What to Do When Your Dog Has Tummy Troubles

sad boxerIf you’re a dog owner, it’s inevitable that your furry friend will experience vomiting and diarrhea at some point in his life. No one likes to see their dog suffer, but no one likes to pay unnecessary vet bills either. It can be tough to know when your dog truly needs medical attention and when he just needs a day to get better on his own. These guidelines will help you make the right call and keep your pooch healthy!

 

When to Wait it Out

Just like humans, dogs get sick for a lot of different reasons and not all of them require medical attention. If she got off of her normal diet for a while or got into something in the trash, she’ll probably perk back up on her own within a day.

If your pooch is still interested in food and water and is just as energetic as normal, you’re probably fine waiting another twenty-four to forty-eight hours before coming into your vet.

 

What to Do While You Wait

In the meantime, you can help him recover by removing access to food for a little while and then starting a bland foods diet. We recommend taking food away for the first twelve hours after your dog has thrown up or experienced diarrhea. Make sure he stays hydrated in this time but try to discourage him from gulping down large amounts of water at once— too much too fast can further upset his stomach.

If she hasn’t had another episode after the twelve-hour waiting period, it’s time to reintroduce food–but don’t return to normal dog food just yet. Even if she’s not truly ill, kibble can still be hard on a dog’s tummy after she’s thrown up and can prolong her recovery.

Boiled meats and gentle starches will help settle your dog’s stomach until he’s ready to handle his own food again. A popular choice is boneless, skinless chicken breast with white rice or canned pumpkin. Try a small meal at first, and if he holds that down for two hours, offer another small meal.

Continue with this diet, gradually offering larger meals farther apart. If his stools are firming up and vomiting has ceased after twenty four hours, start mixing in some of his regular food until he’s back to his normal diet and eating schedule.

 

When to Bring Them In

If only it were that simple all of the time. Unfortunately, there will be times when your pup just needs a little more help to get better. It’s best to give your vet a call in the following situations:

  • You’ve tried the above protocol and your dog is still sick after 48 hours.
  • Your dog is showing sudden and extreme changes in behavior like becoming lethargic or irritable.
  • Your dog has lost all interest in food and water and refuses to drink.
  • Your dog has recently swallowed a non-food item that hasn’t appeared in his vomit or diarrhea after twenty-four hours.
  • Your dog’s vomit is frothy and yellow and her diarrhea is completely liquid, very dark, and has a distinctly sickish odor— especially if you have a young dog who hasn’t received all of her shots. These could be signs of Parvo, a virus that can be fatal when it doesn’t receive prompt medical attention.

If your pooch is exhibiting these behaviors, it’s likely that his condition is due to more than just a change in diet or stress. These are hallmarks of a dog who is truly ill.

 

When in doubt, always give your vet a call and follow his or her advice!

5 Reasons to Adopt a Mutt

girl and dog

When you’re ready to welcome a new pup into your family, your first step may be to start researching which breed is right for you. But before you give that breeder a call, consider these five reasons to adopting a mutt.

Mutts Usually Have Fewer Health Problems

You probably know that dog breeds are man-made. After many years of selective breeding for certain personality or physical traits, we ended up with our corgis, collies, cocker spaniels, and so on. But did you know that to achieve those genetic traits, early breeders often resorted to inbreeding their dogs? As a result, many pure breeds have genes that increase the likelihood of developing certain health problems. And some breeds—like modern bulldogs—are all but guaranteed to come with a host of health issues.

Mutts on the other hand? With a more diverse gene pool, many mutts often avoid the issues that plague pure breeds.

It’s Way Cheaper

Have you looked into buying from a breeder lately? Did you come away with sticker shock? It’s not uncommon for breeders to charge upwards of $1000 for a purebred puppy, and some breeds sell for even more. Buying from a reputable breeder is always better than saving money at a pet store, where your puppy may have been sourced from a puppy mill, but you have another option.

Adoption fees at shelters and rescues usually max out around $250 and are often even lower, especially if you’re not adopting a purebred. And there’s a whole lot included in that price; your pet will usually come spayed or neutered and up-to-date on all of his shots.

Mutts Are Just as Smart

It’s a total myth that purebred dogs are smarter than their mutt counterparts. Sure, some breeds like German shepherds are known for being particularly intelligent, but that doesn’t mean that a mixed breed dog can’t be just as brainy. The tricks and commands a dog is able to perform have a lot more to do with training than with breed.

You Can Still Get the Traits You’re Looking For

Do you want a golden retriever for its family-friendliness? A poodle for its hypoallergenic fur? You can still find these qualities in a mutt. Workers at humane societies and rescues usually know their dogs really, really well. Let them know you’re looking for—whether it’s a medium-sized dog that doesn’t shed, a dog with enough energy to be your jogging partner, or a puppy that’s great with kids and cats—and they’ll point you to the right pooch.

You’ll Save a Life

No one likes to think about it, but a lot of dogs are euthanized in shelters and pounds every year—anywhere from 600,000 to 1.2 million. And most of these guys are put down simply because nobody chose to take them home.

When you choose to adopt a mixed breed, you’re giving a home to a dog who might not have made it without you. No amount of American Kennel Club papers can replace that feeling.

Don’t get us wrong—we love purebred dogs, and we’re thankful for every family that buys from quality breeders instead of supporting puppy mills. But we also know that mutts have a lot to offer. They may not come with fancy papers or a genealogy, but they do come with a lot of love—and, in the end, isn’t that the point of having a dog?