Most mild stomach upsets in dogs are caused by a recent change in diet or a dietary indiscretion such as raiding the bin!
With a mild stomach upset your dog may have vomiting, diarrhoea, inappetance, salivation and may also eat grass. Often no veterinary intervention is required in these cases. Ideally you should withhold food for 12-24hrs then after this time offer a bland diet (chicken and rice, for example).
Start with several small meals a day, gradually decreasing the amount of meals and increasing the amount given each time. Adding a probiotic to the food is also a good idea to help restore normal gut flora. If your dog has a sensitive stomach and is prone to episodes like this then giving a probiotic long term may be very helpful.
Some acutely upset stomachs may have a more serious underlying cause. If your dog is vomiting and has diarrhoea continuously, is lethargic, dehyrdated or has blood in the faeces this could indicate something much more serious such as a blockage in the gut with a foreign body, pancreatitis, gastroenteritis or parvovirus. Dogs showing any of these clinical signs should be seen by a vet immediately. Similarly a dog with bloat which is unproductively retching, drooling and is visibly distended should also be seen immediately by a vet.
DiaHalt by VioVet is a specially formulated probiotic paste, which helps to support digestive health in dogs and settle upsets. As well as being highly palatable, it contains three core ingredients to help maintain a healthy balance of friendly bacteria in the gut, firm up the faeces and support the intestinal lining. It is a great cupboard essential for those unexpected times when your dog feels unsettled and out of sorts.
Written by: Dr. Sophie Meers BVSc MRCVS