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Digestive Problems in Dogs

If the dog is suffering from diarrhoea/vomiting on its current food then a change in diet may help. A highly digestible, low fat, low protein diet, and one which is free from colours, wheat, dairy, soya and artificial preservatives is recommended.

If the problem is just occasional then the new food should be gradually weaned in to the old diet over a period of at least a week. Remember the longer you can take to wean the food in, the easier it is for the digestive system to adapt to it. If loose motions occur when you are introducing the food, you could be introducing it too quickly or feeding too much.

If the diarrhoea is constant there is no point in trying to mix the new diet in with the old food until the diarrhoea has stopped.

The dog should be starved for a day then fed a home cooked diet for a few days until the diarrhoea subsides.

The home cooking should involve either some very well-cooked rice/porridge and scrambled/boiled egg (you could try a little cooked chicken or fish if the dog is not keen on egg).

The porridge and scrambled egg should be made with just water not milk.

The rice and porridge should be cooked for as long as possible-this will make it easier to digest.

Day 1: Starve for 24 hours, fresh water should always be available
Day2: Feed well cooked rice. To make it easier to digest, cook it for 1 - 1.5 hours.
Day 3: Feed boiled rice and a boiled or scrambled egg
Day 4 onwards: Feed rice and eggs until the motions become normal

Once the diarrhoea or vomiting has subsided then the new food can be introduced. Dried diets can be fed dry or moistened with warm water (the water should have cooled properly before feeding, so you do not burn your dog). The home cooked food should be gradually reduced as the new diet is increased. Any signs of vomiting or loose motions when the new food is being introduced could mean that you are introducing it too quickly.

Smaller more frequent meals may benefit a dog with digestive problems.

The underweight dog:

If your dog is underweight as a result of poor absorption of food there is a strong temptation to increase the food to build the dog up. However, it is better to proceed cautiously to avoid any setbacks. Increasing the dog’s daily intake may make it harder for the body to digest and absorb the food, thus excess food will be pushed straight out the body (diarrhoea).

Once the digestive problems are being managed the weight should go back on naturally.

Possible reasons a dog gets diarrhoea/loose stools are:

1) the diet was introduced too quickly

2) the dog is intolerant to something in the food in which case another variety may help.

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