Using Gripe Water With Dogs

Photo by Karl Baron on Flickr

Puppies struggle with gassy tummies all the time. It sucks to see these tiny fur kids in pain, and it could make us and their four-footed mommies feel super helpless. So, what do you do?

Some people opt for gripe water formulated for human babies, while others go for grandma’s herbal remedies. Is it safe, though? And, what on earth is gripe water, anyway?

Once you know what it is, where do you find it, and how do you know which one to use? In this article, we find answers to these questions, along with some other pertinent ones.

[1] What is gripe water?

Gripe water is a non-prescription medicine that soothes cramps, winds, colic, and other tummy-related baby ailments. Back in the day, this stuff contained alcohol. Luckily, science and sanity prevailed, and gripe water is now alcohol-free. Some formulations still contain sugar, though. Generally, gripe water contains a combination of fennel, ginger, chamomile, lemon balm, and dill oil. Some gripe water brands even contain charcoal. I kid you not. Medicine is super weird.

It’s cool to note that the ingredients in gripe water are all carminative herbs. This means that they relax the stomach muscles to relieve gas in the intestines.

[2] What is it used for with dogs?

Just like human babies, our four-footed fur babies can get colic, and it sucks. Generally, colic refers to any form of continued pain from gas trapped in a puppy’s tummy, inflammation, or other colon-related discomforts. Sound fun, right?

As you can imagine, any dog, puppy, or grown, would be super irritable if they’re in this state. That’s where gripe water comes in. All those carminative herbs work together to relieve the pressure inside your pup’s tummy and get the gas out either end. Whatever works, right?

[3] What are other common treatments for upset stomachs in dogs?

While gripe water is a common home remedy for upset doggy stomachs, it is definitely not the only one. Many people skip the store-bought concoction and go straight for the raw ingredients. That is, they give their pup carminative herbs, just like that.

These include chamomile, fennel, dill, ginger, thyme, and peppermint. All of these are perfectly safe for dogs and can be sprinkled straight onto their food.

Probiotics are another treatment for upset stomachs. While antibiotics kill off all bugs in your system to help you on the road to recovery, probiotics repopulate the good bugs in your tummy.

We all need these to help with proper digestion and general gut health.

You can administer probiotics to your puppies even if they’re perfectly healthy – you can’t overdose on these ones. If you don’t know which brand to use, check with your vet.

If your dog is no longer a newborn and already eats solids, there are other ways to treat upset tummies.

The treatment administered could depend on the reason for the upset tummy. If your dog ate something poisonous, a trip to the vet is definitely on the cards while scavenging your fatty table scraps calls for a home remedy.

Suppose your pup is vomiting or has a runny tummy in conjunction with being bloated and gassy. In that case, you could give him some anti-sickness meds to stop nausea and runny tummy. Being this ill will definitely dehydrate your poor pup, so giving him plenty of fluids is necessary. In addition to drinking lots of water, it’s a good idea to administer an electrolyte suspension to nurse him back to health. If you’re not sure how much to give, check with the vet.

Additionally, you could give your dog smaller meals and bland food until he’s well again. Upset tummies need some coddling.

If your pup is constantly gassy and bloated, he might be suffering from food allergies. It’s worth adjusting his diet to exclude whatever is causing his gassy, bloated state. If you’re not sure what’s causing the issue, there are two roads to follow. The first is a whole battery of allergy tests at the vet. This is usually expensive, and the poor pooch probably won’t like it. Alternatively, you could cut down his diet to only one ingredient until his tummy settles – usually a day or so. Then, reintroduce other ingredients one at a time, a few days apart. If you see that the bloating and gassiness comes back, cut that ingredient from his diet permanently.

[4] How much gripe water should I give my dog?

The recommended dosage of gripe water depends on the brand in question. For babies, it’s usually somewhere from a few drops to a teaspoon full, depending on your kid’s weight. The same goes for pups – check the recommended dosage on the package and adjust it downwards for your pup’s weight. If the brand you have at home doesn’t indicate dosage per weight, you could check out the internet for recommendations. The label should also indicate how often you can dose your pup with this remedy. Most brands recommend once every 4-6 hours.

[5] Should gripe water be used with puppies?

Gripe water is safe for human babies, but is it safe for dogs, and does it work? While not everyone is convinced of gripe water’s efficacy, most reputable doggy forums and vets recommend gripe water for puppies and even older dogs struggling with gas and other forms of colic.

If you’re hesitant to administer human medicine to a newborn puppy, you could always use herbal remedies. Those are tried and trusted over many generations.

[6] What are the side effects of using gripe water?

Since gripe water no longer contains alcohol, there aren’t any common side effects to mention. Some rare side effects from dosing your pup with gripe water include indigestions, drowsiness, dizziness, heartburn, and diarrhea. Your pup might also get all happy and relaxed – in my books, that might not be so bad. These are the same rare side effects you might see in humans if they overdo the gripe water.

[7] What are infant gas drops, and can they be used with puppies?

Infant gas drops are precisely what the name says. Often, gas builds up in our bodies, and we need to burp or pass gas to get rid of them. Infants can’t do this very well and often needs help to relieve the pain and bloating that accompanies the condition. That’s where infant gas drops come in. These drops consolidate the gazillions of tiny bubbles in the intestines into more giant bubbles which are easier to get rid of.

These drops work wonders in dogs as well, regardless of the dog’s age, and are commonly recommended by vets. The recommended dosage varies, depending on your pup’s age, size, and general health. If you’re not sure how much to give, ask your vet.

[8] What are some of the best brands of gripe water?

There are tons of gripe water brands on the market. Here are some of the ones available on Amazon:

·         Mommy’s Bliss Gripe Water. This product is organic, and NSF Certified, with a rating of 4.5 stars. 

·         Zarbees Natural Baby Gripe Water. This clinically supported formula comes in natural berry flavor. It is suitable for babies from the age of 2 months.

·         Little Remedies Gripe Water. Available in a day/night combo, you get two birds with one stone here. The daytime colic remedy contains all the goodies you’d expect from gripe water. In contrast, the nighttime remedy has added goodies to help the baby (or your four-footed little fur kid) get a good night’s sleep. Talk about a double whammy! Plus, it’s all organic. Nice

·         Wellements Organic Gripe Water. This certified organic product is free from all the baddies you often find in medicine. It even comes with a syringe for easy dispensing.

Closing Thoughts

Gripe water formulations meant for human babies are often used to ease upset, gassy tummies in puppies. This medicine, along with infant gas drops, works to consolidate all the tiny troublesome bubbles in the pup’s intestines, making it easy to get out by burping or passing gas. Most gripe water formulations are a combination of carminative herbs – that’s the stuff that relaxes the stomach muscles, thus relieving the gassy pain. Check out some reputable gripe water brands on Amazon.

Gripe water’s side effects for your pup are rare and not all that serious. You might not be comfortable administering human meds to your pup. In that case, you could always opt for grandma’s herbal remedies—these work just as well as gripe water.