The most common reasons your pet may have digestive problems will be no surprise to the experienced owner. If you’ve ever raised a pup from a young age or cared for an elderly dog, the symptoms will be highly recognizable for you.
When identifying whether your pet has digestive problems, look for vomiting, diarrhea, and straining. These are often telltales of something particular going on inside.
Pups Eat Almost Anything
Digestive issues arise just from the fact that dogs will eat almost anything: from cat feces and carpet strings to Frisbee pieces. The need to chew, especially in puppies, can be a normal activity or an obsessive coping mechanism.
Diarrhea results from the ingestion of such things as:
- people’s food
- wood chips
- dirt and stagnant water
- shoe leather
- bedding material
- animal feces
A dog’s digestive system is very sensitive to food foreign to its innate dietary needs. It may seem harmless, but these particles while passing through the digestive system, can cause bowel obstructions that lead to costly surgeries.
Keeping an eye on your dog’s ingestion habits could save you much headache.
Contracting Parasites and Worms
Dogs that eat or lick other dog or cat feces can contract parasites and worms. This is a highly common problem in puppies, hence why deworming is a part of their early treatment plan. But, dogs of any age can succumb to this phenomenon too.
These worms cause digestive upsets, and not only that: they strip dogs of the nutrients from their food, making them eat more while still maintaining or possibly losing weight.
The only way to check this is to visit your veterinarian for proper testing. Sometimes, parts of the parasites or worms can be released in the stool, and other times it takes more sophisticated tests.
Consider A Food Allergy
Some dogs stomachs are simply sensitive to the ingredients, especially fillers, in low-end foods. Sometimes an allergy can be for a particularly good food, like fish – the same as with humans.
However, putting your dog on a higher-quality food is worth more than just the dollars you spend. Consider that good food selection will minimize not only digestion issues but also reduce the amount of feces you have to pick up.
The treatment for digestive problems can include:
- encouraging the dog to drink plenty of water
- using digestive repair food
- administering antibiotics
- taking a steroid to hype up the dog’s defenses.
Since digestive issues are so common, most of the time you can simply let diarrhea run its course without much worry. If you question the severity, don’t hesitate to call your veterinarian.
IBD May Complicate Things
Simple solutions may not work if your dog has Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), which is a defect in the immune system that inflames their stomach lining. In this case, food choice and medication are going to be the two most important factors in treating the disorder.
In particular, considering such choices as DiarRice, food specifically designed to treat chronic digestive flare ups, would be prudent and cost-effective.
Working to restore a dog’s gastrointestinal tract to a healthy state is certainly wiser in the long run than simply choosing steroids, antibiotics and other temporary solutions.