Acid Reflux In Dogs
Just like humans, dogs are susceptible to digestive problems such as indigestion, upset stomach, and other ailments that can lead to a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) - or “acid reflux” as it is commonly known. If you find your dog has a loss of appetite, increased burping or vomiting, eating grass, or acting lethargic, your pup could be suffering from doggy acid reflux. Below, you can find supplement and probiotic treatments for acid reflux in dogs and learn more about the condition.
What Is Acid Reflux in Dogs?
Dogs can get acid reflux, acid stomach, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), heartburn, and other similar conditions just like people. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) - or acid reflux - is the backflow of stomach acid and intestinal fluids into the dog’s esophagus. Over time, the fluids can damage the lining of the esophagus, causing inflammation and discomfort.
Causes of Acid Reflux in Dogs
There are a range of causes for acid reflux in dogs, but most instances of acid reflux, heartburn, or symptoms of GERD stem from your dog’s diet and digestive health.
Some common causes of dog acid reflux include:
- Poor digestion
- Poor diet
- Food intolerances
- Hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid)
- Intestinal dysbiosis
- Bowel disorders
Acid reflux and GERD in dogs (and cats) can be very uncomfortable and painful.
Symptoms & Signs That Your Dog Has Acid Reflux
How can you tell if your dog has acid reflux?
Dog acid reflux can be very painful and symptoms can sometimes be hard to detect. You may hear gulping noises, loud stomach gurgling, or your dog may be constantly eating grass and vomiting it up afterward.
But a lot of times, the symptoms of heartburn in dogs may be more subtle, such as not wanting to eat as much dog food in the morning, and the condition may go undetected for some time.
Acid reflux in dogs is a painful condition that is often impacted by diet and food allergies.
Common dog acid reflux symptoms include:
- Lack of appetite, especially in the morning
- Vomiting of bile
- Throwing up undigested food shortly after being consumed
- Coughing (pets with collapsed trachea often have acid reflux)
- Excessive grass eating (some grazing on grass is normal)
- Regurgitation noises, dog burping, or gagging
- Hunching over after eating
- Gulping or loud gurgling noises
- Licking or smacking of the lips
- Panting a few hours after meals
- Lick Fits (frantic licking of floors, walls, grass, dirt)
- Restlessness or pacing after eating
Diagnosing Acid Reflux in Dogs
Getting a proper diagnosis for acid reflux or GERD requires a veterinarian. While we make assumptions based on symptoms the dog is showing, if you really feel like your pet is suffering from GERD, you should consult your veterinarian.
Typically, a vet will start the diagnosis process with a physical examination looking for things like tenderness, obstructions, or anomalies along your dog’s digestive tract. This helps rule out a number of other causes of digestive irritation.
Once obstructions are ruled out, your vet will likely do blood and lab work to assess your pet’s immune system and the overall health and functionality of your dog’s organs. Your vet will also look at the health of your dog’s urinary tract as sometimes a urinary tract infection can cause discomfort in your pet that could mimic some of the symptoms above. Lastly, your vet will likely do imaging (x-ray and ultrasound) to rule out any issues that can present with similar symptoms to GERD.
Assuming your dog passes all the above exams, the next step to obtain a GERD diagnosis will be canine endoscopy. Typically, you’ll work with a veterinary specialist who will place a scope down your dog’s throat near the bottom of the esophagus to see what inflammation might be happening as a result of GERD. This process requires anesthesia and can be costly to perform, which is why many dog owners opt for more affordable, less invasive treatments before getting an official diagnosis.
Treatments for Acid Reflux in Dogs, GERD, and General Heartburn Relief
At this point, you’re probably wondering what to do if your dog has acid reflux?
First, you should consult your regular vet’s office to let them know your dog is showing signs of acid reflux and see what they recommend. Not all pets display the exact same symptoms, so check with a professional before administering any type of medication.
Because of the nature of acid reflux in dogs, there are natural, supplemental remedies and treatments that can help your dog with the discomfort of acid reflux.
Our canine digestion products work to help maintain balance in your pet's digestive tract and gut health. We have seen the best results when our customers use a digestive enzyme, probiotic, and acid reducer in combination. Here’s why:
Our clients report the best results when Gastro ULC, Power Probiotic and K9 Digestive Enzymes are used together to achieve canine digestive balance. When dealing with acid stomach or acid reflux in dogs DIY remedies, including a few key supplements, can make a big difference.
Below, you can see a range of vet-approved supplements that can help get your dog fast relief from acid reflux, heartburn, and GERD.
Gastro ULC Acid Reducer
This fabulous stomach acid reducer and gastrointestinal formula helps to not only relieve stomach acid pain but also repair inflamed tissue. Gastro ULC is like a natural pepto bismol for dogs.
Learn more about Gastro ULC.
Power Probiotic for Dogs
Backed by scientific research, this powerful multi-strain formula repopulates the good, friendly bacteria your dog’s digestive system needs. It can help improve your dog's appetite by easing the pain of stomach acid.
Learn more about Power Probiotic.
K9 Digestive Enzymes
This product helps to maintain normal digestive function for your dog. It contains pancreatin and ox bile for increased absorption of proteins and fats. An adequate level of hydrochloric acid (HCL) is essential for proper functioning of the digestive system. It activates the digestive enzymes that break down foods.
Learn more about K9 Digestive Enzymes.
LypoZyme Digestive Enzymes for Dogs
These easy-to-administer digestive enzymes help your dog digest fats, protein and carbohydrates. This product is gentle enough for the tiniest pet and effective for larger pets.
Learn more about LypoZyme.
Soothing Digestive Relief Supplement for Dogs
This formula calms and soothes the digestive tract, making it an allstar of our acid reflux in dogs remedies. It contains scientifically proven ingredients, such as papaya leaf and marshmallow root, to protect and soothe the mucosal membrane in the stomach and digestive tract. This is an especially effective treatment for dog acid reflux at night.
Learn more about Soothing Digestive Relief.
Acid Reflux in Dogs Diet Tips & Foods To Avoid
In addition to our dog digestive remedies, it is also important to make the appropriate diet changes. Many pet digestive disorders occur because of the foods that your pet may be eating.
Antacids provide temporary relief from heartburn and acid reflux, but the real problem is poor digestion caused by food intolerances. This is why taking a critical look at your dog’s diet is an important part of any treatment for dog acid reflux.
Check Your Dog’s Food
Many of the best-selling premium dog food brands can contain allergens or starchy carbohydrates that can cause a variety of digestive problems and lead to a weakened immune system for your pup. Chemical ingredients like preservatives, colorings, flavorings, and additives have no place in your dog's diet, as they provide no nutritional value.
Many dogs who suffer from heartburn and acid reflux see an improvement in symptoms by eating a hypoallergenic, high-moisture diet with a meat protein as the first ingredient. By-products and meal proteins are commonly used in kibble and do not provide the nutritional value your pup needs. These are made by rendering (grinding and cooking) the leftover parts of protein sources, after the meat has been removed, into dry powders. Eliminating common allergens can also help your dog or cat with acid reflux. Beef, fish, poultry, grains and dairy can be allergens for certain pets.
Change Up Their Feeding Size & Schedule
Dogs with acid reflux can benefit from consuming several small meals spaced throughout the day to help optimize for easier digestion. Since acid reflux is caused by poor digestion, larger meals can put too much pressure on the stomach and gastrointestinal tract. It is also helpful to keep a consistent feeding schedule for your dog. Once your pet's stomach has good food, in a manageable portion size, at consistent intervals, the symptoms of acid reflux should decline and in some cases, their appetite can return back to normal.
When you combine digestive supplements with proper diet changes, it can give your dog much-needed relief from GERD. Many veterinarians have seen the proven results of our products with their patients, which is why Ask Ariel pet supplements are veterinarian-recommended nationwide. We also give all of our customers free diet tips with every order from a licensed pet nutritionist.
For more information about grass eating, food allergies and acid stomach, please see the many articles on our website.
Is there a natural antacid for dogs and cats?
Poor digestion, food allergies and low quality ingredients in pet food contribute to acid reflux. You can help relieve painful acid stomach by using a few natural home remedies along with changing your pet’s diet. Our comprehensive natural antacid treatment for dogs and cats includes a home remedy for acid stomach; along with digestive enzymes, probiotics and free diet tips to improve your pet’s digestion. Ask Ariel’s natural antacid for dogs and cats contains licorice root extract and L-Glutamine to protect the mucous membranes against bacteria, like H.Pylori, and helps to soothe and repair the stomach lining. It also contains mastic gum to relieve inflammation and discomfort.
What can I give my dog for acid reflux?
Dogs with acid reflux show signs such as vomiting bile, excessive grass eating, panting or gulping at night. You may also hear loud, digestive noises coming from your dog’s stomach. Acid reflux in dogs occurs when stomach acid pushes up out of the stomach and into the esophagus, causing pain, heartburn and discomfort. Antacid medications are prescribed, such as omeprazole, to prevent acid production, but they can interfere with proper digestion and contribute to intestinal dysbiosis and SIBO. If acid levels are too low, the stomach cannot fully digest food. Digestive enzymes containing hydrochloric acid (HCL), pancreatin and ox bile extract can aid in the breakdown and absorption of fats and proteins. Gas, burping and heartburn are symptoms of poor digestion. Feeding a low carbohydrate, grain-free diet combined with digestive enzymes and our natural stomach acid reducer for dogs can optimize digestion and relieve the pain and inflammation caused by stomach acid.
What are natural remedies for acid reflux in cats?
How do you know if your cat has acid reflux? Watch for signs such as loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting or spitting up food. Cats can develop acid reflux due to poor digestion, food intolerances, IBD and health conditions such as kidney disease. When cats have acid reflux, the stomach produces too much acid and it comes up into the stomach and esophagus. Most cats will cough and vomit…even yellow or foamy bile. Cats can be very finicky so it’s important to use a tasteless digestive enzyme containing a proprietary blend of lipase, protease and amylase. Probiotics, Ask Ariel’s natural antacid for cats and diet changes can help.
How do you treat GERD in dogs?
Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) is another name for acid reflux, a condition where gastric fluid flows backward into the esophagus. Dogs with GERD may vomit, cough, eat grass, gulp, lick their lips and burp. It can be very uncomfortable, but a few natural remedies can help soothe and repair the throat, tummy and intestinal tract. A powerful probiotic can help to balance the good and bad bacteria in your dog’s microbiome and help to improve appetite by calming the burn caused by stomach acid. GERD is caused by poor digestion, so it is essential to use a digestive enzyme to improve your dog’s digestion of fats and proteins. A natural stomach acid reducer can also help to relieve stomach acid pain and repair inflamed tissue. Diet changes, such as avoiding dry kibble which can cause bloat, can also help.