Digestive upsets can occur in any dog from time to time, and although not usually serious or long lasting they can be upsetting for owners and may cause discomfort for the dog.
Some breeds of dog, or individuals, seem to have more delicate digestions than others and so being aware of your dog’s individual sensitivities is a good idea. Just knowing what has triggered the problem can be difficult, so here are some of the most usual causes that you should be aware of and to avoid if you can.
Dogs are scavengers and so eating something they shouldn’t is very common, especially when off the lead and this is a common reason for tummies to be upset. Try to keep an eye on them if this something they like to do so you can promptly stop them ingesting anything.
Changing from one type of food to another may cause a temporary upset but this normally settles down within a few days, so if you change a dogs diet it is best to do so gradually. Some dogs can be sensitive to a particular ingredient in a food, and although more difficult to pinpoint, food elimination diets can be helpful to find the cause. It often helps to give as natural a diet as possible.
Just like us, times of stress can affect the tummy causing temporary looseness. If your dog has this problem then avoiding stressful situations is obviously advisable, if not always possible, even though for most dogs equilibrium will be regained when a stressful situation is over.
It may sound obvious, but remember that internal parasites will affect digestion and cause upset tummies, so make sure your dog is regularly treated for parasites. You can also send poo samples for testing to a number of on-line laboratories if you want to reassure yourself that your dog is worm free.
5. Medical reason
An upset tummy or diarrhoea that lasts for more than 24 hours may be an indication of a more serious condition, so always consult your vet if you are concerned that the problem is not resolved quickly. Viruses can be a cause as can bacterial infections, as well as a number of absorptive disorders .
So what can you do to help?
- It’s probably a good idea to withhold food for 12 to 24 hours so as not to add the proverbial “fuel to the fire”. Then give a small amount of an easily digested food, such as scrambled eggs, to get them back to eating normally again.
- Never give milk or dairy products to a dog who is suffering from diarrhoea or just has looser than normal stools. It will aggravate the situation and make matters worse.
- Dorwest’s Tree Barks Powder is a nutritional herbal complementary food that is a good and quick acting short term choice for dogs experiencing a bout of diarrhoea and in the recovery period afterwards. It soothes the whole digestive tract, slowing the passage of food through the gut, firming stools and easing discomfort. It is simply sprinkled on any food, giving a teaspoonful for every 10kgs weight and can be added to each feed until the situation resolves.
- If your dog is prone to being stressed or anxious and this affects their tummy, it is worth thinking about whether they may benefit from a course of Scullcap & Valerian Tablets to generally reduce their stress.