The scoop on the squirts

Want to hear the about the most disgusting moment of my life? No? Too bad….

Our youngest dog Jax used to have a habit of eating his own poop (don’t worry- he’s grown out of it….mostly) . But, one time after chowing down on a few deuces in the back yard, Jax came inside, drank a bunch of water to wash it down and then brought a ball to Zach for play time. Naturally, Zach obliged. Within 5 minutes, we experienced by far the nastiest moment of our lives when Jax suddenly vomited the contents of his stomach on our floor. From this I learned a few things:
1.) Thank goodness for wood floors
2.) Zach agreed to change diapers of any future children for several months if I cleaned up said incident.
3.) It reaffirmed my love for Halo HolistiClean

Needless to say, we would not wish an equivalent incident…nay, an incident even 30% as awful…on our worst enemy. So, here’s the dish on the squirts and how to never-ever-ever have to live through a similar situation.

As with humans, dietary intolerances can certainly cause digestive upset, leading to vomiting and/or diarrhea. Ever made a 3am stop at White Castle after downing draft beer for several hours? THAT’S dietary intolerance. However, if your pet is not tolerating something in their regular diet, you would expect to see signs of digestive upset everyday, not every once in a while.

For dogs that have occasional diarrhea, the most likely culprit is something they ate that was not part of their regular diet. This could be a treat or it could be something tasty that they found in the yard or on your walk around the neighborhood.  It is impossible to prevent a dog from EVER picking something up and swallowing it when they should not. But, if you’re noticing intolerances, keep a close eye on their scavenging.

If the diarrhea occurs every time you feed a certain type of treat or a certain type of people food, try stopping this particular item and see if the problem stops. Note that if you’re switching foods and didn’t do so as a slow transition, then your dog may have loose stool– don’t freak out. Your dogs just needs a bit of GI-balance.

Most cases of occasional diarrhea are easy to treat at home and don’t require a visit to the veterinarian. After all, people don’t run to the doctor every time we have a touch of diarrhea. Begin your at-home treatment with a bland diet that consists of

  • 1/3 meat that are low in fats (such as chicken)
  • 2/3 rice or other bland grain such as oatmeal

To this mixture, you can add a bit of sweet potato. We think Fruitables Digestive Supplement is pretty much where it’s at for digestive health. Many of our customers are familiar with the wonders of this product when transitioning a dog between foods. However, outside of that time, it is also a great way to lock up the bowels and bring them back to a state of balance.

If your dog seems to occasional suffer from a bout of diarrhea, talk to your veterinarian about adding a probiotic into your routine. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that support good digestive health. Yogurt is an example of food that contains probiotics. Plain, nonfat yogurt added to your pet’s dish once in a while may work wonders. Please note– plain, nonfat yogurt…please do not pour Yoplait Boston Cream Pie yogurt on your dog’s food– it will do nothing but harm! Plus, you should save that tasty treat for yourself anyway:-)

If you would prefer to supply probiotics in the pill form, we say go for Herbsmith’s probiotic pills, MicroFlora Plus. We happen to think Herbsmith is the bee’s knees and believe this is the way to go if a bit of yogurt doesn’t do the trick.

Finally, know when it is time to take your dog to the vet for treatment. Call your vet if your dog seems to display any of the following:

  • Lethargic
  • Bloating or abdominal pain
  • Fever (rectal temperature above 103.5 degrees F)
  • Dehydrated (such as dry or tacky gums)
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Passing large amounts of blood in stool

Of course, we can forget the lovely cats out there. Basically, intermittent diarrhea is not that common in a cat. Stress may cause diarrhea, but it more typically causes blood in the stools. If your cat has diarrhea one day and then is fine for months, there is probably not anything that needs to be done. However, if your cat is having intermittent diarrhea, a trip to the veterinarian is warranted.

Got it? Enough about poop? If not, here’s a video from Dr. Becker at Healthy Pets. If her 7 minute chat about poo doesn’t fulfill you then I’ve got nothing more to offer you except a recommendation for professional help.

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