One of the most common questions I get from Poodle owners is whether or not Poodles have sensitive stomachs. Some owners outright know that their Poodle has a sensitive stomach and therefore want to know what they can do to help them and avoid making matters worse.
In general, many poodles have sensitive stomachs and digestive issues. Owners will likely need to be cautious with the food and treats they offer their poodle as many ingredients can cause stomach upset.
Do Poodles have sensitive stomachs?
Compared to other breeds, Poodles do seem to have more issues with sensitive stomachs. Due to Many Poodles having stomach and digestive issues, it does make them prone to bouts of vomiting and diarrhea and owners need to be cautious with what they feed their curly companion.
On top of this, Poodles can develop certain long-term conditions which can affect the gut negatively, such as Pancreatitis and Addison’s Disease.
Your Poodle may always have a sensitive stomach or may only develop one as they get older. You may also find that they are tolerant to one food for several months, only for it to suddenly cause a stomach upset. Sensitive stomachs are not always predictable, so we need to try to stay on top of things as best we can.
Why do Poodles have sensitive stomachs?
Whether a dog will be sensitive or not depends on their genetics, as well as their background, environment and what they are generally fed.
Some breeds are known for being more ‘robust’ when it comes to their constitution. The Labrador Retriever, for example, can usually get away with eating table scraps and trash can raiding, whereas the Poodle may well pay the price down the line.
One of the biggest factors is the presence of an underlying health condition. Diabetes, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Addison’s Disease, Cushing’s Disease, Food Allergies, and Pancreatitis are all prevalent within the Poodle breed. Those who have these long-term health issues will suffer from an upset stomach more frequently. Managing these conditions can go a long way towards keeping their stomach settled.
Some pedigree lines will have delicate stomachs and will need to be fed prescription food to keep them in good health. While you may have heard of “grain-free food” or “raw diets” being best, there is no one-size-fits-all. Your vet will help you determine which diet is best suited for your dog and their unique dietary requirements.
Recommended read: 9 important things to know before getting a poodle
Causes of sensitive stomachs in Poodles
Your Poodle may seem to always have an unsettled stomach or may suffer from bouts of stomach upset from time to time.
Typical causes of upset stomachs in Poodles:
- Dietary indiscretion (eating something they shouldn’t have)
- An abrupt change in diet
- Medication such as antibiotics or corticosteroids
- An infection
- A parasite burden
- Toxin ingestion
- Underlying disease such as diabetes
- Eating too quickly (which may be triggered by dental disease)
It pays to know what “normal” looks like for your poodle. Whenever she’s going through a spell where she doesn’t seem to have any stomach issues, take note of the food she’s consuming, her treats, and her current daily routine.
The better you understand what “normal” is for your poodle, the quicker you’ll spot when something changes. And this could help you narrow down the cause.
Let’s look further into the signs that indicate your poodle has a sensitive stomach.
Signs your Poodle might have a sensitive stomach
There are a few things an owner should look out for when monitoring their dog’s gut health.
⭐ Signs that your Poodle could have a sensitive stomach:
- Vomiting of bile, saliva, or food
- Poorly formed or very foul-smelling stool
- Mucus or blood in the stool
- Very frequent stool passing (more than 3 times a day)
- Excessive burping and/or flatulence
- A bloated or uncomfortable stomach
- A rumbling stomach (borborygmi)
- Failure to thrive or difficulty keeping weight on
- Refusal to eat or poor appetite
A healthy dog should vomit rarely and should pass a solid stool once or twice a day. Their stool should be a ‘nutty’ brown color and should not leave a stain after it has been picked up from the ground.
How to help your Poodle with a sensitive stomach
It can be upsetting when our dogs are not in the best health they can be. Indeed, for many owners, a dog with chronic gastrointestinal disease is a real source of stress. Thankfully, there are plenty of things that we can do to help keep their sensitive stomach in check.
1. Be Strict when it comes to diet
While it can be nice to treat our four-legged friends to the odd bit of human food (like some streaky bacon or a slice of cheddar cheese) it is better to operate a ‘no human food’ policy when it comes to your Poodle. Though you may feel cruel when they are looking at you eating, it really is best for all involved in the long run.
2. Control how they eat
Don’t allow your dog to inhale their food quickly, as this can lead to too much gas being ingested. If needed, use a slow feeding bowl to slow things down. It can also help to feed your dog little and often rather than one big meal a day.
3. Keep them up to date with their parasite prevention
How often you de-worm your Poodle will depend on their diet and lifestyle. Most will need de-worming every three to six months. Forgetting to do this can result in a parasite burden which will almost certainly cause an upset stomach. If not keen on frequent deworming, ask your vet to analyze the stool for any parasites that may be present.
4. Consider some probiotics
Probiotics (and prebiotics) can do truly amazing things. They encourage the growth of “good” gut bacteria and can help prevent leaky gut. A healthy bacterial population can lead to improved digestion and a myriad of other health benefits.
5. Try a diet specifically tailored to sensitive pooches
Oftentimes, we see the best results with a prescription diet that has been created with sensitive dogs in mind. These diets are highly digestible and should contain a limited number of ingredients.
For those individuals who have food allergies or sensitivities, hypoallergenic diets are a sensible route to take. These need to be trialed for a minimum of 8 weeks to know if they have worked or not. Opt for a hydrolyzed diet to help minimize reactions.
6. Look into any underlying health issue
It is important not to simply assume your Poodle has a sensitive stomach and to leave it at that. Any new or evolving gastrointestinal issues should be looked into by their vet, who can rule out potential underlying issues.
When to see a veterinarian
It is important to emphasize that any new gastrointestinal issues should always be evaluated by a vet. Red flags would include:
- Unexpected weight loss or difficulty gaining weight
- Blood in the stool (which may be red or black)
- Blood in the vomit
- Loss of appetite
- Vomiting or diarrhoea that is not improving quickly at home
- A bloated or tense abdomen
While any dog can suffer from a sensitive stomach, Poodles seem more predisposed than others. This may be due to their genes, or to an underlying medical condition from which they suffer. Be sure to discuss your concerns with your vet. They will be able to assess your dog and advise you on the best plan of action for your beloved pet.
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