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Tummy Troubles: How to Help a Dog With a Sensitive Stomach

Checking Dogs Stomach

A sensitive stomach can become a problem when a dog refuses food due to their digestive issues. It can also lead to some unpleasant events for the dog and the owner if the pet is prone to excessive gas or urgent bowel movements. Here is what all dog owners should know about how to help their pet have fewer tummy problems.

Know the Potential

Some breeds suffer from sensitive stomachs more than others. Unfortunately, many of the sufferers are the most popular breeds in the country. The list includes Labrador retrievers, German shepherds and the Great Dane and the Yorkshire terrier. Before you bring one of these breeds into the home, it’s a good idea to learn more about caring for their dietary needs.

Identify Symptoms Early

Pets with sensitive stomachs often pass a lot of gas. They may refuse food, vomit, or have diarrhea. There is the risk that the digestive problems stem from a food allergy rather than just a sensitive belly. An allergy may be the problem if the dog is also experiencing skin problems like excessive itching, redness, and hair loss, as well as reoccurring ear infections.

Many people automatically search out grain-free food due to the belief that grain is the problem, but dogs can have a sensitivity to a variety of common dog food ingredients. Dairy, chicken, eggs, and pork are high on the list of foods allergy-sensitive dogs must avoid. The pet may need to go on a veterinarian-approved restricted diet to find the food culprit.

Feed Your Dog Stomach-Settling Foods

Cooked egg, white rice, and some boiled poultry can help to settle an upset stomach and are foods appealing enough to encourage a dog to eat. Probiotic-rich plain yogurt can also aid in helping digestive disorders for dogs, just as it does for their human counterparts. Even baby food is a possibility if it is free from any seasonings.

Of course, these solutions are short-term fixes for stomach upset and not a suggestion for everyday feeding. To help resolve the long-term issue it is necessary to have the pet on a diet that offers as much protection against stomach upset as possible. Experts recommend that owners choose a quality dog food with a low fat content and adequate amounts of fiber.

Swapping out one type of dog food for another, even if it is to improve a dog’s diet, can lead to more digestive complications. Gradually add the new product to their current food and slowly increase the ratio of new to old over several days to transition them slowly to the new product. 

Rule Out Illness

Veterinary screenings to rule out illness are necessary if the stomach issues begin suddenly. Some types of cancers, pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, or intestinal parasites could be to blame rather than their food or their breed. The ingestion of something harmful like chocolate or too much fatty human food can also cause sudden stomach trouble.

Bloat is a concern for many of the breeds known for chronic stomach complaints. Large, barrel-chested breeds like retrievers, Great Danes, and standard poodles have a high risk of developing bloat. Signs of bloat include pacing, a distended abdomen, and an inability to vomit or have a bowel movement. Without medical intervention, a pet with bloat will die.

Reduce the risk of bloat by raising food and water dishes for tall dogs so they ingest less air. Make sure your dog avoids exercise for an hour or two after eating, and feed small, frequent meals rather than one or two large meals to any dog that gulps their food quickly.

At RPAC Rodney Parham Animal Clinic, we know that chronic stomach problems can be unpleasant for both pets and their owners. We can find the cause and work out a solution that will help your dog to feel better. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.


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