Dog food that maintains healthy digestion

Dog food that maintains healthy digestion

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that dogs are what they eat, too. A poor diet can wreak havoc with your pooch’s health. Once you know what to look for, the signs of poor nutrition are easily spotted and in most cases can be remedied by choosing a high-quality food better suited to your dog’s dietary needs.


“You can spot a dog on the wrong diet a mile away,” says Virginia-based emergency veterinarian Katy Nelson. “Their coat is dull and they look lethargic.” Some breeds, such as German shepherds, are more prone to digestive issues than others, but all dogs can suffer the consequences of a diet that produces too much stool and thereby precludes proper nutrient absorption.

Identifying problems

Stool check: Unfortunately, the best way to know whether or not your dog is having digestive problems is to check its poop. Stools that are too hard or too soft may be an indication that your dog is either not absorbing nutrients from its food, or that the food does not have the proper nutrients to keep the digestive tract healthy in the first place.

Severe signs: “If your dog is having problems with elimination or vomiting, you need to work with your veterinarian to investigate what is going on,” says Nelson. “If you haven’t changed your pet’s diet and it has diarrhoea for more than two or three days, vomits multiple times a day, or has blood in its stool, it is an indication of something more serious than improper digestion.” Once your veterinarian has ruled out conditions like pancreatitis, parasites and inflammatory bowel disease, it’s time to talk food.

Best ingredients for digestive health

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Veterinarians and dog food manufacturers agree that dogs need to eat food with moderately fermentable fibres. But what does that mean?

Beet pulp: The term “digestibility” refers to how easily food goes down and how readily the ingredients release nutrients. According to Nelson, the best moderately fermentable source of fiber comes in the form of beet pulp. Prebiotics: Promote the gut’s natural, good bacteria while keeping the bad bacteria in check. Look for food that contains fructooligosaccharides (FOS) to promote bacterial balance in your dog’s digestive tract.

Vitamins & minerals: A complete and balanced food made with high quality ingredients is easily digestible, and will promote gastrointestinal tract health, and allow your dog to absorb proteins, carbs, fat, vitamins, minerals and other beneficial components such as omega-3 fatty acids from  ingredients like fish oils.

Prescription formula

Extreme measures: If your dog is having digestive problems despite being on a diet that includes beet pulp and prebiotics, talk to your veterinarian about a veterinary intestinal formula. “I often try a prescription diet for a short period and then taper off to a nonprescription food,” says Nelson.  A prescription diet usually serves as a temporary solution. Once the dog has recovered sufficiently, a normal diet is resumed. Nelson adds that some dogs need to remain on the veterinary-prescribed food. “It is more expensive, but less so than continuous trips to the vet. If you find something that works, you can stick with it.”

Stress: It’s important to note that GI tract problems are often stress-related. “Whether their favorite person is away from home or they are engaging in fun activities, like a long hike, the adrenal glands secrete cortisol which can lead to an imbalance of bacteria in the gut, necessitating treatment with antibiotics,” she says.

Premium solutions

Don’t despair. There’s plenty of help at hand. Premium brand dog food manufacturers are on top of it with several options to choose from. Eukanuba has a Veterinary Diets range with intestinal-friendly options for adult dogs and puppies, as well as a Dermatosis option for skin and coat disorders. The entire Iams and Eukanuba range contains beet pulp and prebiotics to promote healthy digestion. Taking care of your dog’s GI tract is not only manageable but will help ensure that you and your pet enjoy each other’s company for many meals to come.

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MillyCa

MillyCa

Reported

I have a rare pedigree breed dog. He seems to have a sensitive stomach. He eats well but often gets runny stools. He will do a normal poop, and then shortly after will do a runny one. I give him fresh cooked meat, and also make him home cooked meals. When I do give him dog food, I am so confused as to what type to give him. It is so difficult to know with dog food whether it is good or not good for them, as I find the ingredients can be baffling. How do you know which is a good or not?

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Latinka

Reported

Burgess is one of the worst dog foods same as pedigree . They make your dog act like mad and be more aggressive . It's something to do with all the bad stuff in it . The dogs don't see the colours same as us and I think they don't see the red and green either they see in pastel colours I think . The bright coloured cute shaped food is to attract us - the owners . The dog doesn't care about the colour or shape as it's just food for them :) I give burgess sensitive to my 3 chihuahuas .

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2GSDMUM

Reported

1 of my german shepherds has a sensitive stomach and since starting her on wainwrights (pets at home own brand) she has not had any problems since and she loves it licks the dish clean every time

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I would love to know if anyone else has a frenchie with a very sensitive tummy. I am yet to find a suitable good quality dog food for him :( any ideas would help? Thanks

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laujay

laujay

Reported

I had a staff x rotti until last summer who was constantly suffering with bouts of gastroenteritis. at the time I was feeding him bakers complete which he loved despite the vomiting and the runs so changed him as recommended by the vet to chappie. he ate it even though you could tell he thought the flavour should be better, but the gastro problems soon stopped. it wasn't until a month or so ago I saw a dog programme stating that bakers complete had an ingredient more suited to your car!

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