Treatment Options for Gastritis in Dogs

Gastritis in dogs is a common ailment in the canine world. Because of his sometimes indiscriminate eating habits or because of another irritant such as disease, chemicals or adverse reactions to medications, your dog may get an upset stomach and ultimately vomit to relieve the irritation in his digestive tract. If your dog continues to vomit for more than 24 hours, it is important to get him to a veterinarian to determine the cause of upset. Once the cause is determined, the veterinarian can recommend a treatment regimen for your dog.

Remove Access to Food and Water

The first step in treating gastritis is to remove access to food and water for 10 to 14 hours. This will allow your dog's stomach to rest and prevents any further irritation. If your dog continues to vomit during this period, you may want to provide small amounts of water at frequent intervals to prevent excessive dehydration. If the vomiting continues for more than 24 hours, visit your veterinarian to determine the cause of the gastritis and a specific regimen to follow to relieve the irritation and restore your dog's health.


If your dog has been vomiting for an extended period of time he may become dehydrated. Mild dehydration can be corrected at home by giving your dog small amounts of water at frequent intervals. But if he has become severely dehydrated he requires subcutaneous or intravenous rehydration. The veterinarian will insert a needle under your dog's skin and allow water to accumulate under the skin. The dog's body will absorb the water and rehydrate the cells. If an intravenous method is utilized, electrolytes are typically added to the solution to help restore the electrolyte balance to your dog's system. Excessive vomiting and the diarrhea that often accompanies it can severely deplete your dog's electrolytes and will throw off his nerve and muscle function. Restoring the electrolyte balance is critical to restoring your dog to good health.


Medications are sometimes recommended to help your dog's system return to normal. Whether the individual medications are recommended or not depends upon the source of the upset. Antiemetics will help your dog stop vomiting. Antacids are recommended to help your dog's stomach reduce the production of acids and gastric protectants can be used to coat the stomach to prevent further irritation. Each of these medications should only be used on the recommendation of your veterinarian.


Surgery is rarely required and typically only when there is a stomach blockage such as a squeaky toy or other obstruction.


When feeding a dog with gastritis, it is best to start with small amounts of bland food. The typical recommendation is white rice with a bit of chicken stock to make it palatable. The bland food is easy to digest and avoids upsetting your dog's stomach. Feed this mixture for 2 weeks then gradually more of the rice mixture with their normal food (unless it was the cause of the upset) until they are back on their regular diet.

Gastritis, while in its mild form, is relatively easy to remedy, in its acute or chronic forms can quickly become life threatening because of the dehydration and electrolyte imbalance it causes. By acting quickly and treating your dog's symptoms, he can return to his healthy self in a short period of time.