No pug owner ever wants their dog to feel unwell…but the reality of owning a dog is they are likely to have an upset stomach at some time or another. Most of the time an upset stomach is something you can manage at home and won’t last too long.
Signs That Your Pug May Have An Upset Stomach
- Hard or loose stools. Especially if this is outside of their normal experience.
- Asking to go outside frequently and trying to go #2.
- Pooping more or less often than usual.
- Strange noises (gurgling or bubbling sounds) coming from their belly.
- Stomach growling sounds even if they have eaten relatively recently.
- Excessive flatulence.
- Really strong flatulence.
- Eating grass.
- Excess saliva.
Causes Of Upset Stomach In Pugs
There are many potential causes of upset stomachs in pugs and other dogs. Here are some of the more common ones though.
Changing diet too rapidly. When dogs get used to a specific food, it can be a shock to their system if you completely change foods on them overnight. To avoid this, change foods very gradually. For example, use 75% of the old food, and 25% of a new food for a while, then a 50/50 mix, then a 25/75 mix, etc.
Table scraps. Dogs bellies can be thrown off if they get access to human foods that they don’t usually have. Many human foods are not suitable for dogs (too spicy, too greasy, etc) and may upset their stomachs.
Allergies or intolerances. In my opinion, too many people assume allergies for their dogs. A banfield pet study showed that just .2% of dogs have food allergies. Yet, if you go to any pet themed group and reference food allergies, you’ll find that lots of pet owners believe their dogs have allergies. Meaning in most cases when people think their dog has a food allergy, they probably don’t. However, some do have food allergies and this can cause them an upset stomach if they eat something they have an allergy to.
Lack of fiber. Fiber helps keeps dogs regular, so if they are lacking fiber it can cause digestive trouble that can cause an upset stomach.
Stress or anxiety.
Medication side effects. If your dog is on any medications, google the prescription name to see if nausea or other digestive symptoms are side effect.
Ingesting something harmful. Household cleaners, pest control substances, and many other substances can cause stomach upset in dogs if consumed.
Swallowing a non-food item. If your dog has swallowed part of a dog toy, an animal bone, rawhide, etc it can cause a partial (or full) blockage which can upset their stomach. If the item is too large his can be an emergency.
Motion sickness from traveling in a vehicle or similar.
Trapped gas. If your dog needs to burp or fart, that trapped gas in their tummy can cause upset until it finds a way out.
How To Help Your Pug With An Upset Stomach
Have them fast for at least 6 hours. This is recommended if your dog has vomitted or had diarrhea. It essentially resets their digestive system by letting it empty before adding anything new in.
Try feeding plain chicken and rice as their first meal after the fast. This is the dog version of having butter-toast after having a stomach bug. Chicken and rice are bland foods that are easy on the stomach for most dogs. Another option would be turkey and pure pumpkin, as those are also easy on the stomach.
If the bland diet goes well, feed that for a couple of meals, then slowly reintroduce their regular dog food. Go slowly, such as a 75% bland, 25% kibble mix, for a meal or two, then 50/50, then 25/75, before finally having them go back to just their dog food.
Try a dog probiotic if your dog regularly has tummy trouble. Sometimes dogs struggle to keep the right amount of healthy bacteria in their digestive system on their own, and probiotics can help.
When An Upset Stomach Needs Vet Care
- If your pug is losing weight due to their stomach problems
- If your dog has chronic diarrhea or constipation
- Blood in their stool
- Blood in their vomit
- If they’ve consumed something harmful
- If they’ve swallowed a non-food item.
- If they’re panting, whining/crying or otherwise showing signs of pain.