Preventing Tummy Troubles
Preventing Tummy Troubles
Gas. Yep, I said it. For almost any animal on the planet, digestive expulsions are a normal part of life. For French Bulldogs, however, there should be a warning label that comes with every puppy – ‘Beware of Farts’. Don’t get me wrong – we adore our Frenchies! They’re hilarious, adorable, big eared clowns that can make even the gloomiest day seem like a walk on the beach. But preventing tummy troubles in French Bulldogs can be a challenge. No Frenchie owner would consider trading their pup for another, but let’s face it – French Bulldogs are definitely known for their fickle digestive systems and frequent, er, gaseous emissions. But wait… you and your dog don’t have to suffer in a cloud of smelly silence – there are ways to tame your Frenchie’s tummy troubles and get a handle on that frightening flatulence.
To start, there are a few main issues that can cause the farts and burps that frequently occur in Frenchie households.
- Facial structure. French Bulldogs are what’s known as a brachycephalic breed (they have a short muzzle and pushed in upper jaw). These unique features are what make the Frenchie stand out, but they also mean that Frenchies breathe more through their mouths than through their noses. Brachycephalic dogs tend to swallow more air in general, especially during mealtimes. More air in equals more gas out!
- Much of your pup’s gas is actually produced by certain bacteria in the intestinal tract. Low quality proteins and certain types of fiber in some pet foods aren’t digested very well by your pup’s own enzymes – and this is when the bacteria in the colon have a feast! As they break down that residual fiber and protein, they make hydrogen sulfide, which is the cause of the smelliest gases.
- (Potential) Medical Conditions. Unfortunately, Frenchies often tend to have a genetic tendency to certain medical problems that can cause regular tummy upset as well. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), food intolerance or allergy, parasites, or pancreatic insufficiency may sometimes be adding to your pup’s gastrointestinal woes.
So now that we know some of the common causes of stomach problems, let’s look at some solutions that might help your dog (and your nose!)
- Change the mealtime routine. Giving your Frenchie smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day cuts down on the amount of air they swallow. Feeding a mix of both canned and dry food can help too, as can hand feeding if they tend to be super chow gulpers.
- Choose the right food. Frenchies fare better with recipes that have a very highly digestible source of protein and include fibres that don’t ‘feed’ the gas-producing bacteria in the colon. Avoiding ingredients like soy, beans or peas is a good start! A formula that’s referred to as ‘low-residue’ might also make quite the difference – this means that most of the nutrients of this diet are digested and absorbed by your pup before they reach those gassy little microbes.
- Ditch the dairy. Those bits you’re sneaking under the table aren’t helping. Milk and cheese contain lactose, which isn’t digested very well by any adult dog, let alone French Bulldogs!
- Check with your pup’s veterinarian. If your Frenchie’s tummy troubles are long lasting or abnormally bad, there may be a medical problem that needs some extra care and attention.
In the end, a little flatulence is a normal part of life, for both humans and dogs. With some extra care, however, your Frenchie’s toots, belches and tummy troubles can be reduced to occasional events, and you can feel free to explore the world together, embarrassment-free. With a little care, you can be preventing tummy troubles in your Frenchie.
Here’s a cute little Frenchie who needs a diet change: