Have a pup with a...how do we say this delicately? Sensitive stomach? You may spend more of your time than you had imagined looking at their poop or concocting recipes to keep messy digestive issues from popping up at an inconvenient time. We’ll break down some of the most common causes of digestive distress and some foods that help soothe your pup’s sensitive or upset stomach.
Why do pups suffer from digestive distress?
1. Stress or anxiety
Just like you may get an upset stomach when you are highly stressed, your dog may experience this as well. Reasons for stress in dogs could include a change in routine, adding a new person or pet to your home, moving, or being surrendered to a shelter. Additionally, if your dog is stressed about things like a trip to the vet, you might see some short term tummy troubles!
2. Previous malnourishment
If you have a rescue pup or a dog that is malnourished due to previous neglect or illness, they may still experience some digestive issues.
3. Medical conditions like colitis
Medical conditions like colitis or other gastrointestinal issues can cause tummy troubles on the regular.
4. Viruses and bacteria
Like you, your dog can suffer from a stomach bug. These generally short term illnesses can be contagious. If you send your pup to doggie daycare or frequent the dog park your pup could pick up (or pass on) the stomach bug. It's good practice to keep your pup at home if they aren’t feeling well or you know one of the other pup’s is sick.
5. Parasitic infections
Parasites like intestinal worms can cause digestive issues and lead to malnourishment in dogs. If you see worms in your pups vomit or stool you’ll want to get to the vet quickly.
6. Allergies or intolerances
Your pup could be suffering from digestive issues if they have undiagnosed food allergies or dietary intolerances. If you have tried everything and your pup isn’t getting better, you may want to consider working with your vet to try to find the culprit ingredient. This could take a few tries and be time-consuming as you will need to eliminate specific ingredients from your pet’s diet for a period of time. You will want to do this slowly and systematically to ensure you know exactly what is causing the issue. Work with a pro to come up with the process and ensure your pup’s nutritional needs are being met.
What are the signs that my dog is suffering from digestive issues?
Aside from the obvious vomiting or diarrhea, Pet Food Advisor lists loss of appetite, gas or bloating, decrease in activity, gurgling noises, and signs of abdominal pain as the symptoms to watch out for.
If you see (or suspect) any of these symptoms and they are consistent, frequent or not going away after a few days, you’ll want to contact your vet to see if you can figure out what is going on!
What foods can I offer to support my pup’s digestive health?
Pet food advisor suggests considering products that fall into the categories of limited ingredient dog food, hypoallergenic food, or a prescription diet. They further caution pet parents to review the ingredients in limited diets to ensure they arent full of fillers or exotic ingredients as some of these diets have been linked to dialated cardiomyopathy in dogs.
In order to determine what is best to help your pup digest, chat with your vet. They will be able to help you figure out exactly what is going on and which food will best support your pets individual needs.
If your pup is actively having digestive issues, your vet may suggest the short term use of a bland diet. Foods used to make a bland diet include plain steamed white rice, boiled chicken or beef (extra lean with all of the fat drained), plain scrambled eggs and sometimes some pureed pumpkin.
You can purchase canned pumpkin for this purpose but check your label and ensure you are not using pumpkin pie filling. The latter will contain additional sugar and spices that will not help your pup’s stomach feel better!
At Ollie, we know a thing or two about keeping pups bellies happy! Our recipes are designed with your pup’s health (and taste buds) in mind. All of Ollie's food varieties are designed to be highly digestible. Ollie contains ingredients specially chosen to provide natural sources of fiber, including pumpkin and sweet potato.
Another benefit of switching to Ollie is that feeding highly digestible, human-grade food results in fewer and smaller stools than feeding less digestible filler ingredients.
Ollie's Director of Food, Bridget Meadows lets pup parents know that "less processed, whole foods can be digested properly, allowing nutrients to be directly absorbed." So you can be confident that your pup is getting optimal nutrition to keep their bellies happy and healthy.
Our recipes feature single animal proteins to help our pups with allergies. For example, if your pup has a chicken or poultry allergy, they can enjoy our Lamb or Beef Recipes.
Your pup’s meal plans can be delivered at a frequency that is convenient for you. Packed into smaller portions, our food is frozen until you’re ready to serve it. To thaw, move the pack from the freezer to the refrigerator. Unopened, the food will last two weeks in the fridge!
The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.