There are endless reasons your dog can be having tummy issues. Just like in humans, dog’s can develop a sensitivity to certain components in their diets, causing different symptoms to arise. If you think your dog is suffering from stomach problems, the best thing you can do is to take them to the vet. A thorough analysis will conclude your dog’s underlying symptoms and rule out all other potential health issues. From there, you will then have to identify the ingredient that is causing their symptoms to occur. Once you switch your dog over to a diet free of any allergens, they should be alleviated of all previous symptoms.
This article will cover everything you need to know about sensitive stomachs in dogs and what you can do as their owner to make them feel better. Identifying your dog’s underlying trigger is not always easy, however, once you are able to, all you will need to do is adjust his diet. Within a few weeks, he should show an improvement in their symptoms. If you want to know how to choose diets for dogs with sensitive stomachs, continue reading this article below. By following this helpful guide, you will know how to treat and care for a pet with stomach problems.
What Causes Sensitive Stomachs in Dogs?
Before heading to the grocery store to buy new dog food, It’s essential that you know why these issues are happening in the first place. Several different issues can cause sensitive stomachs, but the most common problem usually involves your dog’s diet. Have you ever eaten too much junk food and felt sick afterward? Well, the same concept applies to your dog. If your dog is being fed a food product that is full of harmful ingredients like preservatives and fillers, chances are pretty high that they aren’t going to be feeling too hot afterward. In order for a dog to feel at their best, they need to consume a nutrient-rich diet filled with vitamins and minerals.
It’s important to know that not all dog food products are created equal. Unfortunately, some of the most popular brands on the market contain low-quality ingredients that can be harmful to your dog’s digestive system. That’s why it is so important to read the labels and make sure your dog’s food contains all-natural and healthy ingredients. Every dog food should include a specific amount of protein, fat, carbs, vitamins, and minerals to be labeled as a complete diet. If a product contains too much protein or not enough vitamins, this can also cause stomach issues to arise as well. If you are concerned about your dog’s diet, talking to your vet can clear up any questions you may have.
Another possible cause of sensitive stomachs can be the result of an underlying health condition. Unfortunately, troubles with the gastrointestinal tract can point to endless health problems including stomach cancer, Irritable Bowel Disease, or even parasites. That’s why it is imperative that you take your dog to the vet as soon as symptoms arise. Even if your pup’s side effects appear to be minor, he should still be checked out by a veterinarian. From there, your vet will be able to run several tests to rule out other more serious ailments. If your vet has discovered a more serious health issue, they will have to treat this problem first in order to alleviate your dog of his current symptoms. Your pup my have different nutritional needs depending on the severity of their ailment. Serious health issues, like tumors, may require a dog cancer diet.
Dogs can also develop a food allergy or food intolerance at any stage of their life. A food allergy occurs when the body’s immune system reacts to specific proteins. In a healthy dog, once they consume a protein, their body will break it down and be absorbed by white blood cells. If a dog has developed an allergy, the body will not be able to completely break down the protein into an amino acid, causing the white blood cells to flag the protein as an invader. In the case of a food intolerance, the symptoms are very similar, but there is no reaction involving the immune system.
How Can You Tell If Your Dog Has a Sensitive Stomach?
Generally speaking, if your dog is showing gastrointestinal tract issues that means he has an upset stomach. There are several symptoms to look out for and take note of when a dog has an upset tummy. If your dog has occasional vomiting, diarrhea, loose stool, or flatulence, he probably has a sensitive stomach for specific ingredients. Even though none of these symptoms may seem urgent in minor occurrences, it is still highly advised to keep a close eye on your pet. If your dog’s vomiting or diarrhea becomes chronic, do not wait to seek professional help.
No matter what symptoms your dog may be exhibiting, it is still essential to take them in for further testing. Once your vet has concluded that something in his diet has caused his issue, it is then time to start eliminating ingredients. Start off by feeding your dog a bland meal of boiled protein and a simple carbohydrate like white rice. If your dog’s symptoms begin to clear up, you can slowly add new ingredients to your controlled food. Only add new ingredients one by one so you can see which one is causing his issues. Once you are able to identify the problem ingredient, make sure to eliminate it from your dog’s diet as soon as possible.
During this testing period, be sure only to feed your dog his controlled food plan. Table scraps and dog treats can derail your test and make results inconclusive. In fact, sometimes your dog’s issues are from treats or human food, which is why it is critical that you eliminate these food items if your pup is experiencing a sensitive stomach.
What Components Should Be Included in Your Dog’s Diet?
In order to choose foods for dogs with sensitive stomachs, you have to know what essential ingredients should be included in their daily diet. The first component to look for in dog food should be carbohydrates. Carbs function as the primary source of energy for a dog and should be about 30-70% of their food. Aside from providing energy, carbs also add fiber into a dog’s diet and regulate blood pressure as well.
Next comes the protein. Just like their human counterparts, dogs need protein to help restore and strengthen muscles throughout the body. The amino acids found in protein also work to support the immune system, helping to fight off foreign invaders. When you are looking for a dependable protein source for your pet, make sure you can identify the type of protein. Chicken, salmon, duck, and pork are all familiar protein sources found in dog food that are usually of higher quality compared to a general source such as “poultry.”
After protein, fats and oils are the next critical component in a dog’s diet. A small amount of fatty acids in a diet helps to provide energy and lubricates the joints. Fats also help absorb certain vitamins and minerals in a dog’s diet that is needed for regular body functioning. Generally speaking, a dog should consume about 10-15% fat in their daily diet.
Last but certainly not least comes vitamins and minerals. Dog’s require both macro and micronutrients to support muscle function, digestion, and other systems within the body. These vitamins and minerals can come from fruits, vegetables, or meats that are found in a regular commercial diet. If your dog’s food says it is a “balanced diet” that means it contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals that he needs on a daily basis.
Although these are all the essential components that are required in your dog’s diet, it is also important to discuss water intake. Any time your dog is eating, make sure he has a bowl of fresh water readily available at all times. Water has endless benefits to a dog’s body and is a critical factor in an animal’s health, whether he has a sensitive stomach or not.
How to Find the Proper Food for Dogs With Sensitive Stomachs
There are endless commercial food products on the market that cater to sensitive stomachs, but how do you know which one is the best? Finding the right product can be a little overwhelming, especially if you don’t know what you are looking for. To begin, always look for a product that says it is complete and balanced. This means the food contains all the essential vitamins and minerals that are required for dogs to sustain a healthy body. Choosing one of these products will ensure that your pet is getting a nutrient-rich diet that helps support his digestive system.
The next important step is to review the label on the back of the bag or container. Identify the source of protein, fat, and carbs. Are these recognizable ingredients like chicken or salmon or are they unknown sources such as poultry or fish. You should always choose the product with a clear and identifiable ingredient. It is also critical that the food product contains the right amount of each dietary component. As said before, too much protein or too much fat can also cause your dog to experience an upset stomach.
Once you find the product that best suits your dog, make sure to transition to this new food product slowly. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, chances are pretty high that they will also get sick if you switch out his food to a new product too quickly. That’s why professionals recommend slowly transitioning from one product to another. You can do this by adding a little of the new food with his old food and see how he reacts. From there, you can slowly add more and more of the new product over the course of a few days. If your dog has no adverse side effects, then the product is a winner!
Know that it is entirely normal for your dog to have flare-ups once in a while. If this happens, try cooking your pup a homemade meal of unseasoned chicken and rice. This meal is gentle on his stomach and can actually cure an upset tummy. For dog’s with extremely sensitive stomachs, some professionals may suggest a homemade diet for every meal. While this may sound like the perfect solution for your dog’s tummy issues, it is still crucial that you talk to a vet for a recommended meal plan. Your dog still needs to consume all the essential nutrients that are commonly found in commercial dog food products. For further questions regarding a homemade dog diet, consult with a pet nutritionist.
Wrapping Things Up
Just like humans, dogs can experience gastrointestinal upset at any point in their life. Whether it was from eating something out of the garbage can or caused by some type of food allergy, many possible causes can lead your dog to have an upset tummy. The best thing you can do as an owner is to take your dog to the vet as soon as symptoms are present. Even though his issue may be minor, gastrointestinal tract symptoms can also point to a plethora of different health ailments, which is why it is critical that you have your dog thoroughly tested by a professional before concluding with any assumptions.
Once your vet has run all necessary tests and your pup is cleared from all major health concerns, you can then take a deep breath and relax. Consider yourself lucky that an upset tummy is the worst of your pups problems. With just a change in his diet, he will be feeling right back to his usual self within a few weeks. Even though it may be a process to identify your dog’s underlying allergen or problem ingredient, once you do, he will be completely cured of his symptoms. And remember: only feed your dog his regular, controlled food. Table scraps and dog treats can flare-up further signs. As always, if you have any questions regarding your furry friend’s health, talk to your veterinarian for further recommendations.