Thu 7th March, 2013
Some dogs will eat anything, whether it’s good for them or not, they’ll wolf down everything from the finest pet food, to your leftover meals, with never an ill effect, however many dogs really suffer with their diet, having a frequent upset stomach that can make them very miserable. If you feed them lots of rich treats and human food, this may be too rich their stomachs and could be causing the problems with their digestive system, however if you cut out all the treats and human food and find your dog still has digestive issues then it could be that your dog has an intolerance to some additives in your dog food. It’s not uncommon. Many pet foods, especially the cheaper ones, have various additives that your dog could be allergic to. They could even have an intolerance to a certain type of meat in the food.
The first thing to do is to change the flavour and see if that makes a difference. If your dog simply has a problem with beef for example, then changing to a chicken flavour dog food could be all it takes. If this doesn’t have an impact, then the next step would definitely be to change over to a hypoallergenic dog food. This type of food is specially formulated to be free from unnecessary additives such as colours and artificial flavourings, all things that your dog could have a bad reaction to. Pick a good quality hypoallergenic food and your dog will still find it just as tasty as their old food, if not more so as more natural ingredients will have been used to make it.
It’s wise to change over to a new food gradually though. You may want to change quickly to alleviate your dogs’ suffering if you suspect the food is the issue, but don’t do it, you’ll do more harm than good. A dogs’ stomach doesn’t take change well and you can cause further upset if you rapidly change their food. Instead introduce the new food gradually, adding just a handful of the new food to start with and gradually increasing the ratio of new food to old over a few weeks. This gives you dogs’ stomach time to adjust to the new food and will make the change less stressful for him.
Hopefully on the new diet you’ll see an improvement in your dogs’ digestive health. You should also see some improvements in his behaviour too. If your dog has previously been lethargic, or hyperactive, this may not just be his temperament, it could due to the additives in his food.
If you don’t see any difference after a few weeks on a hypoallergenic diet then it’s a good idea to take your dog to the vets to get him checked over as there could be an underlying health issue that is causing your dog to have an upset stomach.