While you may not think of your beloved pet developing digestive issues, the reality is animals are just as likely as humans to develop gastrointestinal upset. In fact, canine gastroenteritis is one of the most alarming forms of disease to which dogs are predisposed. However, you can typically treat the condition safely under veterinarian’s care with additional home supports. Fasting and dietary changes as well as specific nutritional supplements like canned pumpkin are a few of the most effective treatment options for dog gastroenteritis.
What Is Canine Gastroenteritis?
Technically, gastroenteritis is defined as inflammation of the stomach and small intestines, but when it comes down to it, the term is often used to describe a variety of intestinal issues that create for a rather unhealthy pet (and often an unhappy pet owner).
One of the most characteristic symptoms of the condition is what is sometimes called “raspberry jam diarrhea.” The feces actually appears somewhat the same consistency and color as raspberry jam – the red color being blood indicating intestinal inflammation. Additionally, your pet may exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, decreased appetite, and lethargy.
What Are the Best Ways to Treat Dog Gastroenteritis?
Dog gastroenteritis is typically one of those conditions that can be largely redirected or managed if it is caught early enough, so knowing your pet’s normal habits and affect is important to help you detect abnormalities. In any case, though, a veterinarian can help you determine the diagnosis and severity of your pet’s condition and suggest treatment options. In most cases, gastroenteritis can be treated at home with remedies such as fasting, dietary changes, and nutritional supplements.
One of the initial steps involves putting your pet on a fasting diet to allow the gut to calm and to prevent any additional toxic materials from entering. For a period of several hours to 1 day, allow your pet only small, frequent amounts of water.
2. Dietary Changes
Acidic-load foods are often another culprit of the disease. With that, you may want to change your pet’s diet at least for a period of time after which you can reintroduce other foods. Because protein causes a raise in acidity in the body, feed your pet a diet high in rich, whole grains to help combat the condition.
Pumpkin is a great nutritional support for gastroenteritis. This food is rich in fiber, so it helps your dog feel full without irritating the digestive system. It can also help with constipation. Begin by feeding your dog 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree 2 times a day.
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is another option that is effective for relieving gastro distress. The oil helps lubricate the colon and can also relieve constipation. One teaspoon of coconut oil twice a day is typically sufficient.
You may also want to consider treating your pet with probiotics. Your vet can recommend a good brand supplement, or some pet owners have even had success using low fat, active culture yogurt with no artificial sweeteners or colors in a dose of 1-2 teaspoons twice a day.
Keep reading to learn more about treating dog gastroenteritis from our Earth Clinic readers!