Just as humans need to eat well to stay healthy, a dog's diet is an important part of their wellbeing. However, while most owners try to feed their dogs the best diet possible, many people forget about the other component of nutrition: the digestive system. If a dog's digestive system is out of balance, they won't be able to get the essential nutrients from their food and stay healthy. Here are 3 tips for keeping your pooch's digestive system in good working order.
It's easy to forget to deworm your dog, but it's essential if you want to promote healthy digestion. There are many intestinal parasites just waiting to take hold in your dog's digestive system and cause them harm, including tapeworms and roundworms. It's almost impossible to keep your dog away from any potential source of parasites, as they're found everywhere from soil to food. The best way to keep them away is to use a deworming medicine (usually available in tablets or pill form). Today's consensus is to worm adult dogs every three months. You should do this even if you don't see any signs of worms, as they can be undetectable at first. This will kill any worms in your dog's system before they grow and start to cause harm.
Buy a Probiotic
Many healthy dogs can regulate the good gastrointestinal bacteria in their digestive system well. However, dogs with health problems aren't always able to do so. If your dog is old, frequently unwell, prone to stress, suffers from diarrhoea, or has taken antibiotics recently, consider buying them a probiotic supplement. Probiotics promote the growth of beneficial digestive bacteria that keep the system healthy and produce nutrients and vitamins. Dog probiotics come in many forms, from pills to powders to yogurts with live cultures, so you're sure to find an option that works for your pup.
Check Their Poop
One of the best ways to monitor your dog's digestive health is to keep an eye on their stools. While this sounds unpleasant, it gives you a great insight into any problems that need veterinary attention. A healthy dog should have a moist, dark brown, firm stool. A mild unpleasant smell is also normal; dogs who eat packaged foods generally have smellier poop than raw-fed dogs. If your dog's stool does not look like this, they could have a problem with their digestive system. Intestinal parasites, for example, can cause very wet or mucus-filled stools. If their poop is too dark, this could mean there's blood in your dog's gastrointestinal tract. White stool, on the other hand, indicates that your dog is eating too much calcium (often from eating too many bones). If you do notice abnormal faeces, make sure you make an appointment with your vet. The earlier you catch a problem, the less likely it is to do serious damage.