Digestive System: Colitis Dog Food

Dog Food and Nutrition QuickLinks

Dog Food and Management of Colitis:

Colitis is inflammation of colon or large intestine. Major symptoms of this disease include vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. In this situation, it is always recommended to control the gastrointestinal symptoms by withholding food from an affected dog for 24 – 48 hours. Withholding dog food for said period will keep the bowel at rest, reducing the chance of diarrhea and vomiting. Reduced symptoms indicates that food intolerance was in fact the problem

Once the affected dog is able to tolerate food, this implies that any signs of diarrhea or vomiting are resolved. initially, soft food containing water combined with high fiber should be provided followed by a prescription diet. To hasten the recovery process, the diet should contain high fiber, essential carbohydrates (fructose) and probiotics. Once the dog feels better, it should be kept on a combination of food and select supplements to prevent any chance of recurrence.

Components of Colitis Dog Food:

Usually a colitis dog food diet is formulated to control symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting or constipation. Moreover, a prescribed dog food can also be used for the long-term management of canine colitis, as drug administration, especially anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids are not recommended for long periods of time. The following is an overview of some of the recommended components of canine colitis food, which can help to treat and prevent canine colitis.

“Elimination Diet”:

In some colitis cases, dog food is considered to be the main cause of the problem. It is usually treated by eliminating the main causative components of commercial dog food. Commercial dog food contains preservatives, lactose, dyes, contaminants etc. that can cause canine colitis, or may act as promoters for colitis symptoms in dogs. For effective treatment, these components should be either eliminated or reduced in any prescribed colitis dog food. This is done by eliminating the disease causing components gradually, then confirming causative component, which would then be restricted.

This exercise of elimination and confirmation usually takes around 8 – 10 weeks and during this trial period, the use of no other supplements, meals or feasts are recommended.

Supplementation and Therapeutics:

Fiber is a basic food component for colitis. Dog food should be used as an effective preventive measure as well. Regular dog food can be supplemented with fiber rich components, which will not only keep the digestive physiology normal, but will also help to prevent any recurrence of colitis. At home, adding 1 – 4 tablespoons of coarse wheat bran to regular dog food can act as effective supplementary fiber. Another fiber choice is Metamucil with 1 to 5 teaspoons per day per the direction of your veterinarian. One prescription diet with higher levels of fiber is Hill's Prescription Diet w/d

In some cases, to speed up recovery or to control symptoms rapidly, some anti inflammatory drugs and motility modifiers can be added to the dog food. These should be added with the advice and prescription of a veterinarian, but only if the dog is able to tolerate the food. There is also a natural remedy available called RunnyPoo Relief. that may also help relieve symptoms of diarrhea.