Natural Cures for Bloat in Dogs

| Modified on Jul 26, 2022
Add New Post Comments

Bloat is a medical condition in which the stomach becomes overstretched by excessive gas content. It is also commonly referred to as torsion, gastric torsion, and gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) when the stomach is also twisted.... The condition occurs most commonly in domesticated animals, especially ruminants and certain dog breeds.

In dogs, gas accumulation in the stomach is usually associated with volvulus of the stomach, which prevents gas from escaping. Deep-chested breeds are especially at risk. Mortality rates in dogs range from 10 to 60 percent, even with treatment. With surgery, the mortality rate is 15 to 33 percent....

Symptoms are not necessarily distinguishable from other kinds of distress. A dog might stand uncomfortably and seem to be in extreme discomfort for no apparent reason. Other possible symptoms include firm distension of the abdomen, weakness, depression, difficulty breathing, hypersalivation, and retching without vomiting. A high rate of dogs with bloat have cardiac arrhythmias (40 percent in one study). Chronic bloat may occur in dogs, symptoms of which include loss of appetite, vomiting and weight loss.

Bloat is an emergency medical condition: having the animal examined by a veterinarian is imperative. Bloat can become fatal within a matter of minutes.


Activated Charcoal

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Charles (Texas) on 09/19/2016

I had an issue with bloat on Saturday night, Mixed breed female 1 years old...Called my vet left a message, called the emergency clinic they left as a number, same story, used Gas X and began patting her belly and her sides and back, made a run to walgreens with her and picked up some activated charcoal, began the process of patting her belly and sides, she began burping and passing gas, the following morning she was completely back to normal in appearance, I fed her some chicken broth and half of a can of dog food, she ate, and went to the bathroom, passing stools and urinating she seems much better, but still is not feeling great. I am in the process of finding a new Vet to take her to see and get her checked, thank you for your post. it may have very well saved her life.

Activated Charcoal
Posted by Stephanie (Minneapolis, MN) on 03/29/2014

For many years of having dogs, I have encountered, from time to time, the symptoms of bloating and discomfort in my dogs after they have been eating other animals' feces (I presume) or some other un-nameables. When I notice this discomfort, I immediately give two or more capsules of activated charcoal to my dog. This works very well. Sometimes I may give 3 capsules now and another dose later. Then, the only thing to be concerned about is if they would get constipation from too much charcoal. That has never happened that I know of but I know that is something to be aware of.

i wonder if anyone has tried this with cattle. I once treated a calf with bloat. There was no charcoal so we just burned toast and scraped it to crumbs and gave it to the calf. However, I also applied some Jin Shin Jyutsu for indigestion, so, when the calf recovered, we did not know if it was one or the other treatment, or both, that had helped the calf, or if the calf just recovered on its own. If anyone has input about bloat in calves, and treatment with charcoal, I would be very grateful to hear it. (A family member owns cattle). Thank you.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Stephanie!

I suspect that the bloat symptoms you saw in your dog was not bloat but rather a sour stomach from too many cow pies. The use of AC is spot on.

Bloat involves the dog's stomach twisting and cutting off the blood supply to the stomach tissue. Symtoms are unproductive retching - trying to vomit but bringing nothing up, along with excessive drooling, restlessness, and a large, bloated painful stomach.

Interestingly enough, in ruminants the twisted stomach condition is a secondary form of bloat, the primary type of bloat being "an overdistention of the rumenoreticulum with the gases of fermentation, either in the form of a persistent foam mixed with the ruminal contents, called primary or frothy bloat, or in the form of free gas separated from the ingesta, called secondary or free-gas bloat. It is predominantly a disorder of cattle but may also be seen in sheep. The susceptibility of individual cattle to bloat varies and is genetically determined."


So for this form of bloat I see the AC being a remedy for this too.

Replied by Tadhg

Lost my 10 year old Labradoodle today bloating killed him had him to the vet

He gave him some treatment I took him home but he ditnt make it

I blame myself after reading the articles posted

But what was my VET thinking of

I'm gutted I lost my best friend

Replied by Ana
(New York)
15 posts


Sorry you had to deal with all that, check out Dr Dobias on-line, you can also email them. Make sure you have a human grade diet for you dog, either cooked or raw, commerical dog food is your main culprit for this issue, yes some breeds are more prone to it but rarely have I known a raw fed dog to go through that. So how to transition-I gave dogfood mixed with cooked human food for 3 days, each day less dog food and more human food, as long as there is no issues then stop the commercial stuff. At this point just do cooked food until you feel you want to try some raw. Check our Chronically Jacqui a disabled chick who managed to change despite her concerns and limitations, the difference is drastic and in the long run you will spend less and basically hardly ever see your vet, no smelly poop, less loss of hair, silky smooth and not smelly, fresh breath, clean teeth, just to name a few. There are plenty of sites to do BARF just check it out, then find a vet you can talk to and knows a little thing or 2 about herbs and alternative meds. Hope something here helps, I have successfully transitioned 5 senior dogs this way all with varying issues, we were rescuing at that time, they all lived into their teens from small to medium in size, the others were younger and larger and despite their owners still using commercial at least now I convince them to add in people food. Research the commercial foods and you will wonder why you ever let that stuff in your home let alone handle it. Best of the best to you in all of it. Blessings!

Replied by Jay

How do u get a dog to eat the capsule, as my dog won't and won't eat any food.

EC: Look up Pill Pockets - tasty treats that hide capsules and tablets.

Replied by Kaye Allen

Almost 1 year past took my rescue dog to emergency vet with bloat after eating, many months later found my pet had bloat.

The vet took 800.00$ in X-rays to save his life wanted to keep him over for observation & IV. I told them I had enough to pay for visit and X-rays but that was all of my resorces.

They had no diagnosis for me, I took him home.

He recovered but has now started again with this bloating syndrome.

Ana, you have helped me and my pet beyond measure.

It was the food and amounts given plus he was eating too fast.

Thank you!

V. Kaye

Replied by Perry

Hi guys, I have an 11-year-old chao lab that overate on a new dog food we got him and since then his stomach never regained its normal shape. He looks bloated. I took him to an expensive vet for an emergency visit and they just confirmed the overeating (back in December that was.) I noticed that he is losing weight since then. He eats and is constantly hungry but even when I started feeding him twice a day he does not regain the weight or have that belly look any better. I went to another vet two weeks ago and they did blood tests all of which came normal.

Has anyone ever encountered anything like that? Any suggestions for home remedy? Anything?


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Lori (North Carolina) on 08/08/2016

Cayenne cured my dog's case of bloat. My doberman had a hard cold abdomen and was walking stiffly...her sides appeared somewhat bloated...I had been thru a worse bloat many years ago with a Zane where I went in with a stomach tube and gallons of fluid came up .....This time I gave a dropper full of very strong cayenne tincture that I keep on hand for major problems.....such as shock..heart attack..stroke....within 5 minutes the dog vomited like a gallon of fluid with foodstuff mixed is active and acting like her normal self...will with old all food and fluids and see if she needs to go to the is late and I have a bedridden husband I cannot leave alone and no one is home to help me...

Thank God for has saved many animals over the years for me...sometimes just biding time until a surgery could be performed!!

Replied by Jason
(Richmond, Ky)

How do you make the cayenne tincture? Our dog is displaying similar symptoms for two days now.

Replied by Suseeq
(Sydney Australia)

Jason, feed your dog 3 small meals a day and get a muffin pan and put a small amount in each hole, don't let dog drink straight after eating and maybe stay away from dry food. Try rubbing peppermint oil mixed with a little carrier oil on the tummy. I have heard you can give a little my mylanta but I don't have dosages or experience with this.

Replied by Suseeq
(Sydney Australia)

Jason, in my previous post forgot to add put a little fresh parsley, oregano, thyme sprinkle on meal

Replied by Lois

Where can I buy cayenne and how do I use it on my dog? I think my dog may have bloat and I can't afford the large vet bill

Replied by Ana
(New York)
15 posts

Any food store that sells spices, the better the quality the better you are. Also feed human food, commercial food will kill your pets and give you high bills. In the end its easier, safer and cheaper.

Replied by Carlene
(Greenwell Springs, La)

I am aware of how healthy cayenne is. What info I need is what kind of drops is she referring to. And how did she administer them?

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Carlene,

The post is almost a year old so the original poster may not see your question. She indicated she "gave a dropper full of very strong cayenne tincture". If you Google "cayenne tincture" you will find both products to buy and also how to make a cayenne tincture. You will need to do additional research on just what 'very strong' cayenne tincture actually is. Good luck and please report back!

Dietary Changes

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Marguerite (Wrightwood, Ca)

My dog started to come down with the bloat. Her stomach was distended but she would not eat and she was throwing up white foamy bile. I stopped all food and massaged her tummy for a day, ready to take her to the vet if things didn't improve. I read that kibble can exaserbate the problem, so the next day I made a big pot of lentils, split peas, vegetables and ground turkey. She made a complete recovery and all my dogs love this homemade dog food now.

Replied by Ana
(New York)
15 posts

Congrats, just please don't make your dog a vegan or vegetarian, in the short run it works but dogs need to be mostly carnivores due to their enzymes and intestinal set up. Hoping things stay good for you all!

Dog Food Warnings

1 User Review
1 star (1) 

Posted by Aysha (Oakland, California, Usa) on 03/08/2010


I'm not seeing anything on Bloat (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus) in Dogs. Sadly, in my case, it's too late, but if it could help someone else, it should definitely be on here. I fed my 12 yr. old dog a very expensive and well-known all natural dog food and within 3 hours I had to put her down. She got bloat so bad that she could barely move. The vet was not helpful in the least and within 15 minutes of arriving, told us that it would be best to put her down. It was a complete shock to us as she was the healthiest 12 yr. old dog I've ever known. She had been on a raw diet for about a year and it was working wonders. We heard that this natural kibble was excellent food, so thought we'd try to start incorporating it into her diet slowly, thinking it might be a less expensive way to go since we had two 60 lb. dogs. We got the food from my brother, whose dog had died about a week or two before. We never thought it could have been the food that caused his death, but it must have been because his dog had similar symptoms, but lasted a little longer than my dog. He was 7 yrs. old. The same vet that put him down (and my girl) said that he might have had cancer, but it was never confirmed. We will never go back to kibble EVER again. I stick by the raw diet 100%. I think that, had I never tried that food, my dog would still be alive.

EC: Aysha,

We are so sorry for your loss. Thank you so much for writing in with your feedback. We have just created a new page for this condition.

Replied by Karylls
(Sanford, Maine, United States)

Regarding bloat: I never heard before that there was any connection with kibble. The only thing I heard was that my dog probably did too much jumping around or activity after a meal. I had a large Doberman (very deep chested) who was well on her way of dying a painful death before I could get her to the emergency vet in time. All the times I had been to any vet, no mention was ever made to be cautious for bloat because of her deep chest. If only I had known what it was or any of its symtoms. If large deep chested animals are prone to this, you would think it would be something that a vet would mention. Thank you for the information regarding kibble.

(Lancaster Country, Pa)

I have a 9 year old, 150 lb Cane Corso-Italian mastiff

Do NOT raise your dogs food and water bowls, raising bowls CONTRIBUTES to bloat, it doesn't help prevent it.

Replied by Bilzhorse
(Stafford, Va, Usa)

Dry kibble should be soaked in water until it completely expands(about 30 mins. ). This is what our vet told us years ago. You would be shocked if you saw how much expansion there is in dry dog food.

Replied by Barbara
(Omaha, Ne)

Just a warning. There is new evidence that raising your dogs food/water bowls can actually exacerbate the problem with bloat.

Replied by Juan
(San Diego, California)

Well the dog bloating we have going in right now, may have been some dog food, but mainly its the owners fault. My mother takes care of two dogs whos owners are now currently living with her, one of the owners is uneducated and is the male hes like 45, so he feeds the two dogs, the fat dog which is extremely overweight constantly steals the food from the small dog and and no one takes them for a walk, the fat dog is now finally bloated after 5 years of not been taken care of correctly. So now its bloated and slowly dying, I keep telling them go walk the dog, but seem to care less about it- very sad. I stay out of it.

Replied by Leslie
(Winnipeg, Manitoba,canada)

Regarding Bloat or gassy dogs - I was told to give my Chihuahua Ovol. This is medication for human babies with gripe problems that you purchase over the counter. It comes in a small bottle and must be well shaken then attach the dropper and give 0.25 mls for a 3- 10 lb. Dog. Do not give more without checking with your vet. Usually this amount will settle my dog down and bring him relief swiftly that lasts at least 8 hours or usually until the next day. If bloat or gassy tummy is extreme you must give this Ovol dosage 2 x daily. I realize that we are looking for alternative meds but whatever works for this ailment is probably welcome and certainly worth a try if your dog is suffering from gas that just won't come out. I also pat my dog on his upper back the way I would a baby after feeding to burp him.

Replied by Mindy
(Nashville, Tn)

NOOOOOO to elevated food bowls! It is a CAUSE of GDV!

Cumulative incidence of GDV during the study was 6% for large breed and giant breed dogs. Factors significantly associated with an increased risk of GDV were increasing age, having a first-degree relative with a history of GDV, having a faster speed of eating, and having a raised feeding bowl. Approximately 20 and 52% of cases of GDV among the large breed and giant breed dogs, respectively, were attributed to having a raised feed bowl. " (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:1492-1499)

My dog (english mastiff) had bloat two years ago. Luckily we were able to get him to the vet in time even though he showed no visible signs of bloat other than distress and listlessness. It was terrifying and caused me to go into a research frenzy over what causes bloat and how I can prevent it.

Changes we made after our dog had bloat was the following:

1. No longer elevated his bowls!!!! This is big, because companies market their elevated bowls as keeping bloat at bay. Incorrect, it makes it worse because the dog can eat quicker and swallow more air because its easy to snatch at and gulp down.
2. Changed our food to a better organic brand that does not swell when it is in the stomach or water is added to it. You can test your own food by adding water to the kibble and seeing how much it expands. If it expands more than a little. GET A NEW BRAND.
3. Spaced out feedings to 3 times a day. Once in the morning and twice at night (waiting 30 minutes in between). Knowing our mastiff and how much he swallows air when he eats we generally wait for him to burp. No playing, just resting 30 minutes before or 30 minutes after eating. Which is easy once we got him into the routine.

Replied by Phyllis
(Sherwood, Arkansas)

I have 2 vet books and one is the vet DR. PITCAIRNS & they both recommend juiced cabbage & freeze till needed, that it is very good at helping, but you have to give it quickly as soon as you have symptoms...

Hope this helps...

Replied by Ana
(New York)
15 posts

Prayers to you all, so sad. If you want to save money and feed your dog cooked human food, just remember they need more meat than we do. Commercial food is scary, too scary to even keep around your house, just research the chemicals they put in there. Just know that the bones must be raw and never cooked. Hope that helps. Our earlier dogs ate anything, but they also hunted our farm so I rarely had issues with rodents of any kind. The only thing I had to deal with was their worms from eating rodents, but it was a small price to pay for great teeth and good health. When the older pup got lazy and stopped hunting her health went down hill from the commercial food.

Replied by Lisa
(Minneapolis, Minnesota)

THANK YOU!!!! Everyone who has posted here. I love that someone told me about Earth Clinic because I've been able to treat my dog successfully without having her on poisonous meds and saving me $$$$ of Vet bills as well. I have a Shih-Tzu/Maltese mix, 11 y/o, and recently I noticed her belly was huge. I'm ashamed to say that it's been like that for weeks and I really just thought she had gained weight over the winter because she's now a "senior" and we have not been walking her. Having said that, another change was that she was lapping up tons of water at night before bed. She pretty much drank all her water in her other bowl next to her food as well. She's also been panting pretty hard for no reason. Fear and anxiety overwhelmed me thinking about the possibility of losing her to this "belly bloat" everyone is talking about that is life-threatening. After reading all your posts here...again...I started to put 2 and 2 together and wondered if it was, indeed, her new kibble food. It is Organix from Petsmart and it's "organic" with dehydrated raw kibble mixed in. Thank you for posting about how it can expand up to 5x. This kibble is not like any of her other harder kibbles. I've had her on a commercial raw diet, on and off before that. Thinking back now, I can see she was in distress and the way she looked at me with her pleading eyes for help. The sad thing is I did take her in to the Vet a few weeks ago to check on this specific issue. The Vet said her belly was too full for her to check anything. Blood work was ok and she recommended an x-ray. Really? Two days on home cooked chicken and pulverized veggies and fruits for snacks and her belly looks normal again. She was fortunate it was her food causing issues. You guys are life savers! My heart goes out to those who have lost their beloved furry companions. Thanks again for all your comments and suggestions. Bless you all!


Posted by Kristin (Maine ) on 10/12/2018

Can you use Gas-X in dogs if you suspect bloat?

Peppermint Essential Oil

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Christine T. (Carnation, WA) on 07/26/2022

Tonight was the second time my dog has suffered from bloat. The last time, a dōTERRA peppermint softgel (he's a 60# chow) helped ease his excruciating symptoms before we made it to the emergency vet, so tonight I gave him one immediately when I recognized he was in distress. His symptoms worsened for get next fifteen minutes and I prepared for a midnight drive to the vet. By the time I found my keys he belched and vegan to act more calm. The tension in his beach all belly lessened and his breathing slowed to near normal. Hours later, I'm headed to bed as he is now sleeping peacefully.

The peppermint helped my sweet boy so much and so quickly, probably saving his life and definitely saving me hundreds if not thousands of dollars. (For smaller dogs dōTERRA makes a tiny beadlet size. I honestly think everyone should have one of these easy ways to give pure, natural peppermint oil to a dog on hand in case of emergency.)

Replied by DL

Hi Christine,

So glad to hear peppermint oil helped your pup with bloat. It is such a dangerous condition.

Since it's the second time your dog has gotten bloat, just want to make sure you are aware that if you are feeding your dog kibble (or freeze-dried raw food), it should always be soaked in warm/hot water for 5-10 minutes so that it softens considerably and is easier to digest. Also, making sure they drink plenty of water after a meal.

Peppermint Essential Oil
Posted by Theprincessmommy (Sacramento, Ca) on 12/12/2013



  • 3 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 1 tsp. carrier oil (like almond oil or even baby oil)


  • Rub it onto the belly, gently, in downward strokes.
  • Apply lightly to bottoms of paws.


My 7-year-old, <5 lb. Yorkshire Terrier was suffering from some very severe symptoms that looked an awful lot like Bloat. His mid-section was large and very hard, stomach was rock hard, listless, laying "funny", drooling excessively, wouldn't eat or drink, wasn't going outside, acting like he'd vomit but didn't, wasn't barking at anyone out the window like he normally does. At one point he suddenly became very restless, and although I was happy that he was moving at all, he was acting very frantic or restless as he ran through the house. He had just eaten a lot more kibble than usual the previous day - gorging himself after we changed his eating situation so he didn't share the same space with the bigger dog. (We hadn't been aware of Bloat at the time so didn't think to control his portions. He'd never gorged himself before.) We did not have the money to take him to the vet, so he was not diagnosed or given veterinary care. We knew it meant he could die and we warned our older children of the possible outcome so they could pray for him.

Peppermint essential oil is safe for dogs is used for digestive problems and bloating (among other things.) I applied peppermint essential oil to his stomach. I did this by putting about a teaspoon of natural, organic baby oil in my cupped hand to use as the carrier oil and adding about 3 drops of peppermint essential oil to that. I laid my dog down on his back and gently rubbed the oil on his belly. I gently massaged it in, repeating downward strokes with my hand.

With what was left on my hands I rubbed some onto the bottoms of his paws. I rubbed his back a little in downward strokes toward his tail, kind of grasping his sides as I stroked downward, hoping it would help in some way. Then I let him rest.

The next morning he was doing very well. Running around like normal, his ears up, the hard bulge in his middle was much smaller and the hardness was almost gone from there as well as from his stomach. He went outside again. Later he started eating. By that evening I was sure he was completely fine again. The next day is today and he is back to completely normal.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey TPM!

Thank you for sharing this remedy!

Replied by Laurel

I tried the peppermint oil last night. My dog doesn't have BLOAT, but he was bloated and I didn't want to bother my vet at 11 pm. The peppermint oil worked.

Replied by Michaela

What else can be used as a carrier oil?

Replied by Cecille
(Costa Rica)

You also can use coconut oil and cold pressed olive oil

Replied by Ana
(New York)
15 posts

Cool, definitely assess his diet, it makes a big difference using human food.

Preventing Bloat in Large Breed Dogs

Posted by Alex (Derbyshire (UK)) on 10/08/2014

Bloat in large breed dogs:

Unfortunately, I have lost two Great Danes to this terrible illness; Hector passed away only a matter of a few weeks ago was only 3yrs old. The first occasion we were completely oblivious of the cause and effect of Bloat.

Having seen the devastating effect it has, I would concur that feeding your dog at chest height is certainly a start. We NEVER EVER let our dogs run around or, take exercise an hour either side of feeding.

Our (15 Month old) Irish Wolfhound has his bowl at about throat for feeding level - About 3ft up on a stable base - Whilst the German Sheppard has hers at chest level. Both my wife and I watch them whilst they have their meals and, if either start to gulp their food down we remove it let them settle for a minute or so, then resume their feed.

One thing that I certainly would advocate is that we soak their kibble overnight to allow maximum expansion prior to digestion.

On another note, people have not mentioned that when your dog drinks, this can also be cause for concern as they always gulp air in when they drink the water. Again this should always be done at height.

Even though our pets are our "babies" you can never be 100% with Bloat, all you can do is try and minimise the risk. Just watch out for signs of unusual behaviour straight after feeding and, if in doubt, seek IMMEDIATE vetenary care. Sort out the finances afterwards!

Preventing Bloat in Large Breed Dogs
Posted by Leann (Nashville, Tn) on 05/01/2014

BLOAT - Bloat is a very dangerous, usually fatal incident. It is NOT indigestion, a sour stomach, being overweight, or expelling gas, etc. Once your dog begins to show signs of bloat it will require quick emergency surgery. If the bloat is caught in the beginning and surgery is not required then your dog will most likely have another episode. Most surgeries are in the thousands of dollars and vets will inform you that a favorable outcome is not guaranteed. During the surgery the vet will clear the stomach, if there is any damaged tissue it will be removed, and the stomach will be anchored inside the body so that it can not twist in a future bloating episode.

Please note that this is not something that massaging, giving an herb, etc. can cure when the event occurs. Only a vet can save the dog. Since bloating has such a dire outcome in most instances the best thing to do is to prevent it. Practice preventive pet parenting to decrease the odds your dog will bloat.

Dogs with deep chests that arch up into a tight stomach area are most prone such as Dobermans, Greyhounds, Golden Retrievers, Flat-Coated Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, etc. However, all dogs could bloat. Males are more prone than females.

Stress is considered an issue that can contribute to bloat so do not feed your dog prior to any stressful situation or afterward by at least one hour. Exercise before or after eating is also considered a factor as is feeding a dog in one meal a day.

Therefore, keep your dog as stress-free as possible. Visitors, holidays, traveling, boarding, fireworks, swimming, extreme heat and cold conditions, training, and other situations are all stressful. Overactive children, arguing, the neighbor mowing, and other human interactions can be stressful to a dog. During these situations prevent your dog from eating prior by at least one hour, during, or after by at least one hour.

Symptoms vary. Dogs may try to throw up without anything coming out. They may try to find comfort by lying down flat on their side, then up onto their stomachs, again to their side, and keep moving because they cannot get comfortable. They may pace around because they are uncomfortable. They may pant heavily before they begin pacing, trying to vomit, or trying to lie down. They may begin showing a bulging or descended stomach. They may cough trying to clear their airway and then gag in between coughs spaced out by minutes or seconds.

Years ago, dog owners were told to raise their feed and water dishes but this has proven to be bad advice. Feed your dog from bowls located on the floor.

Do not feed dry kibble. It should be watered down and allowed to rest for a few minutes before giving it to the dog.

Several meals spaced throughout a day are better than one heavy meal.

The only thing that can help when on your way to the vet is simethicone. Show dog handlers and event competitors (agility, tracking, etc.) are known to have it with them at all times. Compounding pharmacists will sell it. I have a small bottle of it on hand with me in my home and when I travel with my dogs. If you can't get 100% simethicone you can find it over the counter in a gas treatment. It is a key ingredient in Gas-X. If you use it you will need MANY pills to stabilize a bloating dog not just one pill. Open them up and give them directly.

As preventive, a Gas-X or generic brand with simethicone can be given in the dog's food with their meal. I use one pill per meal for a dog that I have that is a senior Doberman that bloated and had surgery 6 years ago.

Some vets will offer to anchor the dogs stomach as a preventive measure when a female is spayed. Bloating that occurs when full stomach torsion is almost always fatal. By anchoring the stomach the torsion cannot occur. The bloat will still require medical attention but the torsion is prevented which offers a better outcome.

I hope no one ever has to experience real gastric torsion or bloat with their dog. It is frightening, it is painful for the dog and it kills way too many of them. Prevention is the best course of action and in the event you think your dog may be bloating - don't wait, get to the vet ASAP. The sooner you do the more positive outcome you will face. It is better to be over-cautious than not when it comes to bloat.

Replied by Lorena P.
(Fresno Ca)

The message was good but too alarming. There are many home remedies that can be done at home to ease the situation so don't rush like a mad man to the vet risking an accident.

Replied by Chris
(Mechanicsburg, Pa)

Leann from Nashville those comments are spot on and not overly cautious. In fact, we have lost several German Shepherds over the years and the symptoms were spot on as if you were there. As are the preventative measures and outcomes. Anyone who does not abide by your comments/ advice or observations has not had or experienced true "bloat" or stomach turning in a dog.

Again people, please read her post again and recognize the symptoms -- they are spot on.

Replied by Jenny

Reading Leann from Nashville comments on bloat are as you say spot on.

Today my dog has bloat. I wasn't sure that was what it was so I had a quick search on the internet and reading the symptoms on this post made me recognise that my feelings were correct. I rang the vet immediately and went straight there she's had some gas drawn from her and antibiotics as she's running a high temperature and another injection to help.

She is not out of the woods yet but like the post says, if you suspect that your dog has bloat don't hang around waiting to see. My little girl's gut hasn't twisted and she has no peritonitis but it's still very dangerous and needs a vet's attention!!

Preventing Bloat in Large Breed Dogs
Posted by Deidre (Fairfield County, Ct) on 03/30/2014

I lost my first large breed dog to Bloat years back, it was such a tragedy - I then became obessed with preventing it. What I have learned is as follows:

  • Elevated Food Bowls increase bloat risk
  • Feed your dog a supplement with Ox Bile along with food
  • Provide a mixture of wet and dry food versus wetting the kibble
  • Give your dog a good probiotic supplement, as balancing intestinal flora is critical
  • Bloat increases with age, so feed an older dog smaller amounts more frequently
  • Do not exercise your dog within an hour before or after eating, especially older dogs
  • If your dog is a fast eater, place a tennis ball in the middle of his food dish to eat around. This will slow eating down
  • The first sign of bloat is usually restlessness with a very dry, unproductive cough. It can develop very quickly, so bring your dog to the vet immediately after seeing the first signs
  • Have Maalox/Mylanta with Symethicone handy, as the vet may ask you to start treatment with it for the build up of gas

Remember to listen/watch your animals for a change in behavoir - it may save their life!

Replied by Hillary
(Missouri, US)

I am so sorry for the loss of your dog. I just returned from an all nighter at the vets, luckily with my dog in tow. I have been making a list of things to do to decrease his chance of rebloat and many of the things you have listed are on mine. Thank you for taking time to make such a valuable list.

Replied by Darlene
(Los Angeles, CA)

My 10 yr. old GS bloated in August. He was showing symptoms about two weeks before his stomach completed bloated. I just didn't realize it at the time. He has been on a raw food diet since he was 1 yr. old. I decided to alternate between kibble and raw food to save money. I had been doing this for about 2 mos. I noticed that he was panting heavily and licking the air excessively. He couldn't get comfortable during the night. He would want to go out in the middle of the night and was drinking water excessively. He was still eating well and sometimes still active. Except one day he did not want his food and I thought it strange. But later on he ate it.

One night I came home and fed him raw food and started watching T.V. I called out to him but he did not come. I went outside and called him, but he still would not come. Then we noticed that he was hiding in the back of the yard and would not come. He looked like he was trying to throw up. I went to get him and brought him in the house and that's when I noticed that his lower stomach looked like a basket ball. I went into panic mode. I got dressed so fast, my son picked him up and put him in the back seat of the truck. My daughter-in-law tried to keep him calm because he looked like he was in shock. Thankfully, I remembered there was an emergency hosp. 15 miles away. We looked it up on our cell phones, called them and let them know we were coming.

When we got there, they took him to the back immediately and started working on him. They said his stomach twisted and they also found a large tumor on his spleen, so the spleen also had to be removed. They said it was benign, I'm hoping they were correct. I keep a close eye on him now. He developed stomach motility problems. That's where the food sits in the stomach for a long period of time before it enters the small intestine. But we think he may have already been having problems with that for over a year before this happened. The vet had x-rays that were taken last year of his stomach and intestines which showed trapped gas and food in his stomach. We had completely forgot about that incident and I don't know why she didn't see that in his chart. At that time, they just injected him with a fluid and sent him home.

Dogs with motility problems are probably at higher risk of bloating because it causes a lot of gas. I think that issue really needs to be addressed and by a vet who has experience with these types of problems or, preferably, a holistic vet. The vet and the holistic vet both agreed that he needs to be on herbs for the motility problems and for his immune system for the rest of his life. The holistic vet says he has seen too many dogs who have had their spleens removed and eventually develop cancer due a compromised immune system. Anyway, that was my horrible experience.

Replied by Jillaine
(Thornbury, Ontario)


My little Maltese has the same problems. He suffers terribly with gas and indigestion and has to burp at least 3 times after a meal or he is in distress. He eats every 2-3 hours and I burp him like a baby. The vets have not been much help at all. I wondered if it was a motility problem since it's like his stomach is not digesting the food. Have herbs or any medicines worked for your dog and if so, what have you used? Any advise would be appreciated.