Three things you should know about your dog’s digestion? Really?
From the viewpoint of a dog owner of 40 plus years, as well as a researcher and observer, I’m gonna tell you right now that most dogs will eat just about ANYTHING. Take, for instance, my brother-in-law’s Rottweiler, Bear. Bear ate powdered laundry detergent, corn cobs, the pine bunk bed my BIL slept on in our basement.
Fortunately, not all dogs have Bear’s appetite. It gets expensive, replacing furniture.
So what do you need to know about a dog’s digestion in order to raise a happy, healthy dog? There are many views on what’s good, from an all meat diet, to lots and lots of veggies for your pooch, but here are three things you want to keep track of:
1. Digestion happens in the mouth first, just like for humans. Think about our own process – we chew the food with our teeth and strong jaws. Saliva in the mouth starts breaking the food down into digestible bits, coating it with slime. Okay – I was hungry, but now I’m not. Ew. The point is, your dog needs strong, healthy teeth to tear fresh food. Good treats, all natural treats, will help keep their teeth happy, in turn keeping their tummies happy. Dogs don’t really chew like we do, but large pieces of food do need to be ripped apart by strong teeth. And keep fresh water available at all times, to make that saliva possible.
2. Dogs throw up. It’s a fact of dog life. From what I’ve been able to dig up, they do this for a variety of reasons. First, like Bear the Rottweiler, they eat things they shouldn’t and their bodies say, “No, no, bad dog! Get that out!” And up it comes. My dogs get a little slap happy when they’re in the back yard and are surrounded by duck and chicken poop, not to mention the cat’s “tootsie rolls” in the sandbox. They usually give themselves away, since everything looks pretty much the same coming back up.
Second, they eat too much of something good all at once. Again with the talking dog stomach. Give your dog smaller portions more frequently. Same thing here with the visual – my dogs meals come back looking exactly like kibble when they’ve consumed way too much too quickly.
The two issues above typically are not life threatening. They’re just normal dog behavior. However, should your dog throw up repeatedly, as well as show other symptoms of illness, that’s not normal dog behavior. Please make sure your pup is getting fresh water. Make an appointment with the veterinarian if this goes on more than a day.
3. Diarrhea and/or constipation – y’know, I never really thought I’d write a blog post about either of these two things, much less in the same post. I’m not easily grossed out, but potty talk turns my stomach. Nonetheless, both diarrhea and constipation can be, at least, bothersome to man’s best friend; at worst, life threatening.
Like humans, if your dog has the runs, give them immediate access to their potty. Meaning, hang out near the back door so it’s not all over your floors. Also, make sure your dog stays well hydrated. As with people, no food for 12 to 24 hours, in case food was the culprit.
When to take your dog to the vet? If the diarrhea lasts more than 24 hours, or if there’s blood in the stool. Seriously. Don’t mess around with this.
As for constipation, think about what works for us people. Walking. Get the body moving to get the bowels moving. Plenty of water to flush things through. Extra potty breaks. Unlike people, DO NOT give them human OTC remedies. Not. Ever. M’kay?
Of course, Jones Natural Chews would like you to buy all natural treats that are made in the USA, ones that are good for your pup and his sensitive tummy. Y’know, since healthy treats are what we do best.
Until I write again …