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.

    4. Pam

      I can’t believe that you would make this comment. Animals are our family and if you can’t afford to take your dog to a vet…you shouldn’t have one. Vets are not all into racking up unnecessary costs, they do care and dehydration is quick, just like infants. Shame on you to say don’t take them to a vet. Many animals die due to people like you.

    5. Lisa

      You are so ignorant. I work for a veterinarian and I love animals shame on you. You just encouraging people that can’t afford to take the dogs to a doctor to go see people that are not knowledgeable you’re an ass and I hope you don’t have any animals. If you do, they should be taken away from you. If you can’t afford to see a doctor don’t have a pet and don’t have a child.

    6. Leslie Tribolet

      I agree, but there are times you do need the vet. My old beagle mix has been really sick so I took him to the vet. He wanted to do all these tests and I said I would like to wait to see if the antibiotics work (think this was a waste but have to follow through once started….) and he is getting better. He is almost 17. I am not mean, but really? Can we see if it is just a bug FIRST? Then he was obviously annoyed and when he cut his nails, he was rough and hurt him. Still cost me $233! I will never go back to him and just pray I don’t have to go to the vet on the days that he is in there. Now my big, young guy is really sick with same stuff – both ends going. I think it is some sort of bug and not food etc., as I have 4 dogs and only 2 are sick.

  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.

    3. Robin

      Omg, why would you get this puppy in the first place??? It’s only 11 weeks old which means you knew when you got him that you couldnt afford to care for him. It makes me sick to think of you as a parent. Having a dog is a HUGE responsibility. Do yourself and the the puppy justice and give it to someone who can afford him. The dog should have been dewormed and given hus first set of shots already. He is at high risk for the parvo virus. If he gets that, there is a likely chance he will die being that he is so young. Smh

  15. Allie

    I agree with Robin, Becky & whoever else said similar responses. The most important part of a puppy/dog’s development of everything ; but especially the really important parts like their brain, immune systems, energy, diet, health etc. are developed the most & have the most impact on a puppy negative or positive in the first 1-8 or 9 months of their lives. Especially if you have a medium/large breed puppy bc they do almost all of their growing in those vital months. That’s why dog trainers, vets etc. say to train your puppy in those months as much as possible. Having a new pup in your life is almost like having a kid. If you don’t have the knowledge or at least read up on, learn & ask ask ask, to be able to eventually have the knowledge to take care of a puppy then why get 1? Ppl who truly love dogs & understand everything that comes along w/ owning one & all, rather wait & NOT get 1 knowing they don’t have the time, money, or knowledge to, bc that’s what is best 4 any dog. It amazes me how selfish ppl are & how dumbfounded they are too when someone says that about them having a puppy & doing stupid stuff as said above.. again.. If you TRULY care about dogs then you’d know NOT getting one if you don’t have the money time etc. is what is best for them… Just like people they’re are certain foods that some ppl can’t have & that are just not good for us to eat in general. The same with dogs especially puppies. I come from a big family & friends & ive NEVER known, or know anyone at all who has had a dog much less a puppy & literally fed them hotdogs, Vianna’s ( which are TERRIBLE 4 ppl much less PUPPIES? ) eggs & bologna?!.. i get some ppl will sneak their dogs some human food sometimes but never that much & food i wouldn’t eat myself for the most part much less my dog?…. If you’ve ever seen that the best dog food & treats that are organic will say approved by the blah blah blah & HUMAN GRADE INGREDIENTS in product which means the dog food or treats are made so well with organic ingredients that a person could eat it, it’s that healthy much less a dog… there’s a reason DOG/PUPPY food/treats were invented in the 1st place? If dogs could handle most or all human food then they would have never made food for them specifically…. Our world these days… So sad… I’m 22 & hate how pampered, dumb, & lazy etc. everyone has become w/ everything…. I never remember hearing half of the crazy sh** i do now, when i was a kid… Grab a book & actually read it…

  16. Natalie Richardson

    Hi! My dog just threw up and she licked me on the face 4 hours ago. I’m worried I might get it. She has had this going on for about 7 days now and has had diarrhea and vomited 4 times. I really worried about her and also do you think I will get it.

    1. Lisa

      Look up zoonotic. I can’t believe how many people here that have dogs are so ignorant I work in rescue I should say I volunteer and rescue and this is why we see so many abandoned and abused sick frightened and sad dogs. Some people should not have pets if you’re that stupid to think that your dog is going to lick you want to face And then worry about getting sick you really shouldn’t have a dog

  17. Catherine

    My hounds would eat the day before then went out and feed the hounds didn’t eat they would turn their nose up from the food but they would drink a lot of water but they also have runny diarrhea to on top of it but no. Blood in it so is this a stomach virus

  18. Ronz

    I have a 15 year old schippedke a couple of years ago I noticed she had lumps near her front legs. When I took her to the vet she handed me a list of more than 10 things that had to be done for 1200 first before she could tell me anything from blood work etc. Almost Two years later in the last few days she’s stop eating has some diahreah not moving around very much. I think at 16 years of age if she doesn’t come out of it while unfortunate I love my dig very much I don’t think I want a vet tell me what I might already know for it to cost an absorbedant amount of money.

  19. renee

    My male Labrador vomits hours after meals whether I feed small amounts or larger, this is day 4. Vet checked him out yesterday with blood and pancreas panel at $175. All normal blood levels, no disease detected. My dog either has 1. stomach flu or 2. swallowed plastic or 3. stomach upset from eating bad substance (goose poo). Told to withhold his food for 24 hours but allow water. He is still drinking and urinating normally. He wants to eat, sits by his bowl for feedings. He has same amount of energy. What next?? Any one else’s dog experience this?

  20. Shirley Soper

    I am disgusted that so many people on this blog say, ‘if you can’t afford vet fees, or great dogfood, you shouldn’t have a dog.’ I guess those people would rather see numerous more animals euthanized or left to fend for themselves. If people do not adopt when they can not truly afford to, thousands upon thousands of dogs will never be in a loving home! Some people adopt when they can afford vet care, and then circumstances change, and money is not available. Do you then think they should return their rescued fur baby to a humane society, or maybe take it out and dump it? Maybe they should have it ‘put to sleep’. The poor babe would sure not understand! Every dog that is adopted has surgery, and cannot reproduce. Please keep your opinion to yourself if you cannot offer better support to those trying to get answers for their pets illness!

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