We love to see our dogs happy and content, so it’s no surprise that we worry their digestive system could be causing them discomfort. Your dog’s digestion is as important as yours, it can be easily unbalanced and, without healthy digestion your pup’s wellbeing could be affected.
There are pro-active steps you can take to keep your dog’s digestive system ticking over comfortably. From being confident about what you feed your favourite pal to keeping an eye on what they’re eating when you’re out on a walk, follow our 5 steps to healthy digestion for your dog, which will help keep them bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
1. Learn a bit about your dog’s digestive system
It might not be your first study subject of choice, but the more you know about the workings of your dog’s system, the better doggy parent you can be. Your dog’s digestive system starts with the tongue and mouth and leads on to the:
Dog digestive system
That’s a lot to look after, which is why supplements like specialist probiotics for dogs can help to keep things running smoothly.
2. Get to know the warning signs
You know what the warning signs are of problems with your own digestion – your dog’s warning signs are pretty similar. It’s important to keep an eye out for these signs because whilst they are often just the result of irregular digestion, they can also have other causes, and you may need to speak to your vet. In general, look out for your dog being quieter, being bloated or unusually gassy and keep an eye on their stools, to make sure they haven’t changed or contain anything that concerns you. Call your vet straight away if you’re worried.
3. Keep those mealtime routines
Your dog’s digestive health is best maintained by a good feeding routine. Try feeding your pup at the same times every day, and make sure you are giving your pet a balanced diet that contains all the nutrients they need – you might want to add a fibre supplement for dogs if you feel they’ll benefit from it.
Try and limit treats and avoid letting them eat your own scraps or letting others feed them indiscriminately. And, whilst we know it’s easier said than done, try to avoid letting them lick or eat too much when they are out on a walk – whilst natural bacteria is good for a healthy system, your dog can’t distinguish between good and bad, so you need to do that for them.
4. Get ahead of the game
Looking after your dog’s tummy is important – and by understanding what helps that tummy to stay healthy, you can be a really pro-active dog owner. Just like you, your pet needs good bacteria in the digestive system to help keep things in working order. A healthy gut promotes a healthy immune system which in turn keeps that coat shiny, that fur fluffy and those eyes bright. So formulate a good diet, which might include raw foods, whole foods and carefully-selected commercial foods, and give supplements where appropriate that help your doggy to stay at least four paws ahead.
5. Avoid sudden diet changes
We do change our dog’s diet from time to time – maybe the food brand we use is no longer available, we need to feed less of one nutrient and more of another, or perhaps you have been advised to change the diet to support your dog’s recovery from illness or surgery. Whatever the reason, always introduce dietary changes slowly and avoid just taking one food away and replacing it with another. If your dog is on medication or receiving treatment from your vet, talk to them about the best diet and how to supplement or change it. Managing food changes well will help to promote good digestion.
How can probiotics for dogs help?
You’re used to hearing how probiotics can help human digestion, and dogs are no different. By introducing carefully-prepared specialist probiotics to your dog’s diet, you can boost the good bacteria living in your dog’s digestive system, helping to maintain healthy digestion.