Home > Shop By Condition > Digestive Problems

Upset Stomach in Dogs & Cats:
Signs, Causes & Remedies

Does your cat or dog have an upset stomach or showing signs of digestive problems? Good digestion is the foundation for a healthy pet.

That's why we offer the most comprehensive selection of pet digestive supplements available. Cats and dogs can get an upset stomach for a variety of reasons. Dogs are scavengers and it’s common for them to get into the trash, eat too quickly or ingest contaminated food off the ground. Cats are sensitive to hairballs and frequent diet changes.

Pets can have a wide variety of digestive problems ranging from acid stomach, colitis, gas, vomiting, diarrhea to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Depending upon your pet's digestive symptoms and your veterinarian's diagnosis, we have a full range of cat and dog digestive support supplements to help your dog or cat feel better.

Natural Digestive Remedies For Cats & Dogs

Symptom Guide to Different Digestive Problems in Dogs & Cats

If your cat or dog has an upset stomach or other digestive problems, please take your pet to the veterinarian for a diagnosis. The following natural remedies for dog and cat digestive problems can be a great way to support your pet’s prescribed treatment plan as well as to maintain a healthy digestive system once symptoms have subsided.

Symptoms: Gulping Noises, Grass Eating, Nausea

If your dog or cat has been diagnosed with heartburn, indigestion or GERD, it can be very uncomfortable for your pet. The following home remedies can help provide fast relief from the symptoms of acid stomach:

Symptoms: Diarrhea, Loose Stool, Bloody Stool, Mucus

Dogs and cats with chronic diarrhea, bouts of loose stool, bloody stool or mucus are often diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Food intolerances are often a culprit. Adjusting your pet’s diet and incorporating a cat or dog bloody diarrhea treatment can greatly improve your pet’s condition. When you need home remedies for inflammatory bowel disease in cats and dogs, our IBD Kit is an effective yet gentle option for providing your pet relief. The following cat and dog diarrhea remedies help to firm up stool and calm the digestive tract:

Symptom: Nausea Due To Other Health Issue

Some health conditions such as liver or kidney disease or pancreatitis can make pets feel nauseated or cause them to vomit. Addressing the underlying condition such as kidney disease can help relieve symptoms. Pets can become dehydrated quickly, so it is very important to see your veterinarian right away. The following supplements can coat the stomach, reducing acid and discomfort, helping to reduce or prevent vomiting:

Symptom: Eating Non-food Items

Pica is when your dog or cat eats items like rocks, paper, fabric, dirt or plastic. Pica can be behavioral or physical. Pets with behavioral pica eat non-food items out of boredom, stress or play (like eating their owner's socks). Physical pica can be due to digestive disorders, anemia or hormonal imbalances. It's essential to work with your vet to find the cause. The following supplements can help to ease tummy discomfort and promote a healthy digestive tract for physical pica and/or provide calming for the stresses related to behavioral pica:

Symptom: Hairballs

Hairballs occur when motility problems prevent the hair from moving through the digestive tract as it should. Improving your cat's digestive health will reduce problems with hairballs. The following supplements for cat digestive problems can help to improve motility and reduce hairballs:

Symptoms: Pancreatitis (Swollen abdomen, diarrhea, vomiting and arching of the back)

Acute pancreatitis can be fatal, so if you see your pet displaying these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian immediately. For pets diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis, symptoms can be well managed by feeding a reduced-fat, anti-inflammatory diet and by adding digestive enzymes and probiotics for pancreatitis. These pancreatic enzymes and probiotics for pets reduce the load on the pancreas, optimize digestion and help pets feel better:

Symptoms: Straining to Defecate, Bloody Stool, Mucus, Excessive Licking of Anus, Loss of Appetite, Painful Red Sores

Perianal Fistulas may cause severe pain and discomfort for your dog. The lesions may vary, but at onset they appear as small oozing holes in the skin. The condition can be managed with medications to clear the infection and clipping of the perianal region to increase ventilation. Since the condition recurs in as many as 80% of dogs, you can help to manage the condition by changing to a hypoallergenic, novel-protein diet and adding holistic supplements to support the digestive and immune systems:

Symptoms: Weight Loss, Malabsorption, Diarrhea

Malabsorption disorders such as Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency and Protein Losing Enteropathy can be hard to diagnose. Due to chronic diarrhea and digestive upset, many times these dogs are initially diagnosed with IBD. Malabsorption disorders occur when dogs do not break down fats and proteins, resulting in nutrient waste and weight loss in the pet. Many foods can cause intestinal inflammation, and by eliminating these foods and adding digestive supplements, you can help relieve your dog’s stomach upset and it will be better able absorb the nutrients in its food:

Symptoms: Dog Eating Poop

Why is my dog eating poop? Coprophagia in dogs is often considered behavioral, but much of the time, there is an underlying nutritional deficiency or health issue. Dogs may eat their stool due to digestive upset, lack of nutrients (especially protein) in their diet or parasites. Be sure to ask your vet for a fecal test to check your dog for parasites. Many dogs that eat poop are consuming low-quality diets that are high in fillers (e.g peanut shell hulls) and low in protein and fresh nutrients. Feeding a nutrient-dense raw diet and using digestive supplements can help your dog digest and absorb their food properly and improve their overall health:

Learn More About Different Digestive Problems in Dogs and Cats

Click on the photos below to learn more about common pet digestive conditions.

  • Cat Acid Reflux

    Does your kitty vomit or regurgitate after eating? Kitties can suffer from acid reflux or GERD. There are natural remedies to help ease the painful symptoms.....

  • Cat Bad Breath

    Does your cat have bad breath? Cat bad breath can be caused by poor digestion or autoimmune conditions. Natural remedies can help your kitty have a healthy smile.....
  • Cat IBD

    Feline inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by an abnormal accumulation of inflammatory cells in the intestines. A holistic approach to treating IBS and IBD in cats can help give your cat fast relief.....
  • Dog Acid Reflux

    Can dogs get acid reflux like people? Do you hear gulping noises or loud stomach gurgling and witness lick fits or excessive grass eating? Long-term relief from these uncomfortable symptoms is available.....
  • Dog Bad Breath

    Dental chews and breath mints can only do so much for bad dog breath and terrible cat breath. While halitosis can be caused by plaque and tartar, it can also be a sign of other medical conditions.....
  • Dog Farting

    Can your dog's smelly farts clear out a room? Canine flatulence is common and often amusing occurrence, but it can also be a sign of underlying digestive issues. Understanding the causes can help create a more pleasant environment.....
  • Dog Grass Eating

    Many dogs like the taste of grass and enjoy a little vegetation to munch on. While it is common for dogs to eat grass, the reasons for dogs eating grass can differ between healthy and sick dogs.....
  • Dog IBD

    Does your dog have chronic diarrhea? What if I see blood or mucus in my dog's poop? It is gross to talk about, but inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can be pretty uncomfortable for your dog. Natural treatments can help.....
  • Parasites (Giardia) & Worms

    Treatments for giardia and parasites need to contain a multipronged approach. While medications may kill the bugs, the infestation can have a long-term impact on your pet's immune system, digestive system and bowel function.....

Learn More About Common Digestive Problems in Dogs and Cats

Why Do Cats & Dogs Get Upset Stomachs?

A cat or dog upset stomach can occur primarily due to:

  • Diet
  • Food Allergies
  • Intestinal Dysbiosis
  • Chronic GI Disorders (e.g. IBD or IBS)
  • Other Health Issues (e.g. kidney disease)
  • Pica or Eating Spoiled Food
  • Parasites or Infections
  • Obstruction

It is essential to take your pet to the veterinarian for an examination and laboratory testing to determine the cause of your pets' upset stomach. Your vet may ask you to bring in a stool sample. A fecal analysis will provide valuable information about your cat or dog's microbiome, including the presence of parasites, bacteria and inflammatory cells. Laboratory testing for conditions of the liver, kidney and pancreas can also help your vet to determine what is causing the upset stomach.

Many pets may have a normal fecal analysis but still have an upset stomach. Most pet digestive disorders occur because of the pet’s diet. Just because a brand is considered premium or organic doesn’t mean it is right for your pet. Many of the best-selling premium brands contain grains and hidden fillers that can cause a variety of digestive problems and, subsequently, a weakened immune system. Pets can also be allergic to some of the ingredients, which can cause a great deal of inflammation. Please see our detailed discussion about pet prescription diets.

The key to good digestion is a healthy, balanced microbiome. A proper ratio of good-to-bad bacteria is essential to ensure your pet's digestion is working properly. If the good bacteria balance is upset, it can result in a multitude of digestive disorders. Using supplements to improve your pet's intestinal balance and overall digestion can help relieve your cat or dog's upset stomach.

Signs of an Upset Stomach in Dogs & Cats

Digestive problems in cats and dogs encompass a wide range of symptoms and diseases. The following symptoms may indicate that your cat or dog has an upset stomach:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Mucus or blood in the stool
  • Acid stomach
  • Bad breath
  • Inappetence
  • Loud, digestive noises (tummy rumbling or gurgling)
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Excessive grass eating
  • Hunching over after eating
  • Licking or smacking of the lips
  • Restlessness or pacing after eating

Common Digestive Problems in Dogs & Cats

Listed below are common digestive problems that can cause your cat or dog to have an upset stomach. If you scroll down, you can click on our natural pet supplements and view testimonials from real pet owners whose pets have experienced relief from vomiting, diarrhea, acid reflux and other digestive disorders.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBS

IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) are characterized by an abnormal accumulation of inflammatory cells in the lining of the intestine. This can result in gas, mucus and bloody stool. Pets with IBD and IBS frequently experience diarrhea, vomiting and gurgling tummies. These conditions are commonly caused by food intolerances or stress. Learn more about feline IBD/IBS and dog IBD/IBS.

Acid Reflux & Heartburn

Acid reflux and heartburn are quite common in pets. The symptoms can be subtle, like not always wanting to eat or rushing to eat grass and vomiting afterward. Acid reflux is uncomfortable, and cats and dogs will make gulping noises or have gurgling stomachs. Acid reflux and heartburn are typically a result of poor digestion or food allergies.


Colitis is an inflammation or irritation of the colon or large intestine. It commonly causes gooey diarrhea featuring mucus, fresh blood or both. It is often accompanied by cramping, gas and an urgency to defecate. Adding our cat and dog colitis natural treatment is a great first step in helping your pet, but it is important to identify the possible culprits that are causing your pet’s colitis. Eating too many treats or raiding the trash can cause colitis, or it may be stress-induced. For example, a visit to the vet can cause stress colitis in dogs and cats. A pet can quickly become very weak and dehydrated from bloody stools. Our supplements for colitis in dogs and cats gently restore and rebalance your pet’s microbiome (the community of microorganisms in your pet’s intestinal tract) to help your pet feel better again.

Hairballs in Cats

Hairballs in cats are the result of grooming and swallowing hair. The hair can accumulate in the stomach, and your kitty will retch and hack until it vomits the hairball. Cats that have intestinal motility or digestive problems tend to have a more difficult time with hairballs. By improving digestive problems, most of the hair should pass through the digestive system. One of the biggest causes of digestive problems in cats is their diet. Dry food, for example, is high in carbohydrates. Cats are carnivores and not big water drinkers, so they should eat a high-protein, high-moisture diet. Cats frequently have food intolerances and allergies to ingredients such as dairy and fish, so feeding a low-carbohydrate hypoallergenic diet can help with overall digestion and managing vomiting from hairballs.

Adding Power Probiotic can also help to improve your cat's digestion. Adding a small amount of canned pumpkin or mashed sweet potatoes to your cat's food can add fiber, which is important to help keep the hair moving through the intestinal tract. Brushing your kitty a few times a week will help to remove loose hair and improve the skin and coat.

Perianal Fistula in Dogs

Perianal fistula in dogs is a painful opening in the skin surrounding the anus. When the condition is mild, you may not notice there is a problem, but as it continues to progress, watch for signs of your pet straining to defecate, blood in the stool and a decrease in appetite. You might also notice that your dog excessively licks its tail and hindquarters, often leading to infection and chronic draining ulcers that are very painful.

Older German Shepherds are the most commonly affected, but perianal fistulas can occur in any breed of dog. While the external sores and lesions are red and painful, most of the other signs appear to be digestion related. Adding Power Probiotic can help to replenish good bacteria in the digestive tract and Amazing Omegas for Pets can help to reduce inflammation and make bowel movements easier.

Digestive Parasites

Parasite infestations can cause inflammation in the intestinal lining and subsequent weakening of the immune system. The parasites will literally eat your pet's food and nutrients. Parasites can be transmitted by water or fecal ingestion. They are highly contagious and will require antiparasitic medications from your veterinarian. The medications will kill the parasites, but there may be long-term impacts on your pet's immune system, digestive system and bowel function.

Gastric Ulcers

Gastric ulcers in dogs and cats occur when the mucosal lining of the stomach or intestine has been damaged and the strong digestive acids cause painful lesions to form. The most common causes of ulcers are the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs such as Rimadyl, Deramaxx or Meloxicam) or an overgrowth of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) in the gut. Ulcers can also be caused by accidental poisoning (toxic plants, pesticides, chemicals), infection (bacterial or viral), parasites, IBD, kidney or liver disease and trauma. Older dogs can develop acid stomach from taking NSAIDs to treat their arthritis or hip dysplasia.

Symptoms of ulcers in pets can include vomiting, abdominal pain (may avoid certain positions and be sensitive to touch), black tarry stool due to digested blood, and loss of appetite. The goal of treatment is to relieve discomfort and promote the healing of the ulcers. The first step is to eliminate the cause of the ulcer, otherwise ulcers will continue to form.

Using supportive natural supplements can help relieve your pet's discomfort. Gastro ULC, Power Probiotic and Soothing Digestive Relief work together to promote a healthy digestive tract and reduce irritation from stomach acid. If your pet's ulcers are from NSAID use, natural joint support supplements such as Ultra-Flex Collagen or ArthroSoothe can help reduce or eliminate the need for NSAIDs and pain medications.

Recommended Diet for Dogs and Cats With Digestive Disorders

Many times, pets with digestive disorders are eating foods with ingredients that cause intestinal inflammation or that the pet has an intolerance to. Digestive issues are often treated by using "prescription" diets and medications. These prescription diets typically contain byproducts, fillers and chemicals. While the diet may help in the short term by reducing fat and adding fiber, giving your pet these ingredients can introduce other problems such as skin irritation, itching and dull coat. Over the long term, the ingredients can exacerbate allergies and cause inflammation. Please see our article about pet prescription diets.

In general, pets with digestive disorders should eat a grain-free, hypoallergenic diet. Most pet owners find that just by making changes to the diet, along with adding a powerful probiotic and digestive enzymes, their cat or dog's digestion quickly improves. Ask Ariel's Pet Nutritionist offered holistic consultations in conjunction with veterinarians at VCA hospitals for over 10 years. Her diet and supplement protocol for dogs and cats with digestive disorders has been recommended by veterinarians nationwide. When ordering supplements, please be sure to include the food and treats you are feeding your pet, along with any health issues, directly on the order form at checkout. We will include FREE diet tips for your dog or cat's digestive issues on the packing slip that comes with your order.

Need Help?

We understand how hard it is when your pet is suffering from digestive issues, and we will do all we can to help. It can be confusing when trying to understand which cat and dog supplements would be appropriate for your pet. Please email us at [email protected]. Please note that we cannot provide consultative advice due to veterinary regulations, but we will be happy to provide articles and information so that you can make an informed decision about what's best for your pet.

Originally published Dec 11, 2023
Updated March 20, 2024
Written by: Susan Davis, Pet Health Nutritionist, CCN
All pet treatment protocols and pet treatment supplements have been reviewed and approved by a veterinarian