If your lab is experiencing diarrhea, gas, upset stomach, or vomiting, life can be hell for both you and your beloved pooch. 😢
Labs can experience gastrointestinal issues for a myriad of reasons, but fortunately many of these issues can be alleviated at home with a few natural remedies or supplements. However, if your lab is consistently experiencing diarrhea or vomiting, make an appointment with your veterinarian right away.
Here’s 5 remedies or supplements for your lab’s tummy trouble today:
1. Fast Your Lab for 12-24 Hours
Sometimes all a dog needs is time for their gastrointestinal tract to heal and reset. Withholding food for 12 – 24 hours allows the system to flush out whatever nastiness caused the issue and reboot to a healthy state. It’s important to keep your lab hydrated, even during a fast. However, do not let them drink too much at once, as this could cause vomiting or set off another bout of diarrhea.
2. Give Your Lab Bland Diet for a Few Days
At the end of a fast it’s best to slowly introduce a diet of bland, easily digestible food. Try boiled, unseasoned, skinless white meat chicken shredded over plain white rice. For dogs on grain-free diets, substitute mashed over-ripe banana or canned pumpkin. Feed a few spoon-fulls every 2 – 3 hours and gradually increase the quantity over a 24 hour period.
Next, begin a slow re-introduction of their normal food by serving a 75% bland/25% regular diet mix for a few meals, followed by a 50/50 mix, followed by a 75% regular/25% bland, until your dog is eating exclusively dog food again.
3. Use a Multi-Strain Probiotic for Your Lab’s Diarrhea or Gas
Diarrhea not only clears away the unhealthy bacteria in the gut, it also destroys the healthy flora. To reintroduce these living, beneficial cultures, opt for a canine probiotic. Plain yogurt may help, but does not pack nearly the same punch as a high-potency probiotic packed with the right cultures. Make sure you choose a product that contains multiple strains of good bacteria, not just one. The probiotic soft chew we use here at iHeartDogs has 3 strains of probiotics.
Using a probiotic is also helpful for reducing your lab’s gas, or transitioning them to a new food.
4. Give Your Lab a Prebiotic Supplement or Pumpkin
Canned pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filler!), slippery elm, chia seeds, and plantains are all forms of prebiotics which are reported to offer natural GI-healing benefits. Prebiotics are a non-digestible ingredient that promotes the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the intestines. In other words, PRE-biotics are basically the food that PRO-biotics needs to thrive.
Pureed pumpkin is packed with fiber which helps to bulk up the stool. Slippery elm is said to coat and sooth mucus membranes – including the GI tract. Chia seeds are packed with fiber and absorb excess water, and plantains have antimocrobial properties. As always, consult your vet before making changes to your dog’s diet. Some high quality supplements, like this dog prebiotic chew, already contain pumpkin in them.
5. Try Giving Your Lab Digestive Enzymes to Improve Digestion
Oftentimes the cause of your lab’s stomach issue may be related to incomplete digestion. Some lab’s have trouble digesting protein, fats, carbohydrates, or fiber. Digestive enzymes help your lab break down and absorb each of these nutrients. Failure to absorb nutrients can result in bouts of runny poos, so these vital enzymes can help.
- Protease: Breaks down proteins into amino acids, improving digestion of meats in particular
- Amylase: Breaks down starches into carbohydrate molecules that your lab’s can digest
- Lipase: Breaks down fats in your lab’s gut
- Cellulase: Breaks down fiber from plants & grains.
Any good digestive enzyme supplement for dogs should include all 4 of these enzymes.
If you were to give your lab one supplement, make it this one!
Providing all in one probiotic, prebiotic, & digestive enzyme supplement is the easiest way to ensure that your pup is getting the microflora they need to encourage an optimally functioning GI tract.
Learn About the 3-in-1 Probiotic, Prebiotic, & Digestive Enzyme Supplement Recommended by iHeartDogs
Additional FAQs About Your Lab’s Gastroenteritis, Gas, Diarrhea, Bloating, or Vomiting
Should I Use a Probiotic When Transitioning My Lab to a New Food?
Probiotics are also very useful in preventing diarrhea when transitioning your lab to a new food. First, give your lab a probiotic for a week or so before introducing the new food. Then slowly increase the amount of new food while continuing to feed some of the old. During this time, continue giving the probiotic until the transition to 100% of the new food is complete.
My Lab Recently Was Given an Antibiotic. Should I also Give a Probiotic?
Yes! Antibiotics destroy both good and bad bacteria in your lab’s body. Giving a probiotic while taking a antibiotic will help replenish the good strains of bacteria your dog needs in their gut.
Can a Probiotic Reduce My Lab’s Gas?
Can your lab’s gas clear a room? Even something as trivial as your lab’s smelly farts can be helped by a good quality probiotic. It’s an easy way to improve the air quality in your home! 😜
What Causes Diarrhea & Vomiting with My Lab?
There are many possible causes of your lab’s tummy troubles:
- Certain viruses can cause stomach upset, such as parvovirus for puppies
- Eating a food not appropriate for dogs, especially fatty foods
- A food allergy or intolerance
- Swallowing a foreign non-food object
- Sudden changes in food. Most dogs need to be transitioned slowly to a new food brand while taking a probiotic
- Side effect of a medication, especially a new one. Antibiotics are notorious for causing diarrhea in dogs.
- Intestinal parasites
- Poisons or toxins
- Chronic disease such as IBD (inflammatory bowel disease)
- Stress due to boarding at a kennel, visiting a vet, or rehoming. Dogs in shelters are particularly prone to bouts of diarrhea.
Always note the color and consistency of your lab’s poop or vomit. As unpleasant as it might be, take a picture of it that you can show your veterinarian.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. No product is intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional.
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