Your pet needs great tasting, nutritious food, plenty of exercise, regular check-ups at the vet and a healthy dose of TLC from you. Unfortunately, sometimes pets develop health issues beyond your control—issues that can lead to serious, and even life-threatening conditions.
If you notice a change in your pet’s behavior or eating habits—it’s always a good idea to take a trip to the vet instead of attempting to diagnose or treat it on your own. Your vet will be able to provide the best treatment plan, diet and lifestyle changes it may need.
Check with your vet to see if one of Dave’s specially crafted recipes will help to improve your pet’s health issue. In the meantime, we invite you to refer to our Pet Health Solution Center to learn more about Dave’s Pet Food, and which recipes might be right for your pet. From weight issues to allergies, diabetes to digestion issues—Dave’s Pet food may be able to ease digestion, lower carbohydrate consumption and comply with the dietary needs the vet recommends.
Read more about common health issues
and treatment options for your pets:
More than 50% of dogs are overweight, according to a study conducted in 2011. Dogs are considered overweight if they weigh 15% more than their ideal weight and obese if they weigh 30% above the recommended figure.
Excess weight can place a strain on a dog’s body and increases its risk for different diseases. In some cases, the obesity exacerbates a dog’s existing medical conditions. On top of that, being overweight or obese can make daily activities challenging and uncomfortable for your dog.
It’s important to recognize if your pet carries excess pounds, so that you can resolve the problem through a proper weight loss plan. If you suspect that your dog is overweight or obese, you can refer to a dog weight calculator to check. Your dog’s condition is evident in its rib coverage; you should be able to feel your dog’s ribs, and he or she should have a waist when viewed from above. Otherwise, your dog might be overweight or obese.
Reason Behind the Extra Pounds
Obesity among dogs develops in much the same way as with their human counterparts, which is by eating too much and exercising too little. You might be giving your dog’s snacks and table scraps that contribute to their weight gain.
Genetics can also play a part in gaining extra pounds. A 2007 study published in the Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics says that some breeds are more predisposed to obesity than others. These include:
Cavalier King Charles and Cocker Spaniels
Conversely, some breeds are less likely to carry excess weight. A 2006 study published in the journal Waltham Focus notes that greyhounds and various sheep-herding breeds are somewhat resistant to obesity.
Age also affects the development of overweightness or obesity. As dogs age, their lean body mass and total energy needs decline. Their food intake, however, rarely decreases. This would explain the higher prevalence of obesity among older dogs.
How Obesity and Being Overweight can Affect Your Dog
Obesity and being overweight can bring discomfort to your dog. Daily activities become challenging, and it may even become unwilling to exercise. Excess weight can also lead to health issues, such as:
Heart Disease – Overweight and obese dogs have a higher risk for heart diseases because their hearts have to work harder. They’re also at a higher risk for hypertension, which develops in 23% to 45% of obese dogs, according to a 2010 study published in the journal Preventative Veterinary Medicine, as well as the 2007 Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics Research.
Diabetes – Overweight and obese dogs can develop insulin resistance, similar to the metabolic syndrome of people. This increases their risk for diabetes.
Orthopedic Diseases – Excess weight strains dogs’ joints and cartilage. This can reduce mobility and cause orthopedic disorders, such as osteoarthritis, osteochondrosis, and osteochondritis, to develop early.
Respiratory Diseases – Obesity is a risk factor for tracheal collapse in small-breed dogs. It can also exacerbate asthma, laryngeal paralysis (a condition where the muscles in the airway don’t function properly), and brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome (a condition where airway abnormalities occur and prevent proper breathing).
Additionally, excess fat can cut off years from a dog’s life. Lean dogs usually outlive their heavier counterparts by 6-12 months. Additionally, a 2005 study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association found that Labrador retrievers who were fed according to a diet lived 1.8 years longer than retrievers who ate without restraint.
Pay Attention to Your Dog’s Weight
With your dog’s health at stake, it’s important to watch its weight. It may be difficult to resist the urge to share random treats with your dog, but following a healthy meal and exercise plan will keep your dog energetic and give him or her a long and healthy life.
If you suspect that your dog is overweight or obese, consult your vet for a diet and weight loss plan. Here are other ways that can keep your dog’s weight in check.
As in humans, exercise burns off your dog’s excess calories and keeps obesity at bay. The amount of exercise your dog needs depends on its age, breed, and weight. As a rule of thumb, your dog should spend between 30 minutes to two hours on physical activity every day.
Breeds in the hunting, working, or herding groups (such as Labrador retrievers, hounds, and shepherds) usually need more extensive and longer exercises. Meanwhile, short-nosed breeds like bulldogs and dogs in the toy group, like chihuahuas and shih tzus, don’t need a lot of daily exercise — a nice, long walk is enough.
When it comes to exercising, you don’t have to take your dog on long hikes or tomarathons. Regular walking and running will do. Give your pet a chance to run and play in an off-leash environment. Create a stimulating environment indoors, as well, so your dog will move more often.
If your dog is overweight or obese, your vet would recommend increased physical activity to reduce its weight.
Feed Your Dog the Proper Food
It’s important for pet parents to monitor their dog’s food intake to make sure they are not overeating. Ask your vet about the proper amount of food you should feed your dog to shed the extra pounds. Establish a fixed mealtime to avoid overfeeding your dog.
Additionally, there are certain foods you can feed your pet to help them get back to a healthy weight. Our 95% Premium Meats canned food, for instance, is like the Atkins Diet for your dog.
Contains high-quality protein meats and ULTRA low carbs
Is Diabetes-friendly (it contains virtually no carbs), so blood sugar levels would unlikely spike
Can be combined with less dry food. Add our 95% Premium Meats to their diet without sacrificing quality or balanced nutrition
A gradual transition to new food will avoid stomach issues, so don’t change your dog’s dishes all at once. Instead, mix the new food with your dog’s old food. Throughout a week, gradually decrease the proportion of old food while increasing the proportion of new food. By the seventh day, your dog should consume all new food and none of the old one.
It’s tempting to give treats to your dog, especially if it behaves well. These treats, however, often go unmonitored and often contribute to a dog’s obesity. Just like the sweet treats we give to children; we have to keep pet snacks in check.
So control the urge to give them food, especially table scraps, and stick to your pet’s mealtime. Instead of snacks, use toys like clickers and balls for positive reinforcement. Use praise and affection to motivate your dog. If you really think that your dog deserves a treat, give him or her healthy snacks.
Additionally, don’t leave food out and available to your dog around the clock. This could encourage your dog to overeat out of boredom.
Maintain a Proper Weight
Once your dog has achieved the ideal weight, it’s crucial to maintain it. Drastic weight loss or gain isn’t healthy for your dog, so you’ll want to manage it and help it maintain an active lifestyle. Ask your vet if you should adjust your dog’s food portions, feeding time, and exercise routine, once losing weight is no longer an issue.
Remember that obesity and being overweight can adversely affect your dog’s health, life expectancy, and overall quality of life. If you think your dog carries extra weight, consult your vet immediately for a weight loss plan.
Your dog will enjoy a long and happy life if you help him lead an active lifestyle and provide nutritious food.
Try Dave’s premium canned food for your pets today.
Our 95% Premium Meats canned food is like the Atkins Diet for your dog. It contains high quality protein meats and ULTRA low carbs.
With Dave’s canned food, you can feed your dog less dry food and add our 95% Premium Meats to their diet without sacrificing quality or balanced nutrition. This option is also Diabetes-friendly as it contains virtually no carbs, thus blood sugar levels shouldn’t spike.
Got a picky eater on your hands? No problem! The great thing about Dave’s Pet Food is that it is wholesome and nutritious—and it tastes great too. Your pet is an important part of your family, so we understand that you want to feed them the very best.
Our line of Dave’s Delicate Dinners canned dog food contains no wheat or gluten—but is packed with lots of real meat and healthy vegetables to ensure that your pet is getting the nutrition they need without sacrificing taste.
Dogs explore the world through their mouths. When curiosity strikes, they aren’t afraid to chew on unfamiliar objects. While some dogs have a gut of steel and can eat anything without becoming ill, others aren’t so lucky.
As with humans, some dogs are sensitive to certain types of dog food. In some cases, canine stomachs can’t digest certain proteins or too much fat. There are dogs, too, that develop stomach problems because their diet doesn’t contain enough fiber. Nutrient deficiency can also trigger a sensitive stomach.
Whatever the trigger, sensitive stomachs cause complications like vomiting and diarrhea. They could put your dog’s health in danger. As a pet parent, you need to provide him or her with nutritious food that doesn’t contain anything that could set off a sensitive stomach.
What Caused Your Dog’s Sensitive Stomach?
If your dog has a sensitive stomach, chances are he or she was born with it. Most of the causes of this condition are congenital, such as breed and age. Breeds like the Scottish Terrier and the Yorkie, for instance, are more likely to have a sensitive stomach. Senior dogs and puppies are also more prone to it. Your dog could also develop a sensitive stomach if it faced a major transition in life or acquired a disorder that affected the digestive tract.
Signs that Your Dog Has a Sensitive Stomach
Despite myriad causes for the condition, the symptoms are strikingly similar across all breeds and ages:
Vomiting – When your dog vomits, its body is expelling something that shouldn’t be in its system. Occasional vomiting is not a cause for concern. Frequent bouts, however, require veterinary care because it can be a sign your dog’s stomach is sensitive to a certain food.
Diarrhea – Frequent bowel movement and loose, watery stool are ways the body clears the digestive tract of substances that shouldn’t be there. Diarrhea can be a sign your dog’s stomach can’t tolerate certain food.
Passing Gas – It’s normal for dogs to pass gas because they swallow air when they chew. The bacteria in their guts also produce gas. An excess of gas means the dog can’t digest food properly, causing excessive fermentation in the colon.
Eating Grass – Dogs tend to eat grass when their stomachs are upset. In some cases, grass blades trigger the stomach lining and cause your dog to vomit.
Skipping Meals – A sensitive stomach could make your dog lose its appetite.
Diagnosing a Sensitive Stomach
It’s tricky for pet owners to assess their dogs’ condition by themselves. Vomiting, diarrhea and frequent flatulence could also be signs of other digestive system disorders like food allergies. Unlike sensitive stomachs that can’t process dog food, allergies involve the immune system’s over-response to a benign object.
The symptoms could also signal something more serious, like parasites, bacterial or fungal infections, a bowel disease, stomach ulcers, or pancreatitis. A check-up at the vet clinic can rule out these conditions. Vets perform a health history, physical, and fecal examination to confirm that the symptoms stem from a sensitive stomach. Don’t worry; sensitive stomachs are usually not serious. In most cases, changing your pet dog’s diet easily solves the problem.
Helping Your Dog Cope with a Sensitive Stomach
Once the vet confirms that your dog has a sensitive stomach, you have to be cautious about what you feed your dog, including snacks and treats. Here’s how you can help your dog cope with sensitive stomach:
Feed Your Dog the Right Type of Food
A simple and bland diet doesn’t trigger a sensitive stomach. So, feed your dog with a meal of boiled rice and chicken — forego the seasoning. Ask your vet if you could feed your dog canned pumpkin, too. Your dog’s body absorbs pumpkin slowly, so it eases troubled digestion. Yogurt is also recommended because it replenishes the beneficial gut bacteria lost through diarrhea. Additionally, ask your vet if you can give your dog oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and bananas. If your dog is still vomiting, opt for wet dog food for sensitive stomachs to prevent dehydration.
Choose high-quality canned food because high-grade ingredients are easier to digest. Dave’s Pet Food offers a selection that could work for your dog. Our dog food has ingredients that are on the bland side to cater to your dog’s sensitive stomach. Check whether or not your dog food contains wheat or gluten.
Our chicken and rice recipes can ease your dog’s upset stomach. Remember: don’t switch out all your dog’s food at once, though. A gradual transition to the new diet would prevent stomach further problems. The first meal should comprise 80% of the old food and 20% of the new one. Gradually increase the portions of the new food while decreasing the old one. After ten days, your dog should be able to handle eating 100% new food.
Limit Treats and Snacks
Each meal already provides your dog with the essential nutrients to fuel daily activities. So, you have to restrict your dog’s diet to the healthy meals you serve every feeding time. Remove extra food items from your dog’s diet, such as table scraps and treats. These aren’t the healthiest food options for your dog, especially if he or she has a sensitive stomach.
If you think your dog really deserves a treat, give him or her just one kind of snack — and make sure it’s easily digestible and doesn’t contain any food triggers. Better yet, use canned dog food for sensitive stomachs as treats.
Lastly, monitor your dog so it won’t go sneaking into the trash or litter box. Remember that dogs love to put things into their mouths. Because of a sensitive stomach, the substances in these areas can easily get your dog sick.
Keep Your Dog Hydrated
A dog that has diarrhea quickly loses water and can become dehydrated in a matter of hours. Here are two ways to check if your dog needs hydration:
Check the gums. If they’re not coated with a shiny, wet film, then your dog is dehydrated.
Pinch the skin behind the neck, then release it. If the skin stays in a pinched position, your dog is likely dehydrated.
Your dog needs plenty of water AND it also needs to replenish all the electrolytes and vitamins its has lost through the watery stool. Ask your vet for a prescription that would give your dog the electrolytes he or she needs.
Dogs with a sensitive stomach require high-quality dog food, along with time and patience from you. Like their human counterparts, there’s no blanket cure for all dogs with this condition. You have to find the diet that wouldn’t trigger symptoms and, at the same time, give your dog all the essential nutrients. Once you’ve found what works for your dog, he or she can enjoy happy days again, free of that uncomfortable feeling at the pit of the stomach.
If your dog has a sensitive stomach, try our Dave’s premium dog food today.