Acid Reflux in Dogs

If you want to know how much discomfort acid reflux can cause in your dog, think back on some of the times you’ve suffered from heartburn. You get the picture, now right? Our pups are just like our kids, and they are equally part of the family. They are always energetic, lively and happy. I bet that’s a lifestyle we wouldn’t want to change for anything. But more often than not, we have cases where our dogs are put through so much discomfort and pain that their liveliness is virtually zapped out. Acid reflux is one condition by which dogs are put through that is a painful and discomforting experience.

Imagining stomach acids passing the wrong way from the stomach and somehow entering the gullet (esophagus), where they burn the thin lining thereby causing so much pain. That’s what exactly acid reflux is

What is acid reflux in dogs

Gastroesophageal reflux or in its simpler name Acid reflux is a condition in which the enzymes and acid contents (that usually aid digestion) present in the stomach enter into the esophagus and burn the thin lining of the esophagus thereby causing harm, pain, and discomfort. Although the symptoms of acid reflux are not in any way life-threatening, the pain caused on the esophagus can be a very ugly experience.

Signs and symptoms

Dogs can’t talk, and they can’t certainly tell you if they are at pains of uncomfortable. As a dog owner, you have to be sensitive enough and recognize when your dog is in pain. There are some signs to look out for

  • Wheezing
  • Excessive Salivating
  • Bad breath
  • Burping after eating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of weight
  • Whining or other evidence of pain during or most likely after meals
  • Weakness after meals
  • Vomiting immediately after meals

If you discover any of these symptoms, get in touch with your vet doctor to make a proper diagnosis and ascertain if your dog is suffering from acid reflux.


Acid reflux is a very common type of ailment that can happen to any species, breed, size or age of the dog. Reports show that younger dogs are more prone to this condition because esophageal sphincters are still in developmental stage. Some of the common causes of the condition include:

  1. Obesity
  2. A hiatal hernia
  3. Improper administration of anesthetic
  4. High acid production in the stomach
  5. Eating spicy food (human food)
  6. High blood calcium
  7. Long-term vomiting


Treatment can be carried out from home with advice from your vet doctor. Most common treatment procedures include preventing the dog from eating for a day or two at most after which a strict diet routine containing low protein and low-fat meals is given in small and frequent quantities. Another treatment method could be from taken medications such as gastrointestinal pro-kinetic agents. These medications are known to aid digestion and help strengthen esophageal sphincter

  • Prevention
  • Maintaining a healthy diet for your dog can be a good start in preventing Acid reflux.
  • Also reducing the number of fatty foods in your dog meals can also help a lot.
  • Prevent your dog from eating anything it sees on the ground
  • Limit the way strangers feed your dog

Acid reflux although not life threatening can be a very painful experience for your dog. It is proper to watch for signs so you can take immediate action.