Our Shiba Inu’s digestive system is crucial to its overall health. The digestive system’s role is to dissolve food, convert and absorb nutrients to energy, and rid the body of waste. These are all important for your dog’s cellular growth and tissue repair.
Since dogs are carnivores, their digestive systems are constructed to process animal protein and fat. This means they have shorter digestive tracts for quicker protein digestion. But, it also means complex carbohydrates are tougher to digest.
If they consume too many complex carbohydrates, this can cause digestive issues. This is why an annual check-up for your Shiba Inu is essential so you can check on their digestive systems and avoid digestive problems.
Common Digestive Disorders in Dogs
Dogs can have digestive issues ranging from minor discomfort to severely painful and critical.
Here are the most common digestive disorders in dogs.
Acute gastroenteritis. Acute gastroenteritis is the inflammation or infection of the stomach and intestines. It is a short-term digestive issue caused by a dog eating spoiled food, high-fat people food, eating toxic plants, internal parasites, or swallowing foreign objects or substances not for dogs.
Colitis. Colitis is an acute or chronic inflammation in the lining of the color. It is often caused by whipworms (a parasite), tumors, food allergies, or swallowing foreign objects. This digestive issue is common for dogs under age five and inflames the large intestines resulting in the painful passing of feces.
Constipation. Constipation has several causes, including lack of exercise, dehydration, and eating indigestible objects like bones.
Pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is an inflammation or infection of the pancreas. Potential causes are feeding your dog food high in fat, disorders, disease, or trauma.
Small intestinal malabsorption. This is an inflammation of the small intestines and can cause nutrient malabsorption, resulting in diarrhea, weight loss, and loss of appetite.
How to Take Care of Your Shiba Inu’s Digestive System
If you are a fur parent, you know how important it is to watch for your dog’s well-being, including their intestinal health.
If you want to avoid digestive issues, here are simple things you can do for your Shiba.
Lots of exercises
Exercise helps your dog’s overall health, including maintaining its digestive tract. A dog’s stomach can store huge amounts of food for periods, and its body turns it into energy depending on how fast it burns it.
The faster your dog burns its energy through exercise, the faster its digestive cycle will take food from its stomach and convert it into caloric energy.
Plenty of water
Like humans, water is vital to your dog’s good health. Drinking water before or after a meal helps with digestion and aids in metabolism. It also softens your dog’s feces, makes passing easier, and prevents constipation.
Feed them a high-protein, low-fat diet
A high-protein diet is essential since most of your dog’s body tissues need protein for growth and maintenance. Protein provides amino acids to your dog’s health, which helps with hair formation, skin, muscles, cartilage, and ligaments.
A low-fat dog is also suitable for dogs with medical issues as this reduces fat consumption.
Another piece of advice to help your dog’s health is to feed it raw food. Raw food is very rich in nutrients. A study also shows that 98.7% of dog owners who maintains a raw food diet noticed an improvement in their pooch’s health.
Be careful, though, as raw food can be contaminated easily.
But the downside to a strict raw food diet is it can be quite expensive. The same study also reveals that even a portion of raw food is still beneficial for your dog’s health.