What are dog digestive disorders?
A digestive disorder is any condition that prevents proper digestion or alters the rate at which foods pass through your dog’s digestive tract. Dog digestive issues are one of the most common reasons for consulting a veterinary practice.
Some signs of your dog’s digestive problems are easy to spot. Make sure you consult with your vet if your dog shows any of these signs:
- Diarrhoea or soft stools
- Change of appetite
- Stomach gurgling
- Sudden inactivity or depression
Please keep in mind that sometimes pets will show other signs, such as itchy skin or ears.
A food sensitivity is a reaction to ingredients in food that your dog’s body does not tolerate well. It’s also known as an Adverse Food Reaction, or AFR. This common issue can either be an immune-based or non-immune based reaction.
Food sensitivities are an individual issue, and while every dog is different, most food sensitivities involve common ingredients that your dog has been exposed to before, such as beef, chicken, dairy or wheat. If your dog has diarrhoea regularly or vomits especially just after eating, he may have food sensitivities.
Just like people, some dogs are more sensitive to change than others. There are many things that dogs find stressful. Chronic stress, or frequent bouts of short-term stress, can cause a range of negative reactions including digestive upset. Common canine stress triggers include:
- Changes in everyday routine (exposure to new people, places or things, a new baby, houseguests, household schedule changes)
- Loud noises (such as fireworks or thunderstorms)
- Change of surroundings (moving to a new home or travelling on holiday)
- Invasion of personal space (disruption when resting, or too much hugging and kissing)
- Separation from family members (creating separation anxiety)
First, if you suspect your dog is suffering from a digestive disorder, talk to your vet about nutrition that may be able to help. Your vet may be able to recommend other treatments, too.
You can further help your dog by helping reduce the amount of stress triggers in his environment with some of these suggestions.