Treating Digestive Issues In Your Dog: A How-to Guide

Caring for your pet’s health is paramount to any devoted pet parent, both reading this and beyond. We spend our time considering what we can do to ensure their continued health and development, from their springer, younger years to their slower senior years.  

For the most part, when you consider what you can do for your pet’s health, it appears somewhat straightforward. You give them enough exercise to balance the amount of food you are giving them, alongside ensuring they receive the right amount of water and other essential nutrients.  

While this is very well the case, and these are factors that contribute to your pet’s growth and development, that is not to say that they are immune to developing some sort of health condition throughout their lives. Unfortunately, pets are prone to getting digestive problems of some sort, and there is only so much you can do to avoid these types of issues.  

Particularly when considering dogs, digestive problems are the most common ailment they can face in their lifetimes. Presenting themselves in various ways, it can often be challenging to know how best to treat them when faced with this situation. Whether you are a new pet parent or one that is more experienced, it never gets any easier!  

However, with this in mind, we have created this helpful how-to guide, detailing some of the effective methods for treating and aiding any digestive issues that your dog might be experiencing. Whether your dog is old or young, big or small, we feel confident you will find something of value here. Read on for more!  

Common Digestive Issues In Dogs 

Before we consider the methods for treating digestive issues in dogs, it would be worth noting what the digestive problems are. For the most part, there is a significant overlap between digestive issues found in humans to those found in dogs and other household pets. 

Caused by a variety of factors, they can be treated in several ways as well. But, of course, what works for one person and their dog, is not set to work for you and yours. It is dependent on your situation and breed.  

Digestive issues that you should be prepared to face at some point in your dog’s lifetime include the following:  

  • Vomiting, 
  • Diarrhea, either with or without any blood or mucus, 
  • Constipation,  
  • Weight loss or gain, 
  • Changes in appetite, 
  • Abdominal pain 

Your dog might experience just one of these issues or a couple in tandem with one another. Either way, you must treat the symptoms and the cause of the digestive issues as soon as possible. If unsure what the problem is, you are unsure what best to do, or if your dog’s condition deteriorates, ensure you get them seen by your registered veterinarian.  

Plain or Bland Diets 

No one enjoys eating a flavorless diet. Food is the essence of life, after all! While we recognize that is very well the case, and you might have a resistant pub on your hands, this is a recommendation that works relatively well for many.  

If you find that your dog is experiencing digestive issues, one cause of this could very well be their existing diet. Particularly if your registered veterinarian suggests running some tests to determine whether there is an allergy of sorts going on, you might need to restrict, minimize, or eliminate certain food groups from your dog’s diet entirely.  

This is undoubtedly going to be a learning curve for you all. Still, there are various resources available through your veterinarian and online to assist with this type of thing.  

Consider giving your dog plain chicken and rice. While settling your stomach, these food groups will ensure your pup is still receiving the proper nutrients that they need to keep their energy levels ticking over.  

For the most part, and for more minor bouts of digestive problems, this should do the trick. Giving your dog something to settle their stomach is the way forward but is not the be-all and end-all solution for all digestive problems.  

Rehydrating Lost Fluids and Electrolytes 

Dogs are much like humans in that when they experience digestive issues which result in diarrhea. They become dehydrated.  

Left untreated, this could lead to a whole host of other health problems and could prove lethal. Paying close attention to your pup and their habits during this time is crucial, but so is ensuring they are receiving more fluids than usual to compensate for those they are losing.  

Keeping a steady supply of fluids available at all times, whether your dog is experiencing digestive problems or not, is crucial. Some dogs might need some form of hydration treatment following a bout of digestive issues. This can easily be done at home without the need for intervention by a veterinarian. 

Water is the most obvious option here, and we feel confident that you would make sure your dog has an adequate amount of water at all times. At the same time, you could also give your dog some chicken broth or something similar a few times a day to give them some fluids while also providing electrolytes, and most importantly, some flavor!  

Fluids and plain foods are effective methods for tackling digestive problems in your dogs but do not always do the trick. Particularly if the bacteria in your dog’s gut have been disrupted somehow, you will need to do what you can to help promote good gut bacteria. This leads us to the following point.  

Introducing and Implementing Probiotics Into Your Dog’s Diet 

Probiotics can be used by humans and pets alike, with the sole purpose of balancing the gut bacteria and promoting healthy growth. Implementing something like this into your dog’s diet following a bout of digestive problems can promote healthy digestion; no more smelly bowel movements for you to deal with!  

Furthermore, probiotics can be used throughout your dog’s diet, even when they are not experiencing any digestive issues. Use probiotics to treat any existing digestion problems while preventing any further ones from cropping up.  

Companies like Native Pet provide devoted pet parents like yourself with a wide range of pet probiotic supplements suitable for pets big and small. You won’t need to worry about your dog turning their nose up at the supplement either, for they are available in a range of tasty flavors. What more could you want?  

Using probiotics in your dog’s diet, in tandem with the other suggestions, is sure to combat any digestive issues your dog might be facing.  

However, as mentioned previously, if you have tried various methods and find there is no difference in your dog’s condition, or if your dog is getting worse, ensure you get them seen by a veterinarian. It is better to be overcautious, after all. 

While these are but a handful of the at-home methods for treating digestive issues in your dog that you can try, we hope it has shed some insight into the types of available methods out there. 

Whether you choose to try them one by one to find what works best for you or opt to use them all in one go, the choice is entirely up to you! 

One thing is for sure, with gentle care and consideration, your dog will be on the mend in no time!