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Digestive disorders in dogs are diseases that affect a dog’s stomach and intestines, resulting in pain and other problems. Any disorder that reduces the digestion or absorption of food, or alters its passage through the digestive tract, can be called a digestive disorder.

Your dog is prone to eating anything and everything under the sun. If it looks or smells even remotely edible, chances are they’re going to take a bite before you know it.

Knowing the common dog digestive problems that can occur in their GI tract will help you identify the underlying cause and treat it appropriately.

Most importantly, make an appointment with your veterinarian. Especially if your pet is vomiting, which can be a sign of something really serious in both cats and dogs.”

Commonly Diagnosed Digestive Disorders in Dogs


Colitis, another digestive disorder in dogs, is the inflammation of the colon (also known as the large intestine). It can be ‘acute’ (beginning suddenly and ending quickly) or ‘chronic’ (where it will last longer and keep returning). Signs of colitis in your dog include seeing blood and/or mucus in their stools, diarrhoea. Also frequently passing small amounts of stool. If your dog has chronic colitis, they may lose weight too.


Constipation is another commonly occurring sign of digestive problems, and can have a number of potential underlying causes. If your dog is constipated, their feces will be hard or dry, and they will move  their bowels infrequently. They may also show signs of increased straining when attempting to move their bowels.

Acute Gastroenteritis

This is the Inflammation or infection of the gastrointestinal tract, primarily the stomach and intestines. Acute gastroenteritis is usually short-term, caused by a dog eating spoiled or rancid food, high-fat people food. Also by swallowing objects, eating toxic plants, internal parasites, stress, food allergies or substances not intended as dog food.


Pancreatitis refers to inflammation of the pancreas. This is an organ near the stomach and intestines that produces insulin as well as important digestive enzymes. A common cause of pancreatitis is ingestion of too much fatty food—especially table scraps.

Hemorrhagic Gastritis

Hemorrhagic gastritis, which induces profuse vomiting and bloody diarrhea, is caused by infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites; it can also be due to a bad reaction to certain medications.


Bloating can result from a very severe condition in your dog. A dog’s stomach can stretch from gas that is trapped. Gastric dilation volvulus (GDV) happens when your dog’s stomach twists when it is stretched. The blood supply is blocked off from other internal organs, causing a medical emergency for your dog.


Your dog may not be able to digest their food correctly. This is called malabsorption. It’s a challenging condition to diagnose because it has similar symptoms to other conditions. It’s typically caused by a deficiency in enzymes released by the pancreas.


Diarrhea is a common sign of digestive issues, particularly with the large and/or small intestine. If your dog has diarrhea, they will feel the need to move their bowels more frequently and do so very regularly.

Their stool  is likely to be more liquid-like than solid, and may contain mucous. Large intestine conditions result in your dog having small volumes of diarrhea but passing these very frequently.


Dogs vomit when their bodies need to expel the contents of their stomachs. It may be caused by something simple, like overeating or eating something that does not agree with your dog. Some dogs eat too fast, and the unchewed food makes them feel too full, so they vomit it back up. Other dogs swallow air along with the food, causing an upset tummy.

If your dog experiences a sudden bout of recurrent vomiting and refuses to eat, or vomiting is accompanied by pain or lethargy, call your pet’s veterinarian immediately.


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