An upset tummy for my pugs usually means one of three things. They have diarrhoea, constipation or have been vomiting. Thankfully this is not a common occurrence but I like to have some home remedies on hand should any of them occur so a vet visit is not required every single time. These are my home remedies for a pug’s upset tummy.
Fasting is always the first point of call for an upset tummy that results in either diarrhoea or vomiting. It is not recommended to give your pug small amounts of food after vomiting to see how they go, even if you feel they may be hungry. Fasting is important as it allows for the digestive tract and stomach to have a break and heal. Resting your pug’s stomach may be just the trick to heal your pug. From the time they first vomit or have diarrhoea, you should fast them for around 6-12 hours before considering introducing liquid or small amounts of food. Fasting means no water or food to ensure their digestive system has a good break.
Note: Watch for dehydration during the fasting period and provide small sips of water when needed. Do not fast puppies as they require much more regular sources of nutrition as they are growing.
Bone broth is a good way to introduce some nutrients back into your pug after fasting. It is gentle on the stomach, flavoursome for your pug and will provide some great nutrition to your pug as their digestive system recovers from being unwell. Start with a small bowl of warm bone broth and monitor how they handle the bone broth. If they have been vomiting and can keep the bone broth down after fasting then you can start introducing small amounts of food. You can also continue to give the bone broth in small amounts before feeding them again and once they are back onto solid foods.
Learn more about the benefits of bone broth and how to make it here.
Once your pug’s stomach has been rested and ready for some food again, a bland diet that will be gentle on the stomach is a must. It is common for boiled chicken & rice to be recommended but as both chicken & rice are common allergy problems, staying clear of both is a good idea. Turkey is another protein that is gentle on the stomach and much less likely to be an allergy problem. Lightly steaming or boiling the turkey along with some pumpkin will be gentle on your pug’s sensitive stomach. Pumpkin instead of rice is great as it is full of fibre and beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A. Whether it is part of a bland diet or added for extra fibre, pumpkin is great for your pug to help settle their stomach, ease diarrhoea and constipation.
Note: Don’t feed raw pumpkin. Pumpkin should always be cooked before feeding. Canned pumpkin is good to as long as it is plain and not sweetened or pie pumpkin.
Slippery Elm Bark
Slippery elm is an extraordinary herb that soothes the digestive and respiratory systems. It is packed full of nutrients like vitamins A, B complex, C & K as well as calcium, magnesium and sodium. It also has lubricating effects and anti-inflammatory properties which makes it perfect for helping with constipation, diarrhoea and even coughing. Slippery elm is available from health food stores and comes in powder, capsules or syrup form. For easy administering, powder is an easy option. Just mix into some water, food or even yoghurt.
Dosage Guidelines as recommended by Dogs Naturally Magazine
Capsule: Give 1/4 capsule twice daily for small dogs. Mix into some water, food or even yoghurt.
Powder: Give a 1/4 tsp of powder for every 4.5kg/10lbs of body weight twice daily. Mix into some water, food or even yoghurt.
Syrup: check out the full recipe & dosage guide on Dogs Naturally Magazine
When your pug has an upset tummy, they lose good bacteria in their gut. Adding a probiotic to their meals will help to restore the good bacteria and get them back to good health. There are some great probiotic options you can consider adding to your pug’s diet. You can add a probiotic supplement, fermented veggies, raw goats milk and our favourite, kefir. When you include probiotics in your pug’s diet, it is also a good idea to include prebiotics as they feed the probiotics and help them to work the way they should. You can include natural prebiotics such as garlic, banana, apple, asparagus and dandelion.
A combination of probiotics can be given for variety. Dosage varies between each probiotic.
Supplements: follow instructions on the bottle.
Fermented veggies: Start slowly and build up to 1 tsp per day for 6kg/15lbs of your pug’s body weight per day.
Raw goat milk: Give 60mL/2oz per 9kg/20lbs of your pug’s body weight per day.
Kefir: Ensure it is unsweetened and give up to 1/4 cup per 11kg/25lbs of your pug’s body weight per day.
If you ever suspect there is something more going on besides a tummy bug or there are other symptoms besides just diarrhoea, constipation or vomiting, it is definitely a trip to the vet for a check up. Under no circumstances does any of this advice replace veterinary advice. Home remedies for a pug’s upset tummy can be great to prevent unnecessary vet trips when it is a minor tummy bug.