As a proud puppy owner, you must’ve heard the horror stories concerning fatal gastrointestinal problems that claim the lives of countless pets each year. Luckily, there’s something you can do to avoid such an unfortunate situation. Even though puppies are much more susceptible to digestive problems, here are a few simple activities that you can implement so as to keep your pups in perfect health:
- Avoid giving your puppies leftovers
Despite all the great things we have in common with our fluffy friends, our digestive systems are completely different. In view of this, it is extremely important for you to avoid the temptation of giving your dog leftovers as this may inadvertently increase the risk of gastrointestinal conditions.
Seemingly harmless foods such as onions and grapes can cause serious digestive problems in dogs. Furthermore, breed-specific dietary requirements should also be taken into consideration. Certain dogs are able to digest high levels of protein and fat while others may experience diarrhea as a result of excessive fat. To remain on the safe side, it’s always best for you to avoid sharing your meal with your puppy. Let them stick to their own food which is specifically designed to suit their needs.
- Puppy-proof your home
Just like small babies, puppies must be kept under continuous supervision in order to prevent them from swallowing contaminated objects which can lead to worm infestations. One way to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal infection is to puppy-proof your home. You could also purchase pet-specific toys which your puppies can play with. Be sure to clean them on a regular basis, especially if your dog spends most of their time playing outdoors.
- Administer probiotics
Probiotics for dogs can greatly assist your puppy’s digestive process thereby reducing the risks of constipation and bloating. Probiotics mainly consist of good bacteria that will help your puppy digest their food and absorb nutrients. They also assist in eliminating harmful bacteria which cause intestinal diseases. In order to keep your puppy’s gut healthy, you could feed them suitable probiotics on a regular basis in accordance to veterinary guidelines.
- Give the right amount of food
If you are a new dog owner, then you might be tempted to give your puppy lots of food so that they can grow as fast as possible. This behavior will not only overload their digestive system but it can also lead to obesity. Resist the temptation to overfeed your little puppies and instead give them the correct amount of food depending on their weight and age.
- Avoid drastic changes in diet
Variety is the spice of life, and there’s no doubt that your pet would also like some variety in their diet. However, you should be cautious when it comes to introducing new foods, especially in the case of puppies. Sudden changes in food composition can cause bouts of diarrhea and reduced appetite. The most effective method is to wean them slowly by introducing the new food in gradual portions over a period of one week. This enables you to monitor their response to the dietary change and it also puts you in a better position to identify any allergies.
Maria Dylan is a qualified pet food expert and proud owner of several breeds of dogs. She has amassed a large wealth of experience in developing high-quality probiotics for dogs which are tailored to improve their digestive performance.