Does Your Dog Have a Sensitive Stomach?
Most dogs will eat just about anything, gobbling up anything that drops on the floor, begging for table scraps, and obsessing over snacks. Omnivores with elastic stomachs can eat large amounts of food at a time, and this gives them a gluttonous reputation. Some dogs, however, are more sensitive, with stomachs that get upset easily. If your furry little friend has a fussy appetite and often suffers from stomach issues, you may be dealing with a sensitive stomach. Fortunately, Pet Doctor of Chandler knows how to address sensitive stomach issues and has some suggestions for restoring your dog’s digestive system to good health.
Understanding Sensitive Stomachs in Dogs
Dogs with sensitive stomachs suffer from a wide range of symptoms. They may display a lack of appetite, have excessive stomach growling or gas, or swallow and lick their lips excessively. More serious symptoms can also occur, like nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, blood in the stool, decreased mobility, and fever. If you notice any of these symptoms, especially if the symptoms are long-lasting or your dog loses weight, it is time to find out what is going on.
What causes a dog to have a sensitive stomach? Some dogs are born with sensitive stomachs, but if your dog develops sensitivity, start with vet care. A pet clinic can rule out serious conditions like stomach cancer, and once you have the peace of mind of knowing it’s nothing serious, you can begin to look for other causes.
You may have to do some sleuthing to figure it out, and it will require some willpower. The first thing to do is to remove anything unnecessary from your dog’s diet, including table scraps, leftovers, treats, bones, and any other extras. Pay attention to whether your dog gets into the garbage or picks up “snacks” during outside time. If that is happening, your mystery may be solved! If not, though, you will need to examine what is in your dog’s dish at mealtimes. Potential ingredients in the food that could be stressing your dog’s system include the source of fiber, the source of protein, the fat content, or the quality of the ingredients. Dogs need fiber, so make sure your dog food has a good fiber source like beetroot pulp, inulin, or psyllium. If the dog food is too high in fat, that could be an issue. You can tell if the fat content is too high because fats or oils will be in the top ingredients. It could also be that the protein source is not agreeing with your dog, and you might want to switch to a different protein and see if that resolves the issues. It could also be something that’s not in the diet but should be, like vitamins and minerals. Commercial dog foods are fortified with adequate nutrients, but if you are feeding your dog home-cooked food or a raw diet, he may not be getting all the vitamins and minerals he needs. Talk to your vet about what your pooch may be lacking, even if you are feeding a high-quality diet.
Management and Treatment Options
In some cases, dietary modification is all that’s needed to improve a sensitive stomach. Your dog may need to eat more slowly, in which case you can employ a play mat at feeding time to make it easier for the dog to slow down. On the other hand, you may need to transfer your dog to a diet that works better with his particular system. Talk to your vet about foods that are highly digestible, taking care to choose the right food for your dog’s breed and stage of life. Then transition the dog slowly, adding a little bit more of the new food to a little bit less of the old food every day, until you’ve made the switch completely. Your vet may also recommend switching to a prescription dog food.
If changing the diet is not working, your vet may want to do some blood work to see what is happening. There may be medications to take, as is the case when a dog has an ulcer, or your dog may need nutritional supplements to stay healthy. For some conditions, there may also be therapy to try and get your dog back to living his best life. Talk to your vet about other measures you can take to address your dog’s sensitive stomach.
Expert Care at Pet Doctor of Chandler
When you are looking for top-notch care for your well-loved pet, Pet Doctor of Chandler is here for you. At Pet Doctor of Chandler, we believe in providing quality veterinary care, with all-inclusive pet care services at affordable prices. We know you have many different options for veterinary care, so we provide comprehensive services, with a focus on compassionate care. Our friendly team is well-versed in all sorts of pet care, and we want to help your furry family members live their best lives. For veterinary services in Chandler, AZ, including spay and neuter services and dental care. To request an appointment or learn more about how we can help your pets lead healthy, happy lives, call (480) 681-6866 or contact us through our website.