Updated: Oct 2, 2019
As a dog owner there will come a point and time where you have to deal with one (or all) of the Big 3. This is not a “This Is Us” reference, rather it is the three most common digestive issues you will likely encounter with your dog-diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting. None of these are pretty or pleasant, but certainly something that is just part of having babies and dogs. Sadly, we do not escape these even as adults!
There are many reasons that dogs may experience digestive upset. Some can be monitored and treated at home and others can be a sign of something much more serious. If there is ever a doubt or if the condition worsens over 24 hours, then take your dog to a veterinarian immediately.
The first approach in dealing with any of the Big 3 is quite common sense and that is to simply try to determine what may be causing it. Did your dog get into the garbage? Was he/she outside by themselves and ate something off the ground? Is your dog stressed over a recent storm, loud noise, or being in a new situation?
Ingestion of something (unfortunately not necessarily a food item) and stress tend to be the biggest contributors to the day-to day digestive issues in dogs. There are some general approaches we can take:
Quality dog food
Ensuring your dog is eating quality dog food is important. Some pups can be more sensitive than others and knowing your dog’s tolerance for food can be a great help. Some dogs benefit from certain specific diets such as grain free and limited ingredient food. In all cases, protein meal or grain should not be the first ingredient.
Supplementing your dog’s diet with probiotics can also be of help. You can do this on a regular basis or situationally if he/she is experiencing digestive upset.
Recognizing and reducing the stress your pup may be under is also important. Often, digestive issues may follow a day or two following the stressful event. Minimizing the time left alone, giving comforting places to sleep, keepi