Sometimes it seems like dogs will eat pretty much anything they can land their snouts on, but that definitely doesn’t mean that they should. Though many pooches have turbo guts that can withstand all manner of meats and treats, others have sensitive stomachs that require a little more TLC when it comes to diet.
Read on to understand what causes a sensitive stomach in dogs and what gut-friendly foods will ease their tummy issues.
You may hear that your neighbour’s pooch has the bowel regularity of a vegan athlete and wonder ‘But why does my dog have such a sensitive stomach?’ There are plenty of causes, and though many of them are preventable, sometimes it’s simply your dog’s genes and nothing to be ashamed of or panicked about (keep reading for a list of dog breeds prone to tummy issues).
Naturally, the first consideration is your dog’s daily food. Does your pooch eat a lot of human leftovers, a glut of treats each day, or any sugary, creamy or overly fatty foods? Then it stands to reason that they’d suffer from stomach aches, gassiness and dodgy poops quite often. Aside from this, it could be that dogs on a wet food diet could benefit more from dry food, or perhaps they’re on a grain-heavy or raw food diet that doesn’t suit the way their particular gut functions. See also: food allergies (further in the article).
Before you point the finger at your dog’s food bowl, consider what else in the house your dog could be ingesting. Ensure all human food is out of reach, cleaning and laundry products are in secure cupboards, and that your dog has no access to the tools, screws and toxic substances you may keep in the garden, garage or shed. Also, keep the toilet seat down between uses - as to a dog, any water is for drinking.
Your pooch may have eaten something they shouldn’t have from around the house or even just some spoiled food - and then contracted a stomach bug such as gastroenteritis. This occurs when harmful bacteria in the stomach causes bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea in your dog and they can’t keep their food down. There are other causes of gastroenteritis in dogs; so keep a close eye on them, and take them to a vet immediately if symptoms seem severe.
Dogs with food allergies are prone to stomach sensitivity, meaning certain foods will trigger an undesirable physical reaction. Common food allergies in dogs include grain, dairy and wheat, and could result in your dog getting itchy skin, bloatedness, gas, diarrhoea, vomiting or nausea. You may need to put your dog on a stripped back diet to identify the triggering culprit.
Believe it or not, stomach sensitivity is directly linked to mood and behaviour in dogs and vice versa, due to the strength of the gut-brain axis. This means a pooch that suffers from stress and anxiety is more likely to have a delicate tum and toilet issues. Doing all you can to reduce your dog’s anxiety and stress levels could help.
Sadly not all dog breeds are created equal when it comes to tummy trouble - there are some that are more prone to sensitive stomachs than others. Boxers, Shih Tzus, Labradors, Great Danes and Yorkshire Terriers are a few examples; however any dog can suffer from a sensitive stomach.
Once you’ve identified your pooch has a sensitive stomach, your first port of call should be to opt for food that’s easy for dogs to digest. Some helpful ingredients could include:
Using a combination of the ingredients above, you can feed your dog meals that are very easy on their digestive system and won’t exacerbate symptoms such as stomach pain or diarrhoea. Natural, sensitive stomach dog food would help as it's that’s both gentle and tasty, and will stop diarrhoea symptoms promptly. See also: probiotics (further in the article).
Though lots of dog owners feed their pooch rice and chicken when they’ve been unwell, many vets will recommend a grain-free diet when a dog is suffering from a stomach bug. This is because grain is a common food allergy in dogs and so might trigger a secondary reaction - the last thing your pooch needs when battling a dodgy tum.
At Pooch & Mutt our natural food for dogs is entirely grain-free, instead made up of healthy proteins, fruit, vegetables and supplements. Our hypoallergenic pet food is intended for maximum tastiness and health benefits, while carrying a much lower risk of an allergic reaction.
Sure do! Probiotics provide a helpful boost of the ‘friendly bacteria’ in your dog’s gut microbiome, ensuring their stomach and digestive tract is balanced and well-functioning. At Pooch & Mutt, we’re big believers in the positive ways probiotics help dogs with sensitive stomachs - and they’re easily included in your dog’s diet, either as part of your dog’s food or as a supplement.
Specific probiotics are especially important for rebalancing your dog’s gut bacteria after a bout of sickness, diarrhoea or antibiotics, and to get them back to tail-wagging shape in a much shorter time.
Dogs with advancing years will often develop stomach sensitivity, and just like humans, will find certain foods harder to digest than when they were young.
To ensure your beloved senior pooch receives a diet that offers lots of health benefits, is gentle on the stomach but still tasty, you can opt for a specially formulated, hypoallergenic dog food for senior dogs, plus a range of useful supplements. Salmon oil is a great option for all-round health benefits, glucosamine can help ease sore or ageing joints, and a multibiotic supplement will encourage healthy gut and bowel function.
Whatever the reason your dog has a sensitive tum, by packing their diet with a combo of digestible ingredients, probiotics and supplements, they’ll be as energised, happy and healthy as the dog next door.
Get in touch with Pooch & Mutt for more information about what to feed a dog with digestion issues, and check out our range of tasty, all-natural dog food for sensitive stomachs.