Most chronic stomach problems in dogs and cats are related in some way to a food intolerance. Many pets have low level food sensitivities where their body has a mildly adverse reaction to a particular ingredient and attempts to ‘expel’ the ingredient more rapidly, through diarrhea.
Acute gastrointestinal problems can be a more severe food reaction (regurgitating food right after a meal for example). Such acute upset can also result from eating spoiled food, or consuming something that isn’t food at all, such as dead animal carcass, household chemicals, or foreign objects. Drinking dirty water from puddles, lakes or the ocean can also result in tummy troubles of varying severity.
Many pets suffer with ongoing, intermittent diarrhea for years before the connection to diet is made, and their owners are often astounded when a simple switch to a grain-free, more pristine diet is made. Chemical preservatives, cheap fillers, colorings can also aggravate sensitive tummies.
It takes some care to transition a sensitive pet to a new type of food. Overnight or ‘cold turkey’ changes should be avoided unless absolutely necessary, because a rapid change in diet doesn’t allow enough time for your pet’s ‘good’ intestinal flora to adjust, and can actually exacerbate the upset in many cases. Instead, try transitioning slowly over a few days. You could also add a tablespoon or two of plain yogurt or a good quality probiotic, to help ease the transition.
It’s important to also ensure that the food you are feeding is in a format that’s easy to digest. Our dehydrated foods (especially the fruits and root vegetables) are finely diced for easy digestion, but some products are extremely chunky and can cause a pet to spit up after eating, if not prepared correctly.
© 2013 Lucy Postins & The Honest Kitchen This article may only be copied with prior written permission from the company. Reproductions must include credit to the author and a link to this website.