Preventing Bloat in Dogs

dog eating

Extreme bloat in dogs is a serious health concern. Sometimes the bloated stomach contorts, also commonly known as a ‘flipped stomach’ or ‘twisted stomach’. The medical term for it is actually Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV). It can cause serious harm to your pup, so it is important to know the warning signs, what to in the case of bloat and what can trigger bloat to happen in the first place.

 

Triggers of Bloat

When a dog eats a large meal or drinks a lot of water, his stomach expands. This expansion can put pressure on other organs nearby causing problems such as a lack of blood flow or a tear in the stomach wall. Sometimes if a dog is very active, this will cause the bloated stomach to rotate or ‘twist’, preventing enough blood to get to major organs.

Many larger breed dogs have a much higher chance of developing GDV in their lifetime, as opposed to smaller breed dogs; this is due to their deep and narrow chests. Dog breeds such as Great Danes, Boxers, German Shepherds and St. Bernards all have very high chances of having bloat at some time in their life. Dogs who have suffered from GDV, often have a much higher chance of it occurring again. Because bloat can occur if a dog eats to fast or has rigorous exercise to close to eating time, dogs who are naturally very active should be fed small meals and try to relax for a bit before going for a run. A popular tool if your dog tends to eat too fast is a ‘slow-feeder’ type bowl.

Although it is widely believed that bloat or a flipped stomach happens only to dogs who are too active after eating, there are also many cases where there was no known reason as to what caused the bloat. That is why it is important for every dog owner to know the symptoms and stages of bloat and how to handle situation.

 

Warning Signs of Bloat & What to Do

The symptoms of bloat typically don’t take long to appear. The dog may seem restless and start pacing. He may try to vomit but is unable to. Other typical symptoms are pale gums, drooling and rapid heartbeat. As all dogs are different, he may show only one of these symptoms or he may show many. If you notice your dog having any of these symptoms or any dramatic change in health or personality, you should always call your vet first to determine with an expert if he needs to come in. With cases of bloat, time is extremely important to the dog’s recovery.

If your dog experiences any of these symptoms, it is important to try and keep him as comfortable as possible until medical attention. Do not encourage the dog to get up and move around if he has collapsed, just make sure he is in a comfortable position. Do not try to force the dog to eat or drink as this can worsen the problem.

Once at the vet, the vet will relieve the pressure in the dog’s stomach by either a tube or a needle, depending on the severity. All cases of bloat should be seen by a vet immediately to prevent any further complications.

 

Bloat or GDV can be a very scary thing to deal with. It can be even scarier for your dog! That’s why we owe it to our furry best friends to know what to look out for and how to help until proper medical attention from a vet professional.

Potty Training Your Dog

dog-toilet-roll

Potty training your puppy is one of the most important milestones in their training. For most owners it means no more little ‘accidents’ in the house! It’s also a huge confidence booster for your pup when he knows he has done something right and makes you happy! If you’re looking for a ‘piddle-free’ home, read on for our potty training tips!

 

Frequent Potty Breaks

To really succeed at potty training your dog, you need to give them many opportunities to do what you are asking of them. If your dog is still a puppy, we recommend anywhere from 5-7 breaks every day (for about 10 minutes each). It is best if you also try to time the breaks about 15-20 minutes after they’ve finished the meal as this is most likely the time that they have digested and are ready to do their business. Why so many breaks? The more opportunities you give your dog to go to the bathroom, the more likely it is that they will go and that will give you your chance to praise them for going to the bathroom!

 

Don’t Reprimand

Of course there are many different believes on dog training in general. We don’t see much benefit to reprimanding your dog if they’ve had an accident inside the house. This can include speaking loudly/negatively toward your dog, bringing their nose to the ‘scene of the crime’ and saying “no???. As most people know, dog’s live in the moment, so when you bring them over to their poop or pee in the house and say no, they likely do not comprehend that we are telling them “look at this pee that you did an hour ago, I don’t want you to do this again???. They just know you are making them get really close to their pee and may not know why! So it is generally best to just ignore it, definitely don’t praise them for it but don’t reprimand them either. Just continue to praise when they do they right thing outside!

 

Praise! Praise! Praise!

As we mentioned briefly in our other two tips, it is so important to praise your dog when they have gone to the bathroom outside. Without that praise, they won’t know that they are doing what you want, so they may not be inclined to do it again. And timing is very critical! Pay attention to your dog and the second that they are going to the bathroom, get your excited voice going and start telling your dog how amazing they are! If you aren’t paying attention and give them praise 5 minutes after they’ve already gone, your dog may not understand what he is getting that praise for.

 

If you follow our potty training tips consistently, we are confident that in no time your dog will be potty trained and you will have no more little ‘piddles’ in your home.