Upset Stomach in Poodles: Causes, Prevention, and Treatment


When poodles have an upset stomach, they may vomit, lose their appetite, or become extremely lethargic. This is extremely upsetting for a loving pet parent, especially when the remedy isn’t obvious. There are many potential reasons a poodle might have an upset stomach and a number of ways to care for and prevent future upset stomachs as well.

An Upset stomach in poodles is most often a result of constipation or a sudden change in diet. Stomach issues can be prevented by providing a stable diet, avoiding food allergens, and offering frequent exercise. When experiencing an upset stomach, have your poodle fast for 8-10 hours then slowly reintroduce a bland diet.

An Upset stomach in your poodles can be distressing for any owner, however, there are several ways that you can provide the best care for your dog’s condition. Understanding the reasons for your poodle’s upset stomach is one of the most important things you can do to keep your pet healthy. It is also important to know how to prevent and treat your poodle when he gets sick.

Symptoms of Upset Stomach in Poodles

Most poodles will show signs and symptoms of an upset stomach when they are not feeling well, but not all dogs will have the same symptoms. Paying close attention to your dog’s behavior and habits will help alert you when your dog has stomach issues.

Some signs that will indicate your poodle has an upset stomach include:

  • Vomiting
  • Eating grass
  • Not eating their food
  • Diarrhea
  • Gurgling stomach
  • Salivating
  • Licking the floor
  • Flatulence

Common Causes of Upset Stomach in Poodles

It is not uncommon for a dog to get an upset stomach from time to time, but because dogs cannot communicate their feelings, it is difficult to determine the cause. If you are concerned because your dog has been vomiting or avoiding his food, and you worry that their stomach may be upset, there are a few causes that you should consider.

Some common causes for upset stomach in poodles include:

1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Poodles can often have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), so it is good to understand the signs and symptoms. If your dog has IBS, he may have mucus in the stool. Your poodle may also have frequent constipation and/or diarrhea. Be sure to keep your pets’ diet stable and chemical-free in order to avoid irritating their digestive system. 

2. Changes in Your Poodle’s Diet

Poodles have sensitive stomachs and will react strongly to a quick change in their diet.

A sudden change in a poodle’s diet may cause vomiting, diarrhea, and a lack of appetite.

Knowing what your poodle likes to eat and what does and does not irritate their stomach is important. Keep their diet stable in brand, portion size, and feeding time.

3. Constipation

Constipation in your poodle might not be evident if you do not frequently go outside with them, but it is typical for this breed. Constipation is often caused by a lack of fiber or lack of exercise.

Symptoms of constipation in poodles may include:

  • Stomach grumbling
  • Loss of appetite
  • Panting
  • Lethargy

If you suspect your dog is constipated, track their bowel movements, and be sure to give them lots of exercise and fiber.

4. Motion Sickness (While Going on a Ride)

You will know if your poodle has motion sickness if they vomit or gag while taking car rides. This is hard to avoid if you need to travel with your pet, but you can help them feel calmer in your vehicle with some medications to settle their stomach and avoid feeding your dog before travel. Luckily, motion sickness tends to subside quickly.

5. Food Allergies

Similar to humans, when a dog eats something that they are allergic to, it can cause an upset stomach.

Many poodles are allergic to grains or can react poorly to “table food,” or food not designed specifically for dogs.

Additional signs that your dog might have a food allergy could be loss of appetite or constant itching. Be sure to keep your poodle’s diet stable and clean.

6. Acid Reflux

Acid reflux can cause your poodle a great amount of discomfort and stomach issues. Acid reflux is caused when your poodles’ intestinal fluids flow backward into the esophagus. This can cause muscle spasming and vomiting. Over time, your dog’s stomach lining can become chronically inflamed.

7. Table Scraps

Poodles require a consistent diet and can develop an upset stomach if given food with irritants. Owners should avoid giving their poodle table scraps because ingredients such as spices and preservatives can be especially harmful to your dog. Stick to your dog’s planned diet and use only dog-specific treats to reward good behavior.

8. Poisoning

If your dog has a sudden upset stomach and vomiting, it could be caused by consuming something poisonous. There are many things that could be poisonous to your dog, including medications and chemicals. You should also be aware that some people food items can be harmful to your dog, like:

  • Chocolate
  • Garlic
  • Sweeteners.

I recently wrote this article on the 9 most dangerous foods for poodles. In it, you’ll find which foods most toxic so you can keep your poodle safe.

9. Cancer

Canine cancer, especially stomach cancer, can cause your dog to have an upset stomach. Often cancer in dogs is not discovered until most other potential causes are eliminated.

If your poodle has developed cancer, you will notice lethargy and abdominal pain, as well as a loss of appetite. You will want to follow up with your veterinarian if you suspect that your dog may have developed cancer.

The risk of cancer is a great example of why I always recommend pet Insurance to every dog owner I meet. Vet visits, and medical care in general, are extremely expensive and there is real peace of mind knowing Insurance is in place to offset these expenses.

I purchased Petplan Pet Insurance for my dog Angus for about four years, and it really helped me afford the level of veterinary care he deserved. Click the link to Petplan’s website here to get a free quote, and see if Petplan Pet Insurance is a good fit for and your budget.

Also, check out this article I recently wrote on cancer in poodles. In it, you’ll learn which cancers are most common in poodles and the symptoms that may suggest the onset of cancer.

Less Common Causes of Upset Stomach in Poodles

Though rarer, there are some additional factors that could trigger your poodle to have an upset stomach. Knowing these less-common causes of upset stomachs can help diagnose your poodle’s sudden change in health, especially if you have already eliminated any other potential cause. If any of these triggers have affected your poodle’s digestive system, it is a good idea to alert your veterinarian.

Less common reasons for upset stomach include:

  • Too much heartworm medication
  • Allergic reaction to a vaccine
  • New medication

Chronic Conditions That Cause Upset Stomach in Poodles

Poodles are not known to be the most sensitive pets, but having regular upset stomachs is not uncommon for this breed. Frequently upset stomachs are caused by genetics or poor habits. The most common chronic conditions can be dangerous, so it’s important to know the signs and causes.

Chronic conditions that cause upset stomachs include:

1. Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis in dogs can be fatal, and the warning signs are not always clear. Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas, and once your poodle experiences this, it will become a chronic condition.

Small poodles (toy and miniature poodles) are more likely to experience pancreatitis.

Common causes of Pancreatitis in poodles include:

  • Frequently consuming non-food items
  • High fat diet
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Genetics

2. Gastric Dilation and Volvulus (GVS) (Common in Standard Poodles)

Gastric Dilation and Volvulus (GVS) is also called bloat and is common in standard poodles because of the size and shape of their chest. GVS is caused when gas collects in the stomach and causes it to twist back on itself, and it can be fatal. Often, dogs develop GVS from eating their food too quickly. Some important warning signs of canine bloat are:

  • Distress or restlessness
  • Distended abdomen
  • Unproductive vomiting
  • Panting
  • Excess saliva
  • Pacing

Prevention of Upset Stomach in Poodles

If your poodle has had an upset stomach, you know that it can be difficult to help them feel better. Ideally, you will be able to prevent them from having frequent upset stomachs in the future.

Prevention of upset stomach in your poodle includes:

  • Keep a stable diet: Giving your poodle the same portion and brand of food will help acclimate them to their diet. Sudden changes in food can irritate your poodle’s sensitive stomach.
  • Make slow diet changes: If you discover that your pet needs a change in diet, it is important to make this change as slowly as possible to avoid a shock to your dog’s digestive system.
  • Know and avoid Food allergens: If your poodle reacts poorly to certain meats, fat, or grains, it is a good idea to check the labels on your dog food to ensure that you are avoiding these triggers.
  • Exercise frequently: Helping your pet get a lot of exercise into their daily routine through walks and play helps prevent constipation, which is a common cause of upset stomach in poodles.
  • Remove tempting snacks: Frequently check your home for small toys, plant leaves, or food within your poodle’s reach. If your poodle is tempted to eat these things, it can quickly cause an upset stomach.
  • Eliminate excessive treats: Though you love to spoil your poodle, too many treats or biscuits can cause an upset stomach for your poodle. Limit the amount that you give your pet or eliminate treats entirely if you think they are causing irritation.

Treatment for Upset Stomach in Poodles

Poodles will often end up with an upset stomach at some point, but luckily there are multiple remedies to help your poodle feel better fairly quickly. Having a deep understanding of how to care for your specific dog’s upset stomach might take some trial and error.

Some remedies that you should consider for your poodle’s upset stomach include:

1. Resting Your Poodle’s Stomach

The first step to helping your poodle feel better is allowing your dog’s stomach to rest. Have your poodle fast for 8 to 10 hours. Be sure to give your poodle plenty of water during this time, so they do not become dehydrated. After allowing your poodle’s stomach to rest, introduce food slowly and in small amounts so as not to irritate their stomach again.

2. Providing Your Poodle a Bland Diet

After allowing your poodle’s stomach to rest, consider giving your dog a bland diet that will be sure to calm the stomach, and prevent further irritation.

Foods that are high in protein are very important while your poodle is feeling sick.

Some common bland foods that calm a poodle’s stomach include:

  • Unsweetened canned pumpkin
  • Unsweetened yogurt (plain)
  • Oatmeal
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Boiled eggs
  • Bananas
  • Cottage cheese
  • Boiled boneless skinless chicken breast
  • Bone broth
  • Plain white rice
  • Baby food

3. Over-The-Counter Medicines to Help a Poodle With Upset Stomach

In addition to giving your dog a bland diet, there are some medications that you can provide your poodle when they have an upset stomach. Your veterinarian can prescribe prescription medications specifically for your poodle, however, there are also some over-the-counter “people medicines” that are approved for dogs.

Safe OTC Medications to give a poodle with an upset stomach include:

  • Dramamine: If your poodle’s upset stomach is caused by motion sickness, you can give your dog a small amount of Dramamine like Dramamine-N Multi-Purpose Formula Nausea Relief found on Amazon here.
  • Fiber powder: Just like humans, dogs can get an upset stomach from constipation. Giving them a little bit of MiraLAX powder can help provide your poodle some relief found on Amazon here.
  • Reflux medication: If your dog is suffering from acid reflux or other stomach acid problems, reflux medication like Prilosec can help.
  • Bismuth subsalicylate: A general cure-all for stomach issues including diarrhea, heartburn, and nausea is Pepto-Bismol. A little of this liquid can quickly calm your dog’s stomach.
  • Probiotic treatment: Using a probiotic like DiarRice, can help calm your dog’s stomach. DiarRice tastes like chicken and will help strengthen the immune system and promote good bacterial growth. Check it out on Amazon here.
  • Herbal remedy: If you are looking for a natural treatment for your dog’s digestive issues, slippery elm bark, like Real Herbs found here on Amazon, will help your dog’s inflamed stomach and coat the lining with mucilage.

Note: Always consult your veterinarian before giving your poodle any medications. Even over-the-counter medications that are generally considered safe for dogs may be potentially dangerous for certain breeds of dogs with pre-existing conditions.

The Best Foods for Poodles with Sensitive Stomachs

Upset stomach in poodles can be caused by:

  • Food sensitivities
  • Allergies
  • Quick changes in diet

It is a good idea to find a food that your pet loves and tolerates well. Once you have found that food, you should stick to a consistent diet to avoid an upset stomach.

Some of the best brands of dog food for poodles with sensitive stomachs found on Amazon includes:

1. Probiotic Heavy Food for Good Bacteria

 Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food is a blend of dog food that is specifically designed for dogs with sensitive stomachs and skin issues. It provides prebiotic fiber to promote good bacteria in your pet’s stomach. 

2. Grain Free Diet to Combat Inflammation

Not all poodles will have a poor reaction to grains, but for some, grains can cause irritation and inflammation. Natural Balance has a great grain-free option that also includes vitamins for a healthy immune system.

3. Easily Digestible Hydrolyzed Protein Dog Food

Dog food that is hydrolyzed is used for dogs that have inflamed digestive systems. Royal Canin’s hydrolyzed dog food is known for being highly digestible and helping dogs with upset stomachs. 

4. Low-Fat Diet for Dogs with Pancreatitis 

Hill’s Science has a prescription wet dog food that is great for sensitive stomachs because of its low-fat content. Though it is one of the more pricey options, Hill’s Prescription Diet Wet Dog Food is clinically proven to help calm your dog’s stomach.

5. Simple and Natural Dog Food for Strong Digestion

Blue Buffalo has a line of dog foods made with as few ingredients as possible. The recipes for this dog food are all-natural and include antioxidants to promote a strong digestive system.

6. Allergy Friendly Soy and Wheat Free Diet

Purina Proplan has a wet dog food formulated for dogs with sensitive stomachs. This brand is also wheat and soy-free for dogs that have allergies and is rated highly for being easily digestible.

7. Most Affordable Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs

Finding food for sensitive dogs that is affordable can be difficult, but Purina One SmartBlend is a great option at an affordable price. This blend is made for sensitive stomachs and is also known for promoting great skin health.

8. The Best Dog Food Delivery Service for Dogs with sensitive Stomachs

High-quality dog food, free of preservatives, is essential in order to prevent upset stomach and digestive issues in your poodle. For pet owners with busy lives, however, this can be a real challenge.

I feed my dog high-quality food from Pet Plate. Pet Plate is a premium dog food subscription service that provides freshly cooked and pre-portioned meals, and snacks, completely customized for your dog. I really love the fact that Pet Plate delivers the highest quality meals to my door without me ever having to think about it! Check out Pet Plate here to find more information and see if Pet Plate is right for you and your pet.

Ingredients in Dog Food that Cause Upset Stomachs

If you are unsure what is causing your poodle to have a frequent upset stomach or digestive issues, you should check the ingredients on their dog food. There are several ingredients found in common dog foods that are known to cause issues, and with some experimenting, you should be able to find out if your dog is sensitive to a particular ingredient.

Ingredients in dog food that cause upset stomachs in poodles include:

  • Protein
  • Fat content
  • Fiber
  • Vitamins
  • Dyes and coloring
  • Fillers
  • Gluten levels

Making Food at Home for Your Poodle’s Sensitive Stomach

A great way to ensure your poodle is getting a specialized diet designed specifically for them is to make your own dog food. There are many websites and cookbooks that have dog food recipes created with poodles in mind. One excellent reference book for recipes is Dog Nutrition and Cookbook found on Amazon. Check it out here for more information and the current price.

Some benefits of making your own food for your dog with a sensitive stomach include:

Home-cooked Meals are Preservative-Free

Store-bought dog food often has a long list of preservatives to make sure the food is shelf-stable

For poodles with sensitive stomachs, preservatives can irritate the digestive system and cause diarrhea and vomiting.

When making your own dog food, you can avoid or eliminate preservatives altogether and stick to clean ingredients.

A Natural Diet is Best for Upset Stomach

The best way to support a poodle with a sensitive stomach is to provide them with a diet made of clean, natural ingredients. When you make your own dog food, you will not need to worry about what hidden chemicals are included in your poodle’s diet. Dog food recipes often focus on fully natural ingredients that will help your dog’s sensitive stomach.

Allows for Greater Control of Grain Content

Not all dogs are allergic to grain, but most do not need the amount of grain that is included in store-bought dog food. Making your own dog food allows you to limit the amount of grain or eliminate it completely if your dog has an allergy.

Creates Variation in Your Poodle’s Menu

Making your own dog food is a great way to provide variation in diet for your dog and to find out what types of food they prefer. When using store bought food, you have to transition slowly between types of diet, which is costly and takes time. When developing homemade dog food recipes, you can just use ingredients that sit well with your dog but create varying menus.

Slowly Transition Your Poodle’s Diet to prevent Upset Stomach

If you have determined that your poodle’s upset stomach is caused by diet, you might need to look into changing brands or types of ingredients. You should avoid changing your pet’s diet as much as possible, but sometimes you will need to make the switch because of a poor reaction.

When changing your dog’s food, you should transition slowly over seven days using the following method:

  • Days 1-2: Mix your dog’s new and old foods. Give your dog the same serving size of food that you usually do, but make one third of their meal the new diet that you hope to transition to using.
  • Days 3-4: For these two days, serve your dog a diet of half of their old food and half of their new food. You can fully mix these foods or layer them in the bowl.
  • Days 4-5: If your dog is transiting to the new food well, then on these two days, you should give your pet the same serving size of food that you usually do, but make one third of their meal the old food and the rest the new food.
  • Day 7: By day seven, your dog should have successfully transitioned to their new food, and you should be able to give them a full serving without mixing in their old food.

What to Do if Your Poodle Vomits

It can be very upsetting when your pet is sick, and you cannot communicate with them about what might help them feel better. The important thing to remember, however, is that vomiting for dogs is typically not an emergency, and you should stay calm. There are some things you can do in the short term, however, to improve the situation.

If your poodle is vomiting, take the following steps:

  • Stay calm: Animals, especially empathetic poodles, are very in tune with their owner’s feelings. Stay calm to help soothe your pet and make them feel as though they are safe and cared for.
  • Clean: Animals do not always understand what is food and what is not. Clean up the vomit right away so that your poodle isn’t tempted to eat the bile they have expelled, which can cause further irritation.
  • Look for cause: If your poodle is vomiting suddenly, it is a good idea to see if you can find the cause. It is important to know immediately if they ate something they should not have, like chemicals or other non-food items.
  • Isolate: Frequently your poodle will try to eat grass or other foreign materials that they think will calm their upset stomach. This can actually make their stomach more upset, so it is a good idea to isolate them so they cannot eat anything they should not.

When to Take Your Poodle to the Vet for Upset Stomach

Though most of the time, your poodle’s upset stomach will pass within a day or two, it is important to pay close attention to your dog’s behavior, so you know if you need to take your poodle to the vet.

A poodle younger than 3 months old is more likely than an older dog to become dehydrated.

Consult your veterinarian immediately if your sick poodle is showing any of the following conditions :

  • Vomiting: If your poodle is frequently vomiting, and the vomiting has lasted for more than 24 hours, it is a good idea to consult your veterinarian. This is especially important if you are not aware of a cause for the vomiting.
  • Blood: Blood in your dog’s stool or vomit is a reason to contact your veterinarian immediately. This could be a sign of a serious internal injury or illness, and care should not be delayed.
  • Dehydration: If your poodle has not been drinking adequate water because of their upset stomach, or you notice they have a dry tongue and nose, you should take your pet to the vet. They can give your dog an IV to ensure they get the fluids they need to heal.
  • Lethargy: If your dog is moving slowly or sleeping an abnormal amount, this can be a sign that they are feeling particularly low. Pay attention to see if your dog’s behavior changes when they have an upset stomach so that you will know if you should visit the vet.

Understanding Your Poodle’s Upset Stomach

There are many causes of upset stomachs for poodles, but thankfully there are also many ways to prevent and treat your dog. Navigating your poodle’s upset stomach will be difficult because dogs cannot communicate easily. If you pay attention to the signs and symptoms and have your dog evaluated when there are sudden changes, you will be able to help your poodle recover quickly and easily.

Brent Hartman

I'm Brent Hartman. I've been a dog lover my entire life and have owned many animals over the years. When my black lab Angus passed away, I was looking for another friend to share my life with. As a result of my research, I've come to love poodles and wanted to share some of what I've learned with you. Whether you're looking to adopt a poodle, or already own one, I created Poodle report to be the ultimate guide to help you find the answers you need.

Recent Posts