Digestive Health Remedies for Dogs

Common Patterns of Digestive Upset in Dogs

While your dog may not display every symptom listed in a category, having several symptoms listed constitutes a patter of imbalance according to traditional Chinese medicine. It is common for one dog to have several patterns of imbalance so remove the thinking of "either, or" when making your assessment. It is not unusual for a dog to have more than one pattern of imbalance and require multiple remedies.

Chinese Herbs for Chronic Vomiting in Dogs

There is always a chance that your dog is eating something that is making her/him vomit and requires immediate veterinarian care. 

Pattern 1-Earth Element Spleen Qi Deficient spleen-qi-dog-herbs.png

Spleen Deficiency leading to food stagnation in Stomach and chronic vomiting in dogs.

  • Sudden vomiting after eating
  • No energy
  • Low appetite
  • Vomiting of stomach contents
  • Foul breath odor
  • Loose stools
  • Thick greasy tongue coating
  • Relief after vomiting

Pattern 2-Wood Element Liver Imbalance

  • Irritability and aggression
  • Hyperactive demeanor
  • Vomits small amounts
  • Frequent acid regurgitation
  • Red eyes
  • Tenderness along rib cage

Pattern 3-Water Element Yin Deficient

  • Frequent vomiting of small amounts
  • Loss of appetite
  • Thirst
  • Dry bowel movements

Pattern 4-Water Element Yang Deficient

  • Weakness-including hind leg weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Edema
  • Cold feeling nose
  • Dislikes cold temperatures-seeks heat
  • Likes stomach massages
  • Loss of appetite

Chinese Herbs for Chronic Diarrhea in Dogs

There is always a chance that your dog is eating something that is making her/him have digestive issues. It is not unusual for a dog to have more than one pattern of imbalance and require multiple remedies.

Pattern 1-Wood Element Liver Qi Stagnation

This pattern is often seen in dog breeds that are genetically prone to hyperactivity, but can develop in any dog who is stressed or who has been taking pharmaceutical medications.

  • Hyperactive personality
  • Tenderness along rib cage
  • Diarrhea occurs when dog is stressed
  • Ongoing stressful environment or situations
  • Easy anger

Pattern 2-Earth Element Spleen Qi Deficiency

  • Chronic loose stools
  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss
  • No endurance during exercise

Pattern 3-Earth Element Pattern Combined with Toxic Heat

This pattern is typically due to chronic Liver Qi Stagnation leading to Liver Overacting on a weak Spleen, but can also be a result of chemotherapy.

  • Explosive diarrhea
  • Blood in the stool (contact veterinarian)
  • Bowel movement with mucous and foul odor
  • Thirst
  • Nose and ears feel hot
  • Deep red tongue with yellow coat

Pattern 4-Water Element Kidney Yang Deficient Pattern

  • Diarrhea that occurs at night or daybreak
  • Seeks warmth/avoids cold
  • Spine is tender and cold to the touch
  • Pale looking tongue
  • Hind leg weakness and/or stiffness

Chinese Herbs for Inflammatory Bowel System IBS-IBD in Dogs

Pattern 1-Earth Element Spleen Qi Deficient Pattern

  • Chronic loose stools with undigested stools
  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss
  • No endurance during exercise

Pattern 2-Wood Element Liver Congestion Pattern

Liver Qi Stagnation is often seen in dog breeds that are genetically prone to hyperactivity, but can develop in any dog who is stressed or who has been taking pharmaceutical medications.

  • Hyperactive personality
  • Tenderness along rib cage
  • Aggressiveness-irritability
  • Diarrhea occurs when dog is stressed
  • Ongoing stressful environment or situations
  • Easy anger
  • Purple Tongue

Pattern 3-Earth Element Spleen Qi Pattern Combined with Toxic Heat Pattern

Damp Heat is typically due to chronic Liver Qi Stagnation leading to Liver Overacting on a weak Spleen, but can also be a result of chemotherapy.

  • Explosive diarrhea
  • Blood in the stool (contact veterinarian)
  • Bowel movement with mucous and foul odor
  • Thirst
  • Nose and ears feel hot
  • Deep red tongue with yellow coat
  • Alternating constipation and diarrhea

Chinese Herbs for Constipation in Dogs

Pattern 1-Wood Element Liver Qi Stagnation Pattern

Qi stagnation is most often due to Liver Qi Stagnation because the Liver controls the flow of Qi throughout the entire body.

  • Bloating and abdominal fullness
  • Gaseous especially with bowel movement
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tenderness along rib cage
  • Irritability

Pattern 2-Water Element Kidney Yin Deficient Pattern and Toxic Heat Pattern Combined

Toxic Heat in the body consumes Yin over time. Heat in the body of the dog can often develop due to chronic Liver Qi Stagnation or chemotherapy.

  • Thirst
  • Hot feeling ears and nose
  • Red, dry tongue
  • Dry flaky skin
  • Foul breath
  • Dry stools possibly with impaction
  • Seeks coolness or water

Pattern 3-Earth Element Spleen Qi Pattern

  • Chronic constipation
  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss
  • No endurance during exercise
  • Possibly vomiting

*For alternating constipation and diarrhea in dogs see Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Chinese Herbs for Poor Appetite in Dogs

Earth Element Spleen Deficiency Pattern 1-Spleen Deficiency leading to Stomach Cold and Dampness

  • No energy
  • Cold and/or wet ear or nose
  • Wet mouth
  • Excessive drooling
  • Low appetite

Earth Element Pattern 2-Spleen Deficiency leading to food stagnation in Stomach

  • Low energy
  • Weary demeanor
  • Foul breath odor
  • Thick greasy tongue coating
  • Vomiting
  • Low appetite


Earth Element Pattern 3-Loose stools with undigested food

  • No energy
  • Weary demeanor
  • Weight Loss
  • Weakness of limbs
  • Low appetite

Water Element Kidney Yin Deficient Pattern-Yin Deficiency Causing Stomach Heat

  • Thirst
  • Foul breath odor
  • Dry bowel movement
  • Short urine with dark color and foul odor
  • Low appetite