The 5 Most Common Digestive Issues in Dogs: What You Need to Know

The 5 Most Common Digestive Issues in Dogs: What You Need to Know

When it comes to keeping your dog healthy and happy, it’s all up to you. You want the very best for your dog, but you’re not sure what to be on the lookout for when it comes to Fido’s digestive wellness. No need to fret—we’ve got you covered.

Curious to find out what we mean? Keep reading to learn more. 

What can cause digestive problems in my dog?

There are a lot of possibilities when it comes to digestive problems in your pup. It’s important to know what to look for in case you have to take your dog to the vet. Some of the most common things that can cause digestive upset include: [1,2,3,4,5]

- Food Allergies - The most common food allergens for dogs include chicken, beef, dairy, soy, wheat gluten, and eggs. If your dog is allergic to certain foods, their antibodies will react and that’s when symptoms can occur. 

- Toxic Foods - There is a lot of ‘human’ food your dog can’t eat. Things like chocolate, caffeine, grapes, raisins, onions, coconuts, or yeast doughs are toxic to your pooch and can even cause things like an intestinal blockage or severe illness.

- Stress & Anxiety - Your dog’s digestive system is very sensitive. So sensitive that stress can upset their systems (just like us) and cause things like diarrhea. 

- Lack of Fiber - Fiber is super important to your pup’s diet. Oats, bran, and even rice are some examples of fibrous food that moisten stools and help them pass through your pet’s large intestine with ease.

- Dietary Changes - Dogs are very sensitive to new foods. It takes quite a bit of time for a dog to become accustomed to any new type of food or treat, so err on the side of caution if you have to make sudden switches in their diet.  

- Illness & Disease - Things like worms, infections, inflammation, tumors, or chronic health conditions can be the culprit of tummy issues like the ones listed below. 

- Eating Too Fast - If your dog is a gobble monster when it comes time to eat, you may want to invest in a slow feeder. Overly-enthusiastic eating can affect your pup’s health, possibly leading to vomiting, bloating, or even gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV).

- Lack of Exercise - Don’t let your pup just sit around! A dog that doesn’t get adequate physical exercise may experience things like poor digestion or even bowel-related inflammatory issues. 

- Dehydration - Water is an essential nutrient your dog needs to survive. Dehydration can cause your pup to lose precious electrolytes necessary for a healthy digestive system. 

What are the 5 most common digestive issues in dogs?

Here’s the nitty gritty—like we mentioned above, digestive problems in dogs often have underlying conditions such as allergies, infections, chronic illnesses, and so on. Let’s take a look at our top five list so you can be better prepared to take care of your furry friend: [1,2,3,4,5]


Vomiting may be a sign your dog is dealing with some intestinal upset. If your dog is vomiting, you should always contact your vet for guidance. Vomit that is white or foamy could be a sign your dog is suffering from GI issues. 

Some causes of dog vomiting can include: 

- Food allergies
    - Eating too fast
      - Ingestion of something toxic (cleaning products, antifreeze, unsafe foods, etc.) 
        - Motion sickness 
          - Overheating 


            Diarrhea in your dog can vary, depending on what the culprit is. If your dog has a sensitive stomach and is on a prescription diet, occasional bouts of diarrhea may be more common. However, diarrhea is dangerous for your pup and could be a sign of a more serious problem.

            Some causes of dog diarrhea can include: 

            - Stress
              - Food allergies
                - Change in diet
                  - Eating spoiled food (or something unsafe for dogs)


                    A constipated pup is likely a very uncomfortable pup. Constipation simply means your dog’s stool is either sluggish in its movement through the gut, or it is blocked inside the digestive tract. If you notice your pup struggling to do his business on a walk, or their poo is small and rock-hard, your dog is probably suffering from constipation.

                    Some causes of dog constipation include: 

                    - Lack of exercise
                    - Dehydration 
                    - Not eating enough fiber
                    - Stress
                    - Matted fur near the rear end

                      Lack of Appetite

                      If your dog is refusing food, you should contact your vet immediately. Although a loss of appetite doesn’t necessarily mean something very serious (for example, dogs in heat usually have a decrease in appetite, or some dogs can even get “tired” of their food), it could still be a sign of an underlying condition needing medical attention. 

                      Some causes of a lack of appetite include:

                      - Stress
                      - Overfeeding  
                      - Changes in environment or diet
                      - Health problems (e.g., "Kennel Cough", cancer, gastrointestinal obstructions)
                      - Dental disease

                      If this digestive issue is severe, your dog may also exhibit some of the aforementioned symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, lethargy, bloody stools, and other concerning signs. 


                      Intestinal parasites typically live in the GI tract of pets, and they can be pretty common: roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and whipworms, to name a few. If parasites go unchecked, they can be life-threatening. Some dogs will show no symptoms if they are infected with a parasite, while others may have diarrhea, bloody stool, weight loss, or anemia. 

                      Some causes of worms in dogs include: 

                      - Mosquito bites, which can lead to heartworm
                      - Feces from other dogs
                      - Fleas
                      - Contaminated water

                        What can I do to help my dog with digestive issues?

                        We’re so glad you asked! If you notice any signs or abnormalities in your pup, always go to your vet first before doing anything else. Your vet knows best and can give you the next steps.  

                        Probiotics are live microorganisms, and they’re great for supporting a healthy gut microbiome. However, sticking them into kibble is tricky. That’s why a doggy digestive supplement is your best bet. But don’t stop there - 

                        Look for a supplement that includes probiotics, prebiotics, AND probiotics. Many brands forget about the importance of postbiotics and prebiotics and leave them out. So, we made a meat-flavored chew that does it all. 

                        PupGrade’s Digestive Chews are made with a super blend of prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics so your dog can experience a healthy, balanced gut. Our chews are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that benefit not only the GI tract but your pup’s immune system, too.  

                        As a pawrent, you know that your pup needs more than just a good belly rub when their tummy is upset. What’s your go-to? Let us know!

                        We've gone ahead and enclosed a 10% OFF Coupon below for you to use in the store - remember, your puppy DESERVES to have the healthiest life! Click here to start shopping!

                        Looking for even more ways to protect and treat your best friend to a happier life with less stress and pain? Look no further than right here! PupGrade products are carefully formulated with only the highest quality ingredients so your pup can thrive in a healthy and happy lifestyle. 


                        1. Constipation in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment. Falls Road Animal Hospital. (2023). Retrieved from
                        2. 7 facts every pet owner needs to know about intestinal parasites - vet in Nashville: Belmont Animal Hospital. Vet in Nashville | Belmont Animal Hospital. (2019, August 15). Retrieved from 
                        3. Most common digestive issues in dogs and how to relieve them. Dutchtown Animal Hospital. (2021, October 20). Retrieved from
                        4. Digestive issues in dogs: Causes, prevention, and treatment. Bond Vet. (2021, March 14). Retrieved from 
                        5. All Aboard Animal Hospital. (2021, October 7). Gastro problems in dogs: Signs you need to look for. All Aboard Animal Hospital. Retrieved from