Dogs With Upset Stomachs

When a dog is suffering with an upset stomach it can be a miserable time for both the dog and its owner.

When dogs have upset stomachs accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea, it’s unpleasant for the dog’s owner, but worse for the dog. Vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain are unsettling to a pet and the sooner these problems are resolved, the better off the dog will be. A direct result of persistent vomiting or diarrhea is dehydration, so it’s very important to be sure your dog stays well hydrated when sick.

Some of the options for treating an upset stomach include home remedies, over-the-counter medications and prescription medications. The specific remedy needed to help a dog depends on the severity of the stomach upset and which symptoms it is experiencing.

Step one in treating a dog with an upset stomach is to identify the cause for the onset of the stomach problems. Upset stomach problems in dogs most commonly occur as the result of bacterial or viral infections or ingestion of foreign matter.

It’s not always possible to isolate the exact cause of upset stomach problems in dogs because it’s too easy for a dog to swallow something without your knowledge, resulting in the upset. However, if you can find out what caused the upset stomach, you’ll have a better chance of choosing the right remedy for effective treatment.

If you’re like most dog owners, you may want to try a home remedy before buying an over-the-counter medication. Most over-the-counter medications are safe for dogs, but you may want to call your veterinarian before giving your pet an antidiarrheal medication like Pepto-Bismol or Kaopectate. Both of these products can be safely given to dogs to alleviate diarrhea symptoms.

Mild diarrhea and vomiting are signs of gastrointestinal upset, and in order to alleviate the symptoms of the upset, the dog’s digestive system needs a chance to relax and recuperate. If the upset is due to a bacterial infection a continuous supply of fresh water will give the dog’s body a chance to eliminate the harmful bacteria.

When your dog is ready to eat again you should serve it only stomach-friendly foods so you don’t further irritate its digestive system. Some of the healthy things to feed your dog at this time are chicken, ground beef, rice, eggs, and bread (lightly toasted is fine if your dog prefers it that way).
Cottage cheese is also an excellent choice because it contains a high content of good bacteria which helps clear the dog’s system of harmful bacteria.

If your dog’s upset stomach problems persist you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian so more appropriate treatment can be started.

Some of the prescription dog remedies that are available include:
* Metoclopramide – for the treatment of nausea and vomiting;
* Cimetidine – for control of gastrointestinal inflammation;
* Metronidazole – an antimicrobial antibiotic for treating diarrhea caused by bacterial infection;
* Sucralfate – an antiulcer medication that helps neutralize stomach acid;
* Centrine Tabs – used to treat gastrointestinal inflammation when accompanied by nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

 

Low Carb Dog Food

If your dog is substantially overweight or obese like one fourth of all dogs in the United States, you should begin feeding your pet a low carb dog food which can be beneficial to any overweight or obese pet.

Dogs are able to maintain an appropriate weight consuming almost any dog food on the market as long as they don’t over-indulge at mealtimes, are not fed too many treats and snacks at other times, and are getting enough exercise. But even for dogs who are not overweight or obese, a low-carb diet can help avoid health problems later in life.

Obese dogs are at risk for diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, hip dysplasia, and metabolic disorders. A low-carb diet is a necessity for dogs that are overweight and for dogs diagnosed with diabetes.

Dogs are omnivores which means they eat meat and vegetables, including fruits and grains. But considering the evolution of dogs who originated from the wolf, it makes sense that over-feeding your dog with grains like wheat and corn is not a good idea.

Dog’s bodies were designed for diets that are low in sugar and refined starches, and the high doses of carbohydrates a dog consumes when eating manufactured dog foods are not healthy. It may shock you to know that most commercial dog foods contain between 30% to 70% carbohydrates.

In addition to the high doses of carbs, many dog foods contain filler ingredients such as corn meal and starches. These ingredients, along with animal by-products which are the leftovers from other food processing, are unfit for human consumption. The reason they are added to dog food is to provide cheaper ingredients for the manufacturer and make a dog feel full faster without providing the nutrients a dog needs; something akin to fast food for humans.

Dog food ingredients you should try to avoid include wheat, corn, cornmeal, yellow corn and whole grain corn, brewer’s rice, cereals, and potatoes. All of these are filler ingredients that are very high in carbs.

There are many good brands of low-carb dog foods. Some come in the form of raw and dehydrated foods which are beneficial to a dog’s health because they are higher in nutrients. Several brands use entirely grain-free recipes as well as hormone-free turkey and meat.

Check for pet foods that are lower in carbs by examining the ingredients. Look for a low carbohydrate and high protein content in the food. Some of the ingredients to look for are beef, chicken, lamb, turkey or pork. Never give your dog any food containing “animal meal” or “animal fat.” This is a red flag for very poor-quality dog food.

Dog foods containing vegetables and fruits are also good for your dog and provide many of the nutrients missing in meat. Many low carb dog foods may also contain apples, bananas, cranberries, spinach, carrots, and celery.

Low carb dog foods with these ingredients are healthy for dogs in all stages of life, from puppies to senior dogs. Just remember to avoid all dog foods containing grains and buy those with real meat, fruits and vegetables.

 

Raw Dog Food Diet

Many people believe that a raw dog food diet is unhealthy for their pet. What you choose to feed your pet is entirely up to you, so we’ll just list of few of the many benefits of a raw dog food diet and you can make up your own mind.

When dogs are fed a diet of raw foods, they usually build up a stronger immune system which allows them to recover more quickly from ailments and illnesses. Owners who have had their dogs on raw food diets for a while notice that their pets now have more energy when playing or exercising and their overall health and appearance improved in a very short time.

Changing to a raw dog food diet also means there is less risk of the dog being exposed to unhealthy ingredients in most manufactured dog foods. Raw food diets don’t contain artificial colorings, flavorings, meat “by-products”, or chemical preservatives.

A raw food diet is often considered healthier and safer than commercial dog foods which often lack the necessary vitamins and minerals that your dog needs to be healthy.

Most veterinarians we have spoken with agree that a raw food diet is good for a dog but they advise against completely changing your dog’s diet in one fell swoop. You should start by gradually introducing raw foods to your dog. In the beginning start by feeding your dog a smaller amount of commercially manufactured dog food, adding a little raw food mixed with it. Continue adding more raw food and less manufactured food every couple of days until the dog’s food is entirely comprised of the raw foods. This allows your dog to get used to the new diet without upsetting its system.

Don’t be frightened if you notice some changes in your dog’s appearance after switching to a raw dog food diet. This is normal and as your dog becomes adjusted to its new diet, it will begin to look and act healthier. In the beginning weeks you may see more shedding of hair, more wax buildup in the ears, possibly a slight skin rash, and often the dog will have loose, soft stools.

If these changes become extreme and continue for some time, you should consult your vet in case your dog has an allergy to something in its new food diet.

The key to changing to any raw dog food diet is balance. Your dog’s diet should include a tasty and healthy combination of meat along with fruits and vegetables. It isn’t wise to feed your dog only one type of food like raw beef.

We also recommend that you consult your veterinarian before making any major changes to your dog’s diet. If you’re not knowledgeable about what constitutes a healthy raw dog food diet, call your vet or ask friends who have changed their pet’s diets to all raw, natural foods.

Should Dogs Eat Cat Food?

The question “Should dogs eat cat food?” is often asked by owners who have both dogs and cats living together because it’s often difficult to keep a dog from eating the cat’s food.

Cat food usually has higher levels of protein and fat than dog food and many dogs find that combination very appetizing. Cat food is also more likely to be left out all day long allowing a cat to eat when it wants, whereas dog food tends to be served only at mealtimes. Dogs have a tendency to eat whatever they find tasty, regardless of whether they’re hungry or not.

Cat food and dog food have different formulations because cats and dogs have different nutritional requirements. Cats are carnivores and must eat meat in order to maintain their health. Dogs eat cat food because they are omnivores, meaning they eat both meat-based foods and plant-based foods. Cats usually don’t bother eating a dog’s food because cats need certain B-complex vitamins that dog food doesn’t contain.

Will your dog get sick if it eats cat food? Usually only if it overindulges on cat food. If this happens the dog is likely to suffer digestive discomfort, including diarrhea and vomiting due to higher fat levels in cat food.

If your dog sneaks an occasional small amount of cat food it won’t harm its health, but if allowed to eat cat food over an extended period of time, it will probably become overweight and will lack some of the vital nutrients in dog food that are lacking in cat food.

Over time, a dog could also develop kidney problems if its excretory system is unable to remove the extra protein found in cat food. This extra protein becomes urea which is a nitrogenous compound found in the urine of an animal and is produced by the breakdown of protein.

Keeping your dog out of the cat’s food requires some rearranging. Try putting the dog and cat food bowls in different parts of the house. You could put the dog’s food in the kitchen and the cat’s food in the laundry room. If that doesn’t work, try giving the cat its food on something higher than you feed the dog on, like a countertop which cats will find easy to climb up on but a dog won’t.

Hopefully one of those tricks will work. If not you may want to install a cat door on the laundry room door that’s too small for your dog to get through. Dogs eat cat food simply because it’s food and it’s accessible. If a dog can’t get to it, the problem will end.

Dog Digestion Problems: Bloating and Flatulence

Dogs digestion problems like bloating and flatulence can be very uncomfortable for a dog and cause intestinal pain. And when a dog passes gas, it’s not very pleasant for anyone standing nearby.

Bloating occurs when a dog’s stomach becomes dilated, sometimes resulting in the twisting or turning of the stomach. Flatulence is caused by the accumulation of gas in the dog’s gastrointestinal tract. If the accumulated gas is persistent or excessive, it can cause considerable discomfort to a dog.

Bloating is very common in large dogs like Dobermans, German Shepherds, and Great Danes who have big chests, and is caused by the accumulation of gas and fluid in their stomachs. When their stomach becomes engorged it can block veins in the abdomen, resulting in abnormally low blood pressure which can lead to shock. If the dog’s bloating is also accompanied by enlargement of the stomach, it becomes a much more serious problem because air, food and water can be trapped in the stomach and result in death. Any dog who displays symptoms of a bloated stomach and is obviously in great pain should be given immediate medical help.

Dogs that gobble up their food very fast are more likely to suffer from bloating; older dogs and male dogs are more prone to bloating than younger dogs.

Symptoms of bloating in a dog include the following:
* Swollen belly
* Abdominal pain
* Vomiting
* Rapid heart rate
* Rapid breathing
* Unusual restlessness after eating a meal

When these symptoms persist and don’t disappear within 15-20 minutes, the problem constitutes an emergency and the dog must be taken to the vet. If the problem is diagnosed as bloating, the air in the stomach will be removed using a stomach tube. If the dog’s stomach is twisted or turned, it may be necessary for the vet to perform a surgical procedure to reposition the stomach and be sure there is no damage to the dog’s stomach and nearby organs.

Flatulence presents another problem but not so serious as bloating. Dogs of all ages and breeds can suffer from flatulence, and almost every case is caused by the dog’s eating habits. Some dogs chow down their food really fast and inadvertently take in too much air while eating. The result is flatulence.

Symptoms of flatulence in dogs include the following:
* Passing Gas
* Bloating
* Loud belching
* Abdominal pain in the dogs abdomen

You can prevent your dog from passing gas by keeping it from gulping down its food. Feed your dog smaller meals every few hours rather than two large meals. Be sure your dog has plenty of fresh water when eating and at all other times.

Bloating and Flatulence Problems

Bloating and flatulence problems in a dog are unpleasant for any pet owner and equally embarrassing if guests are around.

Gastric Dilation-Volvulus. That’s a mouthful of words. These three words are the medical term for bloating and gas problems that frequently affect dogs. Bloating occurs when a dog’s stomach becomes dilated, sometimes resulting in the twisting or turning of the stomach.

Flatulence on the other hand, is the accumulation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract and if it’s persistent or excessive, it can cause a lot of discomfort to a dog.

Bloating
Bloating is very common in dogs like Dobermans, German Shepherds, and Great Danes who have big chests, and is caused by the accumulation of gas and fluid in their stomachs. When the stomach becomes enlarged it can obstruct the veins in the abdomen and result is unusually low blood pressure and shock. When accompanied by dilation of the stomach, it can also trap air, food and water in the stomach and the result can be fatal. Should this occur in your pet, you should get immediate medical help.

Dogs that eat their food very fast, or who exercise immediately after they eat are more likely to suffer from bloating. Older dogs are more susceptible to bloating than younger ones and male dogs more than females.

Here’s how to recognize the symptoms of bloating in your dog:
* Swollen belly
* Retching
* Rapid breathing
* Weak pulse
* Rapid heart rate
* Restlessness
* Pain in the abdomen

You can help prevent bloating by not exercising your dog immediately after it has eaten. And if your dog has a tendency to bloat, you shouldn’t give it water immediately after a meal.

Flatulence
Dogs of all ages and breeds are susceptible to suffering from flatulence, and almost all cases are caused by the dog’s eating habits. Some dogs eat their food really fast and gulp in air with their food. This ends up giving them flatulence.

Symptoms of Flatulence
* Bloating
* Belching
* Pain in the abdomen
* Passing Gas
* Bloating

How to prevent your dog from passing gas
If your dog usually gulps down its food, begin feeding it smaller meals at regular intervals instead of two larger meals. Feed your dog the best quality food you can, and if possible, occasionally add a small amount of raw and unprocessed food products. Also, ensure that your pet has plenty of fresh water. Add a regular exercise routine to help keep bloating and flatulence problems at a minimum.

How To Treat Diarrhea in Dogs

Diarrhea in dogs is actually more common than most people imagine. How to treat diarrhea in dogs will depend on what is causing the illness. Diarrhea can be either acute or chronic and in order to stop your dog’s diarrhea, you first have to figure out the cause before applying a suitable treatment.

Your dog’s diarrhea could be triggered by parasites, infections, ingredients in its food, or even the portions of food you serve. Diarrhea in dogs is seldom a serious condition and usually can be treated at home.

The easiest way to treat diarrhea in dogs is through the use of medication. However, before treating your dog with any medication you need to identify the cause of the diarrhea. You should never give your pet an over-the-counter medication without getting a diagnosis first.

The three most common medications used to treat canine diarrhea are:
1) Kaolin;
2) Pepto Bismol;
3) Metronidazole.

Kaolin is a medication that can be administered if your dog has eaten garbage or swallowed any toxic materials. If the toxic material or liquid is poisonous, immediately contact your vet or an animal hospital. For non-poisonous materials, Kaolin will absorb the toxins and relieve your dog’s diarrhea, but too much kaolin can constipate your dog.

Pepto Bismol is a medication that is readily available at any drugstore and can be used to treat diarrhea cases caused by the ingestion of foods that don’t agree with your dog’s stomach.

Metronidazole, which is an antibiotic, is often used if the diarrhea is caused by an infection such as Giardia, Entamoeba, Trichomonas or Balantidium. It kills bacterial microorganisms by disrupting their DNA. It is absorbed rapidly by the GI tract, metabolized by the liver, and excreted in the urine and feces. It can also be used to treat colitis caused by other antibiotics like penicillin.

You may want to try feeding your dog some homemade food in place of its regular diet if you believe diarrhea could be caused by the dog food or ingredients in the food. Homemade food gives you complete control over what ingredients your pet eats. Commercial dog food contains many ingredients that could cause further gastrointestinal distress and will not help stop diarrhea.

Ask your vet for a list of ingredients that can be safely used in preparing food for dogs with an upset stomach. Avoid red meat and other fatty foods that can cause stomach irritation or diarrhea. Your dog’s portions should be smaller than usual, so the stomach can handle the food and allow the body to heal.

Fiber supplements are available at pet food outlets and can regulate your dog’s bowel movements and eliminate constipation. Fiber supplements absorb water from the dog’s intestines which causes the feces to return to their normal consistency.

Probiotic powder or digestive enzymes can also be added to your dog’s food to relieve its diarrhea.

During the time your are treating your dog for diarrhea, lots of fresh water is necessary in order to keep your dog hydrated, because diarrhea causes dehydration which can then lead to further complications.