German shepherd Stomach Problems

German shepherds are portrayed as a fit and healthy breed, very robust and active. Unfortunately, this breed is known to be plagued with sensitive stomachs.

Not every German shepherd will have tummy troubles and many stomach issues are mild and easily remedied. Other stomach conditions can be more severe and even fatal if left untreated.

If you have a German shepherd or are thinking of getting one, read on to learn about common German stomach problems and other issues that aren’t as common.

German shepherd Stomach Problems
Image from Pixabay

For your dog’s vitamin supplement, food, toys, or other dogs product please visit the Health Extension website.

Why Do German Shepherds Have Sensitive Stomachs?

German shepherds are a sensitive breed and usually are in tune with their owner’s feelings and moods. They are perceptive to the emotions of the people they live with, so having a sensitive stomach can come into play.

German shepherds, unfortunately, are more prone and genetically predisposed to stomach and digestive issues and conditions.

This does not mean they are 100% going to develop a serious condition and they may never suffer from any stomach issues at all. If they do have a problem, chances are it will be easily remedied and short-lived.

Common Stomach issues in German Shepherd

  • Upset Stomach/Diarrhea

upset stomach/diarrhea – Your German shepherd may occasionally have an upset stomach and symptoms may be excess gas, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (loose stools).

These symptoms may just be caused by eating something forbidden ( table scraps, garbage, junk food, etc.), eating too much, or having a food allergy or intolerance to their food.


Many German shepherds can eat just about anything and have a “cast iron” stomach with no upset, but just as in humans, some foods or certain ingredients in food may cause stomach issues and they may be ongoing until identified.

If your pup has occasional tummy troubles, it is usually no cause for worry. If these stomach issues are regular and constant, seeing their veterinarian is in order as some stomach conditions can be quite debilitating and in some cases, fatal.

Just as in humans, stress can be a factor insensitive stomachs. If there are changes in your household or constant anxiety they can sense it and this can exacerbate stomach issues.

To check your shepherds’ health status or their DNA checks, please visit the Embark vet website for all the help you may need.

Why Do German Shepherds Have Sensitive Stomachs?
  • Canine parvovirus, parasites, bacterial infections

Canine parvovirus, parasites, bacterial infections – Parvovirus is an infectious disease that German shepherds are more prone to if not vaccinated for it.

Parvovirus is contagious from other dogs’ feces and causes vomiting and severe diarrhea. It is treatable.

Parasites cause sensitive stomach symptoms as well as bacterial infections either of which can be picked up outside.

  • Inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease – Usually the onset of IBD in German shepherds isn’t until six years old. This can be caused by many things from bacterial intestinal overgrowth to parasites, to diet, and have many of the same symptoms of a sensitive stomach.

It is sometimes hard to diagnose. A change in diet along with anti-inflammatory drugs will help.

  • Toxic gut syndrome

Toxic gut syndrome – This is less common but needs to be diagnosed and treated quickly. The syndrome is caused by an overgrowth of the bacteria clostridium that reproduces and enters your shepherd’s bloodstream.

This becomes toxic, happens quickly, and is fatal. Many veterinarians recommend supplements that have a yogurt base to prevent this.

  • Bloat –

Bloat – Bloat which is gastric dilation volvulus or GDV, is a medical emergency and is oftentimes fatal. It is more common in German shepherds and breeds that are deep-chested.

Its cause is unknown and a twisted stomach is what most people know it to be. It is recommended to keep this from occurring, do not feed your shepherd right before exercise or right after.

Wait at least an hour or two before or after anything strenuous and feeding smaller meals instead of one large meal is suggested. This is also generally better for their digestion in the long run.

To check your shepherds’ health status or their DNA checks, please visit the Embark vet website for all the help you may need.

How To Deal With German Shepherd Stomach Problems.

If your German shepherd is having stomach problems like vomiting, diarrhea, etc., first identify how severe it is.

If they are acting like their usual normal selves, it may just be something they ate or something minor.


Withholding food and water for 24 hours if they are vomiting may be the answer to give their stomach a rest and if they have diarrhea, no food, but liquids can be offered. This may be all it takes to remedy the situation.

Sometimes a bland diet is called for such as some boiled turkey or chicken along with some white rice.

When their stomach settles down, gradually reintroduce their regular food and see how they do.

If you call your veterinarian, they may suggest Pepto-Bismol or Imodium but will tell you the dosage and how long to use it.


Don’t wait for things to get out of hand if vomiting and diarrhea persist. It’s time to bring in the big guns and either schedule an appointment with their vet or take them to an animal hospital or emergency clinic.

Your veterinarian will perform tests, bloodwork, and check vitals to see what’s going on. Since German shepherds can’t speak and tell you how they feel, the detective work of your veterinarian is necessary to arrive at the correct diagnosis.

It may be just a food allergy and hard to pinpoint or it may be something that can clearly be identified by bloodwork, an x-ray, or a stool sample.

How to Preventing Sensitive Stomach.


Although some stomach conditions cannot be totally prevented, it doesn’t hurt to try, and here are a few tips.

  • Do not change foods quickly, make it gradual.
  • Table scraps, junk food and fast food should always be a no, no.
  • Make sure your German shepherd does not have access to the garbage can.
  • Your German shepherd should be up to date on all vaccinations and be de-wormed.
How To Deal With German Shepherd Stomach Problems.
Image by Nerijus jakimavičius from Pixabay

Best Foods For Sensitive Stomachs.


Speaking with your veterinarian about foods for your German shepherd is the best idea if they have a sensitive stomach.

Depending on their diagnosis, this will determine what type of food will work best with their specific needs. There are many excellent foods available that are for food allergies and sensitive stomachs.

The food should be of high quality with essential protein, carbohydrates, fatty acids, plus vitamins and minerals.

Foods generally should contain no grains or fillers. A better quality dog food is proven to be easier to digest. Too much fat is very hard for your pup to digest.


Your veterinarian may suggest supplements, probiotics, or digestive enzymes aid in digestion.
Bland foods can also help settle their stomach and may even help by mixing with their regular food in small quantities.

Some of these very digestible foods are listed below. Speak with your veterinarian to get their okay before feeding.

  • Banana
  • Yogurt
  • Cottage cheese (low fat)
  • Turkey (cooked)
  • Chicken (cooked)
  • Potatoes (cooked)
  • Sweet potatoes (cooked)
  • Pumpkin (cooked or canned w/o additives)

When dealing with a sensitive stomach in German shepherds or for preventing it, the best person to work with and seek advice from would be your German shepherd’s veterinarian. If you are having problems, don’t get frustrated; call your veterinarian.


A well-balanced diet will definitely help with a sensitive stomach that is not caused by a serious condition, but if your shepherd is experiencing any of the symptoms in this article, especially if they are constant or persistent and you may feel that it is heading for an emergency, seek immediate help.

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