Choosing The Right Food For Dogs With Sensitive Stomachs
There are dogs that can eat and digest just about anything that you throw at them without showing any hint of discomfort or ill effects. If you have such a resilient dog, then you are a lucky guy. For there is another breed of dog, one which has a very sensitive stomach. Unless you follow a strict dietary routine, their stomach and intestines are constantly in a state of disarray causing them severe discomfort. If your dog is frequently experiencing diarrhea and gas problems, then they are good indicators that it has a weak stomach and you have to treat it accordingly.
Photo Source: Freddie Ardley Photography
Signs that indicate your dog has a sensitive stomach
There are a hundred symptoms that may indicate that your dog has a sensitive stomach or a weak digestive system. But here we list the top three symptoms:
- Vomiting is the first sign that its digestive system is out of order and needs some attention
- The dog occasionally passes loose stools
- It has a very terrible gas problem
Your dog is down and out and you are worried
Having a dog that is down can also dampen your spirits, for they are no longer their playful self that you enjoy so much. And as a concerned owner you obviously can’t wait for it to regain its health and for the happy days to return. In such a situation, you must take heart from the fact that stomach ailments are common in dogs and are very much TREATABLE.
What should be your response?
The first thing you need to do when you discover that the dog has stomach issues is to check whether it is a continuous issue or a one-off incident that can be overlooked. Sometimes there may be a medical condition that needs to be taken care of, so you are advised to consult a professional vet. The vet can diagnose the problem and tell you whether the issues are indicative of any health issues or they are merely because of a fragile digestive system. More often than not, all stomach related ailments have one common denominator: food. So, the more precaution you take when it comes to its food, the healthier it will be.
Preparing the diet
When preparing its diet, you must bear it in mind that all dog food is not the same. The mistake invariably happens because most dog foods looks and smells the same, but if you look more carefully at the list of ingredients it won’t be long before you will notice the difference. Ask your vet to prepare a list of ingredients that suit your dog and match that with the dog food that you are buying. This way you are less likely to purchase food that may cause a stomach upset in your dog.
The above mentioned procedure of comparing ingredients before making the purchase, though, has one downside to it in that it is a very time consuming process. With dog food being prepared on a mass scale, finding the dog food that is suitable to your dog may turn out to be a daunting mission. What can be even more frustrating is to discover that you have missed a certain ingredient or there is an unwanted ingredient in the dog food you have purchased, so while making the purchase be careful. Go for dog food that has salmon, tuna, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and duck as key ingredients as apart from being delicious, they are easily digestible.
Special dog food in the market
Dog food manufacturers are aware of the fact that there is a big market for them in this segment, that is the digestible food segment, and are therefore flooding the market with foods that are specially meant for dogs with a sensitive stomach. Whether your dog is having food allergies or a simple stomach problem, the general composition of these food is such that you shouldn’t have any problem serving them to your dog. Some of the specialized dog foods that you can try are Twistix Pumpkin Large, Twistix Pumpkin Small, Hills Science Plan Adult Sensitive Stomach Chicken, Purina ONE Sensitive Systems Dry Dog Food, HillScienceDiet, and Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Dog food. Though these foods are primarily targeted at dogs with sensitive stomachs, if you have a healthy dog with no history of stomach ailments, even then you can feed them these specialized foods as they are healthy and have many benefits.
Elevated feeders: It is not always about the food, but the way it is being served that is important
Then again, stomach issues don’t necessarily always have to do with the type of food that it is served, but the way it is being served. Let me explain. When you place the feeder bowl on the floor, the dog has to bend down every time he takes a slurp or bite. Now if your dog has a gas problem, it can aggravate the problem and if it doesn’t, then there is a chance that the routine may cause one. The solution to the problem is to put the bowl in an elevated position which won’t require the dog to bend down. Elevated feeders have been certified by experts as a crucial step in reducing gas pressure on the stomach, and are also known to assist in the digestion process.
Don’t rush things when introducing a new diet
Once you have decided what and how to feed your dog, start slowly introducing the new food to the dog’s diet. You must be careful not to fast-track the new food for the dog may take a dislike to it and refuse to eat it. If that happens, you will have a long-drawn battle at hand. That is not all, for any sudden changes in food habits may cause digestive problems, which would be such a shame considering that it was the very problem that you had set out to fix in the first place. But if you manage to join all the dots correctly, it would ensure that your dog is healthy and full of energy.
Lauren is a homemaker who loves pets. She owns 2 pets, a cat named “Macavity” and a dog named “Chilly”. She is currently living in NYC with her family. In her part time, she loves to share articles on pets and home improvement. You can get in touch with her on Google Plus.