When your senior dog experiences an upset stomach it’s both worrying and hard to know how to help.
Whether it’s a sudden occurance or your elder dog have an ongoing sensitive stomach, this article has everything you need to help.
My senior dog, Daisy has had her fair share of experiences with upset stomachs. I know it’s never fun to see your furry friend in pain, and you’re probably feeling a bit anxious about how to help them.
With the tips from our resident veterinarian here at The Puppy Mag and my own experience, you’re in good hands.
So let’s dive in, and get your dog’s tail wagging again in no time!
Understanding Your Senior Dog’s Upset Stomach
Before we jump into the remedies, it’s important to understand what might be causing your senior dog’s upset stomach.
Just like us, dogs can experience gastrointestinal distress for a variety of reasons.
➡️ Here are some common causes:
- Dietary indiscretion: This is a fancy term for when your dog eats something they shouldn’t have. It could be garbage, table scraps, or even a non-food item.
- Change in diet: Switching your dog’s food can cause an upset stomach, especially if the change is sudden.
- Stress: Believe it or not, dogs can experience stress, too. Boarding, moving, or changes in routine can cause stomach issues.
- Medical conditions: Gastrointestinal issues, pancreatitis, kidney or liver disease, and food allergies can all lead to an upset stomach in your senior dog.
If you’re unsure of the cause or if your dog’s symptoms worsen, it’s always best to consult your veterinarian.
Personal Experience with Senior Dog’s Upset Stomach
A few years ago, Daisy started having bouts of stomach issues. It was heartbreaking to see her in pain, and I felt helpless. I tried to figure out the cause, and after a trip to the vet, we discovered that Daisy had developed a food intolerance in the last year.
With my vet’s guidance, I started researching ways to help Daisy feel better. Through trial and error, we found some remedies that worked for her.
The most notable difference came when we swapped out lamb and chicken for turkey or duck. Chicken and lamb are both common allergens while turkey and duck are not. Sometimes a simple change like this is all it takes to avoid ongoing issues.
I’ll share these tips with you below, but remember, every dog is different. What worked for Daisy may not work for your senior dog, so always consult your vet before trying any new remedy.
5 Remedies for Your Senior Dog’s Upset Stomach
Below are the 5 best (and safe!) ways to help a senior dog that’s experiencing either a temporary upset stomach, or an ongoing sensitive stomach. Of course, if you are unsure about helping your elder dog at home, please talk to your veterinarian before attempting anything.
1. Bland Diet ✅
One of the best ways to help your dog’s upset stomach is to feed them a bland diet. This allows their digestive system to rest and recover. Here’s what I fed Daisy:
- Boiled chicken or turkey: Make sure it’s boneless and skinless, and don’t add any seasoning.
- White rice: Cooked white rice is gentle on a dog’s stomach and easy to digest.
- Pumpkin: Plain, canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) is high in fiber and can help firm up loose stools.
Start by offering small amounts of this mixture to your dog, and gradually increase the portions as their stomach settles.
2. Probiotics ✅
Adding a canine-specific probiotic supplement to your dog’s diet can help restore the balance of good bacteria in their gut.
This can aid digestion and help alleviate stomach issues. I gave Daisy a probiotic recommended by our vet, and it made a noticeable difference in her digestion.
3. Fasting ✅
Sometimes, giving your dog’s digestive system a break is the best remedy. Fasting your dog for 12 to 24 hours can help their stomach settle.
However, make sure they have access to water throughout the fast. After the fasting period, slowly reintroduce the bland diet mentioned above.
To remain on the safe side, it’s only recommended to consider a fast if your elder dog is free from health issues. If your senior dog has any ongoing issues it may not be appropriate for them to fast.
4. Over-the-Counter Remedies ✅
There are several over-the-counter remedies that can help soothe your senior dog’s upset stomach. Before trying any of these, consult your veterinarian to make sure they’re safe for your dog:
- Pepto Bismol: This antacid can help alleviate stomach discomfort and diarrhea. Be sure to follow your vet’s dosage instructions.
- Gas-relief medications: If your dog is experiencing gas and bloating, over-the-counter gas-relief medications like simethicone can help. Again, consult your vet for the correct dosage.
- Anti-diarrheal medications: Loperamide (Imodium) can help with diarrhea, but it’s important to get the right dosage and ensure it’s safe for your dog.
5. Keep Them Hydrated ✅
Dehydration is a risk when your dog has an upset stomach, especially if they’re experiencing vomiting or diarrhea. Make sure your dog has access to fresh water at all times.
You can also offer them ice cubes or unflavored Pedialyte to help replenish lost electrolytes.
Preventing Future Upset Stomachs
Now that your senior dog is feeling better, it’s important to take steps to prevent future stomach issues. Here are some tips that have worked for Daisy and me:
- Feed a high-quality diet: Make sure your dog’s food meets their nutritional needs and doesn’t contain fillers or artificial additives.
- Transition slowly: If you need to change your dog’s food, do so gradually over a period of 7-10 days to avoid upsetting their stomach.
- Avoid table scraps: Human food can be hard on your dog’s digestive system, so it’s best to avoid feeding them leftovers.
- Regular exercise: Keeping your senior dog active can help maintain their overall health, including their digestive system.
Dealing with an upset stomach can be tough for both you and your senior dog. But with a little patience, love, and the right remedies, you can help them feel better in no time.
Remember, if your dog’s symptoms persist or worsen, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian for advice.
Your dog’s health and well-being are the top priorities, and together, you can ensure they have a happy and comfortable golden years.
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) – https://www.aspca.org/
- VCA Animal Hospitals – https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet