Common Digestive Issues in Dogs

Common Digestive Issues in Dogs

Dogs are beloved members of our families, but, like humans, they can experience digestive issues that cause discomfort, which can be concerning for pet owners. Understanding these common digestive problems and knowing how to address them is crucial for ensuring our furry friends stay healthy and happy. 

Let’s explore some of the most frequent digestive issues in dogs to help you better understand what your pet might be going through and how to help them.

Common Symptoms of Digestive Issues

Digestive issues in dogs manifest in a lot of the same ways they do in humans. Keep a close eye on your pup to see if you notice any of these signs of gastrointestinal issues

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite 
  • Constipation or struggling to defecate
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Quick weight loss or gain
  • Fever
  • Dehydration
  • Pain in the abdominal area
  • Doesn’t want to move or play like normal. 

If your dog is experiencing any of these issues, especially on a consistent or recurring basis, it’s best to contact a professional. If you notice your dog acting strange or experiencing these symptoms, take photos and notes to help you monitor changes and share them with your veterinarian.

Common Causes of Digestive Issues in Dogs

If you’re noticing vomiting, diarrhea, or other issues, you’re probably wondering what’s causing it. Dog digestive issues can be caused by a lot of different things, ranging from diet to underlying health conditions. 

Every dog is different, so close observation and testing can help you narrow down what’s triggering issues. If your dog experiences persistent or severe digestive issues, contact a professional to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment. 

Let’s look at some of the most common causes of digestive problems in dogs. 

Eating Something They Shouldn’t

Curious dogs are notorious for eating things they shouldn't, such as garbage, spoiled food, stuffing from their toys, and even socks. These can lead to digestive issues and even serious gastrointestinal obstructions.

Sudden Diet Changes

Abrupt changes in diet can disrupt the balance of bacteria in your dog’s gut and lead to gastrointestinal upset. Transitioning to new food slowly and monitoring treat intake can help with this. 

Food Allergies or Intolerances

Like humans, dogs can develop allergies and sensitivities to certain ingredients. Common food allergens in dogs include:

  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Soy


Bacterial and viral infections can cause gastrointestinal issues in dogs. Culprits include Salmonella, Campylobacter, and parvovirus. These infections often spread through cross-contamination and contact at boarding facilities, doggy daycares, and dog parks. 


Inflammation of the pancreas can occur due to the consumption of high-fat foods, table scraps, or other dietary issues. 

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

IBD is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. The exact cause is unknown but is believed to involve a combination of genetics, diet, and abnormal immune responses.

Gastrointestinal Parasites

Intestinal worms such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms can cause digestive issues, including diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss.

Stress and Anxiety 

Dogs thrive on routine and can be very sensitive. Events like changes in routine, traveling, boarding, loud noises, or separation from their owners can trigger a gastrointestinal response.

Underlying Medical Conditions

Every dog is different. Medical conditions like kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, and thyroid disorders can impact digestion.

How to Avoid Stomach Issues 

Preventing digestive issues in dogs involves several proactive measures aimed at maintaining their overall health and well-being. Here are some tips to help avoid digestive problems in your canine companion:

Provide a Balanced Diet

Feed your dog a high-quality, balanced diet appropriate for their age, size, and activity level.  Avoid fillers and artificial ingredients that may trigger gut issues. 

Choose dog food that meets nutritional standards set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and other organizations. 

Avoid Sudden Diet Changes

Experts generally recommend switching your dog’s food slowly over the course of 7-10 days to allow their digestive system to adjust. 

Start by mixing a small amount of the new food with their current food, using about a 1:3 ratio of new to old. Gradually increase the proportion of the new food and decrease the old food over the following week. 

Limit Table Scraps

As tempting as those puppy dog eyes can be, avoid feeding your dog table scraps. A lot of human food can be too rich or fatty for their digestive system and may lead to pancreatitis or other gastrointestinal issues.

Monitor Treat Intake

Much like with food, opt for healthy dog treats without a lot of artificial ingredients. Always give treats in moderation to avoid an upset stomach, weight gain, and nutritional deficiencies.

Provide Access to Fresh Water

Always ensure your dog has access to clean, fresh water, especially during the warm summer months.

Proper hydration is essential for digestion and overall health. It helps carry nutrients throughout your dog’s body, aiding in digestion and nutrient absorption. 

Regular Exercise

Regular physical activity helps promote healthy digestion and prevents constipation. 

Aim for daily walks, playtime, and interactive activities to keep your dog physically and mentally stimulated. If the weather is cold or you simply can’t get outside, try some indoor exercises and training to replace walks and outdoor stimulation.  

Maintain a Consistent Routine

Minimize stressors and changes in their environment whenever possible. Dogs thrive on routine, so try to maintain a consistent schedule for feeding, exercise, and bathroom breaks. 

If traveling, try short-term stays with the facility or your pet sitter to allow your pet to adjust before leaving for an extended period. Bring a blanket or toy that smells like home to help calm them as well. 

Auto feeders can also be helpful for sticking to normal meal times even when your daily schedule may adjust.  

Try a Pet Supplement

While good food and nutrition is important, sometimes your dog could use a little boost. That’s where pet supplements — like Maya Pet — come in. A daily supplement regimen can help provide more of the digestive support your dog needs. 

Maya Pet goes beyond a typical pet probiotic with 10 Smart StrainsTM of good bacteria. Each bacteria strain is specifically chosen to work together to support your dog’s digestion and overall health, including helping to fight against unwanted pathogens and bacteria and boosting gut acid. 

And unlike other pet probiotics and supplements on the market, Maya Pet doesn’t include any artificial ingredients. It’s also dairy-free, soy-free, and egg-free to avoid potential food allergies your pet may have. 

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