Does Your Dog Have a Stomach Issue?
Let’s face it…picking up after your dog can spoil a nice walk, and if they have an upset stomach then this can become a really messy (not to mention smelly) task. A dog with an upset stomach is unpleasant for both your dog and you, and may even be a sign of some real issues with your pet’s health. We want to share some information about stomach issues and some simple store cupboard solutions.
What AreThe Signs of an Upset Stomach?
Although vomiting and diarrhea are the most common signs there are others that you should look out for. Acid reflux can cause your dog to produce more saliva which can lead to lip smacking, for example. In order to ascertain if the problem is manageable or serious you need to look out for a range of symptoms:
Loss of appetite
Excessive gas ( passing gas or burping)
Gurgling stomach sounds
The main culprit is often something simple and manageable such as they have eaten something that disagreed with them, but there are some more serious reasons such as pancreatitis, a blockage, infections, and other serious concerns. It’s really difficult to diagnose these conditions yourself so be prepared to visit a vet if you are concerned or symptoms become severe or persist.
When is it Time to Go to the Vet?
Some specific symptoms that should have you going to your vet are:
If your pet is vomiting 12-24 hours after fasting has started, or vomiting blood, then you need to get them to a vet ASAP.
Blood in their diarrhea
It’s important that you keep a watch on your pet as they go potty when they are unwell and blood in their stool is a sure sign to call the vet.
Unusual lethargy, that is, is sometimes hard to spot, especially with older dogs who sleep most of the. Watch for signs of them not responding to you or not getting up to eat or for a walk. Call your vet straight away if you notice this.
Your dog’s temperature is at fever level at 39.5 degrees (103F) but we know it’s hard sometimes to use a thermometer on them! You can look for other signs of fever such as glassy, red eyes, warm ears and a dry nose.
Food and/or gas can cause a swollen, tight belly. Do not hesitate to take your dog straight to the vet as this can be a very serious issue.
What Are The First Steps You Can Take?
If you are confident that your pet isn’t suffering some of the severe symptoms mentioned above you can start to look at how you can help them at home. The first step is to remove any chance that they are having a reaction to what they are eating, so FASTING is your first step.
Step 1. Stop all food, including treats and that last corner of toast, for 12-24 hours (puppies and senior dogs shouldn’t be fasted for more than 12 hours). If your dog continues to vomit through the fasting period there may be something more serious going on so call your vet for advice.
Step 2. Limit their water intake but ensure your dog has enough water to stay hydrated. This can be a little bit tricky to balance but your dog will be dehydrated if they are vomiting or have diarrhea so might gulp at their water. This may cause them to vomit this up again so you can limit this problem by giving them a smaller amount and ration it out over the fasting period. You can also give them ice chips to slow them down.
Step 3. Try some stomach settling recipes. Below are some you can easily prepare (and should keep in stock).
Bone broth. This is like magic water for dogs…it can help keep them hydrated and at the same time encourage them to eat if you add some to their bland food. Only use home made broth or broth made for pets as the human kind is high in salt as well as onion and garlic salt which is a no-no for dogs.
Plain white rice - this is easy to digest and most dogs like it. Don’t use brown as this has more finer and may put extra stress on their digestive system. Rice can go with some of the other foods we suggest such as boiled chicken.
Boiled chicken is a real crowd pleaser whether they are sick or not. This offers them protein, minerals and amino acids as well as being easy to digest. Feed in small portions and don’t add salt to the poaching water.
Scrambled eggs are another easy protein to give your dog. Don’t add any seasoning and make sure it has cooled down before you feed it to your pet.
Canned pumpkin is a great staple to have in your cupboard. Buy the 100% pumpkin, not the pie filling as this contains sugar. Mix with rice or eggs.
Oatmeal is another breakfast food you can give your pup. make sure you cook it in water and don’t add anything to it. This will help them get sustenance without it being hard to digest and it can help with diarrhea.
Step 4. If your pet recovers don’t be tempted to go straight back to their usual routine as their tummy might still be a little delicate. Introduce their food slowly. If the problem recurs when you give them their usual food this might be the problem so you may need to try a different food. Ask for advice from your local friendly pet store owner!
If your dog takes to his old food well then this may have just been a one-off digestive issue. Adding probiotics to their food can help strengthen their system and fight bacteria.
In conclusion, you can always be prepared to help out your pet with these easy to prepare foods. Stay alert for any signs that something more serious may be happening, and feed your dog good quality food.