Canine IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) will manifest through symptoms such as diarrhea and constipation. If your dog suffers from IBS, there are a few treatments that may be used and the vet will recommend a few foods that are less likely to cause negative reactions.
IBS is an autoimmune disease that is difficult to diagnose, but the vet may establish if your pet is suffering from this problem. Additional symptoms besides constipation or diarrhea will include bloating, gas and stomach cramps. A clear diagnosis is necessary; otherwise the treatment you apply may not be effective.
Diet for Dogs with IBS
The most important step in reducing the symptoms of IBS in your dog is to have a controlled diet. The food the dog gets should be rich in fibers and highly digestible. The dog's diet should contain a minimum amount of fats, as fats can have a negative effect on his digestion. There are a number of foods that are recommended in the dog's diet. These foods include:
- Oils that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids (tuna oil or flaxseed oil)
- Fish products
- Bland vegetables such as green leaf vegetables
- Baked products
- Pumpkin, which is an essential source of fibers and can be administered when the dog has constipation or diarrhea
Foods that are organic are healthier and generally better accepted by the dog's digestive system. You should always keep an eye on your pet and don't allow him to eat between meals, table scraps or other non-food items, which can irritate his digestive tract. A vet can recommend a prescription food, which could be helpful. However, testing will be required until finding the right type of foods that won't cause digestive problems in your pet.
Medication treatment is not always required, as drugs may have a negative impact on the digestive tract. However, if your pet has chronic diarrhea, the vet will prescribe a few antispasmodic medications. IBS will manifest through bowel spasms, which can cause the immediate elimination of the contents of the bowels, so the dog will have diarrhea.
What to Avoid
The dog has to avoid a number of foods:
- Red meat such as beef
- Eggs (just the yolks)
- Acidic fruits or vegetables
- Non-organic foods (especially meats that contain hormones)
- Dairy products that highly irritate the digestive tract, regardless if the dog is lactose intolerant or not
- Foods that are fried and deep fried
Artificial flavored foods may also not be well tolerated and can cause diarrhea or constipation.
Stress is also a contributing factor to IBS, so you should make sure your dog is not stressed. Therapy will be recommended and in more complicated cases, medication will be prescribed.