Irritable bowel syndrome in dogs is way more common than it should be. I’ll share some of the most important things that you can do to get your dog’s digestive tract back in order.
Constant soft, mushy or runny stools with alternating bouts of constipation are classic signs that something isn’t right. Don’t ever let this go and simply ignore it.
Your dog’s IBS is the body’s way of saying that it’s in trouble. Especially when the symptoms are continuous.
If you’re looking to treat your dog’s digestive tract and stool problems naturally and effectively, we recommend that you learn more about our Core Bowel Kit here designed for dogs with continuous bouts of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Our kit is contains only the most gentle yet effective herbal blends to quickly firm up your dog’s stool, heal the entire digestive tract and build the immune system.
But, while our kit can help solidify your dog’s stool, it’s critical that you take a look at the larger picture to figure out what is causing the digestive issues in the first place. It can be as simple as changing to a better diet such as raw, home cooked or a little of both. But, if this doesn’t work and you don’t see results, then you need to take a close look at what you’re doing or what you’ve done that may have caused the problem. It could be as far back as 6-8 months or a year. Vaccines are also believed to cause major issues through out the dog’s body. If you’re feeding a diet meant for dogs (not kibble or canned processed food), but the digestive issues continue, we recommend that you think back about vaccinations and when and how often your dog has been vaccinated.
Irritable Bowel Consists of Both Constipation AND Soft Stool
Every day after I walk my own two dogs, we stop at the neighbors and pick up Boo Bear and bring her home with us. This way she’s not alone all day by herself.
It’s very hard for someone like me to ignore issues that other dog owners might not consider critical. Every day I witnessed Boo moving her bowels in my yard and leave a mess of soft, runny stool with no formation at all. I realize that IBS in dogs and it’s symptoms are a nasty topic, but the details must be mentioned so that you fully understand just how important it is.
I approached my neighbor and explained how Boo was having digestive issues and she was experiencing many classic symptoms of irritable bowel including diarrhea and constipation. Since Boo was recently at the veterinarian and they were unable to find anything, I felt confident that with a few diet changes and additions, we could get her digestive issues regulated.
One of my own dogs had IBS for many years and I recognized the symptoms right away. We talked about the dog food and treats that she was feeding her. At this point, she had switched Boo from “Purina” (yuk) to “Blue” because she was having problems before I even came along.
I suggested adding a probiotic as well as digestive enzymes daily to see if it would help at all.
Her stool had formation, but the consistency was still not as it should be. This told me one thing, it’s definitely her diet. After about 2 more weeks, Boo’s stool became like water. It had absolutely no consistency at all. I once again approached my neighbor and advised her that it’s critical that she get Boo’s diet in order and the only way to do this is to change her diet completely. This includes all snacks and treats.
For dogs like this, I always recommend a grain free dog food including more quality meat protein, preferably raw. I HIGHLY recommend adding both good bacteria and enzymes daily. Often times dog owners will discontinue both of these products and the problem quickly reoccurs. I suggest keeping dogs on a good probiotic for life. You can eliminate having to add the supplements separately by feeding a good multi-vitamin that includes these (as recommended below). However, DO NOT rely on DOG FOODS that say they are included. Your dog needs much more than this.
Here’s an article I wrote on how to get your dog’s diarrhea under control.
The Power of Food Backed Up by Supplements
Although I wanted to, the owner didn’t want to place Boo on a raw diet at the time. Sow, we placed Boo on G.L Artisan which is a freeze-dried grain free dog food formula that’s very close to home made. However, the difference is that all you do is ADD WARM WATER! My favorites include Dr. Harveys, The Honest Kitchen and Grandma Lucy’s Artisan.
For those of you in the UK, please check out Pure Pet Food which is much like the foods I recommend here in the states. I also wanted to provide Boo with more quality meat protein, so we included Wellness Ninety Five Percent canned meat and continued the probiotics.
In just one day, Boo’s stool had completely changed from soup to an at least formed consistency and it has pretty much remained that way. Keep in mind that it’s typically recommended that you switch dog food’s slowly to adjust the dog to the new food. However, since Boo’s stool was already a mess, it didn’t matter.
Update 7/18/15: I finally talked Boo’s owner into adding raw to Boo’s daily diet. Boo absolutely LOVES it, and, her stool is now not only formed, but firm. Daily she eats prepared raw, Grandma Lucy’s and Carna4 dry. She is now receiving what her body needs to maintain a healthy digestive system and it shows not only in her stool everyday, but in her personality. She is frisky, playful and more energetic than I’ve seen her in a long time. She couldn’t be happier.
I also recommended several supplements including organic coconut oil and a good multivitamin formula that includes probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes and glandulars for the health of your dog’s liver, kidneys, etc. Combine this with a good raw diet and your dog’s irritable bowel issues should disappear.