Signs and symptoms of a sensitive stomach in dogs
The classic signs of a sensitive stomach include intermittent loose stools or diarrhoea, nausea (you can tell your dog feels sick if they’re not eating or if they’re licking their lips and swallowing a lot) and excessive wind. There may be blood in the stools and your dog might vomit. Sometimes when a dog has eaten a food that triggers their sensitive stomach, they’ll be less active and possibly reluctant to go for a walk. The odd self-limiting episode of wind or loose stools is part and parcel of a dog’s life but if the symptoms become chronic (long-term) and you notice weight loss, get your dog checked over by their vet.
The symptoms of sensitive stomach can be similar to those seen in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), colitis (inflammation of the colon), gastroenteritis (infection of the digestive system) and pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas, an organ involved in fat digestion), so it’s important to note the frequency and types of symptoms as this will help the vet with diagnosis.
Did you know that a sensitive stomach can spark off itchy skin in dogs? Look out for lots of scratching, areas of hair loss and sore, dry skin. In light coloured dogs, reddish-brown marks on the face known as tear stains are also a sign of irritated skin, which may be linked to a dietary sensitivity.