Dog Food for Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is quite a common condition in dogs that is caused when the lower esophagus sphincter becomes weak and does not function in the proper manner. Due to a weakened muscle, the acids that are supposed to be confined to the stomach, spill over, into the esophagus. This can cause some damage to the esophagus and can even lead to erosion. This condition can get aggravated, if you give your pet heavy meals, large amounts of food at one time, or foods that are very high in fat. Some of the most common symptoms of dog acid reflux are spitting up food frequently, vomiting as well as loss of weight and appetite. Serious instances of acid reflux could lead to ulcerative esophagitis that can damage the deeper layers of the mucus lining. In such cases, you may see your dog show signs of pain (whining and howling) while eating or swallowing, in addition to the other symptoms of acid reflux.
Treatment of this condition may require the dog to fast for about a day or two, after which they will need to be put on a dog acid reflux diet. The diet would consist of small meals that are low in fat and protein, given at frequent intervals. Rich foods are very unhealthy for dogs suffering from this condition and should be strictly avoided or better yet, eliminated. Certain additives could be added to dog food for acid reflux, to help cure the condition and prevent it from occurring in the future. Given below, are some alterations that can be made to the dog’s diet:
- Honey can coat the esophagus of the dog, protecting it from the effects of the acid to some extent. Therefore, you can apply some honey on a small piece of bread and feed it to your dog around 15 to 20 minutes, before a meal. However, never give your dog plain honey and give it along with some bread.
- Adding apple cider vinegar to a dog’s diet is believed to have some success in controlling the levels of acid in the dog’s stomach, thereby reducing the occurrence of acid reflux. The bark derived from slippery elm trees can be added to the dog’s diet, to soothe the stomach and esophagus, as well as coat them. This helps in expediting the healing process. There are certain digestive enzymes and pro-biotic additives that can be included in the dog’s diet, either in the form of capsules or yogurt. These can help the dog to break down the food and digest it faster, reducing acidity and reflux problems.
However, before making any dietary changes, or giving your pet dog food for acid reflux, it is advisable to check with a veterinarian.