5 Symptoms of Digestive Problems in Your Dog

Pug on top of sofa

Dog squatting on grass

The first step to making sure your dog’s digestive health is in good shape is to keep a close eye on your dogs. Spotting signs of poor digestive health early are vital, especially since your dog can’t tell you how their tummy really feels.

Here are some common symptoms of a digestion issue in your dog to look out for and a few natural remedies that you can use to restore your dog’s gut health.

1. Constipation
The easiest way to tell if your dog has poor digestive health is to pay attention to their stools. In general, constipation indicates that food is moving through the body too slowly. Dogs suffering from constipation may strain to pass stools. Additionally, stools may seem hard or particularly small in size.

There are several possible causes for constipation. The most common reasons are due to dehydration or a lack of fibre in the diet. A fresh diet that is moist and contains insoluble fibre will help with relieving constipation and prevents your dog from straining when it passes stools, among other benefits. Fruits and vegetables are great additions to the diet. In some cases, constipation could point to a more serious problem such as a tumour in the intestinal tract, or other neurological problems. If changing your dog’s diet does not help, it’s important to bring your dog to the vet for a checkup.

2. Diarrhoea
On the flip side, runny stool or diarrhoea indicates that the rate of food is moving through your dog’s body is too fast. In some serious cases, traces of blood may be found in your dog’s stools.

Diarrhoea in dogs is an indicator of a few possible health problems. Sometimes, dogs have diarrhoea due to stress — a response to anxiety — and not because they are suffering from poor physical health. There is a possibility that it may be suffering from stress related colitis. Dogs suffering from colitis will pass runny stools with traces of blood or mucus. Bacterial, fungal or parasitic infections may also be responsible for causing colitis. Other possible causes include food allergy or consuming inedible items. Some dogs have the tendency to sniff and consume other dogs’ stools during their daily walks, potentially causing them to suffer from diarrhoea later.

If your dog is having diarrhoea, you will need to fast your dog for that day. Always remember to have clean, drinking water available. A home remedy for dogs with diarrhoea is a simple meal of steamed pumpkin and clear chicken broth which can be fed the next day to break them out of their fast

However, if your dog is having persistent diarrhoea for more than two days, it is important to send it to the vet immediately before you make any dietary changes for your dog.

3. Excess gas
Is it normal for dogs to pass gas? Absolutely! Excess gas only becomes an issue if it happens too often or if you notice that your dog’s stomach feels bloated.

If your dog is passing pass more frequently, it can be due to sudden dietary changes, consuming spoiled food, or eating too fast. Dogs that eat too quickly swallow too much air, causing a buildup of excess gas. If you are feeding your dog foods high-fat diets or milk products, you might want to reduce it as these are ingredients are commonly associated with excess gas.

There are a few ways to keep your chowhound from gobbling down food too rapidly. Getting a slow feeder bowl can slow down their pace of eating and encourages foraging. Instead of getting a new bowl, you can also add a 1-2 large, smooth stones and place it in your dog’s food bowl. Feeding your dog smaller meals two to three times throughout the day also helps with digestion.

4. Weight Loss
Some dogs are picky eaters and refuse to touch food they are unfamiliar with. However, if your dog simply stops eating for over two days or loses weight rapidly, you should to bring your dog to the vet. Once your vet has cleared your dog of a possible illness, you can look for ways to tackle your dog’s picky eating habits.

5. Vomiting

Vomiting could be a sign that your dog is feeling unwell. Frequent vomiting can cause dehydration and it is important to be sensitive to your dog’s dietary needs. Foods that help prevent irritation to your dog’s digestive system is essential. Depending on your dog’s condition, you may need to stop giving your dog any food for 12 to 24 hours. Seek advice from your vet immediately if your dog is vomiting frequently.



Indigestion from the wrong diet, gluttony or consuming inedible foods are the most common problems that lead to digestive problems for dogs. If your vet has cleared your dog from illnesses and chronic diseases, you can focus on tackling your dog’s digestive problems with some of these natural remedies.

Whole pumpkin against blue background

Feeding high fibre foods
High fibre foods are great additions to your dog’s diet. Although fibre is not the most essential nutrient for dogs, it plays a role in ensuring colon health and dietary improvement. Some high fibre foods you can add to your dog’s diet include green beans, steamed pumpkin and sweet potatoes. Other forms of non-plant fibre include bone, tendon and ligaments of animals. One thing to note is that only a small amount of fibre is needed. Consuming too much can inhibit digestion and cause gastrointestinal tract issues.

Digestive enzymes
One of the best foods for dogs with digestive problems are whole foods rich in digestive enzymes. Processed foods like kibble are devoid of live enzymes, sometimes consisting of ”4-D” meat: diseased, dead, dying or disabled animals, artificial flavours and preservatives. If your dog eats primarily processed foods, you might want to consider adding foods rich in enzymes to your dog’s diet. Not only does it aid with digestion, it also gives your dog a smoother coat, improves immunity and even benefits joints and teeth. Foods rich in enzymes include papaya, watermelon, raw honey and coconut water.

Pre and Probiotics
Pre and probiotics are essential supplements not only for dogs who suffer from indigestion but also for dog owners who want to promote a healthy gut in their dogs (which is all of us, no?). The “good” bacteria in probiotics help to take out “bad” bacteria in the digestive system and aids with digestion. One of the main benefits of probiotics is that replenishes your dog’s digestive track with healthy bacteria, ensuring overall health. Additionally, probiotics also help to bolster your buddy’s health and immunity. Prebiotics help lay the foundation to allow probiotics to effectively function

While it is great fun to see your dog get excited over treats and foods, keeping track of what you have given your dog and observing its eating habits also helps you trace back possible causes of an upset stomach.

When it comes to treats, selecting single ingredient treats can help you narrow down possible causes of allergies or intolerance.

Many of these natural remedies are quite tasty and they will do wonders to improve your dog’s digestive health! It’s important to keep a lookout for any irregularities and make necessary dietary changes. Your buddy will thank you for it!