“My dog ate something they shouldn’t have”.
If you have a dog or know someone who has a dog, chances are you’ve said this, or have heard it said.
And although some dog owners claim their furry friends have “iron stomachs”, meaning they can eat just about anything with no ill-effects, there are some dogs with sensitive stomachs.
If this is the case, leaning about proper nutrition for dogs to avoid foods which could upset them is important.
Does your pup have a sensitive tummy?
Keep reading to learn more about how to keep them comfortable and manage digestive issues.
Why Does Your Dog Have A Sensitive Stomach?
There are a number of reasons why your dog might be experiencing stomach upset.
Many of these reasons are not too different from the reasons we humans get a sore stomach.
One reason is related to diet – if they aren’t getting enough fibre, or are eating too much fat this can cause issues.
Issues could also be because of an allergy to the type of protein used in your dog’s food – if this is the case they will likely show other signs such as skin or ear infections.
Stomach upset in dogs may also be a sign of other digestive issues such as intestinal parasites, pancreatitis, or bacterial overgrowth.
Solutions To Manage Your Dog’s Sensitive Stomach
No one likes to see their pet in pain.
If you suspect the stomach upset is due to diet, there are a few things you can do to try to get things under control.
If, however, symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting are persistent, then a trip to the vet should be on your “to-do” list, as we can check for intestinal parasites and infection.
Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to help ease your dog’s sore tummy.
1. Switch To A Temporary Bland Diet
If you’ve ever experienced stomach upset, ulcers, or heartburn you might have been given the advice to go on a bland diet.
Stick to soft, bland foods.
Avoid things which are spicy, fried, or raw.
And eliminate caffeine and alcohol.
The same advice applies to your dog (although I hope your dog isn’t haven’t caffeine or alcohol – as these are both poisonous to dogs).
If your dog has been experiencing digestive troubles, foods such as plain chicken, canned pumpkin, and rice can help resolve these issues.
Your vet may also prescribe probiotics to add to your dogs’ food – this helps restore healthy bacteria in the intestine and help to improve digestive function.
2. Consider An Elimination Diet
An elimination diet involves removing foods which are known to cause symptoms such as digestive upset, long enough to allow the inflammation and other issues to settle down, and then gradually adding foods back in.
Generally, this involves switching your dog to a food formulated for dogs with allergies and removing exposure to all other foods (including table scraps).
If your dog has an allergy to a specific food, this process can help to determine what is causing the issue, as you slowly re-introduce foods to their diet.
3. Switch To A Dog Food Made For Sensitive Stomachs
Another option for handling your dog’s sensitive stomach is to switch them to dog food developed specifically to address digestive issues.
Your vet can prescribe a special diet or might make recommendations for brands you can pick up at the pet store.
These special foods are generally high in fibre, low in fat, and often contain probiotics.
Additionally, it is important to use foods which are meant for your dog’s life stage – a puppy has different nutritional requirements than a senior dog.
Finally, anytime you are transitioning your pet to a new food, especially if the change is due to stomach issues, it’s important to do so gradually.
A sudden change in diet, even to one which is supposed to help with digestive issues, can cause its own problems – if you’re unsure of the best way to make this transition, ask your vet for advice.
Book An Appointment At Bickford Park Animal Hospital
Is your best friend experiencing digestive upset?
Have they been vomiting or having diarrhea which you can’t quite explain?
Do you wish they could just tell you what’s wrong?
Bickford Park Animal Hospital can help – call us today to book an appointment.
Our experienced and caring team will work with you to determine the cause of your dog’s stomach issues, and work with you to provide solutions to get them feeling back to their usual happy selves.
Bickford Park Animal Hospital is a veterinary clinic in Toronto, located across from Christie Pits park, committed to the highest level of caring and treatment for cats and dogs.