• Hahnbee Choi, Cert. CN

Upset Tummy Protocol

Updated: 5 hours ago

The most heart-wrenching thing is when your best friend isn't feeling good! Whether it's from a new food or stress, rocket butt (aka diarrhea) is never fun for anyone...Here is a go-to upset tummy protocol that, more often than not, clears things up pretty quickly!

⚠️ If your dog has chronic diarrhea that has lasted longer than 1-2 days, please take them to your vet ASAP. ⚠️

Why Does Diarrhea Happen?

Diarrhea is defined as a loose and watery stool. It often disappears within a few days and can be acute or chronic. Acute diarrhea lasts 1-2 days, while chronic diarrhea is usually the result of a viral or bacterial infection or food poisoning.

Diarrhea can occur due to numerous factors such as:

  • Stress

  • New foods

  • A food allergy or intolerance

  • Viral infection

  • Bacterial infection

  • Intestinal disease

  • Parasitic Infection

⚠️ The following protocol is for acute diarrhea only. ⚠️

Symptoms of an upset tummy:

  • Decreased appetite

  • Drinking less water

  • Fatigue

  • More sleepy/depressed

  • Looking uncomfortable

  • Sensitive to touch around the abdomen area

Upset Tummy Protocol

#1 Fasting (from solid foods)

Fasting is the willful refrainment of food for a period of time. Fasting should only be done with dogs older than a year old. If your dog is younger than 1 year, disregard this step and opt for feeding a bland diet instead.

Fasting adult dogs will give their digestive system a break and allow whatever is messing up their system to have a chance to clear out, reset, and recover from the inflammation inside.

Especially if the diarrhea is caused by something they ate, it can be beneficial to stop putting solid foods in their stomach for a 24 hour period. And out of having an upset tummy, fasting can be beneficial on its own.

#2 Raw Goat's Milk

The next step essential to this whole protocol is raw goat milk and emphasis on the raw!

Raw goat's milk provides loads of prebiotics, 200+ species of live active probiotics, and all digestive enzymes (60+). It also populates the gut with beneficial probiotics bacteria better than pills/powders. In addition, since raw goat milk contains antioxidants (fight off free radicals damage), which reduce free radicals (unstable cells that steal electrons from healthy cells), it aids in reducing inflammation immensely and preventing metabolic diseases.

You also get wonderful high-quality fat that aids in many metabolic functions and is a critical part of any diet. Fat has been demonized, but (quality) fat is a friend. But remember, all of these benefits deteriorate when pasteurized. While it’s understandable, not everyone can source raw milk. It’s important to its benefits and why it’s the preferred choice.

Top favorite sources for RAW goat milk are:

  • Bones & Co Raw Goat Milk

  • Primal Pet Foods

  • Local quality farmers

Diarrhea can easily dehydrate a dog. Therefore, it's vital to supply liquids. Some easy ways to check if your dog is dehydrated are...

  • Skin Elasticity Test: Using the skin elasticity test, you gently lift the skin on the back or between shoulder blades in a tent using two fingers. If the skin snaps back quickly into position, that's great! However, if it delays, or worse, stays lifted, the dog must be re-hydrated quickly.

  • Gums Texture: You can also check the gums as well. Hydrated gums will have a nice pink color (unless the dog's gums are naturally not pink) with a nice coat of saliva. In contrast, dehydrated gums will be pale and have a tacky touch to them.

  • Capillary Refill Time (CRT): This test also uses the gums as a measurement of hydration. First, apply continuous pressure onto the gums for 5 seconds. The pressure should be enough to where it turns. The area where pressure is applied turns slightly white. When you release the pressure, the gum should spring back to a pink color instantaneously.

Raw goat's milk is also an amazing way to keep your dog hydrated when they have the runs. They will often not want to drink water, so offering goat milk is an easy way to convince them to drink some liquids.

Feeding larger servings of raw milk provides the dog with calories that they need for the day. For example, if they usually get 1/4 cup with a regular meal, feed around 1 cup or more when they have an upset tummy and are fasting.

#3 Marshmallow Root & Slippery Elm Bark

The last step of the protocol involves some herbs. The 2 herbs that are most frequently used are marshmallow root and slippery elm bark.

Both of these herbs are very similar and essentially do the same thing. However, sometimes one or the other is easier to source for some people.

Both of these herbs are a mucilaginous product that functions as a demulcent (anti-inflammatory) agent. The mucilage of these herbs is a complex polysaccharide that becomes a gel-like substance when mixed with water.

Marshmallow root has been studied for its healing properties surrounding constipation and colic while slippery elm bark by indigenous tribes from mucilage for wounds, skin conditions, coughs, and sore throats. These herbs are also beneficial to give if your dog has constipation too.

A great way to dose this is a heaping teaspoon with a cup of goat milk. Allow the mixture to sit for 10-15 minutes to allow the mucilage to form, then feed. Since it's mixed in with the raw goat's milk, they usually eat it willingly, but if your dog is a bit pickier, you can either syringe it on their gum line or dilute even more with goat milk and/or bone broth. The feeding guideline is 1/4tsp per 10lbs (4.5kg).

Fun fact: Slippery elm bark can also be given to horses to help with ulcers or GI upset!

Both of these herbs help soothe the GI tract and calm inflammation naturally.


Pumpkin is another trendy go-to supplement for GI imbalances. It can be hard to find a quality pumpkin puree (especially during the COVID-19 pandemic) free of added ingredients, organic, BPA-free lining, etc., unless you are making it yourself. If you have some quality pumpkin on hand, feel free to add a dollop in. This should only be given in small amounts as it can be high on the glycemic index.

Stomach trouble can be the worst for you and especially your dog. But hopefully, with these tips & tricks, you can get through it like a pro. As always, thanks for stopping by & Always Keep Exploring!

disclaimer: Any information shared is to be used at your own discretion. Any information shared is not intended to replace a holistic or integrative veterinarian's advice.