A Dog Owner’s Nightmare – Bloat.

Bloat. Its something that each and every one of us as dog owners needs to be concerned about – especially if we have a particularly susceptible breed.   Deep chested large breeds tend to be most at risk but bloat also affects smaller dogs and mixed breed dogs which means no particular dog is exempt.  Causes can be diet induced, physiological or genetic.

Very simply, if not caught in time, bloat (also known as Gastric Dilation and Volvulous), will kill your dog – quickly.

It is our job as dog owners to know the signs and symptoms and to always be watching out for them.  It is only this knowledge that will save your dog’s life.  Symptoms can range from the subtle to the obvious.  Being able to detect the subtle clues can be crucial to getting your dog the help he needs.

Can bloat be prevented?  Perhaps not completely BUT there are many ways to lessen the risk – chief among these is diet.  Many incidences of bloat are due to a combination of factors – the build/breed or breed mix of the dog, stressors, overall health and genetic factors.  The one overriding cause in many cases seems to be a commercial kibble diet.  But for eating a diet of kibble, many dogs would not suffer bloat pure and simple.

Is this always the answer?  Not necessarily but more often than not it plays a part.  This is certainly true of dogs who have bloated once before.  Once that happens they have an enormous chance of bloating again.  There are many viewpoints out there as to what is best – raised food bowls, lowered food bowls, no water before or after eating, no exercise before or after eating – the list is endless.

Its our job to figure out what the most important factors ARE and to use common sense in an attempt to avoid the problem all together.  With diet being the most common denominator in most bloat cases, it makes sense that diet is where dog owners should start their research.

Read more in this article, Bloat – What you don’t know can hurt your dog!