The Best Herbs To Help Your Dog's Upset Stomach
Step 4 of 7 in the Dogly Herbs Channel
with Brittany Evans of CaninesHouseOfNutrition, Nutrition Advocate

All dog owners know the feeling of seeing your dog's symptoms of an upset tummy and wanting to do whatever it takes to fix the stomach pain and make everything all right.

The happy news is that herbs are powerful and healing and immensely helpful for your dog's stomach upset. When your dog has GI issues, all you need to know to help your dog feel good again is which herbs can help, when, and how to use them.

Let's talk about herbal recommendations for those times your dog is having stomach problems - from a stomach ache to signs in your dog's stool that all is not well. All those times you know something about your dog's tummy isn't right and you have a sick dog in your family.

(If you notice more severe symptoms, such as bloody diarrhea, be sure to contact your veterinarian.)


Which herbs help for an upset stomach in dogs

It happens - dogs throw up, dogs have tummy gurgling noises, dogs eat grass, and dogs have diarrhea. When this happens, you can gently support your dog using functional foods and herbs as natural home remedies to soothe your dog's system.

The next time you or your dog experience GI issues, try slippery elm bark or fennel seed tea as a holistic approach to get your pup's stomach and your dog's health back to normal.

What to give a dog for upset stomach: Slippery Elm Bark

The go-to herb for gastric issues, especially to treat diarrhea, colitis, constipation, and acid reflux is slippery elm bark. This herb serves to coat, soothe, and protect inflamed tissues in the GI tract. It also lubricates and reduces inflammation in the digestive tract, allowing the elimination of waste from the body.

Additionally, it lubricates and reduces inflammation in the throat, lungs, kidneys, bladder, and joints. So this herb is also great when a dog has kennel cough or a respiratory issue.

Slippery elm bark is also nutritive, providing vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, B, C, K, as well as calcium and magnesium, and supporting the immune system. With possible loss of appetite and diarrhea that can come with digestive issues, that re-nourishing of your dog is so important. Keeping your dog hydrated is also essential, so delivering herbal support in a "tea" is a great way to go. (Dog ice chips are also good for hydration - and can be infused with helpful herbs.)

Try this

Preparation: Cold infusions are best. Place 1 tsp of slippery elm powder per 30 pounds of your dog’s weight into 8 oz of cold water or raw goat's milk. Let the herb infuse into the liquid for 15 minutes and it will turn into a thick gel. Feed this infusion directly to your dog or mix with your pup's food.

What to give a dog for upset stomach: Fennel Seeds

Another great herb for minor gastric discomfort is fennel seeds. Fennel seeds have a multitude of amazing properties, and I use this herb frequently for myself (it's not just a dog upset stomach treatment!) and for my German Shepherd, who has a very sensitive stomach.

How fennel seeds help your dog's upset stomach

Fennel seeds help to relax the digestive system, relieving gastric discomfort, stomach cramps and indigestion. It increases appetite, it’s an antioxidant, antibacterial, and antispasmodic. Plus, it’s extremely nutritive, providing vitamin C, A, calcium, iron, potassium and linoleic acid, and supports the immune system. There’s so much good!

If your dog ingested something he/she shouldn’t have (if you have a counter surfer like me, this happens from time to time), you can provide your dog with some fennel seed tea to aid in digestion and provide gentle support of the GI tract as the body gets rid of whatever should not have been eaten. Or for those of you who have dogs who are really gassy, fennel seed is a great herb as it provides antispasmodic support.

Try this

Preparation: Place 1 tsp of dried fennel seeds in 8 oz of boiling water. Steep until cool and strain the seeds. Store tea in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. The tea can be fed at a rate of 2 to 4 tablespoons per 20 pounds of your dog’s body weight. It’s a very safe and gentle herb and can be fed liberally.


Your dog food during upset stomach times...

It probably goes without saying but if your dog has an upset stomach, this is a time for a bland diet as you help your dog get well with herbal support.

Simple, nourishing foods such as canned pumpkin, bone broth, mashed sweet potatoes, and boiled chicken/skinless chicken breasts* help set a calming base for your dog's diet rather than your regular dry dog food. Your dog needs the hydration of fresh, more "human food" now more than ever.

*Obviously avoid chicken if your dog has chicken food allergies/ sensitivities.

Herbs benefit people too

Remember, herbs have the same wonderful benefits for people too! Herbs work with the natural rhythms of your body, as well as your dog’s body, and provide holistic support.

From time to time, I experience heartburn and indigestion, which always appears when I have some sort of fear and anxiety toward something (negative thoughts affect our body energetically). Fennel seed tea is always my go-to to help restore balance in my body and relieve my discomfort.

The next time you experience heartburn or indigestion, instead of taking a bunch of antacids, try drinking fennel seed tea throughout the day and see how your body responds to the herbal support.


Important note

This information is not to deter you from taking your dog to your veterinarian if there is something really wrong. Always tune into your pet's health and how your dog is feeling and acting. Did he/she just have a bout of diarrhea (which happens), but is still in good spirits, running around and playing with no change in demeanor? Then try a slippery elm bark infusion for the next day or 2 and if your dog's tummy ache and other symptoms clear up, then well done! I bet your dog thanks you for the support during that time.

On the other hand, has your dog had diarrhea for multiple days, continues eating grass to induce vomiting, is mopey and genuinely not feeling well? Then it’s time to take your pup to the vet.

Next up in the Herbs Channel on Dogly

Now that you know how to use slippery elm bark and fennel seeds to soothe tummy aches and GI issues, continue learning why burdock root is the ultimate detoxing herb in the next step-by-step guide.

Or hop over to the Herbs Channel if you'd like to ask a question in the Community discussion and start any of the other step-by-step guides in Healing Herbs.

If you ever need more personalized wellness guidance, please reach out!

Brittany Evans of CaninesHouseOfNutrition

Nutrition Advocate
Dogly loves Brittany because she shows us how we can help our dogs live truly well with the right nutrition for their whole lives.

Brittany guides you

Home Cooking - Basic Nutrition - Herbs - Joint Health - Detoxing - Gut Health

Brittany is certified

Certified Canine Nutrition & Health - Certified Raw Dog Food Nutrition Specialist - Usui Reiki Practitioner - Certified Canine Herbalist