Diet is significant in maintaining the health of your dog’s gastrointestinal system. The right balance of nutrients helps keep the GI tract functioning properly, while the wrong mix can lead to disease.
There are several things to remember regarding your dog’s diet and GI health, including;
1. Fiber is vital for proper GI function.
Fiber helps keep your dog’s digestive system moving and prevents constipation. It also helps add bulk to stool, which makes it easier to pass. Good sources of fiber include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and high-fiber dog food.
You have to note that there are other kinds of GI diseases, not only constipation. These include:
- Liver disease
- Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
- Celiac disease
- Intestinal parasites
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
In some cases, these conditions may require urgent vet attention. Take them immediately to a 24/7 emergency vet clinic or hospital (visit this page to learn more) if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Black, tarry, or bloody stools
- Vomiting blood or coffee grounds
- Severe abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Decreased appetite
- Jaundice (yellow skin and the whites of the eyes)
2. Fat is necessary for proper nutrition, but too much fat can be hard on the GI tract.
Fat is a concentrated energy source and provides essential fatty acids that dogs need for healthy skin and coats. However, too much fat can result in obesity and pancreatitis.
When it comes to fat, it’s crucial to find a balance. Look for dog food with moderate fat levels, and avoid giving your dog high-fat treats like table scraps.
3. Protein is essential in a dog’s diet, but choosing the right kind of protein is important.
Protein is necessary for muscle development, cell repair, and other vital functions. Dogs get the majority of their protein from meat, but there are also plant-based sources of protein, such as beans and legumes.
Consult with your veterinarian when you choose protein for your dogs. Some dogs, such as those with liver disease, may need a diet lower in protein. Others, like growing puppies, may require a higher protein diet.
The best way to ensure that your pet gets the right amount and type of protein is to feed them high-quality commercial dog food. A veterinary nutritionist should formulate this food and meet the AAFCO nutritional guidelines.
That’s why you must choose an experienced and reputable vet clinic with complete facilities, including in-house lab tests. This is because some GI diseases can only be diagnosed through comprehensive tests, like biopsies and x-rays.
4. Carbohydrates are a significant energy source for dogs, but they should make up a small portion of the diet.
Carbohydrates are found in a lot of foods, such as grains, fruits, and vegetables. While carbohydrates are necessary for energy, too many carbs can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
When it comes to carbs, it’s crucial to find a balance. Look for dog food with moderate carbohydrate levels, and avoid giving your dog high-carb treats like table scraps.
5. Water is vital for all life, and that includes your dog.
Water is about 80% of a dog’s body weight and is necessary for many vital functions. It helps transport nutrients around a dog’s body, aids in digestion, and helps keep the body temperature regulated.
Be sure that your pet has fresh, clean water. This means changing their water bowl regularly and ensuring that they have a bowl of clean water available all the time, even when you’re not home.
If you notice that your dog is drinking more water than usual, or if they seem to be urinating more frequently, it could be a sign of a medical condition, and you should bring them to the vet for a check-up.
Make sure to choose a 24/7 vet clinic or hospital, such as St. Louis Animal Hospital, as your partner in your pet’s health and wellness. This is especially helpful in sudden illness or injury, as they can provide immediate care.
Remember that diet is vital to your dog’s GI health, but other factors must also be considered. If they show signs of GI distress, take them to the vet for a check-up. Also, always consult your veterinarian about the best diet for your dog, especially if they suffer from GI disease.