a sensitive stomach in Australian Shepherds can be similar to that of other GI complications. Conditions like gastroenteritis or pancreatitis can cause these issues as well, but they will often be more severe and concurrent with each other. These symptoms will also persist until the issue is resolved, while dogs with sensitive stomachs may experience these symptoms off and on. 

If a dog’s sensitive stomach is due to food allergies, you may notice some other symptoms as well. Dogs with food allergies may have dry skin, itchy skin, hair loss, ear infections, or even weight loss. 

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How To Help Aussies With Sensitive Stomachs

If your Australian Shepherd is struggling with stomach sensitivities, there are a few ways to offer them comfort. A sensitive stomach may require a few changes in their diet or routine but are often successful when followed long term. So how can you help your Aussie? Let’s dive in!

  1. Talk to your vet about your dog’s current diet. They can let you know if their current diet is ideal for your Aussie, and whether or not the diet is the likely factor. They can also point you in the direction of an approved diet if they would like you to switch.
  2. Speak with your vet about switching your dog to an approved diet for sensitive stomachs. Many of these diets contain limited ingredients, making it easier for dogs to digest.  
  3. Be sure that you are not offering your dog anything outside of their normal diet. Approved treats are fine for a reward, but everything else should be off-limits for a dog with a sensitive stomach. 
  4. Rule out any other complications that can lead to GI upset. This means ruling out intestinal parasites, infectious diseases, and more. You will need to visit your veterinarian for these diagnostics. 
  5. Try adding probiotics to your dog’s daily diet. This can help to balance the intestinal flora in their digestive tract and help to prevent future sensitivities. 
  6. If your dog is known to scarf down their food, you may want to invest in a slow feeder. This will force them to slow down during meals and prevent complications due to fast food consumption. 
  7. If nothing helps your dog’s current struggles, you may need to speak with your vet about a proper elimination diet. This is extremely helpful for dogs with food allergies, as this can determine the source of their symptoms. 

Recommended Read:
Male vs Female Australian Shepherds: The KEY Differences

When To See The Vet

If your Aussie is having stomach troubles, you may wonder when it is time to contact your veterinarian for help. Just like any other health complication, it is always best to contact your vet at the first sign of trouble. 

If this is becoming a chronic issue for your pup, your vet may be able to offer extra assistance in finding a resolution. Professional assistance may be able to get to the bottom of your Aussie’s complications quickly, and offer you support along the way!

Final Thoughts

A sensitive stomach is no fun for our canine companions. Be sure to review the information we discussed above, and you can put an end to your Aussie’s stomach troubles!

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Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.