We all want our dog to be healthy, and it can be upsetting to see your dog having trouble pooping. Sometimes we don't always realise how treats impact their dog's health. Every so often you might see them having one of the following problems. Straining to poop, blood in their stools, loose stools, anal gland issues are a few signs. It could be that you are not feeding them the best dog treats for sensitive stomachs. Doggy health comes straight from the gut so getting your dog’s toilet issues right is a must!
So what impact does giving treats have on our dog’s digestion? What are the best dog treats for sensitive stomachs? The treats you feed your dog will impact their gut health. In this blog, we discuss what poor and good gut health looks like and the best dog treats for sensitive stomachs.
How to know if your dog has a sensitive stomach?Some dogs are more tolerant to different foods than others. It all depends on their gut health and how able is their gut to cope with different foods. Without going into the scientific detail, there are easy ways to know if your dog has a sensitive stomach. If your dog’s stools change consistency after eating something different; it is likely that your dog has a sensitive stomach. It is important to keep a note on what your dog eats. If your dog exhibits any of the below and has not eaten something different, a trip to the vet is best.
- Blood in stool
- Diarrhoea (dog may need medication or it could be a food issue like Stanley)
- Straining to poo (this could be a lack of dietary fiber - raw fed dogs struggle with this)
The best way to know if your dog has a sensitive stomach is to keep note of everything they eat and to look at their stools regularly. A dog's health, immunity, and function comes from their gut. If your dog has a problem with their pooping, it is likely that their gut microbiome is not healthy. We discuss later on how to feed treats to improve your dog's gut microbiome.
What dog breeds are prone to sensitive stomachs?
Some breeds are more sensitive than others to having a sensitive stomach. It is important that these breeds eat the best treats for sensitive stomachs. This will ensure that their long-term gut health remains stable.
German Shepherd Dogs (GSD) are more prone to sensitive stomachs than other breeds. Generally, they are prone to producing less digestive enzymes. They are also known to suffer from an early age with intolerances to animal proteins. Have a look at this study on GSD police dogs. It shows the benefits of psyllium husks on large bowel diarrhoea. This shows that prebiotic fibers such as psyllium husks help gut health. We add psyllium husks into our Umameo Ginger treat recipe kit for this exact reason. In German Shepherds, these would be the best treats for sensitive stomachs.
Border terriers suffer from IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease). This is where their bowls have sensitivities to an ingredient or protein in their diet. They are also susceptible to being allergic to gluten. A fresh, plant-based diet suits border terriers. (See our new gluten free recipe kit here). Even feeding one meaty treat can cause vomiting and diarrhoea so it is important to feed the best treats for sensitive stomachs.
Rescues from other countries
Many people feed their rescues a fresh plant-based diet because of their sensitive stomachs. These breeds are often crossed with German Shepherds and other breeds with sensitivities. Scavenging poor-quality meat from bins and fast food outlets in their early years will ruin their gut microbiome. This makes them intolerant to certain foods and treats. Two of the dogs in the video below are rescues.
Puppies that have suffered from stomach damage or illness
Puppies that have suffered with their tummy in their early years will be more likely to have a sensitive stomach. They will need the best dog treats for sensitive stomachs. They may have had damage on their stomach like Stanley here. Stanley can only eat the best dog treats for sensitive stomachs. If a puppy has suffered from Giardia, they are also going to be prone to having a sensitive stomach later on in life.
Do dog treats cause digestive issues?
The short answer is - YES. Dog treats can cause digestive issues. You can feed all the amazing food you like to your dog. But if you feed them poor-quality treats with unknown ingredients, all the good work that you have done with their gut microbiome will be undone. Dog treats cause digestive issues for the following reasons.
- In poor-quality treats, we do not know what is inside them. There could be unknown animal proteins or grains. Chemicals in cheap ingredients will aggravate an already sensitive tummy.
- A dog could be allergic to processed meats. Just with humans, there is little health benefit to eating processed meat treats. A healthier choice would be preferable.
- “Natural” dog treats such as cow ear or chicken foot could also upset a dog’s sensitive stomach. These “natural” waste products could contain pathogens. Dogs with sensitive stomachs must avoid these treats at all costs. They offer little or no nutritional value to a dog.
What Are the Best Natural Dog Treats for Sensitive Stomachs?
The best natural dog treats for sensitive stomachs are the simplest! Your dog will love these simple treats the more you offer them. You will find that your dog craves these natural dog treats for sensitive stomachs after realising how they feel after eating them. Try offering a variety of the following natural dog treats for sensitive stomachs. These will help maintain a healthy gut microbiome.
Chopped carrot - Carrot is full of vitamin A and hosts a range of nutrients. Great for healthy eyes, skin and coat.
Organic Apple - chopped with skin - this is a great prebiotic for your dog’s healthy gut. If you choose organic, then it will be even healthier.
Cucumber - great for a low calorie, crunchy snack!
For a sweeter treat, blueberries and goji berries are full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They are an excellent treat for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Please be aware, as with all treats remember to always feed in moderation.
How to Make Dog Treats At Home for Dogs With Sensitive Stomachs?
Making dog treats at home for dog with sensitive stomachs can be very simple. If you want to offer a high-value treat with a bit more substance you can use nutritional yeast. Dogs love the ‘cheesy’ flavour of nutritional yeast and it is incredibly healthy for them. Nutritional yeast contains B vitamins, folic acid, zinc. It is sometimes fortified with B12 which an essential supplement in a plant-based diet.
High-value dog treat recipe
Step 1 - Choose chopped kale, drained chickpeas or both and place on baking tray
Step 2 - Sprinkle with a little sunflower oil and nutritional yeast - toss to cover.
Step 3 - Bake at 180 degrees celsius for 10-15 minutes
For the ultimate in homemade dog treats - you could use our Umameo protein powder for treats kit. Add plant-based milk and peanut butter or tahini to the protein mix, roll out and bake. Each protein powder kit comes with a suggested recipe card. For dogs with sensitive stomachs, the best protein powder kit to use is Umameo Ginger. This protein pack uses inulin and psyllium husks which are an excellent prebiotic to keep your dog’s gut healthy. Every ingredient in our protein kits is chosen for its nutritional value. These are the best treats to make at home with dogs with sensitive stomachs.
These easy-to-make dog treats will keep in the fridge for a few days. You could freeze them to last longer too. Fresh dog treats with no preservatives are best for your dog.
When do you Give Dog Treats to Dogs with Sensitive Stomachs?
Does your dog eat grass or poop? Are they experiencing the stomach problems outlined earlier in this blog? Giving high-quality treats for sensitive stomachs at the right time could help them. When do you give dog treats to dogs with sensitive stomachs? The best time is to give them treats is between meals. Vets have suggested that one of the reasons why dogs eat grass is because their tummies are empty. They need the fiber to feed their gut microbiome. This works with our dog Fleet, if she has a Umameo Treat in the morning before her walk, she doesn't eat any grass at all. Remember, every dog is different so when you give treats to dogs with sensitive stomachs will depend on the individual. Try between meals, in the morning before a walk or at night right before bed. See what makes a positive difference to your dog’s stools. Please note that it is important to give treats sparingly before or during walks. Dogs with a high chest are particularly prone to ‘bloat’ or have a twisted stomach. To avoid this, feed treats sparingly before or during when they run (never feed a full meal before a walk).
Treats play an important role in making sure your dog’s sensitive stomach stays healthy. The best dog treats for sensitive stomachs are healthy, plant-based and organic. When a dog has a sensitive stomach, it is best to be consistent with their food. Make sure that they always eat healthy unprocessed treats. If you have any questions or would like to know more, please get in touch.