Here's Exactly What To Feed A Dog With An Upset Stomach

Feed Dog With Upset Stomach

Amy Thompson

It's natural to wonder what to feed a dog with an upset stomach. When your dog’s stomach is upset, figuring out what to feed them can be challenging.

Luckily, there are a few common foods that can soothe their digestive troubles. We'll explore these food options suitable for dogs with digestive issues below. And we'll even give dog food options for those picky eaters, including dogs with no appetite and diabetic dogs.

Recognizing An Upset Stomach In Dogs

Before assuming your dog has an upset stomach, it’s essential to identify the symptoms accurately.

While a loss of appetite can be a sign of many health issues. But if it's accompanied with other symptoms, it could be a sign of a more serious issue.

Common signs of more serious illnesses in dogs include:

  • Appetite Loss: A sudden disinterest in food
  • Vomiting: Repeated vomiting episodes
  • Diarrhea: Presence of loose or watery stools
  • Excessive Drooling: Increased saliva production
  • Lethargy: Unusual tiredness or lack of energy
  • Abdominal Pain: Sensitivity or discomfort when touched
  • Gurgling Sounds: Audible stomach noises
  • Constipation: Difficulty in passing stools
  • Gas: Increased flatulence

    If these symptoms persist, your dog may be dealing with more than just a simple upset stomach. Conditions like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), pancreatitis, bacterial infections, or even serious illnesses such as kidney or liver disease and cancer could be the underlying cause.

    If your dog’s condition doesn’t improve, seek holistic veterinary advice promptly. 

    It's crucial to watch your dog's symptoms so you can ensure you're just dealing with stomach upset and not something more serious.

    Feeding A Picky Dog With An Upset Stomach

    Dogs may become selective about their food when they’re not feeling well. Here’s how you can help sick dogs:

    Fasting Period

    One effective approach is to let your dog fast for 12-24 hours. This gives the digestive system time to rest and recover. Ensure your dog has access to fresh, filtered water to stay hydrated during this period. Never fast a puppy. 

    Bland Diet

    When reintroducing food, choose bland, easy-to-digest options. Avoid rich, spicy, or high-fat foods. Start with bone broth, which is nutritious and gentle on the stomach. Boiled chicken or turkey, used to make bone broth, can also be included. These proteins are easy to digest and provide essential nutrients. Adding some plain canned pumpkin can help with digestion, offering fiber to firm up stools. Steamed or pureed veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes are gentle on the stomach and provide beneficial nutrients.

    Plain scrambled eggs are another excellent option, offering a good source of protein that is easy on the stomach.

    Small, Frequent Meals

    Instead of large meals, offer small portions throughout the day. This helps avoid overloading your dog’s digestive system, making it easier for them to digest their food. Ensure your dog always has access to fresh, filtered water to stay hydrated.

    Feeding A Sick Dog With No Appetite

    If your dog refuses to eat for more than a day, it might be due to a more severe illness. Here’s what you can do:

    Allow Fasting

    If your dog wants to fast, let him do so for 12-24 hours. This natural fasting period can help the digestive system heal. Dogs can go several days without food, and in the wild, they would only eat when food is available. Never fast a puppy. 

    Bland Food Choices

    After fasting, reintroduce bland foods. Bone broth, boiled turkey or other meats, and steamed or pureed vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, or pumpkin are ideal. Serving the food warm can enhance its appeal through aroma. Hand-feeding can also be a comforting gesture for dogs that enjoy extra attention when they’re unwell.

    Avoid Forcing Food

    Be patient and avoid forcing your dog to eat, as this can cause more stress and potential harm. If your dog’s appetite doesn’t return after a couple of days, consult your holistic veterinarian.

    Feeding A Diabetic Dog With An Upset Stomach

    Managing a diabetic dog’s diet during digestive upset requires careful attention. The earlier advice generally applies to diabetic dogs too, but with a few important caveats:

    Avoid Fasting

    Never fast a diabetic dog on insulin or other medications, as it can lead to hypoglycemia (dangerously low blood sugar). Start with bone broth or light meat options immediately.

    Mind the Veggies

    Limit starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, as they can spike blood sugar levels. Consult your holistic vet to create a tailored meal plan that addresses both the upset stomach and diabetes.

    Best Homemade Food For Dogs With An Upset Stomach

    Homemade meals are often the best option for dogs with digestive issues, as you can control the ingredients and ensure they are fresh and easily digestible.

    Homemade Soup

    A simple soup made from plain cooked turkey or lean ground beef, combined with steamed and pureed veggies like pumpkin, sweet potato, or carrots, is highly recommended.

    Adding plain kefir or yogurt can provide additional flavor and nutritional benefits if your dog tolerates dairy.

    Probiotics And Enzymes

    Incorporating probiotics and digestive enzymes can aid in your dog’s recovery, supporting a healthy gut environment.

    Pass on White Rice For Your Dog's Upset Stomach

    You might have noticed that we haven't mentioned white rice yet. That's because while many veterinarians and websites commonly recommend plain white rice for dogs with upset stomachs, we advise against it.

    White rice is primarily composed of starch and offers minimal nutritional value. Unlike more nutrient-dense options, white rice lacks essential vitamins and minerals that can aid in your dog’s recovery. Additionally, white rice is often contaminated with arsenic, a harmful toxin that can accumulate in your dog's body over time.

    Instead of white rice, opt for more nutritious alternatives such as pumpkin. Pumpkin is rich in fiber, which can help regulate your dog's digestive system and firm up loose stools. It also contains essential vitamins like A and C, which support immune health. 

    We know that many people feed dogs white rice. But by choosing healthier alternative foods to feed, you can provide your dog with the nutrients needed to recover from an upset stomach while avoiding the potential risks associated with white rice.

    Final Thoughts On Feeding A Dog With An Upset Stomach

    When feeding a dog with an upset stomach, offer small, frequent meals of bland, easily digestible foods. Always consult your holistic veterinarian before making dietary changes, especially for dogs with underlying medical conditions like diabetes. If your dog’s lack of appetite persists for more than 24 hours, seek veterinary care to rule out more serious issues. By following these guidelines, you can help your dog recover quickly and return to their happy, playful self.


    What foods help settle a dog's stomach? For dogs with an upset stomach, opt for bland and easily digestible foods like bone broth, boiled chicken or turkey, and steamed or pureed vegetables such as pumpkin and sweet potatoes. These foods are gentle on the stomach and provide essential nutrients to aid in recovery.

    How do you get rid of a dog's upset stomach? To help a dog with an upset stomach, start by allowing them to fast for 12-24 hours to let their digestive system rest, and ensure they stay hydrated with fresh, filtered water. Gradually reintroduce bland foods like bone broth, boiled meats, and pureed vegetables in small, frequent meals.

    Are scrambled eggs good for a dog's upset stomach? Yes, plain scrambled eggs are a good option for a dog with an upset stomach. They are easy to digest, provide a good source of protein, and are generally well-liked by most dogs, helping to stimulate their appetite.

    Is it OK to not feed a dog with an upset stomach? Yes, it is often beneficial to let a dog with an upset stomach fast for 12-24 hours to give their digestive system a chance to rest and recover. Just make sure they have access to plenty of fresh, filtered water to stay hydrated during this period. After the fasting period, you can gradually reintroduce bland, easily digestible foods. Fasting is never recommended for puppies.