Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Useful Tips: What Do We Use for the Occasional Morning Stomach Upset?

First, I feel I have to emphasize that this tip is meant to mend an occasional morning stomach upset only. While it has become accepted that for some dogs waking up with an upset stomach every morning can be normal, I do not believe that. If my dog was consistently nauseous in the morning, I'd want to know exactly why that is happening.

Jasmine, for example, did have this issue consistently, whether or not she got something to eat before bed. Only years later she was finally diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Ever since she was a puppy she would refuse her breakfast and generally wouldn't eat anything until after a walk.

It is a familiar scenario.


A dog might frown at their breakfast, try to eat grass, their stomach might start making grumbly noises.

For Cookie, eating grass normally helps, however, when it's time for it to come out, the long pieces make that business quite challenging. Overall, I don't mind my dogs munching on grass a little bit but in excess, it can irritate the GI tract.

The theory is that this happens from acid build up in the stomach.


One of the recommendations I got from our vet was giving a soda cracker before bed. We did try that, and Cookie loves soda crackers for some reason, but it didn't seem to make any difference. Plus I didn't want to make it a habit and how would one predict what is to come the next morning?

The first time I got a similar idea was when Cookie was on NSAIDs after her injury.


She was out for lab workup so she had to skip her breakfast. The whole trip added up to a long day and by the time Cookie came home her stomach was all unhappy and making all sorts of noise. There was no way I could convince her to eat anything in order to give her the meds.

Going with the theory that it was from too much acid in the stomach, I remembered that at one time Jasmine was taking Tums to help with that. We did not have any but we did have calcium pills. Should work the same, right? So hubby pillinated her one of those. Not long after that the stomach upset cleared and I was able to feed and medicate her.

Cookie gets her belly upset in the morning every now and then.


When that happens, all she wants to do is to eat grass. Then, one morning, I remembered how well the calcium pill worked and I got the bright idea of offering her a little bit of sour cream. To my surprise, she accepted it even though she was refusing any other food. I fed her a bit of that and shortly after her stomach settled quite nicely.

I've used that for quite some time now and it works every time.


I'm sure plain yogurt could be used as well, however, we don't always have that. We always do have sour cream. I believe that either would work the same.

Of course, if your dog happens to have an issue with dairy, don't try this trick. Otherwise, though, it is safe and so far it's been very effective.

I would not use Pepto Bismol for my dog but I have no reservation offering a bit of safe sour cream.

If you decide to try it, let me know how it worked for your dog.


Don't forget, though, if your dog gets upset stomach daily, and/or is vomiting, do see a veterinarian.


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28 comments

  1. Sour cream huh? I've never tried that. I sometimes use pumpkin when my dogs have a bad belly but never sour cream. I'll give that a try sometime. Thanks!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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    1. I know right? It's amazing how quickly it works.

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    2. Will have to try this. We nearly always have both yogurt (which contains "good" bacteria to re-populate the gut), and often have sour cream, too. Not sure if it also contains the same thing but the pets love it, too.

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  2. We almost never have sour cream in the house but we usually have yogurt. If he has a stomach upset, he usually gets slippery elm though.

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    1. Yogurt should work exactly the same. Cookie wouldn't want to have anything to do with slippery elm, though I do use that for GI upset when it lasts a whole day etc; diarrhea type of thing. This is for "morning upset" only, stomach, not the gut.

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  3. Huh.. I never would have thought to try sour cream. I've given my dogs yogurt and cottage cheese before, they LOVE cottage cheese. I wonder if that would help in the same situation?

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    1. I'm sure either of those would work just the same. The reason we use sour cream is that we always have it and that she gets it as means to deliver her supplements with dinner as well.

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  4. I have given mine yogurt before. I would never have thought to try sour cream! I can see how it might help.

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    1. I believe those are about the same thing and would work about the same.

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  5. I give Layla Greek Yoghurt which she loves, actually I use it as a treat also.

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  6. I agree with you, stomach upset on a regular basis should not be considered "normal" Better to figure out what's causing the problem and eliminate it if possible. You did a good job figuring out the root cause, and a workable solution!

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    1. Most definitely - any ongoing issue should not be masked but identified and treated. One-of situations is what I used this "remedy" for.

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  7. I'm definitely telling my niece about trying sour cream. Her dog is known to have an upset tummy from time to time.

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    1. Sour cream, yogurt ... let me know how it goes if she tries it :-)

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  8. This is interesting. Ruby can be very anxious and sometimes this causes an upset stomach. I have never tried yogurt or sour cream, but will definitely give it a try.

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    1. For anxiety-related upsets, particularly if she's accepting food normally and you can predict it, I'd probably try ginger pill type of thing. But sour cream/yogurt might work too, getting rid of the excess acid.

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  9. Thanks for the suggestion! Sophie sometimes has an upset stomach in the morning, the vet wasn't worried since it so rare. I'll have to try this and see if it helps her.

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    1. Do let me know if you try it how it works.

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  10. We definitely always have yogurt and know Shasta loves it. Now I'll have to be sure to try it when he has an upset tummy too. Thanks for the advice! Smiles, Barks and Wagging Tails, Denise & Shasta

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    1. Do let me know how it works when you try it.

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  11. Very interesting! I wouldn't have thought to try that. Good to know, and glad it works for your pup!

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    1. It was kind of a process by which I arrived to the idea of trying this. It's worked perfectly every time.

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  12. Interesting. Dairy has normally had the opposite effect for Bean. We typically use pumpkin to address stomach upset. Thanks for this post.

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    1. Not every dog does well with dairy though it seems most do. They can, however, have intolerance just like people.

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  13. That is very interesting! I had never thought about the effect of calcium on the digestive tract. I will have to do some digging and learn about it a little more. Sour cream would not be a great solution for cats as cats are generally lactose intolerant, but the calcium idea could still have some benefits.

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    1. The string of reasoning that led me to try this is as follows:

      1) the kind of morning stomach upset I'm talking about is believed to be a result of stomach acid build up. That is what Cookie's vet also believes, and having suggested soda cracker before bed to try and help mitigate that. However, since it happens sporadically, I'd have to feed the crackers all the time as there is no way of predicting when this is going to happen

      2) When Jasmine was believed to have chronic excess stomach acid due to her IBD, Tums had been prescribed. Tums = calcium

      3) That one time when Cookie was supposed to get her NSAID but her stomach was upset, and it has to be given with food which she was refusing, I remembered the Tums. Not having any at home, and having calcium pills, we decided to try one of those and it worked within about 30 minutes

      4) from there it was natural to try the sour cream

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  14. I never thought about sour cream for a bad tummy. I always thought about yogurt. However, I do agree with you that you should have your fur children checked out by the vet.

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