Good dog food choices for poor digestion
We should start this blog with a quick proviso: if your dog is showing any signs of poor digestion, you should consult with a veterinarian. Your vet will want to run tests to determine the cause, and make certain it is not indicative of a larger problem. They may want to make special recommendations regarding your dog’s diet or exercise which are not covered in this article.
That being said, in many cases, your veterinarian may recommend that you change your dog’s food to a “digestion friendly” alternative. If that’s the case, there are a few different varieties of foods that will be easier for your buddy to digest; we’ll guide you through your choices.
What to look for
First things first: How do you know if your dog is suffering from poor digestion? Look for these tell-tale signs:
- Excessive gas
- Lack of appetite
- Sudden weight loss
- Extreme weight gain
- Stomach tenderness
If you have any concern for your dog's heath at all, regardless of symptoms, you should of course consult with your vet.
What are the causes?
What causes poor digestion in dogs? It can be caused by any number of factors, from advanced age to anxiety to food allergies or other dietary intolerances. Some breeds are simply predisposed to having a more sensitive digestive system.
Types of digestive friendly dog food
Lastly, if indeed your veterinarian has recommended switching to a “digestive friendly” dog food, then you have a few options available: Limited ingredient dog foods, grain free dog foods, or foods that are specifically made for sensitive stomachs, sometimes called “easy to digest” dog foods.
Limited ingredient dog foods use far less ingredients than your average dog food, and usually offer game meat or vegetable proteins which can be easier for dogs with an intolerance to livestock meat to digest. Some great brands offering limited ingredient dog foods include:
Grain free dog foods are perfect for dogs that have an intolerance for cereal grains. In fact, many dogs have issues with processing starches and fillers. Many of the grain free dog foods on sale are also higher in fiber. Some great brands offering grain free dog foods include:
Easy to digest dog foods - for dogs with sensitive stomachs - have been specially formulated to help with proper digestions. This type of dog food may help dogs with generally poor digestion or even severe digestive issues. Again, get the advice of a veterinarian. Some great brands offering easy to digest (or sensitive stomach) dog foods include:
Always check with your vet
Every dog's situation is different, so depending on the breed and age of your dog, and your dog's current need for (or need to reduce) proteins, fats, calcium, or other essentials, your veterinarian may have specific suggestions on which food to consider.
Making the transition
It’s important to remember to not switch out your buddy’s food too quickly. Each week, switch out one quarter of their food serving until you eventually have switched out their food completely. Keep a look out for any negative changes in their appetite, behavior, or general health. You'll want to keep your veterinarian informed about the results. Hopefully, your dog’s tummy will soon be healthy, and your buddy will be much happier.