What to Give a Dog for an Upset Stomach

For most dogs, a 24-hour fast often will do the trick


If your dog has an upset stomach and is vomiting, look carefully at the dog’s vomit before you clean it up (yeah, it’s gross, but you must). Just reaching for a home remedy for vomiting or diarrhea may not be wise in some case. Call your veterinarian, if:

  • There is blood – either bright red or a black coffee-grounds type appearance
  • You see pieces of a mushroom or any medications (as in your beloved puppy chewed into a medicine bottle)
  • The vomiting is accompanied by diarrhea
  • The dog may have eaten something he shouldn’t have, like a sock, a rock, or heaven knows anything else he might have found

For most other vomiting cases, you can try a home remedy for 24 hours or so to combat an upset stomach with nausea and/or vomiting to see if it helps. You can also try the suggestions below for most diarrhea (again, not bloody).

The Best Home Remedy for Vomiting Dogs

The simplest, safest remedy for vomiting is one of the hardest: A 24-hour fast. (Note: This does not apply if your dog is a puppy or diabetic.) Not feeding your dog when he looks at you with those big, beautiful eyes is hard to resist, but giving your dog’s gastrointestinal tract a rest can be all that is needed.

After about six hours, you can start adding in water because you don’t want to risk dehydration. Just control his intake a bit. Offer small amounts of fresh water off and on over the day or put ice chips in his bowl instead of water. You can also offer bouillon to restore some electrolytes.

Can dogs eat ginger? Yes. Just as your mother probably gave you ginger ale to drink when you were battling a stomachache, ginger can help dogs too (but not the soda!). You can make ginger or chamomile tea. Your dog may prefer a touch of honey added to entice him to drink. Do not give him straight ginger root to chew on.

OTC Vomiting Remedies for Dogs

Pepto Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) can be used with dogs to safely reduce signs of nausea, heartburn, gurgling, uncomfortable stomach, and diarrhea. A generally accepted safe dose of regular-strength Pepto Bismol (or a generic) for dogs is 0.25 to 2 ml per kg of the dog’s body weight (0.1 to 0.9 ml per lb), for a maximum of three to four times a day. Be aware that use of Pepto Bismol may change the color of your dog’s stool to a gray or greenish-black.

Some dogs will drink Pedialyte, but it may not be the best choice. Because of Pedialyte’s high salt content, you should use caution giving Pedialyte to dogs with heart or kidney diseases, as sodium restriction is often part of managing these conditions. In addition, the level of sugar in Pedialyte is not appropriate for dogs.

Add in TLC

Keep your dog cool and wipe his mouth after each episode if possible.

Watch to be sure your dog is not getting dehydrated. Check his gums for pinkness and moisture. Also pick up skin near his neck and see if it folds right back down or “tents up.” If he is getting dehydrated, he needs to go to the clinic for fluids.

After 24 hours with no vomit, you can start back with small amounts of bland food like boiled chicken and plain white rice.