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Avoiding digestive problems in dogs and cats

Avoiding digestive problems in dogs and cats

- Categories : Education , Health

© Martine Lavallée, BAA and animal health technician

Digestive problems, vomiting, diarrhea and constipation, can occur at least once in our pet's life, for many reasons. Some of these problems are temporary, but sometimes they become persistent, but especially very uncomfortable for our pets. Even if the causes of these digestive problems are numerous, they should never be taken lightly, especially if the symptoms persist. 

In a preventive context, it is possible to put in place measures or introduce home treatments to avoid digestive problems such as vomiting and diarrhea. Note that the risks are increased during celebrations or holidays. In this column, I will give you some tips and tricks to help your pets with digestive problems.

Symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea

Vomiting or diarrhea can occur in many diseases more or less serious as: stress (transportation, unusual activities in the house), a hairball (trichobezoar), ingestion of spoiled food (found in the garbage), bacteria (salmonella), virus (canine parvovirus or feline panleukopenia), etc. It is impossible to determine what our pet may be suffering from without proper medical tests (x-ray, ultrasound, and blood test) unless we have witnessed something suspicious (food, company).

These symptoms should not last more than 12 to 24 hours. If they last longer or are accompanied by blood, I urge you to consult your veterinarian immediately. More serious causes of vomiting and diarrhea can be infectious, toxic, parasitic, or more serious.

Golden retreiver puppy in the lawn
dog with paws on the face


An animal suffers from constipation when, even if he places himself in a defecation position, he does not succeed in evacuating faeces. There are many causes: lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, dehydration, dilation of the large intestine (megacolon) or intestinal obstruction with a foreign body. After 36 hours of persistent constipation, it is important not to wait to consult our veterinarian.

There are, in veterinary clinics, food formulas elaborated for the animals constipated repeatedly. They will be recommended by our veterinarian. But he may also prescribe: exercise, a diet with fiber (fruit, vegetable and cereal), medication and supplements to facilitate intestinal transit such as psyllium or VMI-DIGEST from Zanimo. This product is suitable for all breeds of dogs and cats, from 2 months of age and contributes, in particular, to the proper functioning of the gastrointestinal system. 

Home treatments

There are a few things that can be done at home at the onset of symptoms to avoid complications such as dehydration. Note that the duration of any treatment will generally depend on the persistence of the problem.

Here are a few examples:

When vomiting other than hairballs, with or without diarrhea:

   • Perform a 12-hour food and water fast
   •  After 12 hours of fasting, reintroduce a liquid such as Pedialyte, in small quantities, every hour
   • If no vomiting for 4 consecutive hours, introduce a gastro type food (available from a veterinarian) or a mixture of boiled ground beef mixed with cooked white rice, but in small quantities every hour
   • If the vomiting continues, consult a veterinarian

hairball container
Against hairballs and constipation in cats caused by trichobezoars:

   • Supplement your feline with a natural laxative paste, HAIRBALLS from Zanimo that promotes the gentle elimination of hairballs.
   • Organic psyllium blond for dogs and cats is another food supplement recommended against constipation

To treat simple acute or chronic diarrhea:

   • Introduce a gastro type food (available from a veterinarian) or a mixture of boiled ground beef mixed with cooked white rice, but in small amounts every hour
   • Organic blond psyllium for dogs and cats is also an element that helps to improve intestinal transit in case of chronic diarrhea or to restore transit

Whether it's for vomiting or diarrhea, it's a good idea to add probiotics and/or prebiotics to the diet to promote the balance of a healthy intestinal microflora, such as Zanimo's SHEDDING CONTROL. to eliminate gas, bloating, and stomach rumbling in animals with digestive issues, VMI-DIGEST ensures good intestinal hygiene.

Then, once the situation has recovered, to support the balance and constancy of the intestines, the homeopathic supplement REGULARITY by Zanimo. This liquid is also recommended to counteract symptoms such as: gastro, loose stools, diarrhea, flatulence, bad odors and during food transitions. 

Femme donnant de la pizza à un chien

Things to avoid

Knowing that the dog is a master in the art of eating everything he finds on the ground, we will prevent him from stealing our food or rummaging in the garbage. Just don't leave anything within reach of your mouth. This also applies to cats, although they are less prone to this type of behavior. 

Occasionally, diarrhea and vomiting can occur after our dog or cat has eaten a new food too drastically. The key is to make a gradual transition when introducing a new food. 

Also, never get your pet used to coming to the table to beg so that he doesn't take it for granted that it's the right thing to do. 

In the same sense, avoid at all costs offering leftovers or human food to our animals. We must also advise the "visitor" not to give anything to eat to our menagerie. Several elements that are found in our homes are harmful: toxic plants, chocolate, chicken legs and wings, beef bones as well as various table scraps. Let's not forget that many toys require the supervision of the owners, because they can obstruct the digestive tract.


Digestive problems are a major inconvenience for our pets, but also for us who have to manage them. Fortunately, there are accessible solutions to prevent these problems from becoming chronic. Indeed, in a preventive context, it is possible to implement measures or apply home treatments to avoid these digestive problems.

face de chat

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