Bloating in Dogs
Just like with people, gas and digestion issues can cause the occasional bloating and discomfort in dogs. Sometimes this is easily treated and remedied due to the fact that it simply originated from a less than ideal diet or treat. There are, however, times when it can become a serious and even life-threatening issue.
One of the initial problems for owners, when it comes to bloating, is that bloating is not always a clear-cut issue.
It can be very difficult to pinpoint whether or not the discomfort that your dog is experiencing due to bloating is going to pass on its own and be only a short-term thing, or if it is, in fact, a more serious issue.
For some dogs, a condition called bloat can lead to very serious and life-threatening problems.
Bloat is considered to be the second most common cause of untimely canine death.
Should your dog, in fact, have an undiagnosed bloating problem, their risk of painful and quick death is quite concerning.
Not all dogs will experience bloating throughout the course of their lives, but there are some factors that do put some dogs at higher risk than others. It is quite common for larger dogs to have more problems with gas and bloating than smaller breeds. Dogs that are underweight and likely malnourished as a result can also be more prone to bloating. Deep chested dogs also tend towards bloating.
Breeds that run the highest risk for experiencing bloating include Bloodhound, Great Dane, Afghan, Bernese Mountain Dog, German Shepherd, Great Pyrenees, Golden Retriever, Doberman, Irish Setter, Shiloh Shepherd and St Bernard. Other breeds like Kuvasz, Newfoundland, Weimaraner, Labrador Retriever, Irish Wolfhound, Rottweiler and King Shepherd are also at high risk for bloating.
The best way to minimize your chances of having to deal with bloating in a dog starts before you even purchase. As you shop around for your new companion, be sure to talk to breeders about family history.
Some dogs are genetically prone to gastrointestinal and bloating issues and a responsible and caring breeding will not breed those individuals.
Unfortunately, it is not always easy or possible to pinpoint the exact reason for your pet’s gastrointestinal issues and in these cases, you just have to treat them and try to ease their discomfort as best as you can.
As mentioned previously, consulting a vet will give you the best possible chance of giving your dog the best help possible.
In short, it can be very risky to attempt to self-diagnose your dog when you start to see signs and symptoms of bloating. In order to ensure that there is not a greater problem at hand, it is always the best option to take your dog to the vet to have them checked out.
Signs of Bloating
It is always best to have your vet’s number handy in case you begin to see signs and symptoms of any discomfort in your dog.
This is even more important in regards to bloating because an underlying problem can so easily and quickly become serious and even fatal.
Signs of bloating that may present themselves are varied. Abnormal behavior can be an indicator that something is wrong.
If your dog seems to suddenly take a spell of low mood or depression or show signs of anxiety like pacing excessively, you will probably want to take note and begin to look for other signs.
Check their stomach to see if it seems fuller and harder than usual. This is often a sign of bloating. A very serious indicator is continuous attempts to vomit with only a little or no success at all.
This could be a sign of a potentially fatal issue and should never be ignored or overlooked. If your dog is experiencing this, take them in for an emergency vet visit immediately.
Gas X for Bloating
Although Gas X, which also goes by the name of Simethicone, originally formulated for human use, it is, in fact, safe to give to your dog to help ease the discomfort of bloating related to gas.
It can provide quick relief in common scenarios in which there is not a deeper and more serious underlying problem.
Gas X should not, however, be viewed as a long-term solution.
Although it is often used for temporary relief from gas in dogs, if the symptoms persist or seem abnormal in any way, it is always best to consult with your veterinary immediate for medical advice.
Consulting with your vet is always the best way to best pinpoint what might be affecting your dog and rule out inapplicable remedies so that your dog can be most accurately diagnosed.
Proper diagnosis is very important when it comes to serious and life-threatening issues such as bloat in dogs.
Gas X is not likely to harm your dog if you give it to them in the proper dosage. Again, if you are unsure what dosage to use, you can ask your vet what they would recommend.
Be aware, however, that Gas X is not guaranteed to work and it might provide no effective relief at all for your dog.
If your dog has been undiagnosed or improperly diagnosed and their discomfort is, in fact, due to a more serious issue, then Gas X might prove to be altogether ineffective and you could be wasting precious time and putting your dog’s life in danger.
Alternatives and Prevention
Remember that some dogs are just going to be naturally prone towards more gastrointestinal issue than other either due to breed or genetics.
In these cases, sometimes you just have to do your best to properly diagnose and treat your dog to provide them with as much relief from discomfort as possible and to minimize the chances of life-threatening scenarios.
However, for many dogs that do not have serious underlying issues, one of the most effective ways to prevent bloating and gas is through proper diet.
The ideal diet for dogs is one comprised of mostly meats. Grains are a common culprit when it comes to gastrointestinal issues.
Unfortunately, many of the lower quality and cheaper dog foods use grains as fillers to get away with using less meat.
Although these foods and products might seem great for your pocketbook initially, in the long run, you may find that they cause more problems and expense than if you had just invested in a higher quality and healthier dog food in the first place.
Not to mention the misery and discomfort that will be experienced on the part of your dog.
Meat should be the very first ingredient.
In addition to high-quality foods, the way in which you feed your dog can prove to be important when it comes to minimizing the chances of bloating and gas. Rather than feed them one large meal each day, break the portions down into smaller sizes and feed them several smaller meals throughout the course of the day. This can help aid in proper digestion.
Also, don’t allow your pup to drink much water right before or following a meal and restrict exercise after a meal is consumed for at least a few hours to allow for increased quality of digestion.
Should your pet need a remedy that is a more long-term solution, NaturVet No Toot is a recommended product for helping to relieve gas issues. This product is free of grain fillers and comes in a soft palatable chew form with an attraction that is easy and pleasant for your dog to consume.