Every dog owner knows how sensitive a dog’s stomach can be, and it’s never fun dealing with a dog suffering from digestive problems. From acute discomfort caused by your dog’s predilection for table scraps to virus-related digestive disorders, here’s what you need to know about your dog’s digestion and how to improve it.
There are many factors that could affect your pup’s digestive system, but here are some of the top causes of discomfort:
- Eating All The Things – Dogs don’t usually discriminate when it comes to eating things that seem delicious to them. Whether it’s garbage, another animal’s droppings or a plastic food container that smells like chicken, this reckless consumption is the most common cause of digestive upset. Vomiting, constipation, incessant gas and diarrhea can all be the result of your dog’s indiscriminate binges.
- Viruses, Parasites or Bacteria – More concerning is when your dog hasn’t been nosing through the garbage before the digestive problems occur. Occasionally these symptoms are caused by viruses like parvovirus or coronavirus and parasites or worms which are all contracted by eating an infected dog’s feces. These conditions can be scary, but they are treatable, so if you suspect your dog has been exposed to them, be sure to bring him to the vet right away. Another less common cause of digestive disorder is bacteria from food poisoning, such as salmonella, E. coli, campylobacter and clostridia. These conditions can lead to extreme dehydration and even be passed on to humans, so again, consult your vet immediately if you suspect food poisoning.
- Pancreatitis – This condition occurs when your dog’s pancreas is unable to function properly from medications, an inflamed digestive gland or high-fat foods. The inflammation disrupts the flow of enzymes to the digestive tract and can be very damaging if left untreated long-term. It can, however, be treated without any side effects.
Your dog may have acute or severe digestive disorder if any of the following symptoms occur:
- Vomiting, gas and diarrhea – These are the most common signs of digestive upset, and there’s no need to panic right away if you see these symptoms. If these symptoms continue for longer than 24 hours or are accompanied by any of the other symptoms, monitor closely and consult your vet.
- Loss or change of appetite – If your dog is uninterested in food or water, it could implicate digestive problems. It’s possible that food is making him feel nauseous, but if your pup refuses to drink water, watch very carefully as dehydration can be extremely dangerous for dogs. You can try to entice your dog into drinking or eating by adding K9 Power’s Go Dog supplement to his water or K9 Power’s Digest Forte supplement to his food. The smell and taste will motivate him to try to eat/drink.
- Bloated belly – A bloated abdominal area is a sign that your dog’s digestive system is not functioning properly, so be sure to pay attention to your dog’s belly. If you notice him arching his back or an usually hard abdomen, call your vet immediately.
- Colitis – Colitis, or irritation of the colon, is a pretty common side effect of digestive disruption. Be sure to monitor your pup when he goes out and note if he is rubbing his bum on the floor.
- Constipation – If your dog is straining but is unable to defecate, it is likely a sign that he has eaten something that is difficult to digest. This is not necessarily a product of a gastrointestinal condition, however, if your dog seems to be constipated for a couple days, consult your vet for advice.
There’s really not much you can do about diarrhea besides let it run its course and cross your fingers for no accidents along the way, but here are some things you should keep in mind when your dog’s digestive system is acting up.
- Provide Water – As mentioned earlier, dehydration can be incredibly dangerous to dogs, so be sure to provide plenty of water for your dog at all times. If you notice that the water level doesn’t seem to be going down throughout the day, add K9 Power’s Go Dog water-soluble hydration supplement to his water. The smell and taste will entice him to drink and the hydrating formula will help replace nutrients he’s been missing out on.
- Digest Forte – To improve your dog’s digestive system and reduce the amount of gas he emits on a regular basis, add K9POWER’s Digest Forte supplement to his food once a day. The formula provides the necessary enzymes and nutrients for healthy digestion while normalizing your dog’s stool. Plus, it’s made with real chicken, so he will love the taste.
- Therapeutic food – If the diarrhea continues, consult your vet and try feeding him a therapeutic dog food made for this purpose. These types of foods are sold at vet offices, and after a couple days try slowly reintroducing your dog’s normal food. Avoid feeding your pup any human food at this time.
- Vet-prescribed medications – For chronic or more serious digestive disorders, your vet may prescribe oral steroids or other medications to treat the symptoms. Always consult your veterinarian before giving your dog any type of medication.