Dog Bloat and How to Avoid It

What does kibble dog food, water and a dogs exercise have to do with dog bloat? Probably everything. Ever put dry dog food in water?

To avoid dog bloat, rest after eating especially if on a kibble diet

One of the dog stomach problems that can kill, canine bloat can include gastric torsion where the stomach flips and gets blocked like a wrapped up tootsie roll candy.

First let's take a quick look at the symptoms, what a veterinary website had to say about a possible cause and then I'll explain why I think dry dog food is the biggest culprit of all.


Symptoms of Dog Bloat

Two to six hours after eating, the stomach gets enlarged with liquid and gas and sometimes feels like a tight drum. Most often you will see excessive salivation, drooling, unsuccessful attempts to vomit, extreme restlessness and discomfort, desperate attempts to eat grass and eventually, weakness and collapse.

The thought of this makes me want to cry and this page is about avoidance, so let's get to it.


Some Common Sense for Avoidance

I read on a veterinarian website that gulping down food can contribute to gastric issues and bloat but I disagree. Dogs are not meant to chew like we do, nor is it physically possible for them to do so because of their jaw and teeth.

My common sense tells me (plus I'm an avid reader about dog health) most gastric issues come from commercial dog food, not lack of chewing. Dogs are carnivores whose digestive system is made to digest meat and need a minimum of 40 percent protein in their diet. (50 or 60% is better)

Sadly, dry dog food is 18 to 32 percent with the remainder  carbohydrates as fillers. Unnatural over processed carbs tend to stay in the stomach longer since they don't easily digest.

Dog kibble being both dry and mostly carbohydrates is notorious for expanding in the stomach, especially when water is consumed afterward. Try soaking some in water. The longer it soaks, the bigger it grows until it's roughly tripled in size. Wouldn't that hurt?

On the other hand I’ve seen a dog eat raw chicken parts, like whole breasts or thighs without even chewing and have absolutely no digestion problems. No vomiting and no problems passing totally digested food.

I've never heard of dog bloat occurring in a dog fed raw meat, bones and veggies.


How To
Avoid Canine Bloat in Kibble Dog Food Eaters?

If feeding your dog raw or homemade foods just isn't an option for you, I suggest the following as a must do to avoid dog bloat.

  • Two smaller meals instead of one large meal
  • Soak kibble in one cup water before serving (for a larger dog) so it expands BEFORE it's in the stomach.
  • Withhold additional water one hour after meal or until after exercise
  • No exercise around meal time and for a minimum of an hour afterward but longer is better
  • Feed meals AFTER you walk or play so you don't have to time it at all!


Cabbage as a Natural Cure for Dog Bloat

If gastric torsion happens, shock will follow and if not surgically corrected almost immediately, the dog will die. However...

If the bloat can be detected before gastric torsion, an herbal remedy of 1 - 2 ounces of freshly juiced cabbage for a large dog has been used successfully. 


Let's Talk About Bloat from Kibble Again

The abundance of grains or starches, especially in mass market commercial dog food is bad. A few quality whole cooked grains are not.

Lets’ use a human example. There’s two people. One chooses to go out for pizza and beer. (all that non-nutritious white flour and some brew to help expand and ferment it) The other, has a big plate of quinoa with a nice mix of onions and veggies and maybe a salmon steak.

The quinoa lady will feel good, more energetic and satiated. The pizza and beer guy feels bloated as all that white flour expands in his stomach. He’s overfull, yet still hungry because it was a non nutritional meal. (While I used a guy as an example, I know it's true because I've been the pizza and beer gal AND the quinoa and veggie woman.)

My daughter eats a lot of junk food. She knows better but chooses it anyway. What phrase is she well known for? “I’m bloated!”

Now tell me if you have that bloated feeling, what would happen if you went for a job around the block?

Can't even imagine it can you, especially after something like, say, the Thanksgiving Day feast right?

Okay, now that I've made my point and I've brought up gastric issues already, there are a few other stomach problems you might need help with.  Even without the exercise your dog may have some gas issues. You know, flatulence? If so, you can read about dog farting.

Or you might want to know a bit more about the dog's digestive system . On that page I explain exactly why dogs do not and cannot chew like we do.

Let's see, any other dog stomach problems? One last one I'll bring up is a big one. IBD/IBS in dogs can practically disappear and you can keep liver damage at bay. Of course its really intestinal or bowel issues but let's not split hairs. You can learn more at Irritable Syndrome in Dogs

One last note about dog bloat and dogs exercise. While exercise strengthens the muscles and “massages” the stomach and bowels, let's take a peek at wolves in the wild.

They travel, they hunt, they gorge on food ... and then they sleep! Digestion is a process which takes a lot of energy from the body so rest and digest is a good motto for dogs.


 Dog Bloat to Common Health Problems

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