4 Tips for Soothing Your Puppy’s Sensitive Stomach Issues
Do puppies have sensitive stomachs?
As a new dog owner, you want your puppy to be bouncy and waggy-tailed at all times, so when he or she shows signs of distress due to an upset tummy, you’ll want to find solutions fast.
Like humans, many pets have digestive systems that are easily irritated or upset; they can have “sensitive stomachs.” Ignoring the issue could make for a very miserable pooch, not to mention potentially causing more serious health problems. If your dog seems to have a sensitive stomach, it is important to understand why and to know what you can do to help.
Causes for upset stomachs in puppies
- Anxiety/Stress – being separated from its siblings and mother and settling into a new home is stressful for a new puppy and could cause an upset tummy, which should calm down after a few days of rest and as your puppy starts to feel more at home.
- Overfeeding – this is one of the main causes for digestive upset in puppies. Puppies will often eat as much food as you give them, so make sure you are offering an appropriate amount.
- Switching food too quickly – changing your pup’s diet to a more healthy one is a good idea, but take it slowly and follow guidelines for transitioning pet food without upsetting your pup.
- Scraps from the table – feeding your dog leftovers is very tempting, as puppies are good at turning on the charm and pulling on our heartstrings, but it’s important to know that even the smallest piece of bacon can make your puppy unwell.
- Snacking from open rubbish bins and eating other undesirables – puppies like to explore and if your home environment is not puppy proof, they may be exposed to leftovers or even poisonous products in bathrooms or under your kitchen sink.
- Unhealthy treats – training your puppy goes hand-in-hand with giving treats as compensation, but the treats should be given in moderation and not constitute more than 10 percent of daily calories. Also, stay away from fatty sausages or other unhealthy treats.
- Bacterial infections – these can be picked up from contaminated food or things in the environment and can be diagnosed by your vet.
- Food allergies and intolerances – Like us, some dogs have allergies or intolerances to certain foods and eating them can result in GI upset. It may help to try a limited ingredient diet by eliminating ingredients that may not be agreeing with your dog. As always, consult your vet if you think your dog could be suffering from an allergy.
- Something more serious – in many cases, signs of an upset stomach can be an indication of a more serious health problem (such as obstruction, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcers and tumors) which should be further investigated by your vet.
So, how do you know if your puppy is suffering from a sensitive stomach?
Puppies are very curious and often eat things they shouldn’t. This may result in digestive upset (vomiting and/or diarrhea) or even more serious health issues such as a blockage.
Below are some of the signs that may be associated with digestive upset:
- Weight Loss
- Decreased appetite
- Excessive gas
- Loose stools
If any of the above symptoms do not quickly resolve, you should contact your veterinarian.
4 tips for soothing your pup’s sensitive stomach issues:
1. Slow him or her down
Make sure to follow the feeding guidelines printed on the packaging for the age and weight of your dog. Overfeeding and eating too fast can cause upset tummies in dogs. If your puppy wolfs down his pet food before you can blink, you need to figure out a way to slow him down. Feeding smaller portions more frequently can help, but also consider using a food puzzle − this can help slow him down while also providing mental stimulation.
2. Choose high-quality, highly digestible care dog food
After a bout of stomach upset, your puppy may benefit from bland food (like boiled chicken and rice which is easily digestible) – the best puppy food for diarrhea – or even a prescription diet recommended by your vet until symptoms have resolved. Adding probiotics to the diet can also help get the digestive system back on track. For dogs that have recurring symptoms of a sensitive stomach, limited ingredient dog food with a single protein source may be a good option.
3. Pace yourself when switching your puppy's diet
Changing your dog’s diet to a more balanced, healthy one with quality ingredients is a good idea, but be careful not to go too fast. Any abrupt change to a different diet can cause some pets to experience gastrointestinal upset (for example, loose stools or vomiting). It is better to make a very gradual diet change to avoid causing digestive upset than having to deal with a sick puppy! Take a look at these guidelines for safely and successfully transitioning your dog from one diet to another.
4. Manage your pup’s stress and puppy proof your home
Like with babies, puppies get up to all sorts of mischief when left to their own devices. It is your role as a pet parent to ensure the home environment is completely puppy proof by being careful to store poisonous and dangerous substances in places that are not accessible to your pup. This particularly applies to bathrooms and cleaning products, but also extends to the garage and garden. We’ve mentioned the dangers lurking in bins. Ensure your bins are properly closed at all times. If you have a sensitive pup, ensure he or she feels safe and create a stress-free environment. Avoid loud noises and carefully manage the introduction to other pets, so he doesn’t get upset. Regular cuddles, games and exercise will reduce stress and make your pup feel at home.
Canidae’s signature dog food line aims to bring out the best in your pet, our recipes are formulated for whole-body health and made from premium and limited ingredients.
There are no fillers, artificial flavors or artificial preservatives − just balanced, natural ingredients like real chicken, poultry, fish or vegetables, all supported by probiotics, antioxidants and Omega 6 and 3.
Canidae offers plenty of grain-free options for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Canidae could be the perfect option for your pet no matter their dietary requirements. Discuss with your veterinarian about transitioning your pet to a Canidae diet today!