You know that bloated feeling you get after you've eaten a large meal? Your dog can get that same uncomfortable feeling after he's eaten too much or when he's experiencing a bought of gas. Dog bloated stomach home remedies can be used to reduce the chances that your dog will become bloated and help to relieve the pain.
Dog bloat happens when your pet's stomach fills with too much gas and as a consequence expands abnormally. If the stomach is bigger than it usually is, it pressures other vital organs surrounding it, and disables the regular blood flow. With a little bit of time and some dog bloated stomach home remedies, this situation will clear up on its own.
Gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV), also known as dog bloat, is a completely different issue. Dog bloat is a very serious condition that requires medical attention. A little bit of gas discomfort and the pain of overeating is nothing compared to this serious health concern.
Gastric dilatation volvulus condition also includes the twisting of the stomach. This twisting paired with the swollen stomach prevents blood from going back to the heart and other vital organs. Since the gas cannot escape the stomach in these conditions, the situation gets worse by the minute. If this state lasts for a couple of hours, your dog will go into shock.
To learn more about gastric dilatation volvulus, you can read our extensive guide on the topic. If you're unsure whether or not your dog is feeling bloated or is suffering from GDV, call your veterinarian immediately.
Dog Bloated Stomach Home Remedies
If you notice any of the signs of gastric dilatation volvulus, you need to contact your veterinarian immediately. Do not wait! If left untreated this condition can be fatal in just a few hours. Signs to watch for include:
- anxiety or pacing
- retching and/or repeated attempts to vomit with little to no vomit coming out
If your dog is simply bloated due to a bought of gas or overeating, there are a number of home remedies that can help to ease his discomfort.
1. Probiotics and Prebiotics
Your dog’s gut contains both “good” and “bad” bacteria – they're part of natural gut flora, and there must be a balance between these for your dog to remain healthy. Prebiotics are comprised of fiber that cannot be digested. Since they cannot be digested, these prebiotics are carried to the dog's colon where they help to fuel a healthy environment by feeding the “good” bacteria that reside there.
Where prebiotics fuel good bacteria that are already present in your dog’s system, probiotics repopulate the “good” bacteria that are missing. They do this by modulating the production of cytokines and then improving the immunity and forming a protective layer through secretion of SIgA.
Think about your dog's digestive tract as a yard full of grass. Every blade of grass represents a single bacterium. Prebiotics act as a fertilizer for the grass (or bacteria) that is already there. Probiotics are like reseeding the lawn (or digestive tract) to get more grass (or “good” bacteria) to grow.
2. Change in Diet
A sudden change in your dog's diet could lead to excess gas production. If you're planning to change for your pet's diet, you'll need to do so gradually. You also need to ensure you're feeding a high quality diet.
Poor quality foods contain a lot of filler ingredients that your dog's body does not need. These ingredients can be harder to digest, causing excessive gas. If your dog has an issue with excessive flatulence, switching him to a higher quality food may be an easy solution to this smelly problem.
When it comes to dog bloated stomach home remedies, slowing down a fast eater is one of the easiest things you can do. Slow feeders, like the one seen in my video guide above, are affordable on any budget, and they make eating a fun game for your pooch. Better yet, they have the ability to make your dog eat up to 10 times slower than he would from a traditional bowl.
Using an elevated feeder also helps to slow eating and reduce the likelihood that your pet will be bloated after a meal. Feeding your pup smaller meals that are spread out throughout the day can help promote better digestion as well.
If you have multiple dogs, you need to take the competition out of meal time. Feed each dog in a separate space where they cannot see each other. Many dogs eat faster when other pets are around to prevent the other animal from stealing their food.
4. Massage Gas Out of the Dog
Your dog may be suffering from gas build up and may be unable to pass gas on his own. The simplest way to help him is to massage your dog like this.
- Sit down on the floor or couch, and get your dog near you or on your lap. Make sure both of you are comfortable, calm and relaxed.
- Start by flattening your palm and then slowly move over the dog’s body.
- Pay attention to areas that feel hardened versus the areas that are soft and malleable. Feel the layers, your dog's hair, skin, fat, muscle, and bone.
- For large areas, rub to relieve the pressure. For small areas, it may be more efficient to squeeze.
5. Light Exercise
Light exercise, like walking, can help your pet pass gas too. Exercising increases the blood flow and stimulates the digestive tract. Your dog may even pass stool during a walk, which would clear up some space and help him feel more comfortable right away. Just be sure the exercise isn't too strenuous, or it could make your dog sick to his stomach.
It's common for dogs to have excessive gas, and usually it's not a cause for concern. Following the tips above should help reduce bloating and get your pooch feeling better in no time. Just keep watching for those signs of canine bloat and make sure to call your veterinarian immediately if suspect the condition is more serious than you originally thought.