Avoiding life-threatening Bloat

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

What is Bloat

Bloat is a life-threatening condition which affects most breeds. It has an extremely high mortality rate, and can occur in any dog, at any age.  Simply stated it is when the stomach distends with gas and fluid (this swelling is called bloating), and then twists (turns), trapping the fluid and gas in the stomach.

It is also known as Gastric Volvulus or Gastric Torsion.

There are lots of theories on what triggers bloat. Some say it is all about genetics, and has nothing to do with food, exercise or stress. I have seen dogs bloat with no outside triggers, and I have seen dogs bloat as a result of feeding, exercise, training, stress and a combination of all of the above.

Things you can do to Avoid Bloat

✔ Never feed your dog within 2 hours prior AND especially after exercise, work or training

✔ Control food amounts

✔ Feed two meals a day

✔ Moisten your dogs food

✔ Do not free-feed food (leave it out all the time).

✔ If you have multiple dogs, feed them separately to discourage competition.

✔ Feed in crates.

✔ This allows them to have a “safe” environment to eat peacefully without worrying about protecting their food.

✔ Control water amounts before and after exercise and eating. We suggest about ten seconds of drinking.

✔ Give smaller amounts spread over time to discourage “gulping” and swallowing excessive air.

✔ Wait to give water until at least 1 hour after eating.

✔ Allow free water access all other times.

✔ Put small amount of plain yogurt on your dog’s kibble to encourage “friendly” bacterial growth for proper digestion, or use supplemental acidophilus.

✔ Keep on hand the number of the closest 24-hour emergency Veterinary care.