Dogs may be lively creatures and they may be the best companion when you are down. However, even if dogs naturally have a lively nature, there are also times when they are the one that feel down. There are times when they are not themselves and they just sit in one corner feeling sick. Dogs can get sick too and one of the most common illnesses experienced by dogs is stomach flu. If humans experience stomach flu at one point in our lives, dogs also experience the same thing. After all, dogs have stomachs too.

What causes stomach flu in dogs?

The causes of stomach flu in dogs are somewhat the same with the causes of stomach flu or gastroenteritis as the condition is called in human beings. You may have served your dog foods that are contaminated with bacteria like e-coli or salmonella or because dogs have the tendency to wander around, they may have eaten foods that contain toxins and bacteria into their body that triggered the infection. You may have also served uncooked food to them and this is also one of the causes of stomach flu. It may also be caused by parasites.

Symptoms for stomach flu in dogs

Getting to know the symptoms of stomach flu in dogs can signal you that something is wrong with your dog. The common symptoms of stomach flu in dogs are bloating and flatulence, vomiting and diarrhea, lethargy, appetite loss and pain. If before, your dog is lively and eats well, once stomach flu attacks, you can’t expect your dog to feel right. He or she may not eat well and whimper in pain. Once you see your dog like this, this requires your attention already.

Stomach flu in dogs may not be that serious because usually, stomach flu in dogs only last for about 1-2 days. However, seeing your dog suffer from the pain and discomfort that the flu is causing is too much for you to bear if you love your dog. Plus, if stomach flu is not treated as soon possible, you won’t be able to play with your dog like before and you could also literally lose your dog especially if stomach flu complications arise. With this, once stomach flu hits your dog, it’s natural to think of what you can do fast.


The most practical thing to do in the case of dog stomach flu is to take the dog to the vet. Veterinarians will know what to do to treat your dog’s condition. And if you are unsure about the condition of your dog, vets can diagnose them easily and prescribe the right treatment.

You can also think of simple but effective ways on how to treat stomach flu in dogs that you can do at home. You can let your dog drink lots of water to replenish the lost fluids brought about by diarrhea. Do not let the dog eat for 12-14 hours. You can also let the dog take medications such as Nutri-Cal syrup, Pepto-Bismol, or other dog medications. But of course, before you do this, it pays when you consult the doctor first when it comes to medications to be sure.

As stomach flu in human beings is annoying, how much more annoying it is for your dog that cannot speak and express how miserable he or she fells? With this, as the dog owner, you need to be more sensitive about how your dog is feeling. And in case of stomach flu in dogs, give the dog all the care he or she needs from an owner who loves him or her.


  1. Emilia

    Hi my dog is a cairn terrier and lately he has been acting strange and depressed. He weed on the carpet one day and he hasn’t eaten a proper meal in about 5days. He has been sick 4 times today. Also, which didnt help him was that he was attacked by another dog on his walk :(. His stomach is slightly hard a bit like a drum skin. Anyway, do you think his symptoms could be those of stomach flu? I haven’t yet taken him to a vet. Should we???

    1. Kenneth Article Author

      Hi Emilia,
      After reading your comment I think you should definitively take your dog to a vet.
      I’m not a doctor nor a vet, but if my dog had the symptoms you describe I would check it out.

  2. karen

    Hi my sons 4 month old puppy a cairn terrier was fine playing eating drinking just a regular puppy. My daughter gave him some peanuts last night he started throwing up within an bour of eating the peanuts. Now next day he don’t wannna eat/drink or play just lay around and he has had diarrhea one time. Should I take him to the vet or let the peanuts get completely outta his systems.

  3. Emily

    Hi my do is a 7 year old Lhasa apsa she was doing fine running, playing and eating like normal. Yesterday we took her to the groomer and she came back not acting as usual. She just lays around and has thrown up quite a few times. She won’t eat and I took her out to play but she just eats grass should I take her to the vet?

  4. tim

    my 1 yr minature daucshund went outside first thing this morning. came in and vomiting grass and possible some cat food. became lathargic and looking weary eyed. also drank some water and vomiting that up.took to the hospital. gave him nausea shot and fluids under the skin. has not improved much, taking to the vet in the morning. is it stomach flu or something else?

  5. Summer pieretti

    My four year ild shih tzu, Buoy, has thrown up five times in 12 hours. He was acting normal before then. His bowel movements are normal as is his urination. His energy level is way down and the last time he vomited, he whimpered. He isn’t sensitive to touch in his stomache area but he is a small dog and I am worried of what could be wrong with him. His appetite is intact as is his water intake. He hasn’t been left alone in days so I know he didn’t swallow something foriegn. Could this just be a bug or should I take him in?

  6. Jo

    My dog is a 80 pound lab… he doesn’t seem to be able to keep his food down, but no diarrhea or lethargy. He is also drinking normal amounts of water… Today is his 2nd day of these symtoms…. I also have another lab who eats the same dog food and is not exhibiting any symtoms. Any advice?

  7. Sandy Sears

    My pup is about 5months old,been sick for 3days diarria wont eat or play got up this morning n she ate 3 bites of dog food can’t afford vet someone stole my debit card so been giving worm med.n baby asprin

  8. marilyn ibarrondo

    My dog had been sick for several days I think he has a stomach flu. He is drinking water for hydration bit is still not his normal self should I take him to the vet?

  9. mary

    My 12 year old Doberman pinscher has had a weird stomach bug that keeps going away and coming back about once a week he has bad foul smelling diarrhea and gas and it lasts about 24 hours each time he eats normal and does not act like anything is bothering him but I can’t seem to figure it out we tried the rice but it still keeps coming back….

  10. Marsha

    I’m INCENSED when I read advice to “take your dog to the vet”. Vets ONLY want to get as much money out of you as possible. They’ll say your dog needs radiology images, back surgery…anything expensive. They couldn’t care less about the well-being of any animal. A vet is an absolute last resort and, on the note, avoid Bainfield vets especially.

    My dog had stomach flu and, as usual, the vet did nothing more than rack up huge charges for diagnostics which all came back negative. If you need advice, ask a dog trainer, a doggie daycare, another dog owner. Go to a dog park and ask others. A vet is a last, last, last resort.

    BTW, I’ve seen the vet to talk about my dog’s diet. They were just as worthless on this visit.

    If your advice to others is “go see a vet”, please do not leave a comment. If you know about a particular affliction like Parva then, mention that but, leave the vet part out and let the poster do the math.

    1. Jamie

      I could not agree more, Marsha. They tell you not to feed your dog natural foods but say nothing of the tainted, China products on store shelves. Liars and frauds they be.

    2. Gin

      Not all vets take advantage. If your pet is sick you need to have them looked at by a professional. A trainer, caretakers or boarder do not have the medical qualifications to diagnose any condition in a animal. If you feel your vet over charges or does more tests than are necessary, you should look into finding another Vet. But a lot of times those tests are necessary to give a proper diagnosis.

    3. Clive

      Totally agree. Vets just want to bleed you for money.

      Stomach flu in dogs is just as same as in people. The reason that the dog (or indeed you) will vomit and pass diarrhea is because the body is trying to flush whatever caused the problem out of the body, as quickly as possible, something it is very efficient in doing.

      A fit, healthy adult dog will normally recover from a dose of stomach flu by itself within a few days without any medical intervention. Just ry to encourage them to drink water and offer food but allow them in their own time to take it.

  11. Lori

    I have a 14 month old beagle/ German Shepard he was fine then Monday morning he threw up and has been doing it off and on sence then he won’t it is it the flu???? Thanks and do t say go to the vet that will cost me one leg and one arm

  12. Gin

    Having a pet is just like having a child. If your child gets sick you take them to the Dr right? I can’t believe how many people are on here asking if they should take them or not. Just like in humans, anything lasting 2 days should be looked at, but if there are severe symptoms you take them right away.

    1. Gennie

      My doctor says anything lasting 2 weeks should then be checked. It does not hurt the body to allow time to heal itself. Rest and hydration on the onset of symptoms usually results in minimal down time. Its just difficult to listen to your body when you have a demanding normal lifestyle…but it works…it also takes a lifetime to figure it out though…i never could slow down and go to bed when i was a young person. typical flu symptoms in pet or person requires rest, hydration and a little affection.

  13. Gin

    Pet care is expensive. They must have regular check ups, vaccinations and get treated for sick or accident visits. If you are unable to afford those instances, then maybe you should re think your ownership of animals.

  14. Elizabeth

    I have a 11 week old puppy…on Sunday she had eaten a lot of food…she ate eggs, Vienna’s, hotdogs, bologna and ham….that night she got sick 3 times…well now it’s day 3 and she’s not eat nothing she’s been laying around, breathing heavy throwing up clear stuff which I think it’s the water that she’s drinking…she also has diarrhea…I am very worried about her is their any one who knows what’s going on….I can’t take her to the vet because I’m not financially able right now…. someone please help me and tell me whats wrong..I don’t know if it’s the dog flu or a dog stomach virus

    1. shilo

      What the heck..why would u feed your dog all that garbage ????especially that young !!!! Lil babies tummys need puppy food ! Not garbage I wouldn’t even don’t deserve a dog if u don’t even know what to feed him..give her to someone who cares

    2. Becky

      Why would you even get a dog if you aren’t financially able to care for it? Having puppies/dogs is an expense that you need to decide if you are able to handle BEFORE you get the dog. Please, do this poor little puppy a favor and give her to someone who is able to care for her properly. Poor little dog. I agree with Shilo’s comment.

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