Help! My Dog Has A Sensitive Stomach

By Kathy Santo | Updated: May 13 2019

We know that you want to do more training sessions at home, get to class every week, and you’d even like to enroll in the Fast Track Program.  What’s holding you back is the concern that your dog may have an upset tummy (loose stool, etc.) from all the treats that you’re giving him while you’re training.

The first step to remedying the issue is to consider the top causes of loose stools in dogs:

  1. Over excitement
  2. Changing dog foods too quickly
  3. Overeating, overdrinking or over exercising
  4. Eating something that upsets the system
  5. Stress
  6. Worms, or intestinal bacteria.   Keep in mind that if your dog has had either of #6, even if your dog had a negative stool sample, it’s important to repeat it 3-4 weeks later to confirm everything is stable.  Keeping a log of the details before the episodes may help you solve the problem.

Once you’ve ruled out any medical issues, there are a few simple solutions that have proved themselves helpful to many of our students. I’ve found that even with young puppies that seem to have problems after eating lots of high-value treats, these tips help them build a stronger digestive system, and the episodes become less severe or disappear entirely.

Stacey’s Tips To Help Support A Strong Digestive System:

During the many years I traveled to dog events, these were the supplements that kept my dogs in great shape, even when other dogs were sick, stress levels were high, or I needed to train with high value treats.  (Of course, I’m not a vet, so I need to mention that you should always check with your dog’s veterinarian before adding or changing anything in his/her diet.)

  1. Probiotics: Look for a blend with multiple strands of live bacteria. These “good bacteria” live in the intestines to keep the bad bacteria in check, support the immune system and absorb nutrients.  (Stacey uses Pet Dophilus and Kathy uses a blend from Natural Tail Treats in Waldwick).
  2. Digestive Enzymes: can be found at your pet store or online, and works to break down food in the stomach, which aids in digestion, and reduces stress on the system. (Stacey uses ProZyme, and Kathy uses Digestive Enzymes from Natural Tail Treats in Waldwick)
  3. Slippery Elm can be found at health food stores and is a soothing herb that acts like Imodium.  It soothes the mucous membranes of the intestinal tract and helps to expel toxins.

Check out next month’s newsletter for the best treats to keep your dog focused (even those with a low food drive, a sensitive stomach, or a “picky ” eater!)

Feel free to email me with questions, comments or column topic suggestions at

Kathy Santo has spent her entire career as a dog trainer and handler, training dogs and winning over 500 obedience, agility and Canine Good Citizenship titles. Working with her own dogs, she has achieved every competitive obedience title the American Kennel Club (AKC) has offered and earned the prestigious AKC “Obedience Trial Champion” title (OTCh) multiple times.

In Waldwick, Kathy teaches classes, private lessons, and oversees the training of her student’s dogs using her extensive knowledge, experience and intuition to handle problems from the benign to the serious. Her engaging personality has won her the respect and friendship of her many students, who now consider themselves part of her extended family.


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