How to Take Care of a Dog With a Sensitive Stomach

Some dogs need special dietary care for sensitive stomachs.
Portrait of an english bulldog, with a sad look. image by Gabriela from

A healthy dog may experience an occasional upset stomach, but persistent digestive issues may be diagnosed as a dog with a sensitive stomach by your veterinarian. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, he may experience vomiting, diarrhea, flatulence, hair loss and itchy skin. Usually, these symptoms are attributable to your dog's diet. You may need to feed a different type of dog food, feed smaller meals throughout the day or just feed the same food every day without changing it. Some dogs with sensitive stomachs may need special dietary care.

Special Care for Dogs With Sensitive Stomachs

Step 1

Fast your puppy for 12 hours or your adult dog 24 hours when sensitive stomach symptoms appear. Withhold water if you dog is vomiting water and give him small amounts of ice chips until he feels better. Fasting gives your dog's gastrointestinal tract a chance to rest, and the lack of food gives it time to heal. Consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog Pepto Bismol, Kaopectate or Flagyl. Your dog needs examination by your veterinarian if vomiting and diarrhea last longer than 24 hours.

Step 2

Feed your dog a bland diet after the fasting period. Mix boiled chicken or turkey with cooked white or brown rice. Remove the skin from the meat and mix half meat with half rice. Give this mixture to your dog in small amounts three to four times per day. If symptoms return give smaller amounts of food or see your veterinarian.

Step 3

Add small amounts of plain yogurt or cottage cheese to your dog's bland food diet each day. The acidophilus bacteria present in these dairy products can replenish the good bacteria in your dog's intestinal tract. Alternatively, add canned pumpkin to your dog's diet. It provides fiber, which can aid digestive upset.

Step 4

Mix Pedialyte or Gatorade 50 percent with water to replace electrolytes your dog may have lost during vomiting or diarrhea. Once your dog begins eating and drinking normally, electrolyte replacement is no longer necessary.

Step 5

Choose a low-fat, high-quality commercial food to give to your dog once his stomach sensitivity symptoms have ceased. Many of the commercial pet food companies have created sensitive-stomach dog foods. Alternatively, make your own home-cooked dog food by following balanced dietary formulas provided by your veterinarian. A food exclusion diet may be necessary to discover which foods cause your dog's sensitivity.


  • Some dogs may be lactose intolerant, and dairy products may cause increased digestive upset.

  • When using pumpkin, make sure it's 100 percent pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling.

  • If your dog has chronic or continuous vomiting and diarrhea, take your dog to see a veterinarian.


  • You can get a dog food sensitivity kit from NutriScan and use it to test your dog's saliva for food sensitivities. This test may allow you to make the correct food choices for your dog instead of wasting money on multiple brands of dog food.

  • Do not change brands of dog food often. Always change to a new food by gradually mixing the two foods.

Items You Will Need

  • Boiled chicken
  • Cooked rice
  • Canned pumpkin
  • Yogurt or cottage cheese
  • Pedialyte or Gatorade
  • Pepto-Bismol or Kaopectate or Flagyl



About the Author

Based in Michigan, Keri Gardner has been writing scientific journal articles since 1998. Her articles have appeared in such journals as "Disability and Rehabilitation" and "Journal of Orthopaedic Research." She holds a Master of Science in comparative medicine and integrative biology from Michigan State University.

Photo Credits

  • Portrait of an english bulldog, with a sad look. image by Gabriela from