Now that we are able to spend more time outside than we have been able to during lockdown, it’s important to consider your pet’s gut health and what can affect it to avoid any unwanted trips to the vets.
A pet’s gut can be affected by a number of situations including spoiled food, scavenging, food intolerance, bacteria imbalance, change of diet, stress or parasites and having spent so much additional time with pets recently there’s always the chance that a few too many treats have been given too.
Typical signs of a sensitive tummy can be characterised by a frequent runny nose, loose stools, loss of appetite, excessive flatulence and marked lethargy.
Korina Stephens, RVN at Nutravet explains: “A healthy gut in pets can benefit their overall health. The gut is inhabited by billions of microbes (microflora). These bacteria have a fundamental impact on the physiology and wellbeing of your pet. The benefits of a healthy microflora are not just limited to digestion.
“Due to the inquisitive and natural presence to explore, scavenge, taste and put themselves in places they shouldn’t be (and because pet owners & humans have a habit of offering too many treats) pets are prone to tummy upsets. We want to help pet owners to be aware of the hazards whilst out on walks and also in the home that could help to ensure their beloved four-legged friends have healthy tummies.”
To help maintain your pet’s digestive health, Nutravet share their top tips:
When out on walks or while your pet is in the garden, keep an eye on your dog to prevent them from picking up any foreign objects or discarded food. Also, prevent them from drinking from puddles and eating plant material.
Avoid table scraps and treats
The food we eat may not be suitable for your dog or cat. To maintain your pet’s healthy digestion, try to prevent family members from feeding your pet food not intended for them. Try not to give your pet table scraps or snacks, which could lead to a sensitive tummy.
Keep up to date with deworming and vaccinations
Be sure to keep on track with deworming and disease vaccinations. Speak to your vet who will be able to advise a suitable course of action for your pet, dependent on their age or size.
Stress can impact your pet’s digestive health and during lockdown, pets may become anxious due to new routines and more people in the home. Try to reduce any stress within your pet’s home and outdoor environment. You could do this by keeping to your pet’s routine as much as possible, including sleeping, food and walking routines.
Allow access to clean, fresh water
Your pet should be encouraged to consume more fresh water, which should be presented in a way that your pet prefers whilst having access to a constant supply. The aim of this is to reduce the chances of dehydration.
Be careful when giving your dog or cat small toys to play with. These can get chewed and swallowed and cause discomfort for your pet.
Consider natural probiotics for dogs
Probiotics are becoming recognised more and more as a positive way to improve the health and wellbeing of dogs and cats, by both vets and pet owners. They can maintain long-term gut health, support the tummy during stressful times and help to boost the immune system.
Consult your vet
If you’re worried about your pet, be sure to speak to your vet who is best placed to offer advice for your pet’s health. Be sure to take on board any advice they offer.
By Nutravet, which manufactures natural animal healthcare products developed by vets.