A dog is supposed to be a carnivorous animal, meaning that they get their nutrition from animal meat. They have, however, also evolved to be able to digest plant sources of food as well, and this has become a part of a healthy and balanced diet for dogs. Recently, pet owners have been becoming more and more aware of digestive issues in their pets. Food allergies are on the rise, and food intolerances are being identified and corrected more than before.
What Causes Digestive Disorders In Dogs?
If your dog eats something he shouldn’t, then he could have a stomach upset. You shouldn’t be giving your dog food from your table because human food contains hidden ingredients like garlic in flake and powder form that your dog shouldn’t eat. If your dog has food intolerance and allergies, then she could be reacting to consuming things her body cannot digest.
If your dog sniffs or gets close to infected faces at the park or on a walk, then she could get an infection that gives her a digestive disorder. If she eats that feces, then she will be exposed to parasites and worms.
At home, improperly prepared food could give your dog Salmonella, E.coli, and food poisoning. Food that is very high in fat can inflame the digestive system, as can certain medications. There are also some diseases that a dog may be born with, like inflammatory bowel disease. There is a difference between mild digestive distress and chronic digestive disorders. While mild issues can be treated with dietary changes, more severe issues need medical intervention under the care of a licensed veterinarian.
Symptoms of Digestive Disorders
One of the first things that a dog does when they eat food that doesn’t agree with them is that they vomit. If your dog is vomiting after eating, then you know that the particular food didn’t agree with them. If your dog’s vomit is frothy, then that is a sign that they are gassy. If you have dog-safe medication for indigestion recommended by your doctor for casual cases, then you should administer it.
Diarrhea is another common symptom of digestive distress, and it can lead to dehydration if it persists for too long. If your dog is refusing food, if their stomach is distended or bloated, if they have bloody stool, and if they have been lethargic, then you should contact your vet asking about digestion problems. Flatulence is another symptom of digestive distress.
Dietary Changes That Reduce Digestive Problems
The most common cause of digestive distress in dogs is simply having a sensitive stomach. Not every dog can eat everything and be fine. If your dog is more sensitive than others, there are some dietary choices you can make that will help them in the long term. Allergies, for example, can only happen if the dog’s digestive system is repeatedly exposed to proteins it cannot digest till their immune system goes into overdrive and overreacts to the exposure.
Stop Human Food
One of the first things to do is to stop feeding your dog any form of human food. Pet owners often give their pets scraps of their food, and human biscuits and other treats. You should instead switch to treats that are made specifically for dogs from reputable brands.
Rethink How You Prepare Homemade Dog Food
If you’re making food for your dog at home, you should discuss the ingredients and cooking method with your veterinarian. You should also set aside cooking utensils for making dog food that is separate from those used to cook human food.
Change Dog Food Brand
If you’re using dog food, then your current brand might not be suiting your dog. You can consider shifting to a limited-ingredient dog food like Wellness Simple Turkey and Potato dog food. Limited ingredients mean you can check whether any of the ingredients match with known food issues with your dogs, and there are lesser chances of triggering a sensitive stomach.
Often digestive issues are related to having insufficient gut flora, which is easily resolved by probiotics. You can easily make kefir or yogurt at home, which contains live cultures that will replenish gut flora in your dog. Stay away from over-processed products that contain high levels of sugar and preservatives which can further trigger a sensitive stomach. There are also a variety of products in different forms that you can use instead of brewing your own live cultures, like pills, powders, and treats that have probiotics baked in.