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Dog Stomach Problems

The Relationship to Canine Food Allergies

Dog stomach problems can be caused by a number of issues; one of the most common is canine food allergies. For dog care upset stomach: try a hypoallergenic dog food brand. Be careful in changing-over to a new food as that can cause more problems for a canine with stomach issues.

Our ridgeback, Harley, has a sensitive stomach. She also has a number of allergies which limits the food she can eat.

Because of her sensitivities (which results in dog stomach problems like vomiting and diarrhea), we feed her a mix of homemade food and high quality commercial dog food.

Recently the Veterinarian, where we buy Harley’s commercial dog food, called us to let us know that the manufacturer had changed the recipe for the dog food.

For Harley, this means we need to plan ahead so that the change of her food doesn't cause stomach or skin allergy problems.


Changing Dog Food Can Trigger Canine Food Allergies

First, the fact that the Vet was proactive and phoned me wins big ‘bonus’ points with me. The Vet was showing how he cared about the health of my pet by giving me an ‘early warning’ (before the food ran out) that the food composition had changed.

Secondly, my Vet advised me of a transition plan for Harley so that she could accommodate the new food without problems. This was important especially for Harley, as changes to her food have caused significant stomach issues (ranging from diarrhea to vomiting).

Some dog foods contain more carbohydrates and less meat; others (the higher quality foods) contain more meat and less carbohydrates. Typically a higher meat diet is more natural for canines however changing the meat types (our dog food changed from lamb to chicken) can have an effect on your pet’s digestive system. Additionally, a good quality dog food may supply a more dense product than other commercial products and dogs may over-eat on the new food.

Remember that, for the most part, your dog is eating the same diet day after day, month after month; so a change to the diet, while it could be best in the long term, can be hard on your canine’s digestion. The best approach for your dog’s health is to transition your pet from one food to another by mixing the new food with the old food.

Harley is a very lean 80 lbs and she gets two meals a day; just under 2 cups at each meal. To prevent dog stomach problems, our vet advised us to start mixing the new food into her diet at about ¼ cup at each meal for the first couple days (reducing the old food to 1 ¾ cups); then up to ½ cup for at least 2 days; ¾ cup each meal for 2 days; 1 cup for 2 days; 1 ½ cups for 2 days and finally on day 10 to move her fully onto her new food.



Dog Care: Upset Stomach Related to Food Changes

During the food transition time, we were told to check her stools and make sure that if she had problems with the new food that we stopped increasing the amount and held at the mixed quantity until her stools firmed up; if that didn’t happen after a couple of days then we were to visit or call the Vet.

Harley has a sensitive stomach but she absolutely loves food. So changing her food from a taste perspective wasn’t an issue. But some dogs will resist a change in diet because they simply don’t like the new food taste.

When my sister changed her pet’s food, the dog was smart enough (and picky enough) to eat only the old dry food and he left the new food in the bowl. My sister caught onto that fairly quickly and soon had to transition totally to the new food; giving smaller quantities of food three to four times a day, instead of once or twice a day.

If the food is better or equal quality to your pet’s old food, then try to feed only the new food and keep an eye on your canine to make sure the digestive system accepts the change.

Some dogs go to the other extreme; they love the new food so much that they almost inhale it (our dog Harley has been know to do that sometimes). To slow a dog down that’s eating too fast, try to hand feed. Put only small quantities in your hand and keep it open; your dog will slow down to the pace that you set.



Product Recommendations for Dog Stomach Problems: Food Allergies

Food allergies may result in dog stomach problems or symptoms like itchy skin. To ease the discomfort of a skin reaction, you can help your canine cope better with the itching, swelling and discomfort caused by allergies. Please note: treatment is for relief of the symptoms and does not treat the cause.

We recommend PetAlive Allergy Itch Ease for treating your dog's symptoms but only start treatment once you have found the cause of the allergic reaction (as treatment can hide the cause of the reaction).

Allergy Itch Ease is a herbal remedy that temporarily relieves skin allergies and itch. Ask the veterinarian about your canine's allergies and treatments before starting to use natural remedies.



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