Dogs are resilient, loveable animals who have been a part of human history for centuries. According to Archaeology Magazine, the earliest potential dog remains, first excavated from the Goyet Cave in Belgium, can be dated as far back as 31,700 years ago. For certain, dogs have been around for at least 10,000 years, playing a vital role in early humans’ hunting, rituals, and general companionship.
While it seems like dogs can eat just about anything and survive just fine, they can experience nausea just like you. Let’s a closer look at dog nausea, what causes it, and some natural remedies to help ease the symptoms.
The Mechanisms of Dog Nausea
As common as nausea is in dogs, properly diagnosing and treating nausea in dogs can be difficult. That’s because it’s generally a subjective experience that involves emotional, physical, and physiological symptoms. While humans can often tell you when they’re feeling nauseous, dogs can’t exactly speak up about how they’re feeling until they’re already vomiting. This has made it difficult for researchers to properly study nausea in animals.
Objective means of measuring nausea can prevent proper diagnosis. More often, it comes down to any abnormal or sudden irregular behaviors you notice in your pup.
Causes of Nausea in Dogs
Nausea in dogs can be caused by a wide range of factors. Much like nausea in humans, dog nausea is often diet-related. This could be anything from eating too much food or eating too quickly to changing your dog’s diet or feeding them something they shouldn’t have eaten. Dogs can also suffer nausea as a result of motion sickness, like from riding a car or chasing a tail.
Other common causes of nausea in dogs include:
- Worms and other parasites in the intestines
- Anxiety, including separation anxiety
- Viral infections
- Inflammatory bowel disease
Nausea isn’t breed specific, so from Boston Terrier to Newfoundlands, you can expect generally the same chance of your dog succumbing to nausea. However, you can expect older dogs to be more susceptible to nausea than younger pups.
Symptoms of Nausea in Dogs
To be clear, nausea is a symptom in itself that could point to other conditions, but it does come with certain signs and symptoms, including:
- Excessive drooling
- Consistent licking
- Consistent chewing
- Dry heaving
Nausea is most commonly noted by vomiting or diarrhea. Remember that nausea can point to a more serious condition. Isolated incidents of vomiting are common in a dog’s life and aren’t always a cause for concern. As long as your dog maintains a good appetite and isn’t uncharacteristically lethargic, you shouldn’t have to worry too much. However, consistent diarrhea or vomiting can point to a sick dog. Thankfully, there are numerous natural remedies that can soothe your dog’s nausea and help it feel better.
Tips for Preventing Canine Nausea
It’s hard to always nail down when your dog’s nausea will hit or what triggers nausea in your dog, but you can take specific steps to keep your dog from succumbing to nausea. For instance, avoid feeding your dog immediately before car travel, and consider walking or playing with your dog before getting into the car to help your dog digest any prior meals.
When in the car, try to position your dog in the front or middle row of the car. Rear compartments tend to provide bumpier, more uneven rides. Take frequent breaks so that your pup can stretch its legs, go to the bathroom, drink water, and relieve and pent up stress or anxiety.
In terms of food, try to stick with good old fashioned dog food. Avoid:
- Spoiled food
- Food that has been in the fridge for more than 3 days
- Eating food rich in fats
- Processed meats
If your dog experiences nausea from eating food too fast, consider providing smaller amounts of food more often or mixing dry food with water. You may also consider splitting individual meals, providing half the food, waiting fifteen minutes, and pouring the second half of food.
Natural Remedies and Treatments for Dog Nausea
Veterinarians commonly use a variety of prescription medications to help dogs with nausea, however you can also give your dog natural remedies that can be equally as effective. Common medications include Cerenia for dogs, Metoclopramide, and Famotidine or Pepcid. Much like with humans, feeding your dog homemade food that’s easy on the stomach is another great solution. Foods like rice, boiled potatoes, and plain chicken can help vomiting and nausea. Natural remedies are often equally effective and can be used for dogs with sensitivities to medications. Common natural remedies include the following:
- Baking soda and water
- Hemp Supplements
- Lavender Oil
- Acidophilus Probiotic
- Slippery Elm
Baking Soda and Water
It’s not the fanciest of remedies, but the simplicity of baking soda and water is exactly why it works. The bubbles can calm the stomach and help reduce bloating and feelings of nausea. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to a half cup of water. Give your dog a few sips of this mixture every two hours or so.
Many people go to their pets looking for what they can give their dog for nausea and vomiting. Hemp supplements, like those provided by Canna-Pet, have shown to reduce nausea and vomiting while offering a wide range of potential health benefits. Some of these benefits include:
- Pain relief
- Anxiety relief