The Main Causes of Sensitive Stomach in Dogs and Cats

posted on Posted on by Alison Birken inCategories digestion, Health

The Main Causes of Sensitive Stomach in Dogs and Cats

Working as a small animal veterinarian, one of the most common ailments I see in pets is upset stomach or digestive issues. About 50% of my daily pet appointments are because of poor appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and scooting and itching rear ends. The cause of some of these gastrointestinal concerns may be simple with a simple solution! Curing sensitive stomach in dogs and cats may be as easy as changing the food they eat.

The most common causes of non-complicated vomiting and diarrhea in pets are:

        • Parasites
        •  Stress
        •  Food Indiscretion (eating something they do not normally eat)

With the diagnosis of parasites, I will prescribe an anti-parasitic medication and probiotics, and the problem is solved.

In cases of stress, I may recommend probiotics and an antibiotic to help resolve diarrhea. The problems generally resolve within a few days.

Commonly, I see pets who have recurring episodes of upset belly, diarrhea, and indigestion, and the answer is not always so straightforward and simple.

When my patients present with digestive issues, I always perform more tests. I use fecal testing, bloodwork, radiographs, and even ultrasound to test for more serious diseases. These clinical signs can be associated with more serious conditions, such as foreign bodies, pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, or even cancer. If you have any concerns whatsoever, please have your pet evaluated by your veterinarian.

When I complete my full evaluation with all diagnostic tests and rule out systemic illness, I look to diet as the best way to treat a sensitive stomach in dogs and cats.

The Importance of Feeding Your Pets Well

Choosing the food you feed your pet is one of the most important decisions you will make for their overall health and wellbeing.

I can happily say I have seen a significant shift in the way pet parents are feeding their fur babies!

Pet nutrition has become one of the most talked about and relevant topics concerning our pets’ health. Just like us, what we feed our pets is a direct reflection of their energy level and overall health. It is imperative that pet parents are aware of the different diet options out there and feel confident in the food they feed their beloved pets.

The Whole Food Difference


Many times, I evaluate pets for chronic episodes of vomiting and diarrhea. These episodes never resolve with traditional medications or supplements. Over the last year or so, I have seen the link between higher quality whole food-based diets and the crucial role food plays in warding off sensitive stomach in dogs and cats.

I now recommend pet owners transition to a high quality and highly digestible whole food-based diet rather than kibble-based diets.

In my practice, I have seen amazing results and transformations with my patients’ stool consistency. I have also seen a decrease in poor appetites and chronic vomiting, as well as an increase in energy and overall health.

It just makes sense!

Food is the basis of the energy our pets need to live. When we feed our pets highly processed and not digestible foods, we are NOT nourishing them with energy and the health they need.

What is so different about Side By Side Pet Food?

For over a year now, I have carried Side By Side pet food in my hospital to transition many of my pet patients to a whole food nutrition-based diet. I have seen outstanding results, including weight loss, more energy, decreased vomiting and diarrhea, and overall healthier and happier pets. I find whole food nutrition is highly digestible and a much healthier way to nourish our pets.

Digestive health in our pets is crucial to their overall wellbeing and a happy life. So it is imperative to pick the best diet for your pet. My clients and I have seen remarkable changes in overall health when switching to whole food nutrition.

The cooking process preserves all the natural minerals, vitamins, and nutrients in the food.

Whole food nutrition is just as it reads – real food from its original source, unprocessed with no artificial additives, preservatives, or chemicals. Green leafy vegetables or high quality freeze-dried food in which the nutrients have not been destroyed in the cooking process are great examples. Whole nutrition food maintains its inherent nutrients within the food source. The cooking method preserves all the natural minerals, vitamins, and nutrients in the food.

This is in contrast to kibble-based diets that are placed through an extrusion process for 4 hours at very high temperatures. Kibble-based foods lose their inherent vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in the cooking process. The food company typically sprays the kibble with synthetic nutrients to replace the nutrients lost in the cooking process.

No artificial or synthetic nutrients.

Because the food is not cooked at extremely high temperatures or for long periods, the inherent nutrients in the ingredients are not lost. Therefore, there is no need to add any synthetic nutrients after the cooking process.

Highest quality ingredients.

Side By Side sources all of the ingredients from the best and highest quality places. The salmon comes directly from wild streams in Alaska, and the chicken is always cage-free and antibiotic-free. Every single ingredient utilized in Side By Side pet products comes from the absolute best sources and environment.

Combines medical concerns and pet personalities to individually assess the best diet.

Side By Side Pet created an online questionnaire to help determine the best diet for your pet.

Combines Eastern and Western forms of nutrition and medicine to promote healing and wellness from the inside.

The nutrients and diets are formulated based on the benefits of whole food nutrition. They combine this method with food therapies and herbal supplements used in traditional Chinese veterinary medicine.

Nutrition that honors our pets.

The nutrition in Side By Side Pet foods treats and prevents illness, heals disease, and nourishes healthy pets.

Final Thoughts on Treating Sensitive Stomach in Pets

Once I evaluate a patient for chronic gastrointestinal problems and rule out systemic illness, the first thing I consider changing is their diet to bring balance and harmony back to their gut. An easy way to do this is to simply add Side By Side’s Belly Balance for the first 3 weeks of transitioning away from kibble. This transition will rest the good and bad bacteria to allow absorption of the new food and help your pet feel great! These pre/probiotics and herbs help to set a fair playing field for our pets’ bellies.

Now, are you feeding your pet a good quality and highly digestible diet?

Since transitioning many of my patients from kibble-based diets to whole food nutrition Side by Side food, I have seen amazing changes in gastrointestinal health as well as overall health. Food has a direct link with health and wellness. When we nourish our fur babies with highly digestible, great quality food, we see amazing results.

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About the Author Alison Birken

Alison Birken

Dr. Alison Birken is a small animal veterinarian in Ft. Lauderdale Florida. She owns Victoria Animal Hospital, is the co-founder of Forever Freckled, wife to her amazing husband Rob, mom to her 3 greatest accomplishments Luke, Leah & Hayden and dog mom to her Saint Bernard Dory