Authored by: Dr. Lindsey, DVM
Digestive problems can be a frequent source of headache for us in our dogs and cats. Sometimes it can be considered normal (like the occasional cat hairball) and other times it can be a sign of a more serious medical issue. If we can get our pets to have less digestive problems, we could spend way less time cleaning up their messes! Always consult with your veterinarian prior to starting any treatment. Here are a few natural ways to help address digestive problems in our pets.
A bland diet may be prescribed by your veterinarian if your pet has certain digestive issues. The bland diet may only be for a few days or it could be long term. Many pet food companies make bland diets to help animals with their digestive issues. The diets frequently come in canned and dry food versions. Some people will choose to cook a bland diet for their pet. When cooking for our pets, it would be recommended to consult with a veterinary nutritionist to ensure a well-balanced diet. There is a popular website called www.petdiets.com that you and your veterinarian can work with a nutritionist to ensure a well-balanced homemade diet. Another website called www.balanceit.com can also be a good resource to use when trying to make a balanced pet diet.
Canned pumpkin is another common, natural product that can help aid digestion. It should be canned pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. Your vet can tell you the frequency, amount, and duration to give your pet. Canned pumpkin can go both ways meaning it can help with constipation or diarrhea.
Pet Honesty makes the very popular 10-For-1 Multivitamin chews that contain probiotics (1 billion CFU’s!) and pumpkin to help aid in digestion. They also have the Digestive Probiotics which come in chews for dogs and a powder for cats. The Digestive Probiotics help support proper bowel health and digestion as well as assists in the absorption of essential nutrients. Ask your veterinarian if the Pet Honesty supplements may be right for your cat or dog.
Dr. Lindsey graduated from Colorado State University in 2009 and works in general practice, shelter medicine, and more recently as a civilian contractor veterinarian for the Army. She is also certified in acupuncture and resides in Palm Springs, CA.