Canine Bloat – What It Is And How To Protect Against It

What Is Dog Bloat?

Dog bloat is a condition where the stomach fills with gas and causes your pet to collapse on its back. Dogs are susceptible to it because they have a flat stomach which allows them to eat more than other animals. They may not even notice any discomfort from having such a large stomach.

The cause of canine bloat is unknown but some experts believe that it could be due to an infection or blockage in their digestive system. Some veterinarians suggest that dogs may develop bloat when there is a change in diet, especially if the animal eats too much meat. Other factors include a lack of exercise and stress during pregnancy or a young age. However, most cases occur without these contributing factors.

Symptoms Of Dog Bloat:

Dogs will usually show no signs of being ill until they begin to experience symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive salivation. When this happens, they may vomit up blood and foam from their mouth. Their breathing may become rapid and shallow. If you see them panting heavily or panting excessively then you know that something is wrong.

A bloated stomach may also be a symptom of other conditions or diseases in your dog. If a dog owner sees that their pet’s stomach is swollen then it is important to consult a veterinarian. The vet will perform tests to check whether the animal has ingested a foreign object, poison or has an infection in its stomach.

Preventative Measures For Bloat In Dogs

Does your dog suffer from bloat or have you noticed that its stomach is visibly swollen?

If so, you should find out whether the cause of the problem is a disorder that can be treated or if it is a genetic condition. Before you take any preventative measures against bloat, it is important to consult your veterinarian.

Genetic Bloat

If your dog’s bloat is caused by a disease of its digestive system then unfortunately there isn’t much you can do to prevent it. Certain breeds are more susceptible to it than others, especially if they have a history of being affected by the problem. If this is the case then you should take special care when feeding your pet.


One preventative measure that you can take is changing your dog’s diet. This should only be done with the permission and guidance of a veterinarian. He may suggest that you feed your dog a food which has fewer carbohydrates or less fat content. Many veterinarians also advise against giving dogs food which has bones in because they can cause blockages in the digestive system.

How To Feed Your Dog After Bloat

Diet is an important aspect when it comes to feeding your dog after bloat. Veterinarians suggest that you feed your pet two to three very small meals a day rather than leaving food out all the time. This will make the dog chew its food more and stimulate the digestive system. You should also ensure that the bowls that you feed your pet with are not deep.

When feeding your dog, you should make sure that you only provide it with ice cubes made from plain water rather than ones made from fruit juices or sodas. The sugars in these drinks can cause digestive problems similar to those caused by eating a heavy meal. You should also avoid moistening your pet’s food with wet sponges because the bacteria in the sponge can also cause health problems.


Canine Bloat – What It Is And How To Protect Against It -

Your veterinarian may advise you to give your dog supplements to aid its digestive system after bloat. These can include digestive enzymes, which will help the body to digest food more efficiently. He may also suggest Probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that can be taken as supplements or in the form of yogurt. These bacteria are good for the health of your pet’s digestive system.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

The best way to prevent bloat in dogs is to pay close attention to your pet’s diet. Stick to a feeding routine, and monitor your dog for any symptoms of bloat such as excessive salivation, restlessness, vomiting or sudden stomach swelling. If you see any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Sources & references used in this article:

Demography and dog-human relationships of the dog population in Zimbabwean communal lands by JRA Butler, J Bingham – Veterinary Record, 2000 –

Canine viral vaccines at a turning point—a personal perspective by LE Carmichael – Advances in veterinary medicine, 1999 –

Livestock Protection Dogs by O Dawydiak, D Sims – 2019 –

A reason to season: the therapeutic benefits of spices and culinary herbs by TL Dog – Explore: the journal of science and healing, 2006 –

Response of canine lower esophageal sphincter to gastric distension by SJ Franzi, CJ Martin, MR Cox… – American Journal of …, 1990 –