Upset stomachs in dogs and what you can do
It can be worrying when our pups get an upset stomach. Whether it’s due to a tummy bug or the food they are eating, the symptoms can be frightening and have us quickly on the phone to the vet. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at the symptoms and causes of upset stomachs in dogs, as well as what we can do, as owners, to limit the discomfort for our furry friends.
Symptoms of stomach issues in dogs
There are a few potential triggers for stomach and digestive problems in dogs. Some symptoms can overlap with other issues, but generally, stomach problems will present with the following symptoms:
- Excessive gas, such as burping or flatulence, or loud stomach rumbles
- Loss of interest in food
There are numerous triggers for the above that aren’t life-threatening, so try not to stress too much. Your vet is the best place to go if you’re concerned. According to the PDSA's 2019 Paw Report, diarrhoea and vomiting are the 6th and 10th most commonly cited reasons for vet visits respectively.
What causes stomach issues in dogs?
It’s hard to say for certain what the trigger is if your dog starts experiencing digestive issues, as there are a wide range of potential causes. These can include:
- Sudden diet changes
- Consumption of something harmful, like chocolate
- Allergens in diet
Gastrointestinal disorders and digestive issues can be acute (sudden and curable) or chronic (long-term.) A vet might be able to diagnose the root cause and offer treatment, such as antibiotics. However, if the trigger is less obvious, treatment might instead focus on amending your dog’s diet to remove any allergens.
Potentially allergenic ingredients in dog food
One of the most common causes of gastrointestinal issues in dogs is allergens in their food. According to PetMD, 10% of all allergic reactions in dogs are down to the food they eat.
Some dogs are born with allergies and others might develop them later. Some breeds are more prone to developing allergies, including Shar-Peis, Lhasa Apsos, Golden Retrievers, and others.
Often, stomach issues relating to allergens will be accompanied by itching, skin problems, and ear problems, though not always.
The most common allergens in modern dog foods are beef, dairy, wheat, egg, chicken, lamb, and pork. Unfortunately, since most of these dog foods often contain more than one potentially allergenic ingredient, it can be difficult to identify the trigger and remove it from your dog’s food.
Hypoallergenic dog food
If your vet believes your dog’s food might be the cause of their stomach upset, they might recommend switching to special dog food for allergic dogs.
They might recommend a particular brand of healthy natural dog food free of common allergens, but it could take a while before you find a food that is free of whatever your dog is struggling with. Switching your dog’s food suddenly or often could do additional harm, so it’s important to fully research your options.
Although many grain-free foods claim to be hypoallergenic, this is not necessarily true, as they are usually still meat-based.
We’ve discussed in a previous blog how dogs do not need meat to survive and thrive, and how foods free of traditional meat products can actually be very beneficial.
You should always discuss your options with your vet before making any changes.
Food for dogs with food allergies
When we started Percuro, our goal was to create a truly healthy and nutritious dog food for every dog, including those with allergies. Percuro is free of all common allergens, including traditional meat. In place of poultry, beef, lamb, or fish, we use innovative clean insect protein from the Hermetia illucens fly larvae. This incredible alternative packs a protein punch in a truly hypoallergenic recipe.
We’ve combined this naturally hypoallergenic protein with a range of nutritious, delicious plant-based ingredients, providing everything your dog needs in a way that’s kind to their tummy. Even the British Veterinary Association has begun recommending insect protein-based dog foods as a fantastic and nutritious alternative to traditional dog food. Could Percuro be the natural, allergen-free dog food you’ve been looking for? Visit our shop to find out more