Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs

Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs

10-Second Take:

Our four-legged Dogs are just as prone to sensitive stomach issues as humans, they just can’t tell us about it. But with some simple adjustments—like feeding him the right dog food for sensitive stomachs, and maybe adding healthy supplements to his diet—your dog’s tummy can be as healthy as it was when he was a pup.

What we put in our best friends’ bodies affects them just as much as what we put into ours (if not more), especially for dogs with sensitive stomachs. The wrong dog food can lead to stomach sensitivity, occasional vomiting, loose stools, and even flatulence. 🙁

Read on for all the info you need to get him going again, and back to his optimal, playful self…

Normally, it seems like your dog can do anything. He can chase after a tennis ball faster than a cheetah and jump and catch anything—no matter how high or how far. Your dog can conquer any hiking trail, weather the toughest of conditions, and will always be at your side for any adventure. But as strong as he is, he seems to be at the mercy of one thing: an upset tummy. An upset stomach can strike down even the toughest of dogs. Don’t despair… You and Fido can be back out exploring the world and having fun soon!

How to Tell if Your Dog has a Sensitive Stomach

Here are some common signs of a sensitive stomach your dog might exhibit:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Hypersalivation
  • Occasional vomiting
  • Loose stools
  • Flatulence

Having a sensitive stomach is a common condition that needs to be addressed if you want your furry best friend to be active and thrive.

What Causes Sensitive Stomachs in Dogs?

Some dogs are just born with sensitive stomachs while others aren’t. Some can develop them later when they get older. Some dogs, just like some people, can be sensitive to some food ingredients.

Sometimes, a sensitive stomach could be a sign of a more serious problem. Although the chances of anything serious would be low, a trip to the vet can rule out more serious issues and would put your mind at ease. Remember that dog food can get expensive, especially if you opt to experiment by switching out foods, hoping to find the right one for your dog’s stomach. For the long run, a trip to the vet might actually save you time and money. However, there is one veterinarian-recommended option you could try first… read on or skip down to the probiotics for dogs section below.

With the wide variety of reasons for sensitive stomach, there’s also a wide variety of dog foods that certain dogs can have trouble tolerating. Some dogs are sensitive to certain types of proteins. Other dogs may be needing more fiber or minerals, or maybe it contains too much of something, like fat.

What to Look For in Commercial Dog Foods When Your Dog has a Sensitive Stomach

Protein Source

Some dogs just have trouble digesting certain proteins. For example, if your dog is on a beef based diet, try switching to chicken, lamb, or fish.

Fiber Source

Some dogs need some extra fiber in their diet. In commercial dog food, look out for inulin and psyllium, soluble fibers that act as gentle, bulk-forming laxatives.

Fat Content

Dog foods that are higher in fat are harder to digest than those high in protein or carbohydrates. If fats and oils are listed in the first four ingredients, this can mean that the fat content may be too high for your dog.

    What to look for on dog food packaging

    The tricky part with commercial dog food is that there is such a variety. And because different ingredients affect different dogs in different ways, it just makes it all the harder to really pinpoint the cause. However, there are common qualities that make certain dog foods easily digestible.

    • Less grain – some dogs have difficulty digesting wheat, corn, and other grains.
    • Limiting the number of ingredients – the higher the ingredient count, the higher the chances of having an ingredient that your dog’s stomach won’t agree with.
    • Easily digestible foods as one of the first ingredients – chicken, lamb, brown rice, and potatoes are easily digestible for the vast majority of dogs.
    • Some foods contain added probiotics or yogurt. Others can contain pumpkin or added fibers for better quality stools.

    Homemade Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs

    If most commercial dog foods still don’t sit right with your dog, you can opt for homemade food. Even if the primary food source is commercial dog food, it’s still very beneficial to mix it up with tasty homemade meals.

    Lean, Boiled Chicken or Turkey

    Not only are these tasty, but they are very high in protein with less fiber and fat.

    Canned Tuna

    Make sure it’s canned in water, not in oil. Avoid added seasoning.

    White Rice

    Cheap, bland, but nutritious, white rice is a good option for sensitive stomachs. Make sure it’s fully cooled before giving it to your pooch!

    Boiled Potatoes

    Like white rice, boiled potatoes is another bland but nutritious option for sensitive stomachs. However, it has higher vitamin content, making it a bit more ideal.

    Yogurt

    With high levels of probiotics, yogurt is great for the digestive tract. Offer your dog the plain variety with no sugar, sweeteners or flavorings.

    Probiotics Health Treats for Dogs Can Help!

    Stomach sensitivity is one of the most common ailments for all types of dogs and can hinder your dog’s energy and activity. Adding probiotic health treats for dogs as supplements to store-bought or homemade food can be a work wonders for your dog’s sensitive stomach and overall health.

    Probiotics are natural “good bacteria” that aid digestion, as well as many other health benefits. By enhancing the digestive process, it facilitates the removal of harmful toxins.

    Whatever the specific reason is for stomach sensitivity (i.e., too much fat, not enough fiber, etc.), adding probiotics can be a healthy, efficient, and inexpensive way to help balance your dog’s gut health.

    TIP: Check out our article on the advantages and sources of Probiotics for Dogs for more on why dogs need them and what to look for.

    Adding probiotics can help with sensitive stomach issues
    Always be watchful of what your dog eats and be aware of the quality of his poo. With some exploration of what foods feel right and adding some health treats to his diet, you can help prevent stomach sensitivity from slowing him down and holding both of you back from enjoying activities together.

    Limited Time Offer

    Try Active Chews Probiotic Digestive Health Treats and Save 15%

    We want to help your FBFF (that’s Furry BFF, if you were wondering) get back to his or her happy, active, not-so-poopy self, so that you can get back to enjoying your own active life. So we’re offering an exclusive discount and a 100% money-back guarantee!

    Use code ACTIVEPROBIOTIC15 at checkout to get your discount!

    Hip Dysplasia in Dogs – Understanding and Treating the Disease

    Hip Dysplasia in Dogs – Understanding and Treating the Disease

    Hip dysplasia in dogs, also known as Canine Hip Dysplasia, can drastically reduce your dog’s quality of life and it’s also painful for us humans to watch. But with a little education on prevention and treatment, you can go a long way toward keeping your dog active and comfortable for years.

    What is Hip Dysplasia in Dogs?

    According to the American College of Veterinary Surgeons:

    “Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) is a condition that begins in dogs as they grow and results in instability or a loose fit (laxity) of the hip joint.” – Canine Hip Dysplasia, American College of Veterinary Surgeons. [1]

    It’s a common skeletal condition, especially in large or giant breed dogs, although it can occur in smaller breeds, as well.

    Hip dysplasia can be painful and lower the quality of life for your dog

    A dog’s hip joint is a ball and socket joint. Hip dysplasia occurs when there’s something not right with either the hip socket or the rounded part of the femur bone: the hip socket could become too shallow or the femur head is could get deformed. This can cause problems with friction and cartilage wearing. Instead of sliding smoothly, consistent grinding will cause problems later on.

    What Causes Canine Hip Dysplasia?

    Genetics

    Genetic and hereditary factors are one of the main reasons for hip dysplasia.

    “Hip dysplasia is largely hereditary and is especially common in large breeds, such as the Great Dane, St. Bernard, Labrador Retriever, and German Shepherd Dog.” – American Kennel Club [2]

    Hip dysplasia can have several causes

    Environment and Upbringing

    If your dog’s breed is predisposed to hip dysplasia, environmental factors may exacerbate the conditions. Not having optimal nutrition, obesity, rapid growth, and too much exercise can be contributing factors.

    Aging Conditions

    With a lifetime of activity, there could be a lot of wear and tear of the joints. As a dog ages, he or she could be more prone to hip dysplasia, and it can often lead to arthritis.

    Diagnosing Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

    At your dog’s checkup, your veterinarian would do a physical exam that includes checking for canine hip dysplasia. If it’s suspected, he or she would do an x-ray to confirm.

    Only an x-ray and a vet can effectively diagnose hip dysplasia. But there are some signs that you can be on the lookout for in your daily routine.

    Signs of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

    There’s a wide range of symptoms of hip dysplasia in dogs. There are two camps for dogs that are prone to hip dysplasia. It can occur while still a puppy, usually around four or five months old; and in older dogs with osteoarthritis, a type of joint inflammation, are also prone to it.

    In both cases, there are quite a few symptoms of hip dysplasia that large dog breed owners should be wary of (hip dysplasia can sometimes occur in smaller breeds too).

    • A swaying gait: the hips shift side to side more than the norm.
    • Using both back legs at the same when running: both feet hit the ground at the same time.
    • Bunny Hopping (when running, both hind legs hit the ground at the same time. Also, the hindquarters ride higher than the shoulders)
    • Difficulty standing up, lying down or climbing stairs
    • Limping
    • Sitting in a frog-like position with one hip splayed out
    • A narrow stance with his back legs closer together than his front ones
    • Loss of thigh muscle mass
    • Noticeable enlargement of shoulders (due to compensating for the loss of thigh muscle mass)
    a narrow stance can be a sign of hip dysplasia

    A Labrador Retriever standing with hind legs close together to compensate for weak hips caused by an altered gait from hip dysplasia.

    Source: Malinaccier, Wikimedia Commons

    Prevention and Home Treatment for Dog Hip Dysplasia 

    There are many ways you can treat hip dysplasia to make your dog’s life more comfortable. In addition to your vet’s recommendations, treating your dog naturally can have far-reaching benefits.

    Diet

    Many dog owners make the mistake of feeding their dogs a high protein, high-calorie diet. This is wrong, and it can especially have negative consequences for breeds that are prone to hip dysplasia. Rapid weight gain would increase the chances of hip dysplasia because the bones and muscles would grow too quickly.

    A balanced diet could help stave off hip dysplasia, along with so many other benefits.

    Exercise

    Large breeds that are predisposed to hip dysplasia shouldn’t do too many high-impact activities like long distance running or jumping. Exercises and activities that can excessively strain the hind legs should be kept to a minimum because this could lead to deterioration of the joints.

    Low impact activities such as swimming and walking are ideal. Walking on inclined surfaces is an easy way to help develop and strengthen the muscles. Upward inclines work the rear legs, downward inclines work the front legs.

    Light exercises, like walking, can benefit your dog

    We get it. We’d love nothing more than to have our pooches share in our active outdoor adventures, and it can be so tempting to push them, just as like how we push ourselves. They can always tag along and enjoy scenery and activities, but it’s best to not push too hard for the sake of your dog’s comfort and quality of life.

    Hydrotherapy

    If you have a swimming pool, hydrotherapy would be an excellent and fun way to exercise. The buoyancy of water makes your dog lighter, reducing the pressure on your dog’s hip joints. This would allow your dog to exercise more freely and with less pain. As the rear muscles tone and strengthen, they can regain some of their mobility.

    Warmth

    Dogs can feel cold just like people, so making sure your dog has a sweater or a warm blanket at night would help ease the pain of those joints.

    Hydrotherapy is a good way to treat hip dysplasia

    Supplements for Dogs with Hip Dysplasia

    As we’ve mentioned before, feeding a healthy, well-balanced diet is key for your dog’s overall health. However, if your dog has hip dysplasia, there are supplements that can improve her quality of life. Proper diet and exercise are most important, but a little extra help can go a long way.

    • Just like with people, glucosamine helps lubricate and cushion joints, and this is especially beneficial for those suffering from hip dysplasia.
    • Commonly paired up with glucosamine, chondroitin can help with hip dysplasia by helping the production of newer cells and aiding in strengthening cartilage of the joints.
    • Turmeric can also significantly reduce swelling to ease their discomfort and increase mobility.

    Our Active Chews Hip & Joint Treats for Dogs were created to help our canine friends who are suffering from joint issues including hip dysplasia and arthritis, so they could lead healthy, active lives. Out treats include both glucosamine and chondroitin that cushion and lubricates your dog’s joints, thereby reducing swelling and pain from hip dysplasia. We use human-grade ingredients with no harmful side effects, and a no-heat, no-cook process to retain maximum potency!

    Your Dog Can Still be Active and Happy

    Remember that canine hip dysplasia is an inherited condition, so there is no product that could completely prevent it. It’s also a chronic condition, so surgery is not a 100% guarantee. It’s a condition that you and your pal need to live with.

    With so many ways to treat hip dysplasia in dogs, we’re fortunate to be living in modern times. We have instant access to nutritional information, exercise ideas, supplements and advancing medical technology, your furry BFF can still be active alongside you and your family. Just be sure to check in with her during activities, and take things easier when she shows signs of discomfort.

    Even with hip dysplasia, your dog can still be active and happy

    Sources:

    American College of Veterinary Surgeons, Canine Hip Dysplasia

    Anne Burke (2017, May 31) American Kennel Club Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

    Limited Time Offer

    Try Active Chews Hip & Joint Treats and Save 15%

    We want to help your FBFF (that’s Furry BFF, if you were wondering) get back to his or her happy, active, joint-pain-free self, so that you can get back to enjoying your own active life. So we’re offering an exclusive discount and a 100% money-back guarantee!

    Use code ACTIVEJOINT15 at checkout to get your discount!

    Top Ways to Get Your Dog to Eat That (Health) Treat!

    Top Ways to Get Your Dog to Eat That (Health) Treat!

    Ever hand your dog a healthy treat but he wants nothing to do with it? You tease. You negotiate. You beg. You scold. But no matter what, he won’t budge. Thinking you’re clever, you may have tried hiding it in his food. But after his meal, you found that one morsel that’s different from all the rest of the crumbs, pristine and in very uneaten condition.

    “Come on, you eat Everything,” you plead. “If you don’t eat this, then you’re not camping with us!” Of course, he knows you’re bluffing. Today he wins the battle, but not the war. You’re patient and time is on your side (or so you tell yourself).

    We have a confession to make … only 98% of dogs love the taste of our Active Chews. But we know that our formula can help 100% of dogs who need it and we tattooed “no dog left behind” on our intern last summer. We’ve put together a list of ways to get even the most finicky eater dosed up on the healthy treats they need.

    6 Tricks to Get Your Dog to Eat Health Supplements

    1. The Jaws

    With your non-dominant hand, grab the upper jaw with on hand to stabilize his head. With your other hand, open his mouth and place the treat as far back of the tongue as possible without gagging. Then rub the bottom of his chin and neck: this helps him swallow.

    If he’s sticking his tongue out or licking his lips, it means he swallowed!

    2. The Hot-Dog

    You don’t have to have a schnauzer to try this one, just a food that you know he loves, such as a piece of hotdog, peanut butter, or cream cheese (this is actually very effective because dogs can’t smell through cream cheese… and it coats the stomach smoothly). Hide the healthy treat inside the food and your dog will very likely just eat it up. Don’t feel too bad about giving him human food, but try to use healthier or leaner options.

    Also, it’s OK to cook the food, but don’t cook the health treat itself, because cooking kills much of the supplement’s potency. (It’s why we don’t cook Active Chews health treats).

    If you insist on not feeding your dog human food, you can try pill pockets. These are really meant for medicine but can work for supplements just as well. Just note that these aren’t very cost effective.

    If you’re concerned about the calories, it shouldn’t be a big deal since food amounts are small. And since your dog is an energetic, active dog, he’d be burning up those extra calories anyway!

    3. The Crush and Grind

    No, this isn’t about reliving your junior prom, it’s a way to sneak extra nutrition into your pup’s diet. Take the health treat and crush it into little pieces, or grind it up into an almost powder consistency. Sprinkle it all over your dog’s food. He’ll have no choice but to eat up all the nutrition you know he needs.

    4. The Stealthy Smoothie

    Smoothies seem to be on everyone’s lips these days (quite literally) and they don’t have to be enjoyed by just us humans. Many things we put in our smoothies can be enjoyed by our dogs as well! Here’s one recipe to try: Banana-Carrot-Peanut Butter+Health Treat Smoothie:

    What you’ll need:

    • 1 peeled banana (sliced)
    • 1 cup of carrots (chopped)
    • 2 – 3 tablespoons of peanut butter
    • 1 cup of water or chicken stock
    • The health treat

    Using a blender, blend it all up until you get a smooth, creamy texture. And voila! Your dog will be slurping it up all those nutrients like there’s no tomorrow.

    5. The Drop and Ignore

    Leave the healthy treat on the floor and pretend to not know about. Act as if you have no stake in him eating it whatsoever, that you couldn’t care less. Maybe he needs some privacy before eventually giving in to his curiosity. When you’re not in the room, his natural dog instinct should take over and get him to inspect it some more. His dog-logic would deduce that the only real solution is to just gobble it up. Reverse psychology can work on dogs too!

    6. The Praise

    If he actually does eat that supplement for the first time, train him so that the supplement is now a part his life. Just as you trained him to sit, heel, and do his business, eating that healthy treat is just another thing you have to train him for.

    So once he eats that treat, make it a celebration! Do the “good boy” voice, clap your hands, hug, kiss, or do whatever dance that signals to him that you’re proud of him. Act as if this was the greatest thing he’s ever done.

    Your dog will eventually make the association between the healthy treat and human praise. Just like how you now appreciate broccoli as an adult, he’ll know that the healthy treat is good for him. He’ll learn that the initial not-so-yummy taste is a very small price to pay for him to see you so pleased and happy.

    Patience is a Virtue

    Remember, you’re training your dog with a new habit, so It’s important to keep the big picture in mind. It’s OK to get frustrated when he refuses to take his supplement. But don’t give up. Like many other worthwhile endeavors, it could take time and experimentation to get it right. Eventually, your dog will learn to eat healthy treats willingly without the “tricks.” You just have to be patient, consistent, and loving.

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