With the summer months and warmer weather quickly approaching, it is the ideal time to learn how to best aid your dog’s digestive system as, especially at this time of year, your dog’s tummy can become easily upset. Be careful with human foods! It is so tempting to give in to those big puppy dog eyes, but feeding your beloved dog certain human foods from the leftovers of dinner, can really have a negative impact on your dog’s digestive system and health so if in doubt, it’s best not to give in, no matter how much they plead. For example…did you know, onions can be extremely toxic for dogs? A very popular ingredient in most dinner time meals, it is even more important to resist the urge to give your dog your evening leftovers as onion contains a toxin called N-propyl disulfide, which causes the breakdown of red blood cells and leads to anemia. BUT…there are some human foods that are safe! Healthy vegetables such as carrots and cucumber can make a yummy little snack. But if you’re unsure, it’s best to ask your vet and double check so you don’t affect your dog’s digestion and overall health. The right foods at the right times With so many different pet food brands out there it can be difficult to know what is the right pet food to give your dog. In general, the higher quality the pet food the better, so it’s best to avoid ones that contain high amounts of cereals and artificial preservatives or additives. There are also daily pet foods available designed to specifically help support the digestive system of your adult dog and puppy, which could be a good option for your canine companion (always check with your vet first). It’s also important to feed your dog at scheduled times and to try and stick to these times each and every day, as not only will this help with your dog’s digestion but it’ll also teach them good mealtime behaviour – they’ll be less likely to beg you for your leftovers! Don’t swap straight from one food to another Switching your dog straight from one food to another can hinder their digestion further, so if you are considering changing your dog’s daily food it is best to do this in stages to help with their digestion. For most foods, we’d recommend a mix of; 75% of your dog’s current food with 25% of the new for the first 4 days, a 50/50 mix on the 9th day, a mix of 25% of the current and 75% of the new on the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th day, and finally 100% of the new food on the 14th day. Of course, it is best to consult your vet when you are thinking about changing your dog’s food, and you should always ensure there is a supply of clean fresh water easily available for your pooch. Probiotics The performance of your dog’s digestive system is largely reliant on the health of their gut, and a great way to help improve this is by introducing probiotics into their diet. One way to do this is through the use of probiotic soft chews. These soft chews are designed to help the beneficial bacteria travel through the complete GI tract, balancing the gut for optimal health and digestion – delicious tasting, your dog will love them too! If your dog needs an extra boost, there are also advanced probiotics available including our very tasty probiotic paste. One of very few available in the market, veterinary approved and of extra strength, it helps to restore the microflora and soothes the gut lining of your pet. Anxiety and digestive problems A big cause of digestive problems in dogs is stress and anxiety related, with some of the biggest causes of this being; the introduction of a new pet, changes in their home environment i.e. home renovations or moving home completely, and separation from you, their owner. Easing your pet into such circumstances can help to reduce the impact i.e. introducing the new pet gradually or taking your dog to the new home on multiple occasions before you move in full time. Another way to help ease your dog’s anxiety and stress is through calming supplements including room sprays and soft chews, and the calming sprays are particularly helpful when introducing new pets and moving home. We hope this helps you in supporting your dog’s digestive system. Don’t forget we also offer free veterinary advice 24/7 via PawSquad for every customer who registers for a Broadreach Nature account, which comes in super handy if you want to quickly ask the experts about any concerns or questions you may have about your pet.