8 Things That Can Affect Your Pet's Digestive Health
1. New Home/Environment
By the time you bring your puppy home, they’ll be leaving the only environment they’ve ever known! This is a major change for a little pup to deal with, and it can sometimes lead to a few weeks of looser stool. Providing a caring environment and keeping a watchful eye is your best bet in this situation. If you don’t see a return to firm (but not hard) stool after a few weeks, consider other potential causes below and if digestive symptoms worsen, it may be time to visit the vet!
2. Quality Nutrition
It is important to feed your pet a complete and balanced diet. TLC Pet Food contains highly digestible whole grains, pre and probiotics, and digestive enzymes that all work to promote and aid digestive health.
3. Water Bowl
A pet’s water bowl is one of the most overlooked causes of diarrhea and loose stools. Every time a pet drinks from their water bowl, they release their saliva and many potential contaminants into the water. Parasites and germs such as giardia, E.coli, and Salmonella can often be found in pet’s water bowls, leading to loose stool and diarrhea. The more your pet drinks from a water bowl before more water is added to it or before the bowl is cleaned, the more concentrated and dangerous the contaminants become.
How to combat this:
Wash your pet’s water bowl thoroughly with hot water every day.
Continue to add more fresh water to your pet’s bowl throughout the day so the germs remain less concentrated.
Always use the biggest water bowl available, even for small dogs. The more fresh water in the bowl, the less concentrated the germs will be.
Choose a good-quality stainless steel bowl. Unlike plastic bowls, they are easier to keep clean and don’t get small scratches where germs can hide.
Do not allow your pet to drink from shared or public water bowls.
4. Table Scraps
If your pup experiences a change in their stool, another potential suspect is any extra food they may be getting outside of their daily diet. Eliminate table scraps and monitor your pup’s diet over a short period of time. You should see a return to normal!
Dogs, especially puppies, explore the world around them with their mouths, so it’s not surprising that they can pick something up that doesn’t agree with them from time to time. It’s important to be aware of the environment your puppy will be exploring and remove anything that could be potentially harmful. You should always contact your animal health professional if your pup’s stool appears bloody, they seem to be in pain, or they have accompanying symptoms with changes to their stool.
6. Time of Year
Some illnesses and parasites are more common during specific times of the year. Springtime should be a time to take more precautions with your pet when outside and interacting with other dogs. As everything begins to thaw and the wet weather rolls in, germs and parasites will be more prominent and easily spread. Don’t let your pet drink out of puddles, and be sure to wipe their paws when you come in from a walk.
7. Oral Flea/Tick Prevention
Oral flea & tick products have been linked to serious digestive and neurological issues in dogs. Topical products like Revolution, Wondercide, and Frontline are all good alternatives.
8. Multiple Vaccinations
Over-vaccination is known to cause many auto-immune diseases and conditions in your dog that might appear to be genetic in nature. DO NOT allow your vet to give multiple vaccines to your puppy in the same visit. Vaccines should be given a minimum of 2 weeks apart.
Quick Tip: You can always add a little bit of puréed (canned) pumpkin to your puppy’s kibble to help firm up their stool.