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Can Pumpkin Help a Dog’s Upset Stomach? What You Need to Know!

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Dr. Lorna Whittemore

Veterinarian, MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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When your dog has digestive issues, it can be concerning. You might consider a home remedy before taking them to the vet to see if something can help. You might have heard that you should feed pumpkin to a dog with an upset stomach. Well, you are correct!

Pumpkin is a common home remedy1 for dogs with upset stomachs; just one tablespoon of pumpkin with their regular food can help them keep food down and keep stools firm. If you are curious to learn more, keep reading!


Why Is Pumpkin Good for an Upset Stomach?

Pumpkin is a useful home remedy for an upset stomach. While you might not be able to find fresh pumpkin out of season, canned pumpkin is fine to use too. The reason is that the fiber, vitamins, and minerals are helpful for alleviating nausea and upset stomachs.

Pumpkin contains high concentrations of potassium, vitamin A, vitamin E, riboflavin, vitamin B6, and dietary fiber, among other things. While every vitamin and mineral compound in pumpkin is suitable for your dog’s overall health, the dietary fiber may clear up a lot of upset stomachs, especially if it’s causing your dog to have diarrhea.

Dietary fiber helps to absorb water from the digestive system. If a gastrointestinal upset is causing diarrhea the fiber also helps to slow down transit time and give the colon longer to absorb water reducing the liquid volume of diarrhea.

Pumpkin also works as a prebiotic which can help get the gut flora working better again.

Image Credit: stevepb, Pixabay

How to Give Your Dog Pumpkin for an Upset Stomach

  1. Start by consulting your veterinarian. They’ll be able to give you a rough estimate of how much pumpkin you should feed your dog based on their weight and if it is suitable in this situation.
  2. Ensure that you buy pure pumpkin with no added preservatives. The added preservatives could upset your dog’s stomach further, and you won’t get rid of diarrhea if you accidentally feed your dog pumpkin pie mix! Avoid salt and sugar in canned pumpkin.
  3. In general, between 1–4 tablespoons of pumpkin should do the trick depending on the size of your dog. Once you have verified the amount with your vet, mix it into their food. Some dogs might even lick the pumpkin right off the spoon.

When Is an Upset Stomach an Emergency?

An upset stomach can be a medical emergency for people and dogs. If you’re worried about your pup’s overall well-being and are considering taking them to the Emergency Vet for good measure, make sure you chart these symptoms to relay them to your veterinarian if present:

  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Blood in the vomit or stools
  • Known ingestion of toys or other foreign objects
  • Weakness and lethargy
  • Known or potential access to medicines or toxins
vet checking up on sick Golden Retriever
Image Credit: StudioByTheSea, Shutterstock

What Other Home Remedies Can I Give My Dog?

Pumpkin is just one of many home measures you can take as a dog owner to alleviate your pet’s discomfort and keep them healthy. So, while you wait for the next appointment with your vet, try out these other remedies to help soothe your dog’s stomach.

It’s wise to consult your veterinarian before administering any home remedies to your dog.

1. Ginger

Ginger is a popular herbal remedy used for stomach upset and nausea in humans. It turns out this effect translates pretty well to our pets too! A little bit of ginger tea for dogs can help soothe the stomach and prevent vomiting or diarrhea while your dog waits to see the vet.

To administer ginger to your dog, boil 1 tablespoon of ginger root, sliced, for 10–15 minutes. Then cool the water and give your dog 1 teaspoon of the tea per pound of body weight.

2. Fennel

Fennel is similar to ginger in that it has been used as a home remedy for nausea for centuries. It’s also another herb that is safe to feed to our dogs!

Steep a teaspoon of crushed fennel seeds in a cup of nearly boiling water. Let the water cool and feed your dog one teaspoon of tea per pound of body weight.

3. Light Diet

The phrase “light diet” is used to describe feeding bland easily digested foods to allow the stomach to rest. It usually involves feeding a white meat such as boiled chicken breast, a plain carbohydrate and, yes, it can include pumpkin.

These foods are bland and contain no harmful additives or preservatives that could irritate your dog’s stomach.

Combine these with a bit of ginger tea and let your dog’s stomach rest while you wait for your vet appointment.

Dog eating in a dog bowl
Image Credit: Karsten Wineagart, Unsplash


Why Does My Dog Have an Upset Stomach?

While an occasional tummy upset isn’t unusual, if your dog has a prolonged or severe upset stomach, you should bring them to the vet. While it could be nothing to worry about, an upset stomach is a present feature of many illnesses, including:

  • Parvovirus
  • Obstructions
  • Bloating
  • Other infectious diseases
  • Ulcers
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Malabsorption
  • Tumors

While it’s entirely possible that your dog has just eaten something disgusting they found out about causing them to vomit or have diarrhea, they should be monitored closely for deterioration. In most cases, the condition can be treated or controlled with medication and diet changes.


Final Thoughts

The bad news about your dog’s upset stomach is that it still sucks for everyone involved, but the good news is that you can often treat or control mild upset stomachs pretty easily. With these home remedies and care, your dog will hopefully be in tip-top shape again in no time!

Featured Image Credit: ulleo, Pixabay

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