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Ask Kolchak: The Rumbly Tummy Blues

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Ask Kolchak is a new feature where we will do our best to answer your questions about your kibbles, dog food, dog treats and anything we think we can help with. All names have been changed, mostly for our amusement. Do you have a question for Kolchak? e-mail us at kolchakpuggle (at) gmail (dot) com

Dear Kolchak,

Last night my Mom left a Tuna Fish sandwich on the kitchen table and went into another room. When she didn’t come back, I made the only logical assumption and decided that she must have made the sandwich for me. It seemed odd, since I’m normally not allowed “people food”, but why else would she leave a sandwich out? Hot diggity dog! I snarfed it down in one bite. It was all fishy and mayonnaise-y and delicious. When my Mom caught me I was in a lot of trouble, since apparently, it was not my sandwich. That’s not even the worst part. Today my tummy is really rumbly. I puked up my breakfast kibble and I’m going out to potty every half hour because I have dier, dhia, diah, loose stools. What can I do to get my tummy back on track?

Signed – Poopin’ in Pittsburgh

Dear Poopin’,First let me say, if you need to run outside during this little chat of ours, you just run and go. I’ll wait. I’d rather talk to myself for a minute or two than have you puking all over my blog like Linda Blair in the Exorcist.

So you’ve got a rumbly tummy, eh? It happens to the best of pups. With Thanksgiving and some rich meals coming up this week, we expect diarrhea to be a common problem in a whole lot of households. Get out the carpet cleaners everyone! To help avoid this trouble at your house, check out our tips to help your dog celebrate Thanksgiving in style.

Too late? Here is what your humans can do to help if you have diarrhea right now.

If your dog is used to eating only kibbles day in & day out, then it is completely normal that their digestive system will freak out if they eat something new or different – especially if that food happens to be a rich, mayonnaise-y, egg-y sandwich. Vomiting and diarrhea is no fun for your dog or for you either, but luckily, you should be able to take care of the problem fairly easily.

  • Switch to a bland diet. A nice bland diet will help settle your dog’s stomach, plus if they are anything like Kol, it will tempt their appetite even if you aren’t feeling very well. Many people recommend boiled chicken and white rice, but since Felix is grain intolerant, we prefer another variation: boiled chicken and white potatoes. Switch to this bland diet for 48 hours, then slowly reintroduce kibbles. If you are feeding raw, I would consider lightly cooking the chicken to make it easier for your dog’s stomach to digest. You can switch back to raw after 48 hours. (Keep in mind this is not suitable for every day feeding. Only use this bland diet for a day or two. If stomach upset continues beyond that time, see your vet.)
  • Pumpkin to the rescue. Pumpkin is a unique fiber source that is good for both diarrhea and constipation. Major bonus? It’s TASTY! We love pumpkin. To help with diarrhea, we use
    • 1/2 tablespoon for toy breeds
    • 1 tablespoon for small dogs
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons for medium dogs
    • 2 tablespoons for large breeds

(Trying to treat constipation? Double that amount if your dog is constipated.)

  • Cut the treats. Right now you need to let your dog’s body rest. You wouldn’t eat a bag of Doritos if you were sick and this is no time for your pet to be eating junk food either.
  • Offer lots of fluids. Your dog is loosing more water than usual, so you will want to help them rehydrate. Offer low-fat, low-sodium chicken stock as a yummy way to entice them to drink. If they are quit dehydrated, you can mix in some plain children’s Pedialyte to help them replace electrolytes.
  • Try some Herbal Happiness. Slippery Elm is an herb that turns into a gel when it is added to water. This herb helps to soothe a distressed stomach and it acts as a “protectant” in your digestive system helping to soothe inflammation. Mix one tablespoon of slippery elm powder into 12 oz. of boiling water, stirring until smooth. Mix equal parts slippery elm gel and canned pumpkin (dosing above) and serve. (WARNING: Extended use of Slippery Elm may interfere with absorption of nutrients, minerals and other medications. Always give medications 2 hours before or after Slippery Elm. Consult a qualified veterinary herbalist for use as an extended treatment.)
  • Above all, relax and get well! When your dog is under the weather, it’s best to let the veg out on the coach and relax. Save that invigorating hike for another day!
Diarrhea isn’t anything to sneeze at (you might poop if you do!) If your dog’s tummy trouble lasts more than 48 hours, if they appear to be straining to poop or vomit, if their stomach is tender or painful to touch or if you suspect they may have ingested something toxic or poisonous (including onions), get your tail to the vet. Sure, it will cost a few dollars, but better safe than sorry!
How do you deal with the Rumbly Tummy Blues? 

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