Dog poop that's very soft and mushy

Foods That Settle Dog’s Stomach

Today we’re talking foods that settle your dog’s stomach, and why each food is beneficial.

And while my own dog is raw-fed, this advice works for dogs who eat foods like kibble and canned dog food, too.

So when you notice any of these symptoms of an upset stomach in your pup, it’s time for a natural food remedy:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Excessive lip licking
  • Refusing to eat
  • Lethargy

Now that said, please do use common sense and take your pup in to see their vet if you notice any blood in their vomit or diarrhea.

Likewise, it’s a good idea to schedule a vet visit if their condition doesn’t improve drastically within 2-3 days.

That’s how long an upset tummy lasts in dogs on average.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn compensation when you click on the links at no additional cost to you.

What Is Causing My Dog’s Upset Stomach?

But first, let’s talk about the most common reasons that dogs have upset stomachs.

For starters, they may have ingested a foreign body. For example socks, parts of a (dog) toy, etc.

They may also have been introduced to a new type of food too quickly.

For example, if you just recently made the switch from kibble to raw dog food, an upset stomach may just be part of the transition.

Especially if they have an overly sensitive stomach to begin with.

Also, dogs who eat animal feces that are infested with intestinal parasites can come down with an upset stomach as well.

We’re talking cat poop, rabbit poop, horse droppings or dog poop, of course.

So, what to give a sick dog to eat?

Here are my top 3 suggestions.

Foods That Settle Dog’s Stomach

Brown Feist dog curled up on a couch

#1. Plain Pumpkin Purée

Pumpkin purée is naturally rich in fiber, which helps both with diarrhea and constipation.

I’ve fed it to my own dogs as well as to my kibble-fed client dogs, and it’s worked in most cases of acute diarrhea.

The picture below features the kibble bowls of four of my former pet sitting clients. Their owners were out of town for a long weekend, and one of the pups had diarrhea.

So I grabbed a few cans of pumpkin purée and added some to all of their meals – they loved it, and it did cure the diarrhea.

4 stainless steel dog bowls with paw prints lined up vertically on a kitchen counter with Libby's canned pumpkin purée and kibble on the inside, and a dog sitting next to the counter
Adding pumpkin to client dogs’ kibble

Of course you can also make your own pumpkin purée, but in an acute case of diarrhea, the store-bought kind is probably quicker to source.

For example, Libby’s, which you’ll usually find in the baking aisle of any grocery store, including Walmart.

If you buy the store-bought cans of pumpkin purée, make sure to buy 100% pure pumpkin purée, and not the pumpkin pie filling!

Dogs can have 1 teaspoon of pumpkin purée per 10 lbs of body weight per day.

You can spoon-feed it, or mix it into their food if they’re still eating.

Foods That Settle Dog’s Stomach. #2. Slippery Elm Syrup

Slippery elm is an anti-inflammatory that’s also naturally rich in fiber and great for doggie gut health.

As the name suggests, it’s made from the bark of slippery elm trees, and you can turn the powder into a healing syrup.

A jar of AniForte Slippery Elm for Dogs sitting on an outside table and a clear bowl with slippery elm powder on the inside sits in front of the jar
The slippery elm bark powder I buy in Germany

It coats and lubricates the dog’s esophagus and stomach lining, helps with megaesophagus and can also be used on topical wounds.

If you suspect that your pup ingested an object, slippery elm can also help them pass it easier.

I like to freeze the syrup in small molds, that way I can just pop a few ones out as needed.

A filled ice cube tray with room for 28 ice cubes is filled with slippery elm syrup for dogs and a jar of slippery elm powder in the back

Unlike pumpkin purée, slippery elm syrup is not starchy and is a good alternative for dogs who are sensitive to pumpkin or who suffer from yeast problems.

You can feed 1 teaspoon per 15 lbs of body weight per day.

Foods That Settle Dog’s Stomach: #3. Colostrum

Colostrum is the first milk produced by mammals in the initial days after giving birth.

It’s rich in antibodies, immune-boosting compounds, and digestive enzymes, all of which provide newborns with vital protection and nutrition.

Now, colostrum is known to be beneficial for dogs with upset stomachs because it has anti-inflammatory properties.

Those can be helpful in soothing and calming an upset stomach as they assist in reducing inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.

…and by the way, colostrum can also help with itchy doggie skin! I used it with my pup Wally when I first adopted him and he was an itchy mess.

You can either buy colostrum as a liquid or as a powder, and the most commonly available colostrum for dogs in the US is from cows.

Raw Feeding Miami carries liquid bovine colostrum for dogs. You can feed 1/4 cup per day.

If you’re feeding a colostrum powder, follow the feeding instructions on the package.

One of my favorite raw dog food retailers, Raw Paws Pet Food, sells bovine colostrum powder for dogs ( & cats) both on their website and on Amazon.

They recommend feeding 1/4 teaspoon of the powder per 10-15 lbs of body weight per day. Mix with 2 parts water or bone broth.

Tip: Use my affiliate discount code K9Savings to get 15% OFF at checkout. Only works on their website, not on Amazon.

A jar of Bovine colostrum for dogs from Raw Paws Pet Food

4. What About Rice?

Traditional vets love recommending rice as part of a bland diet when a dog has an upset tummy.

But rice is actually not the best food to feed dogs who suffer from an upset stomach – I learned that one from my holistic vet Dr. Loops.

You can read more on rice for dogs and why it’s not the best choice to feed in an article from Dogs Naturally Magazine here.

What Foods Should You Avoid Feeding Your Dog If (S)he Has An Upset Stomach?

First of all, there’s better choices than rice.

Also, nothing fatty like chicken skin, lamb or pork foods.

As a matter of fact, your dog may benefit from fasting for 24 hours which gives the digestive tract time to reset itself.

This is similar to how humans hold off on eating when we’re down with a stomach bug.

I recently had one as part of contracting COVID, and I didn’t feel like eating anything for about a week.

Note: Always provide fresh drinking water, even when your dog is fasting!

You can also try offering them bone broth.

Foods To Settle Your Dog’s Upset Stomach: Bottom Line

So your dog ate something that didn’t agree with them and now they have an upset tummy?

Try feeding any of these 3 foods to settle their stomach:

  • Pumpkin purée
  • Slippery elm
  • Colostrum

Remember to take them in for a vet visit if they don’t feel better within 2-3 days, and/or if there’s blood in their vomit or diarrhea.

If they don’t feel like eating, it’s OK to allow them to fast for 1-2 days. That’s a natural way of resetting their system.

However, do make sure you’re offering them fresh water and/or bone broth during the fast.

If your pup currently has an upset tummy, I hope that they’ll feel better real soon!

Do you know of any additional foods that may help settle a dog’s upset stomach?

Please feel free to share them with others in the comment section below this blog post.

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Barbara launched her blog K9sOverCoffee in 2014 and has been feeding her dogs raw dog food since 2015. As a former professional dog walker, she’s passionate about balancing species-appropriate exercise with healthy dog nutrition. Barbara is raw dog food nutrition certified from “Dogs Naturally Magazine” and the author of several e-books about minimally processed, balanced raw dog food.


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