As a dog’s human companion, you know that your furry friend relies on you for everything — including their food. Your pet’s diet can have a big impact on their overall health. In fact, diet plays a role in all sorts of health conditions in dogs, from skin problems to joint pain.
Gastrointestinal (GI) illness is no exception. Like people, dogs can suffer from stomach bugs, indigestion, and other GI issues. And while dogs have many different causes of GI illness, diet is often a significant factor.
So what should you do to help prevent GI illness in your dog? The best place to start is with their food. Here are factors related to your dog’s diet that can contribute to GI illness — and what you can do about them.
1. Too Much Fat
Fat is essential in a healthy diet for both humans and dogs. But like anything else, too much fat can be a bad thing. When it comes to gastrointestinal illness, too much fat in your dog’s diet can lead to pancreatitis, a serious inflammation of the pancreas.
If your dog eats a high-fat diet, talk to your vet about ways to reduce the amount of fat they consume. You may have to switch to a different food formula or make other changes to their diet.
You don’t want your pet to undergo pet gastrointestinal surgery, so avoiding foods that could cause pancreatitis is best.
2. Too Much and Not Enough Fiber
Fiber is also an important part of any diet, but dogs need a different amount of fiber than humans. In general, dogs need more fiber than we do. That’s because fiber helps keep their digestive system moving smoothly.
However, too much fiber can also cause problems for your dog. More than enough fiber can result in constipation and other GI issues. On the other hand, insufficient fiber can cause problems — including diarrhea.
Because dogs can suffer from different Gi diseases, you need to have them checked by a vet. They may perform a series of lab tests on your dog to confirm their diagnosis. Visit this link to know more.
3. Ingredients That Cause Allergies or Intolerances
Dogs can suffer from allergies or become intolerant to certain ingredients in their food like humans. Common allergens for dogs include beef, dairy, wheat, and chicken. If this is your pet’s case, they may experience symptoms of other GI problems — including vomiting, diarrhea, and intestinal inflammation.
When you visit your vet, they may recommend giving your pet a hypoallergenic diet trial. This involves removing all potential allergens from their diet for a while to see if their symptoms improve.
4. Too Much Sugar
You might not be aware that you can find sugar in many pet foods. And like humans, dogs can get sick if they overeat sugar.
Too much sugar can lead to gastrointestinal problems like gas, bloating, and diarrhea. It can also cause weight gain and other health problems, which can be fatal. You may need to bring them to an animal emergency hospital in severe cases.
5. Different Dogs Need Different Diets
Remember that dogs are different, and each has their own nutritional needs. Some dogs may need more or less of certain nutrients than others. For example, senior dogs generally require more fiber than younger dogs. And large breed dogs often need more calories than small breed dogs.
The best way to be sure your dog gets the nutrition they need is to talk to your veterinarian about their specific dietary needs. They can help you choose a food formula that’s right for your pet — and that will help keep them healthy and happy.
Gastrointestinal problems in dogs can be caused by several different things — including diet. Talk to your vet if you think your dog’s diet may be to blame for their GI issues. They can help you determine why and recommend improving your pet’s health.