Most dogs experience tummy troubles from time to time – but it can be difficult to know exactly how to treat them, or when they may point to something more serious. Our guide can help you care for your pooch the next time he shows symptoms.
Spotting a stomach upset in your dog is the easy bit: his faeces will be looser than usual, and can range from semi-soft to liquid form. He may also have other signs such as vomiting, loss of appetite, or a tummy that’s sore to touch and bloated.
These symptoms should last no longer than two to three days, and aren’t cause for concern if your pooch seems otherwise bright and happy.
Diarrhoea in your dog is most commonly a result of him eating a substance that he shouldn’t have. However, in rare cases, it could be a sign of pancreatitis or a stomach ulcer. If your dog is vomiting blood, or his symptoms get worse or last for more than two or three days, consult your vet.
In the wild, dogs with tummy troubles would naturally stop eating in order to let their stomachs recover (this is why your dog may lose his appetite).
If your dog only has a mild stomach upset, you can try a similar treatment at home by placing him on a fast for 12 to 24 hours. Make sure to monitor him for any signs of hunger – if he’s asking for food, he’ll feel well enough to eat it – and also see to it that he drinks plenty of water to stay hydrated.
You can check his hydration levels by gently pressing on his gums until the colour changes; if the colour doesn’t return within two seconds of taking your finger away, your dog is dehydrated. If this happens, or his condition worsens in any way, call your vet at once.
At the end of your dog’s fasting period, reintroduce him to food gradually. Give him small meals, several times a day, for the first few days of his recovery.
It’s best to feed bland foods at first, as your pooch’s normal dog food may be too hard for his stomach to start digesting immediately. Instead, give him small strips of boiled chicken along with white rice or plain porridge, and mashed squash or sweet potato. Monitor his condition carefully to see if his stomach can cope with it, and then slowly begin mixing in his normal dog food.
If he falls ill again, contact your vet for advice. In all cases, trust your instincts; if your dog’s symptoms are unusual for him, or persist, it’s always better to err on the safe side.
File Source: Petplan UK