by Melody Keilig
When your dog has the occasional upset stomach, you do everything you can to make them feel better. But what happens when these stomachaches become more common? How can you help your dog’s tummy return to normal when nothing else seems to work?
It’s important to find the cause of your dog’s tummy problems because it affects their health, mood, and behavior. So, here’s how to identify stomach issues in your dog and how to help their digestive system balance out.
Keep Track of Your Dog’s Bowel Movements
Digestive issues in dogs can appear unexpectedly, so keep track of how often your dog defecates. You can keep a mental note or write it down, as long as you notice if your dog is going more often than usual (or hardly going).
Ask your veterinarian what your dog’s stool should look like so you can know what to look for when figuring out what’s up with your dog’s digestion.
Signs of Tummy Troubles in Dogs
To know what’s going on with your dog’s digestive system, look for these more noticeable signs of tummy troubles:
- Diarrhea: Loose, watery stools caused by stress, eating spoiled food, food allergies, internal parasites, infections, or organ issues. More commonly, diarrhea is due to indigestion.
- Small intestinal malabsorption: A type of digestive issue in dogs when their food is not properly digested.
- Colitis: An inflammation of the membrane lining in the colon where the large intestine is also inflamed. Dogs with colitis can experience painful stools or diarrhea.
- Acute gastroenteritis: Inflammation of the stomach or intestines caused by a dog eating high-fat food or spoiled food. It can also be caused by dogs eating something poisonous, food allergies, internal parasites, or stress.
- Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis: Similar to acute gastroenteritis, but results in severe vomiting, bloody stools, or bloody diarrhea. This condition is usually temporary but can be fatal if left untreated. It can be caused by food allergies, pancreatitis, or autoimmune illnesses.
- Pancreatitis: An infection or inflammation of the pancreas that may be caused by dogs eating high-fat food, infections, disease, or trauma to the pancreas.
- Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency: A condition that occurs when a dog’s pancreas fails to produce enough digestive enzymes. Major symptoms include drastic weight loss, increased appetite, and large soft stools.
How Does The Gut Affect Mental Health?
Your dog’s mental health and behavior are also affected by tummy troubles, so if they act differently, be sure you can catch the change. Medical scientists have used the term “gut-brain axis” in canine gut health.
That’s because the latest research shows that the gut may be the “primary brain” in animals and humans. This suggestion is because gut health and microbes influence us mentally, including our behavior. Gut health is also linked to aggression and anxiety, so tummy troubles can result in more than just an upset stomach.
The bacteria in the gut make chemicals that communicate with the brain through nerves and hormones, which is the gut-brain axis. As a result, many chemicals and hormones like serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) are produced in the gut.
But what are these chemicals and hormones? And how do they affect gut health?
Serotonin is referred to as the “happy chemical” because it affects mood and anxiety. It contributes to your (and your dog’s) emotional well-being, so having this chemical produced in the gut is essential for overall mental health.
Dopamine affects motor function and decision-making, so it’s vital for proper brain function.
GABA regulates stress, anxiety, and sleep patterns. It’s modulated by bacteria in the gut microbiome. This term is used to describe the ecosystem of bacteria, fungi, and viral organisms that live within the bodies of living organisms like your dog.
What Daily Probiotic Can Do for Your Dog’s Gut Health
With Daily Probiotic, your dog's gut gets a combination of prebiotics and probiotics to support digestion, maintain gut flora, and support immune system functions. So, what do prebiotics and probiotics do for your dog's gut?
Prebiotics and probiotics work together to balance your dog's gut bacteria. The difference is that prebiotics are mostly made of bacteria and yeast, often found in fermented foods.
Probiotics are made of sugars and starches that help grow the good bacteria in your dog's gut, and then use the food that prebiotics use to create these good bacteria to regulate gut health.
Maintaining this balance and fighting off harmful bacteria improves your dog's immunity to better fight off sickness. When your dog's tummy and immunity are in check, they feel good physically and mentally!
Specifically, your dog's digestive system contains various types of bacteria called the "microbiome." These bacteria maintain the overall balance that helps your dog's immune system. When this balance is disrupted, usually caused by stress, it can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, or loss of appetite in your dog.
Or, these disruptions can be caused by exposure to viruses, pathogenic bacteria that causes sickness, medications, age, or your dog's diet. So, it's important to boost your dog's gut through a daily probiotic to avoid these issues. Ensuring that your dog eats a healthy diet will complement Daily Probiotic well.
So, if your dog is experiencing tummy troubles and behavior changes, check in with your veterinarian to ensure that your dog is not experiencing anything severe. If your dog is in the clear of any emergency digestive issue but still going through tummy and mental distress, give Daily Probiotic a try to improve these symptoms.
A healthy gut is a healthy mind, and Daily Probiotic can help your dog feel good, inside and out!