Gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) or bloating is often uncomfortable and very painful. Your GSP could be in danger from bloating because when their stomach fills with gas, food, or fluid, it hinders blood from the hind limbs and abdomen from returning to the heart.
Here are 6 ways to stop your German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP) from bloating:
- Observe your GSP’s feeding habits and meals.
- Feed your dog probiotics.
- Keep your dog calm while eating.
- Be cautious when breeding your dog.
- Consider preventive surgery (prophylactic gastropexy).
- Have a home bloat kit.
Below, I’ve rounded up the best ways to stop bloat from taking a toll on your furry friend. Keep reading to understand what you need to do to keep your furry friend healthy.
1. Observe Your GSP’s Feeding Habits and Meals
Some GSP meals have been observed to considerably increase the probability of bloating. Soybean and foods with oil or fat in their first four components are far more likely to induce bloat in your dog. So, it would be best to avoid them.
Always make sure your furry friend eats high-quality and easily digestible proteins with low fibers. While dry kibble diets are not exactly to blame for bloating, feeding your dog raw or fresh meals reduces bloat risk.
Here are the ingredients to make sure they are in your dog’s food because they help reduce gas:
- Low fat and fiber content
- High protein content and calcium-rich meals such as fish, chicken, or bone meals.
- Ginger and turmeric
Observing your dog’s feeding habits is the surest way to reduce the risk of bloating. I feed my dogs Taste of The Wild – Smoked Salmon (available on Amazon.com), as recommended by my vet. It was natural ingredients and my pups have never dealt with bloating issues. Check with your vet before switching your dog’s food.
Besides these, here are two ways that can significantly reduce the number of bloated pups that face this life-threatening issue:
- Change diets slowly. Canines tend to be creatures of habit, so abrupt changes can be problematic for their stomachs and digestive systems to handle. Furthermore, if your dog is gassy, they are most likely in discomfort. It’s essential to make diet-related alterations slowly to keep your dog comfortable.
- Check the feeding rate. Overfeeding, underfeeding, and fast eating all heighten the risk of bloating in your pup’s stomach.
If your GSP only eats once a day, they’re susceptible to GDV. Feeding your dog two to four times a day is the best practice to prevent GDV. You should also reduce how fast your pup swallows/eats food portions. My dogs are grazers, so I asked my friends for their recommendations and they both use this Slow Feeder Bowl from Outward Hound (available on Amazon.com).
Instead of one large meal, make a habit of feeding your dog with smaller portions frequently.
2. Feed Your Dog Probiotics
If these diet adjustments and ingredients aren’t helping your dog’s bloating problem, consider probiotics.
Probiotics are an excellent way to aid digestion and supplement your dog’s diet with nutrients. They operate by encouraging the growth of beneficial bacteria in your dog’s intestines.
Some common probiotics include:
- Plain yogurt (without sweeteners)
- Dry foods like Purina Pro Plan Sport (available on Amazon.com). This maintains lean muscle mass and contains essential nutrients like Omega 3. Also see the food brand I recommended above.
- Chewables like Vet’s Best Gas Busters (available on Amazon.com). This product is excellent for gastrointestinal distress and promotes a healthy gut.
- Sprays like Florazil + MultiProbiotic Food Spray (available on Amazon.com). Florazil supports a healthy gut and contains probiotics for enhanced digestion.
3. Keep Your Dog Calm While Eating
Fear and stress increase the chances for your German shorthaired pointer to bloat.
Additionally, anxiety may have a role in GDV. Recent research by WorldWideScience found that quiet and calm dogs had a decreased risk of acquiring GDV than dogs who were “hyper” or “fearful.”
To prevent this, always make sure your dog eats in a calm and familiar environment.
Since GSPs can be hyper, it’s best to feed them after they’ve had time to overcome strenuous exercise. After he’s finished eating, your dog will be quiet, comfortable, and safe from bloating.
Additionally, keep other dogs isolated when they eat so they don’t become agitated by each other’s presence.
4. Be Cautious When Breeding Your Dog
Although the exact reason is unknown, some dogs are predisposed to bloat, which is thought to be impacted by hereditary and environmental factors. In some breeds, bloat is second only to cancer as the primary cause of mortality.
If your GSP’s family history includes chronic bloating, breeding it with a healthier GSP may transmit the condition to the offspring.
Be mindful of this trait before choosing a breeding partner, as it will help prevent your canine from transmitting bloating in offspring.
5. Consider Preventive Surgery (Prophylactic Gastropexy)
Preventive surgery, also known as prophylactic gastropexy, is a procedure done by vets on large breeds to avoid bloating. GSPs are prone to experiencing GDV, so this procedure can help save your furry friend from such extremities.
If your GSP is bloat-prone, gastropexy reduces recurrence rates and fatality risk. The surgery may be a great option when the other methods, such as frequent feedings, do not work. However, the surgery may be unfruitful as the condition may be too worse for treatment.
If you’re concerned about your GSP’s bloating, talk to your vet about this approach. However, think of this method as a safety net to allow you time to master triggers for your GSPs bloat.
Once you know the underlying cause, you can effectively treat the GDV.
6. Have a Home Bloat Kit
A home dog bloat kit ensures you are ready in case of emergencies. It often includes a clear vinyl tube, mouth block, simethicone, and how-to manual.
Although simethicone does not prevent gas bubbles from forming or eradicate them, it does assist to speed up the process of removing the gas from your dog’s body.
The HomeoPet DIGESTIVE UPSETS (available on Amazon.com) has amazing customer reviews. It provides relief from digestive problems such as bloating, and it is also safe for pregnant and nursing animals.
About 77% to 90% of dogs survive canine gastric dilation when detected and treated early.
If you remember these tips, your dog won’t have to suffer from digestive problems. Nonetheless, always consult your vet for the best advice on controlling your GSP’s bloating.
- Find out the cause of bloat in your pup, then make appropriate adjustments.
- Be mindful of pet habits, feeding rate, and foods that can cause bloat in GSPs.
- Prevention of anxiety reduces bloat risk.
- Remember that GDV or bloat may be hereditary.