Bloat in dogs. What is it and how can it be prevented?

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Most protection dog owners are unaware of the dangers of bloat and how it can be prevented or treated. Much of the advice given online or from pet stores is incorrect and can actually put your protection dog more at risk. Advice such as feeding on a raised bowl or putting water in the animal’s food is actually putting protection dogs in danger of developing bloat. Bloat in dogs (gastric dilatation-volvulus) is when the stomach fills with gas and begins to twist and close off the entry and exit of the stomach. This will result in your protection dog not being able to eliminate air, fluids, foods, or gasses. The stomach not being able to eliminate air will cause your protection dog’s belly to bloat. This pressure can cut off blood flow to the heart and can send your protection dog into shock. While it has yet to be determined what exactly causes bloat, most vets believe it is due to a poor protection dog diet, swallowing too much air overeating, and excessive drinking. Genetics also plays a role. Bloat can be common in larger protection dogs. Mastiff-type animals and those with large deep chests seem to be most at risk. At Pinnacle Protection Dogs we strive to give clients the most up-to-date advice in regards to the nutrition, care, and general health of their beloved protection dogs. Preventive measures can be taken to keep your protection dog safe from bloat. Such measures include feeding raw meaty bones, which can help strengthen the stomach and help your protection dog avoid a build-up of gasses. The second but most important advice we can give is in regards to feeding and exercise. NEVER! exercise your protection dog shortly after or before feeding time. When the stomach is full it is far more likely to flip and twist causing life-threatening bloat.

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