Dog Health Insurance 101
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We have all done it…over-indulged during the holidays. It is not necessarily that we’ve eaten too much (although that’s entirely possible), but the combination of different foods, rich desserts, and treats can cause uncomfortable results. Is there any reason not to believe that our pets suffer from the same type of over-indulgence? After all, we love our pets, and the holidays offer us a time to treat our pets with love, affection, and extra treats and goodies. Please don’t.
It’s hard to resist those big brown eyes
As humans, our GI tract responds to this over-indulgence, and often results in diarrhea and possible vomiting. A dog is equipped to respond the same way. Both acute and chronic gastritis (vomiting) is common in dogs and cats, and there can be several causes. The most common cause is related to dietary indiscretion (ingestion of plants or garbage). Of course it can be from over-indulgence of a combination of foods or foreign materials.
Another cause could be the use of drugs such as steroids, and antibiotics. If the vomiting is chronic, then a thorough vet visit is necessary. The vet will no doubt suggest a blood work-up, radiographs, ultrasound, endoscopy, a barium study and possibly exploratory surgery. After years of diagnosing the causes of this condition, I have found that simply putting the pet on a natural raw food diet will cure the problem much of the time. It won’t happen overnight…but it works.
Happy Border Collie with raw bone – a much better food source for your pet.
What’s really needed is to let the gastrointestinal (GI) tract settle down, much like re-booting your computer. Give it a chance to rest and let the enzyme systems re-adjust to the situation. This involves a one day fast. It doesn’t hurt the dog to allow the GI tract to rest. In fact there are several vets and nutritional specialists that recommend routine fasts every week. I personally recommend this approach when I see that a dog has a GI disturbance or if the dog has a history such as irritable bowel syndrome.
If you’re not going the fasting route, you can also feed smaller portions at higher frequency until the GI tract has been regulated. In other words, instead of feeding two big meals a day, try four smaller meals throughout the day so the digestive process is not as hard on the stomach.
Like any other organ in the body, if you overtax it, you have problems. The stomach is amazing in that it can function despite a variety of foreign materials and excess volume of contents. The vomiting reflex operates similar to the relief valve on a water heater. The pressure has to be released in order for the organ to function properly. Of course when this happens with your dog, it can also mean a nasty mess for pet parents to clean up.
So the message for the rest of the holiday season is to limit the treats for yourself and for your pets. It’s hard to resist those big brown eyes when our dogs smell the ham or turkey on the table but please, resist! Give your dog a raw bone! Exercise a little more discipline, take your pet out for more walks and offer a healthy treat instead. Trust me, you will be glad you did.
Take your dogs out for a walk – it’s good for both of you.