Owning a pet is a big responsibility as you have to take good care of its health. Dog owners need to understand that their canine friends are susceptible to digestive issues. The worst thing is that like babies, dogs are unable to explain their discomfort and this may cause delay in treatment and worsening of the condition in many cases. A little vigilance and some care reduce the chances of pet digestive issues getting worse. Let us highlight some facts about canine digestive health to help you be a better dog owner.
Common causes of canine digestive issues
Generally speaking, the digestive health of your dog depends directly on its microbiome. The kind of microbes that it carries in its gut determines its ability to counter digestive illnesses. A balanced microbiome, with plenty of good bacteria, ensures that it will be in optimal health. Read https://tethertug.com/blogs/news-2/what-you-need-to-know-about-your-dogs-microbiome to learn everything about the microbial makeup of your pet. Besides an imbalance in the dog’s microbiome, there can be several other reasons that could lead to digestive troubles. These include the following:
Abrupt changes in diet and/or eating patterns
Overeating or undereating
Accumulation of toxins in the digestive tract
Ingestion of foreign objects
Infectious agents such as parasites, bacteria, and viruses
With these numerous potential causes, it becomes challenging to identify the one that is causing the problem in your pet. Early diagnosis by an expert is the key because only a specialist can find the exact issue, its cause and site of origin. Accordingly, they can initiate an early treatment and come up with an effective strategy to resolve it for good.
Common canine digestive issues that you should be watchful about
Here are some common dig digestive ailments that you should be vigilant about and report them to a veterinary specialist as soon as you notice the symptoms.
Inflammation of the digestive tract: The most common digestion-related problem in canines is that of the inflammation of the digestive tract, which is usually attributed to dietary indiscretion. Even simple things like overeating can cause inflammation of the gut. Your dog may ingest something that could be harmful to its gut. It becomes important to ensure that your pet does not eat all that is surplus on your table and also keep an eye on what it is eating inside and outside the house.
Even some of the basic foods that are a part of your daily diet could be harmful to the digestive tract of your pet. For instance, high-fat foods such as ham and bacon are hard on the dog’s pancreas and can cause canine pancreatitis. Similarly, avoid feeding them food high in sodium as it can result in diarrhea, vomiting and seizures. Other foods that may cause inflammation include chocolate, coffee, caffeine products, grapes, onions, garlic and macadamia nuts.
Gastrointestinal infection: Like inflammation, gastrointestinal infection is a common illness that canines come across. Dogs too, like humans, may catch stomach bugs that can infect their digestive tract and present symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy and weight loss. Adult dogs with severe gastrointestinal infection may experience more serious issues such as inflammatory bowel disease and inflammatory gastritis. These problems are chronic and should be addressed with proper medication and treatment.
Intestinal parasites: Another canine digestive health issue is that related with intestinal parasites. This problem is related to sanitation rather than dietary habits. If your pet shelter is inhabited by parasites like roundworms, hookworms and protozoa, your dog is likely to come across intestinal parasites. These organisms lodge themselves inside your dog’s digestive tract and cause a series of symptoms including diarrhea, vomiting, indigestion and consistent weight loss.
General tips to deal with canine digestive issues
Besides being vigilant about disease symptoms, there are some general tips that you should follow to deal with digestive issues:
Feed your pet good-quality dog food that offers it the right balance of nutrients along with good taste.
You may feel tempted to serve the food you eat to the dog but this totally unadvisable as wrong food elevates the risk of digestive problems.
Maintain a schedule for feeding the pet and also give it the right amount of food to match its body requirements.
Ensure that the pet has enough exercise for promoting digestion of food. At the same time, be watchful that it does not ingest any unwanted item outdoors.
Taking care of your pet’s health is completely your responsibility. In this context, digestive health is more important than maintaining its coat, teeth, and nails. Take it for regular vet checkups and never ignore even the smallest of symptoms.