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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

Hello Friends, Erica back again with a nutrition corner post that could save your dog’s life.

It is a normal evening; the dog has been fed and you sit down to enjoy your own dinner when your best friend begins to pant heavily and pace. You notice his belly feels very hard, like a drum. Suddenly, he tries to throw up with no success. These are the signs of bloat (Gastric Dilatation). Although it can happen to any dog, it is more common in large breed dogs, with certain breeds having a greater risk. As soon as a dog has these symptoms it is of utmost importance to bring him to the veterinarian right away. If allowed to progress, the condition can be complicated by volvulus. This is when the stomach twists causing gas and fluid to be trapped in the stomach and ultimately interfering with blood circulation. The result may be circulatory shock, cardiac arrhythmias and death.

Fortunately, you can reduce the likelihood of your dog experiencing this horrible condition with diet. One of the most important and easiest things you can do is make sure your dog is on a grain free diet. The carbs in grains are highly fermentable and produce gas. Dogs do not have a dietary requirement for grain and they do not digest them well. Adding moisture to the diet seems to lower the risk as well. This can be accomplished by feeding a raw diet or adding canned or moistened dehydrated food to grain free kibble. I also highly recommend using a probiotic to keep the gut balanced and producing less gas. My favorite is Digest All, which can be found at Two Bostons in the supplements section in a white jar.

In addition to diet it is important to restrict exercise for at least an hour before and after each meal, feed multiple smaller meals instead of one large meal and withhold large amounts of water for an hour after eating. Dogs that gulp or eat their food very fast seem to have an increased risk for developing bloat. If your furry friend is guilty of one of those, consider a special feeder to slow down their eating. Two Bostons has various great options such as the Dog Maze and The Green Interactive Feeder. You can read a recent blog on the Dog Maze here.

Until next time, remember to email your nutrition questions to myself erica.h@twobostons.com or to Jen at jen.j@twobostons.com. If your pet isn’t already on a grain free diet, come on into the shop and let us help you design a diet that will keep him healthy and vibrant.

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[…] if you feed kibble. It slows down Fido by making him work to get at the kibble. And after reading Erica’s blog about bloat, that continues to be a priority for me and […]

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