10 Nov How to Help Your Pet’s Upset Stomach
Your pet’s upset stomach is unpleasant for everyone involved. They feel unwell, you’re potentially left with a mess – so it’s understandable that anything you can do to shorten the illness and make them feel more comfortable is worth trying.
Here are some common reasons your pet might have an upset stomach, and some simple things you can do to help.
What Causes Stomach Upset in Pets?
There are a number of reasons that your pet might be experiencing an upset stomach. Parasites, viruses, and infections are common culprits that could cause your pet to be ill. The food they’ve eaten might be another reason – perhaps you’ve recently changed their food, they’re experiencing food sensitivities, or they have sneakily eaten some food (or other substances) without you knowing.
Otherwise, you might just find that stress and anxiety can cause your pet to have an upset stomach.
Symptoms of a Stomach Upset
The first sign that things aren’t quite right is usually evident in your pet’s behaviour. Having lower energy and appetite are good indicators that your pet isn’t feeling themselves. You might find your pet is more gassy than usual, and you can hear their stomach grumbling. They might be extra thirsty but turn up their nose at their food. Finally, vomiting and diarrhea are obvious signs that there’s something going on with their belly.
When Should You Be Concerned?
It’s common for an upset stomach to last 24-48 hours, and then go away on its own. If there’s no major cause for concern, such as ingestion of a toxin, then the biggest concern is keeping them well hydrated. If your pet is not drinking water, is very lethargic or looks unwell, if you’re concerned they might be poisoned, or if the illness lasts longer than 48 hours – it’s time to see the vet. Trust your instincts – if you feel like their upset stomach might be serious, see a vet regardless.
What You Can Do To Help?
The main thing to do is to keep your pet comfortable, hydrated, and keep a close eye on them. You might like to try a probiotic formulated for animals, which can help to restore the balance of beneficial bacteria in their gut. Your pet’s stomach might need a break, so fasting can help. Fasting requires you to withhold food from your pet for a period of time – no longer than 24 hours for adults, or 12 hours for puppies and kittens. If you would like to try to help them with fasting, you should consult with your vet to learn how to do it safely.
Just like when a human is recovering from a stomach bug, once they are ready to eat it can be beneficial to feed them bland foods that are easily digested by their stomach. Small amounts of bland food such as boiled chicken and rice can gradually be introduced at set intervals, slowly allowing their stomach to recover.
How to Help your Pet’s Upset Stomach
Everyone gets sick from time to time, and the same goes for your pets. It’s unpleasant to see them unwell, but in most cases, a mild case of an upset stomach won’t have any lasting effects. If there are more severe symptoms, such as lethargy, dehydration, or vomiting and diarrhea that lasts longer than 48 hours, it’s important to get your pet seen by the vet. If you suspect they may have ingested something poisonous, then don’t wait.
Making sure your pet has lots of rest and good hydration, and then slowly introducing solid foods back into their routine helps support their gut and helps them feel better. An upset stomach is never fun, but with some basic care they’ll be back on their feet in no time.