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Do Border Collies Have Sensitive Stomachs? Top Vet Advice

If you have a Border Collie with a grumbling stomach, you may be searching for any answers on how to offer them relief. A sensitive stomach is no fun for our canine friends and often requires a bit of extra care on our part.

So do Border Collies have a sensitive stomach, and are there any effective ways to help?

Every border collie is different. Some border collies will have sensitive stomachs, while others will have strong stomachs that rarely get upset. This all depends on genetics, diet, allergies, and lifestyle.


How Common Are Sensitive Stomachs In Border Collies?

Thankfully, Border Collies are known to be an incredibly sturdy breed. Strong genetics have led to a shortlist of hereditary medical complications and a generally healthy lifespan.

However, though Collies are a healthy breed, they are not immune to GI upset or stomach sensitivities. 

No matter how healthy your pup may be, sensitive stomachs are possible in every breed. Border Collies are not considered high risk when discussing stomach issues, but some may still struggle from time to time. All it takes is one upset stomach to set GI sensitivity in motion for some Collies, meaning it is never something you can rule out. 

Most Border Collies will have an upset stomach at some point in their lives, making it so important to be aware of the potential complications to follow. To help you better understand your Border Collies GI upset, let’s get into the details below. 

How To Know If Your Border Collie Has A Sensitive Stomach

So how do you know whether or not your Border Collie has a sensitive stomach? There are a few standard classifications when determining if a dog has a stomach sensitivity, ranging from chronic symptoms to frequent stomach grumbles. 

If your Border Collie has had an upset stomach more than twice throughout their life, they may fall into the sensitive stomach category. The term ‘sensitive stomach’ can be a blanket statement for a dog with frequent stomach troubles, meaning dogs can fit this description for multiple reasons. 

A Border Collie may be listed as having a sensitive stomach if they struggle with GI upset when eating certain foods, if they have frequent unexplained stomach rumbling, if they have a chronic GI condition, or even if they must adhere to a strict diet to prevent GI symptoms. 

The symptoms of a sensitive stomach are frustrating enough for our Border Collie friends, but they can also lead to health complications down the line. A Collie with a sensitive stomach may struggle due to their frequent GI irritation, ranging from chronic intestinal inflammation to difficulty absorbing nutrients. 

While it may seem like no big deal, a sensitive stomach is nothing to ignore in your Border Collie pup. Gut health plays an essential role in a dog’s overall health, making it a crucial factor to protect. 

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Causes Of Sensitive Stomachs in Border Collies

Border Collies can develop a sensitive stomach for multiple reasons. Because the term ‘sensitive stomach’ can refer to pups with an array of GI struggles, let’s discuss some of the most common factors below. 

1. Diet Changes

If a dog is used to eating a specific food each day, a sudden change in diet can cause a drastic shift in the gut balance. Border Collies have gastrointestinal flora that aids in regulating their digestive health, and any abrupt changes in diet can cause a major shift in these gut microorganisms. 

Once this balance is disturbed, this can lead to an array of uncomfortable GI symptoms to follow. This is especially true if the new diet is low quality or high in fat, as this can cause a serious rumble in their stomach. An abrupt change in diet in dogs can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, gas, abdominal pain, frequent bowel movements, and more. 

When changing your dog’s standard diet, it’s always best to transition to the new food over a 1 to 2 week period. This allows the gut to adjust to the new ingredients, hopefully preventing any GI upset to follow. 

2. Eating Too Much

Have you ever eaten so much food that you feel sluggish and uncomfortable? Unfortunately, this same struggle can occur in our Border Collie friends, leading to potential GI upset to follow.

When a dog eats excessively in one sitting, it can be highly challenging for their body to digest the food properly. Not only can overindulgence be uncomfortable due to the swelling of the stomach, but improper digestion can be painful as well. 

A Border Collie that eats too much food in one sitting may experience gas, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you have a Border Collie that is known to scarf down their food at every given chance, you may want to invest in a slow feeder. 

3. GI Illness 

GI illnesses in themselves can lead to severe stomach upset, so a dog with a current GI illness may have a more sensitive stomach than others. GI illness of any kind can disturb the natural intestinal flora in a Border Collie, resulting in a stomach that is more sensitive than usual. 

A pup with a current GI illness may have a hard time tolerating their standard diet and may even turn their snout up at food altogether. Some of the most common forms of GI illness in Border Collies include infectious GI disease, intestinal parasites, HGE, and pancreatitis. 

If your pup is experiencing a sudden case of GI upset, it’s best to see your vet if their symptoms persist for more than 12-24 hours. GI illness can be serious, so it’s always ideal to intervene as quickly as possible. 

4. Previous GI Illness

Have you ever had a serious stomach bug that took some time to subside? This can happen to Border Collies as well, resulting in a stomach that just doesn’t seem the same. Residual GI irritation from a previous illness can linger in some dogs, resulting in a sensitive stomach for a prolonged period. 

Ranging on the severity of your Collie’s previous illness, it may take some time for your dog’s stomach to return to normal. Some dogs may need a bland diet until their upset stomach resolves, as standard diets can be challenging for them to digest properly. 

If you think your Border Collie is struggling as a result of previous GI upset, it’s best to speak with your vet about proper management going forward. 

5. Eating Things They Shouldn’t

Dogs are known to get their paws on things they shouldn’t, ranging from rotten items in the trash to random things outside. Dietary indiscretion is extremely common in Border Collies. 

Eating food outside of a Collie’s standard diet can result in serious GI upset, especially if the food is high in sodium or fat. Not only can dietary indiscretion cause a dog’s stomach to grumble, but it can lead to serious GI complications like HGE or pancreatitis. 

If your Border Collie is known to have a sensitive stomach, it’s best to keep their diet as consistent as possible. We always suggest refraining from offering them any table scraps and ensuring that all trash cans are out of reach. 

6. Food Allergies

Though the topic of food allergies is commonly discussed these days, food allergies in dogs are rarer than you’d think. Food allergies are often at the bottom of the list when discussing potential causes of GI upset in Collies, but they can never be ruled out completely. 

If it seems like your dog’s upset stomach occurs directly after eating or they are struggling with other external signs of canine allergies, it may be time to discuss a food trial with your veterinarian. 

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Signs Of A Sensitive Stomach In Border Collies

So how can you know if your Border Collie has a sensitive stomach? A sensitive stomach in dogs can look many ways, so it’s essential to be aware of the list of potential symptoms that dogs can struggle with. 

Some of the most common signs of a sensitive stomach in Border Collies include:

  • Intermittent vomiting
  • Intermittent diarrhea or loose stool
  • Increased frequency of stool production
  • Frequent gas
  • Stomach rumbling after eating
  • Occasional blood in their stool, with or without diarrhea
  • GI upset following any diet changes or dietary indiscretion

Stomach sensitivity in Border Collies can mimic many other GI complications in our canine friends. The main factor that sets a sensitive stomach apart from the rest is the fact that it happens frequently or enough to recall multiple occurrences. 

Border Collies with a sensitive stomach may have multiple episodes throughout their life, often ranging in severity based on the trigger that set the GI upset in motion.

Though it can be frustrating to deal with this issue long-term, it’s crucial to always seek veterinary support, as this will decrease the chance of further complications down the line. 

If food allergies are the cause of your Border Collie’s sensitive stomach, you will likely observe symptoms outside of standard GI upset.

Collies with food allergies may also experience skin irritation, fur loss, chronic ear infections, skin infections, and even weight loss.  

How To Help Your Border Collie With A Sensitive Stomach

If you have a Border Collie with a sensitive stomach, the best way to manage the issue is through prevention. A sensitive stomach in dogs often requires some extra care on our part, ranging from changes in their diet to modifying their routine. 

To offer your pup more comfort in the future, let’s list some of the best ways to help your Collie’s sensitive stomach going forward!

  1. Talk to your vet about the best diet options for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Some diets have limited ingredients to help sensitive pups with digestion, often limiting future episodes of GI upset. 
  2. If you do not want to switch your dog’s current diet, make sure that it is approved by your vet. Your vet can examine the ingredients in their food and make sure they are getting what they need in terms of proper nutrition. 
  3. Rule out any underlying complications that can be causing your Border Collie’s GI upset. This involves testing for intestinal parasites, ruling out infectious diseases, and discussing all symptoms with your veterinarian. 
  4. Get an approved list of food items from your veterinarian, and do not offer anything outside of that list. This means not offering table scraps, fattening treats, or any other food items that can be triggering. 
  5. If your Border Collie loves to scarf down their food, it’s best to only feed them in a slow feeder going forward. A slow feeder makes it impossible for your dog to gulp down their food, resulting in fewer GI complications to follow. 
  6. If none of the above options improve your dog’s sensitive stomach, it may be time to speak with your vet about the potential for food allergies. Your vet can discuss the details of a proper elimination diet with you and help you get to the bottom of your dog’s sensitivities going forward. 

When To See A Vet

If your Border Collie is prone to GI upset, you may wonder when you should visit the vet when their stomach begins to grumble. Though this can vary from dog to dog, we always suggest visiting your vet if their symptoms persist for more than 24 hours. 

This is especially true if your dog is experiencing frequent vomiting and diarrhea or is refusing to eat its regular diet. The best solution involves contacting your vet at the first sign of trouble, as they can point you in the best direction going forward. 

Final Thoughts

A sensitive stomach is no fun for our beloved pups. Be sure to review the information we discussed above, and you can better understand your Border Collie’s sensitive stomach going forward!


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.