Does Your Senior Dog Have an Upset Tummy?

#helpemupWhen I get a stomach ache, I reach for Saltine crackers and 7up. Maybe even some Pepto Bismol. However, when your senior dog gets an upset tummy, the remedies are not the same.

Why do dogs get stomach aches? Usually because they have eaten something they shouldn’t have. Dogs love to eat dirt, bugs and more… they are virtual garbage cans! Their natural instinct is to forage. You can usually tell when your dog has an upset stomach because he will experience vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue or loss of appetite.

What can you do to make him feel better? Here are some tips from HelpEmUp to ease the pain.

Check your dog’s temperature. Unfortunately, you are going to have to use a rectal thermometer which is much more accurate than an ear thermometer. A dog’s normal body temperature should be about 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit. A temperature of 102 or higher is considered to be a fever.

Do nothing. Your dog may not feel like eating. This is okay as long as it doesn’t go more than 24 hours. The best remedy may be for him to work it out of his system.

Plenty of fluids. It’s important to keep your dog hydrated, particularly if he is experiencing diarrhea. In addition to water, your dog may need electrolytes and vitamins. Ice cubes in the form of small ice chips may be even better than water. Kids can take Pedialyte, but there is a form for dogs to take as well. If your dog can’t keep liquids down, a trip to the vet is on order.

Keep bone or chicken broth frozen. A great way to heal your dog’s gut according to PetMD is to use bone broth. Not the canned type – put meat on a bone in a crock pot and combine with some apple cider vinegar and water. Once the meat falls off the bone (thus releasing the minerals and marrow) and cools down, you can give small amounts to your dog. Or you can make bone broth ice cubes (once you have skimmed off the fat and frozen it) and take them out of the freezer when your dog is sick. In a pinch you can use canned.

Simple Foods. Holistic veterinarians often recommend canned pumpkin (not canned pumpkin pie) for its good digestive qualities. Or add a tablespoon of unsweetened yogurt to your dog’s food to help soothe the stomach. Boiled, shredded chicken is also bland with some plain brown rice.

An occasional stomach ache for a dog is normal. However, if your dog is experiencing stomach problems frequently, you’ll want to have his gastrointestinal tract checked. Your vet may recommend a change in your dog’s diet.

If you suspect your dog has eaten something poisonous and your veterinarian is not available (your first line of defense), call the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661. It is open 24/7 so they can explain symptoms and care. They can also teach you how to poison proof your home.

Want to make sure your dog’s belly stay healthy? Talk to a veterinarian about a probiotic.

This advice is no substitute for veterinary care.

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