Just like people, dogs can experience a variety of digestive issues. Aside from the obvious symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea, how can you tell if your pup is experiencing tummy troubles? And what can you do to provide relief? The following guidelines can help ease your dog’s digestive woes.
Outside the Stomach
If your dog appears to have a digestive issue that comes on quickly, it’s usually due to something they ate. In this case, one of the best things you can do is to withhold food for 12 to 24 hours. This can provide the reset your dog’s digestive system needs. Do make sure to provide plenty of water. If your dog doesn’t want to drink, try giving them ice cubes since many pups see them as a treat. Once you reintroduce food, choose a bland diet such as boiled chicken and rice. Pumpkin, without spices or additives, is also good for your dog’s gut and can help ease any lingering nausea.
Inside the Stomach
Chronic digestive issues can be caused by colitis or other intestinal problems. But conditions outside of the gut can also cause ongoing digestive upset. These can include cognitive problems, cancer, heatstroke, hormonal issues, inner ear disorders, liver or kidney conditions, pain, pancreatitis, and even stress. With such a wide array of possibilities, it’s best to consult with your vet to determine what’s at the root of your dog’s chronic digestive issues. Unlike the quick onset of problems from an occasional queasy stomach, the sooner you and your vet can get to the bottom of the problem, the sooner your dog can benefit from treatment.
Prevention Is Key
Since the gut influences your dog’s overall health, it’s important to supplement their diet with an effective canine probiotic. Probiotics help to balance your pup’s microbiota and protect against both acute and chronic digestive problems. But because dogs have a more acidic stomach than humans—as much as 10 times—it’s important to choose your probiotic carefully. Here’s why: Supplemental probiotics only work if they survive the journey through the acidic stomach environment to reach the intestines.
To support your dog’s digestion and bowel health, look for a canine-specific supplement with viable, acid-resistant strains like Bifidobacterium animalis and Bifidobacterium bifidum. One research study in dogs with sudden diarrhea found that recovery time was reduced by 40 percent for dogs treated with B. animalis versus a placebo.
Preventing Future Problems
To prevent future problems, ask yourself these questions: Have I been giving my dog scraps from the table? Has my dog eaten any “treats” they found around the house or garden? Have I added a canine-specific probiotic into my dog’s daily routine? Being proactive when it comes to your dog’s gut health is a smart idea for any pet parent.
Can’t I Just Give My Dog Yogurt?
The probiotic count in yogurt is measured in the millions. That may sound impressive, but the truth is that by the time these probiotics get through the canine digestive system, their numbers are greatly diminished. Yogurt may be a tasty treat, but it’s a waste of time if optimal digestion is the goal.
Common Signs of Doggy Digestive Issues
- Skin Irritations
- Gassiness or Burping
- Stomach Growling
- Anxiety and Aggression