Dogs love mealtime. It’s probably one of the, if not the most, things they look forward to in their day. Sadly, not all lovable pups get to enjoy their food to their heart’s content. Who would when it is immediately followed by vomiting, diarrhea, or nausea?
A sensitive stomach can be genetics or a condition they develop later in life. Either way, it should be addressed to ensure your Shiba Inu is in tip-top shape.
Symptoms of a sensitive stomach
Many of the signs are similar to humans, so detecting these shouldn’t be too challenging.
The symptoms include:
- Lack of appetite
- Excessive gas
- Soft stool
- Blood in stool
Old dogs and smaller dog breeds are more commonly affected by a sensitive stomach, but this doesn’t mean your younger pooch is safe. Remember, health issues don’t choose which dog to hit. Any breed and any age are all susceptible to medical concerns.
Soft stool and lack of appetite can be a primary issue but can also be a sign of an underlying ailment. An example is if your dog has a sensitive digestive system and their diet is disturbing their gastrointestinal tract, this can lead to chronic vomiting and ulceration.
Diagnosis for sensitive stomach
If your Shiba has very concerning signs, always have your veterinarian check and test him, especially when they release abnormal stool or constantly vomiting.
Your vet will ask you about your dog’s condition when the symptoms started, and how they developed. They will thoroughly examine your dog and check for other signs of illnesses or indications of a sensitive stomach.
Lab work will also assist in the diagnosis to determine if they are any unusual levels, like blood levels, glucose, and cholesterol. If there is, more lab work needs to be done.
Causes of your Shiba Inu’s sensitive stomach
Some dogs can eat anything (and by anything, we mean anything) and not feel a thing, but some dogs will throw up if they eat something even the least different from their usual meals.
If your dog is typically healthy and throws up (or shows any of the signs mentioned) once every blue moon, it might be an upset stomach. However, if they are experiencing the symptoms frequently (more than once a month), they might have a sensitive stomach.
The causes of a sensitive stomach can be quite challenging to determine as many factors affect your Shiba’s digestive system, including eating habits and underlying medical conditions like allergies.
More specific causes include bacterial imbalance, parasites, ulcers, tumors, or ingredient intolerance.
What to do?
You need a veterinarian’s professional help, but there are also things you can do at home to ease your dog’s stomach sensitivity.
Make sure your house is dog-friendly
Vets call it ‘dietary indiscretion,’ but it just means that your dog is eating things they shouldn’t that can cause an upset or sensitive stomach.
If your Shiba Inu likes to dig through the trash for treats, then make sure to put it in places they can’t reach or safeguard it in place. This includes trash bins in the kitchen and bathroom.
Keep the toilet lid down so they don’t go in for a drink, and keep the cabinets, where the cleaners and other chemicals are, closed and locked.
Electrical cords and small objects like coins and bobby pins can lead to stomach irritation or more complex medical issues. Make sure to keep inedible and dangerous things they might chew and swallow out of reach.
And even in the backyard, where poisonous plants and mushrooms might grow.
Simple diet and slow feeding
Food and diet also greatly affect your Shiba’s stomach sensitivity. Try switching to a simple diet that consists of high-quality ingredients might just do the trick.
Even the pace at which they inhale their food affects their stomach.
It’s no secret that dogs feel like every mealtime is a race. They eat quickly and can easily overeat. Sometimes, eating big portions in a short time can lead to vomiting. If not, it is also a possibility for loose stools and gas.
When they vomit, they get extra-hungry, prompting them to eat their next meal in the same rapid manner, if not even more intense than the last one. The cycle repeats, and this further irritates their delicate stomach.
One solution that dog owners like to use with dogs that eat too quickly is to give them smaller but frequent meals.
Observe and eliminate
One of the top causes of stomach sensitivity in dogs is their reaction to an ingredient in their diet. If they are intolerant or allergic to any of the ingredients in their everyday meal, nothing can help them except to take it out of their food.
The elimination diet is a helpful trick for dog owners. It is simply letting your Shiba try a new, balanced diet of clean and simple food and observing its effects on your dog.
If the symptoms disappear, you can gradually add other ingredients one by one. If adding one causes a reaction, you have identified the problematic ingredient.