Do Pugs Have Sensitive Stomachs? Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Some Pugs have sensitive tummy issues when they are puppies, while others may develop the condition later in life. Either way, if your Pug is prone to stomach issues, it’s something you need to address to help your pup thrive. If you’ve ever wondered, “do Pugs have sensitive stomachs?” your pup has likely had digestive issues after eating, and you have no clue what to do.

Why Do Pugs Have Sensitive Stomachs?

The most common reason this brachycephalic breed suffers from sensitive stomach issues is food allergies. Other things that can cause an upset tummy are medications, parasites, and eating too fast.

It’s a known fact that Pugs have sensitive stomachs, by nature due to the different conditions of the breed. For this reason, it’s essential for Pug parents to know what causes it, how to spot the signs, and what types of foods may benefit them.

do Pugs have sensitive stomachs

Not all Pugs will suffer from digestive issues, however, their genetics make them more susceptible than other breeds.

Food Allergies

Food allergies cause an immune system reaction immediately when your dog eats certain foods. It is likely due to certain ingredients in the food that trigger the allergies.

The allergic reaction can come about from eating small amounts of food and occurs whenever your dog eats any amount. Food allergies can be life-threatening if you don’t seek medical attention.

Most pet parents mistake food allergies with food intolerance, which is not the same thing.

Food intolerance is when your pet can eat small amounts of the food that triggers allergic reactions, but unlike allergies, the symptoms are gradual. The symptoms don’t happen all the time and they are not life threatening.

Symptoms of both food allergies and intolerance can cause:

  • Vomiting
  • Stomach Pain
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

Both can have the same symptoms, which is what makes it difficult to distinguish which one your Pug is suffering from. This is why it’s best to consult with your veterinarian if your Pug is continually experiencing tummy issues.

What Is A Sensitive Stomach?

Like us, dogs too are susceptible to sensitive stomach issues that can cause episodes of flatulence or diarrhea. It could be your dog’s genetics that can cause the problem, meaning they are born with the condition.

Digestive issues are triggered when your dog eats something that doesn’t agree with its tummy.

A dog’s stomach issue can be mild or severe, but both are uncomfortable for your four-legged friend. A mild case can be something as simple as hearing gurgling sounds in your dog’s stomach.

While severe cases can cause your Pug to vomit and experience bouts of diarrhea until the food has passed through their system.

What Causes Sensitive Stomachs In Pugs?

Your pooch can experience gastric distress when they eat the wrong food, too much food, eat too fast, current health issues, or eating too much of certain types of food.

Besides the wrong types of food, medications and intestinal parasites such as whipworms can cause dogs to suffer from this condition.

How Do I Know If My Pug Has A Sensitive Stomach?

If your Pug experiences any of the signs below on a frequent basis, after eating, they likely have a sensitive stomach. Something in your dog’s diet causing the bacterial populations in the digestive system aka microbiome to change.

The changes in the gut microbiome cause your Pug to experience increased gut sounds, skin problems such as severe itchiness, red skin patches, or hair loss.

What Are the Symptoms of A Sensitive Stomach?

Knowing what an upset stomach is in canines, is different than knowing how to spot the signs. Unlike humans, dogs can’t come out and tell you their tummy hurts.

However, just like us, dogs can experience stomach issues that manifest as symptoms related to nausea, acid reflux, and heartburn that we experience.

So it’s up to you to know how to spot the signs. Below are some of the signs and symptoms your Pug will experience if they are dealing with digestive issues.

The good news is that spotting the signs is easy.

Intermittent Loose Stools

Changing your Pug’s food can cause loose stool or irregular bowel movements. This is one of the main reasons veterinarians recommend switching their food gradually from their current food. It gives your pup’s stomach enough time to transition to the new food, without causing any problems.

Excessive Flatulence

Brachycephalic dogs such as the Pug have a hard time eating because of their smooshed face. Some dogs will eat too fast, which can cause flatulence from gulping air while they eat, leading to gastrointestinal issues. Try using a slow feeder bowl that will make your Pug slow down when eating.

Excessive Tummy Sounds

If you notice your dog’s tummy making gurgling or rumbling sounds after eating, it could be that she’s experiencing issues digesting her meal. Monitor her closely to see if any other symptoms develop.

Eating Grass

Eating grass is a canine’s natural remedy for an upset stomach. Dogs eat grass, so they can vomit and help make themselves feel better.


Occasional vomiting after your dog eats is normal, but if it occurs often or after every meal, it could be a sign of tummy problems.

Other Signs and Symptoms

Below are some other signs you should be on the lookout in both adults and puppies. Some of the signs are similar to what you experience when your stomach is upset.

  • Fever
  • Grouchiness
  • Having a rigid and hunched posture
  • Lack of appetite

When to Contact Your Vet?

If your Pug is experiencing a mild case, it will likely go away in 24 hours. You’ll want to monitor your pup closely, and if the symptoms become worse, it’s time to call your veterinarian.

Also, if you notice any of these symptoms, take your Pug immediately to the vet.

  • Blood in stool or vomit
  • Your dog is extremely weak or collapses
  • Increasing discomfort
  • More than two episodes of vomiting or diarrhea
  • A foreign object in their stool or vomit
  • Decreased mobility

The following can all be signs of something more serious including stomach bloat, internal parasites, pancreatitis, or a severe allergic reaction.

If you realize that your Pug has eaten something he shouldn’t have such as a poisonous plant, toy, fertilizer, etc, seek immediate medical attention.

You can also contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control hotline at 888-426-4435 if your veterinarian isn’t available for an emergency visit. The hotline will help you determine the level of toxicity in your Pug, and give recommendations on how to care for them until you can get them to the vet.

How To Treat Pugs With A Sensitive Stomach?

Treating a Pug with stomach sensitivities can be challenging, especially, if you’re not sure what’s causing the issues. Before administering any type of home remedies, you should have your pooch checked.

Once internal parasites are ruled out, it will be much easier to move forward with a treatment plan.

Your Yard

If your Pug has access to an outdoor area, ensure there are no poisonous plants, mushrooms, acorns, or anything else they can come into contact with.

Pick up anything that may entice your dog to eat it. Avoid using any harsh chemicals to treat your lawn, deck, or etc. This goes for indoor cleaners as well.

Consider putting fencing around your garden or flowers so your Pug can’t get access to them. This brachycephalic breed can’t jump high so a 3-foot fence should be big enough to keep them out of places you don’t want them in.

Keep A Lid On It

If you leave your Pug home alone for long periods of time, there’s a chance you’ve come home and found your dog with its nose in the trash can. When a dog eats trash, dogs will eat all kinds of things that can affect its tummy.

Invest in a good trash can that is dog-proof like the iTouchless 8 gallon Pet Proof Sensor Trash Can. Also, make sure all the cupboards, pantries, and closet doors are closed. Keep cosmetics out of reach and close the toilet bowl lid.

Most people don’t think twice about leaving lids or doors shut when they have a small breed dog. However, all dogs are like children and will get into things they shouldn’t.

Slow Your Pug Down

As mentioned above eating too fast can cause this brachycephalic breed to suffer from digestive issues.

Choose Treats Wisely

Instead of feeding them doggie treats, consider giving them easy-to-digest foods such as cooked chicken, canned pumpkin, oatmeal, or cooked sweet potatoes. These foods are known to help soothe a dog’s tummy, at least temporarily.

Don’t Overdo It On Supplements

It’s normal to want to load your dog up on supplements, especially if they are getting sick often. However, even too much of a good thing can lead to more problems.

Mix a small amount of probiotic and prebiotic in your dog’s food. It will help balance out your dog’s gut bacteria which is responsible for the vomiting. Read the back of the labels of the supplements and ensure you’re giving them the proper amount.

If you’re unsure on how much to give your Pug, seek advice from your veterinarian.

Don’t Feed Them

Hold off on feeding your dog a full bowl of kibble for at least 12-24 hours. This will help soothe your dog’s stomach, especially if they’ve been experiencing symptoms.

Don’t worry, your Pug will be fine if they skip one meal. If you feel bad or they keep begging, you can give them some of the treats we mentioned above. However, the purpose of skipping one meal is to let their gut get rid of anything that may be causing it to be upset.

Feed Them Smaller Portions

You could also try feeding them smaller portions. A small dog like a Pug doesn’t need as much food as a larger breed. Some pet owners mistakenly feed their dogs too much, which can be the cause of tummy problems.

Changing Their Food

If you’ve tried everything above and nothing seems to help your Pug, it may be time to switch their dog food. This can be challenging, especially, if your Pug is a picky eater.

Consider a limited ingredient diet that is free from artificial flavors, colors, etc. But it contains all the essential nutrients that are geared towards Pugs with sensitive tummies.

How to Prevent Pugs From Getting Upset Stomachs?

Pug upset stomach

One of the best ways to help your Pug from experiencing tummy problems is to prevent it from happening in the first place. You can’t always monitor your dog all the time, and we all know dogs love to eat things we wouldn’t consider putting in our mouths.

The best thing pet parents can do to maintain healthy gut health is to give them prebiotic fiber such as canned pumpkin, sweet potatoes. Zesty Paws Probiotic Bites are a great probiotic option that can help.

Foods You Should Avoid Giving Your Pug

Pugs love to eat, but it doesn’t mean you should give them any type of food. Feeding them certain foods can cause more pain and discomfort.

Avoid feeding your Pug any of the foods below:

Dairy products: they can cause discomfort and even diarrhea.

Chocolate, coffee, or tea: all forms of caffeine can lead to vomiting and diarrhea. Chocolate is extremely toxic to a dog’s central nervous system and can be extremely fatal.

Salt: a dog’s digestive system can’t process salt in large amounts and can be fatal to Pugs. Too much salt can cause your dog to drink excessive amounts of water, urinate excessively and suffer from salt poisoning.

This is just a small list of human foods Pugs shouldn’t have. This page has an exhaustive list of foods that Pugs can and cannot have.

Final Word

No pet parent wants to see their Pug dog suffering from sensitive stomach issues. Hopefully, this article will help you know and understand what is causing the issues.

If your small dog is showing any signs of digestive systems, monitor their behavior for 24-48 hours. A mild case of indigestion will usually go away on its own.

If you believe your Pug’s current diet is the problem to his tummy troubles, you may want to consider switching to different commercial dog food or implementing homemade dog food.

If your Pug’s symptoms are more severe, consider switching to a highly digestible food or possibly adding foods with natural ingredients. You can even opt to switch to homemade dog food, especially, if your Pug gets sick whenever they eat kibble.

Be sure to check out this post on treating upset stomachs in Pugs using home remedies. Stay with it, you’ll find the right food that doesn’t cause digestive tract issues.

Eventually, your Pug will look forward to their meals and you won’t have to worry about whether or not they’re going to get sick!

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