Should You Opt-in for Gastrointestinal Dog Food? The Factors to Know and Consider
Similar to humans, even dogs suffer from severe digestive issues that can lead to unpleasant symptoms, discomfort, and other wide-reaching health issues.
Hence, diet is essential to managing digestive sensitivities and keeping a very healthy digestive system. If the dog doesn’t digest food easily and correctly, it can lead to several health issues.
The digestive system of a dog
With every stage their digestive system, a dog absorbs and digests the nutrients from the food. A crucial organ that gets all this done is the small intestine with a big surface space with various kinds of cells for making nutrient absorption at the earliest.
The dog absorbs vitamins, fats, minerals, and carbohydrates in the small intestine. It can then accomplish the digestion process and the protein absorption that starts right in the stomach.
Amidst all these organs, the microflora, which is called the “beneficial” bacteria, will contribute to the correct functioning of the digestive system.
Hence, the bacteria already in the gastrointestinal tract gets regulated by genetics and other factors, which also comprise the diet.
And inside the small intestine, all the beneficial bacteria get accompanied by the cells acting like a secure immune response against the foreign bodies, also called the bad bacteria.
Any dog has natural tolerance of microflora. However, if they have an intolerance issue, it can result in severe gastrointestinal problems. Also, as and when the immune response cells start to react to certain things that it usually tolerated, chances that the digestive system of your dog has become intolerant, to food.
The role diet plays in digestion
The food that you provide your dog will impact the digestion as well as the microflora inside the gut. If the diet is varied, it can lead to pointless strain on the digestion of the dog and lead to issues.
The food should be digestible for averting all kinds of sensitivities and comprise the vital nutrients that gets absorbed easily.
An essential dietary element here is protein, that usually comes from the animal sources, like chicken and other high-end manufactured food, that can make use of proteins better and don’t have the scope for triggering digestive issues.
For instance, the wheat gluten is comfortably digestible and is a concentrated protein source.
Fiber plays an essential part in the diet of your dog; however, it should stay balanced.
It can help to regulate the movement in the big intestine and also enhance the stool quality. And it is especially helpful when your dog suffers from any digestive issues or has bad stool.
The use of fibers can assist a healthy gastrointestinal function and can enable your dog feeling completely full post the meals. The prebiotics are a kind of fiber which can assist in growing the food bacteria and make it thrive in the dog’s body.
It is an essential element of the dog food, because it offers an excellent energy source. That aside, carbohydrate is completely digestible.
Fat has an essential role to play for managing the digestive sensitivities that a dog has. The high fat diets are efficient in providing energy to your dog. They can feel energetic without eating much.
On the other end, the low-fat diets can be of help in matters of stomach sensitivity. Does your dog suffer from any digestive problem?
If yes, you have to visit a vet and they can help you to suggest a diet that will work in this condition and help them to retain a healthy digestive system.
After effects, like vomiting and diarrhea are very common in dogs. And these issues can take place rather abruptly. At times, gastrointestinal problems can get treated effectively, simply by managing the diet. It is necessary to ensure that your dog is well hydrated.
It is a reason for which you need to opt-in for gastrointestinal dog food. You should also know when to use such food and the time when you should get connected with a vet.
When a dog has diarrhea or vomiting issues, without any other severe health issues, you can get started by a video call and speak with the vet. They will ask the essential questions concerning your pet, assess the clinical signals, and review the pet’s symptoms.
They will also let you know all the suggestions on proceeding. Just in case a pet dog requires extra medical care, the vet can suggest you to get a clinic visit so that you can do a physical exam and other relevant diagnostics and thereby move ahead with the treatment.
Understanding gastrointestinal food
The GI (Gastrointestinal) diet aims to assist the intestine to start functioning normally at the earliest. All these diets are increasingly visible and it gets specially formulated for this. Today, the prescribed GI diet is available from a vet.
There is also a chance for you to make gastrointestinal food at your home.
The ready-made gastrointestinal dog food comprises very digestible ingredients that make it simpler for the intestine to absorb.
It comprises maximized fatty acids and electrolytes along with ither dietary fiber, probiotics, and prebiotics, which can promote a stable intestinal flora and intestinal mucosal function.
That aside, the diets also secure the intestine and enable them to restore the normal bowel movements.
Does your dog require to follow a gastrointestinal diet? And is it for a long time? In that situation, you must get a prescription diet suggested by the vet.
It will let you know about all the nutritional requirements that should be catered to effectively to keep your dog fit.
When should you select a gastrointestinal diet?
When you find that your furry friend is alert, bright, and is behaving correctly, several instances of diarrhea and vomiting can get assisted by offering gastrointestinal food for a stipulated time, till such time the pet returns to normal health.
But in case you aren’t certain about the general condition of your dog, it is imperative to connect with a vet.
It is because the vet will be able to decide whether it’s apt for you to use the GI dog food at home. They can also decide whether or not your dog needs extra medical care.
Making GI dog food by yourself
The process is fairly simple. A decent high-quality protein source and carbohydrates are required. Some of the apt protein sources are:
- Cooked chicken breast
The sources of carbohydrates comprise of the following:
- Cooked pasta
- Boiled white rice
You need to cool and serve all the carbohydrate choices in small sections. That aside, the liquid from the rice cooker can also get added to the food to add an extra fluid intake for the pet. You can store the cooked rice in your fridge.
It would help if you attempted to cook more than all that is required in a day for it to stay palatable and fresh for the pet.
As you start the process, go ahead and feed one-third of carbohydrates and one-third of protein to your furry friend in small meals. It is suggested that you feed close to 3 to 5 small meals evenly distributed throughout the day.
The portion size depends on the animal size and it can differ from 1-cup to almost one teaspoon. You can get in touch with a vet about the percentage of the correct GI diet for the pet. When the pet starts to recover, you can shift to bigger meals and feed it less frequently.
Once the dog or the cat returns to complete normalcy after a few days, shift them to their usual eating habit. It would help if you made this change gradually for reducing the chances of stomach upset all over again.
When must you opt-in for veterinary advice?
Here are a couple of things that you need to check out for in your dog before getting added help:
- Blood in stool or vomit.
- Minimized appetite, not drinking water or food.
- Not being able to keep down water or food.
- Vomiting many times within an hour.
- Bloated abdomen or stomach.
- Zero improvements even after opting in for GI food for about a week.
- When the dog has swallowed anything that can lead to intestinal blockage.
You can get in touch with a vet if there are any other concerns. People who have old pets, kittens, and puppies should seek faster for help, as they tend to be slightly vulnerable.
Like humans, even your pet’s health can become a tad bit worse when the treatment isn’t given in the correct time.
When your pet has been witnessing recurring or chronic issues along with diarrhea or vomiting, it is a smart choice to get connected to a vet, despite they appearing perfect otherwise.
Lastly, it is necessary to realize that not all dogs will face gastrointestinal issues the same way. For some, the symptoms might linger long, and they can require ongoing treatment.
Therefore, getting a medical consultation is essential to treat your dog back to normalcy.
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