Dog Intestinal Problems

The Resource for Everything About Dogs

Dog Intestinal Problems

by Audrey Frederick

Upset tummies are common problem in dogs.

The effects of over-processed foods, stress and environmental conditions can affect dogs just like it will humans.

Vomiting, diarrhea, grumbling stomach and bloat though common, can have a variety of causes, some of which are easy to solve with a change in diet, others with some serious medical treatment.

What I will try to do is cover some of the more common causes and what can be done to avoid or treat the cause.

Intestinal upsets and diarrhea can be caused by numerous things such as stress, allergy to a new food, viruses, bacteria, parasites, and change in diet or by your pet eating something that was not meant to be digested.

Bacteria caused diarrhea includes the Salmonella varieties, e-coli, and food poisoning, most of which last a short time and can be treated by over-the-counter medication recommended by your veterinarian.

Viral causes of diarrhea include distemper and parvovirus. These two usually attack puppies and young dogs and can be prevented by having your pet vaccinated.

Parasitic causes of diarrhea include worms (hookworm and whipworms) and Giardia (a form of protozoa) all can be treated with medication from your vet.

Food-related causes of diarrhea can be caused by a change in diet, an enzyme deficiency, allergy to a certain food ingredient or by eating something that is foreign to the body. Food related causes may take some searching, but usually can be isolated within a short period of time.

While diarrhea is caused by the irritation of the small or large intestine, vomiting is caused by an irritation of the stomach.

If a dog throws up after a meal or after eating something distasteful that is commonly known as regurgitation and is not considered serious.

Vomiting on the other hand is retching, a forceful stomach contraction that forces the food out of the stomach. Vomiting can be retching without food being forced out and you will see bile or saliva instead.

After vomiting a dog will appear restless and may even drool (salivate.) Any sign of vomiting with out producing a sign of food or other substance is serious. As it could mean the stomach has flipped (a sign of bloating) and demands immediate attention of your vet.

Vomiting as a general rule is not a sign of a serious illness. Some dogs eat too fast, some dog?s vomit after eating grass and some dogs vomit a fluffy yellow mixture shortly after waking up in the morning, neither of which is a sign of concern.

This is known as ?reflux gastritis? and can be corrected by feeding your dog small meals throughout the day or by feeding a meal shortly before going to bed for the night. There are also some drugs that are available to help this problem (see your Vet.)

However, chronic retching, blood in the vomit, and projectile vomiting are signs that a visit to the vet should be taken at once. These are signs that something maybe awry in the area of the kidneys, liver, or pancreas.

Intermittent vomiting and diarrhea can be an expected part of living with a pet, just as it is in our own lives, we all experience those problems a time or two ourselves. Granted cleaning up their accident leaves much to be desired, but vomiting is not life threatening unless it persists.

What are some of the things you can do to help your dog?

Your vet may suggest some Pepto Bismal or other over-the-counter treatment. It is best to withhold food for a while, but not water, however do not let your dog gulp down a large quantity of water at one time. A bland diet of chicken and rice will help soothe the stomach and can be fed once the stomach has settled down.

Make certain you pet does not exercise an hour before he/she eats and waits at least another hour or two afterward before heavy exercising.

Control water consumption before eating. Too much water can upset the stomach.

Feed high quality food and do not overfeed. Avoid rich people food.

When in doubt about any unusual pet behavior, please do not hesitate to call your vet or other pet health care provider.

Keeping our pets healthy is very beneficial not only for the pet, but for our pocketbooks, also. If the only time you need to visit the veterinarian is for yearly check ups and necessary shots you are saving money. Nutrition is very important in keeping a dog healthy, proper quality food that contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals is a good way to start. If this article has been of benefit, please visit my web site and blog at

Return to Index


Cannot find it here? Search the internet with the power of Google: