Written by Anna Hollisey
No one wants to see their beloved pet unwell and it’s human nature to want to help those we love. Most of us have been raised on the belief that chicken broth can cure anything and we know it can be great for our dogs too. But what else do we need to know when our dogs aren’t feeling well and how can we help them?
Dogs often bring up food or vomit and it can, to the experienced eye, be divided into two types: regurgitation and vomit.
Regurgitation is usually prompted when a dog eats too much and it’s their body’s way of rejecting the excess. It looks like a puddle of barely-chewed food.
Vomiting, post-digestion, comes out from the intestines and it consists of food which has entered the digestion process. This is more serious and can be caused by an infection, gut blockage or worms.
If your dog is nauseous without bringing up any food, it isn’t always obvious as the symptoms can be subtle. A nauseous dog will retch or gag and heave, refuse their food, and might wander outside to eat grass.
Nausea and vomiting aren’t always enough reason to call your vet. These symptoms can sometimes be handled at home, as long as they’re not accompanied by other symptoms like fatigue, bloating, or dehydration.
After vomiting, it’s wise to have your dog skip a meal or two while their stomach recovers. After that, give them something mild and restorative, like chicken broth.
Just like humans, dogs respond to a warm bowl of chicken broth to ease many complaints. Just simmer a chicken carcass in water for an hour to produce a nutritious broth – then pull the shreds off the bones and stir them back in. (You can use any pieces of chicken, but a waste carcass is an inexpensive option.)
Don’t add the usual human flavorings (salt, onions or garlic) as these are toxic for dogs. The result is a subtly flavored broth which is great for poorly or sensitive stomachs. If pouring over their food, warm it gently to release an aroma, but make sure it’s not too hot.
Did you know… You could also freeze the broth in an ice-cube tray to make summer treats?
Chicken is often recommended for dogs with nausea and it can be a great option, provided there’s no possibility that your dog is allergic to it (and note that chicken is a common allergen for dogs).
However, it’s also a mild food providing plenty of protein without too much fat and it’s easy for most dogs to digest. That’s why it is particularly suitable for dogs with nausea.
Herbal tea for your dog? Yep, it’s a thing. Try a calming pot of ginger (made by infusing ginger root in hot water, then leaving until lukewarm), chamomile or marshmallow root (both available as herbal tea-bags). Bonus: if you find one that appeals to your dog, it can help them to increase their fluid intake, too.
Ginger is also recommended in capsule form, as it is a great natural remedy for dogs who get car-sick. Look for dog-friendly caplets at the pet store or talk to your vet (but never assume it’s OK for your dog to have your human supplements).
Another home remedy which we haven’t yet tried at FOTP is baking soda. It’s a well-known solution for nausea in humans and it’s also safe for dogs. The suggested dose is around 1/2 tsp to half a cup of water – if your dog will take it. Let us know if you try this with any success!
Finally… we may be biased, but have you tried our postbiotic supplement, Soothe? It can help to decrease intestinal inflammation and improve digestive health, so it’s a good option for dogs who frequently suffer from nausea.