Wednesday Wellness: Keeping Bloat Out of the Picture for Your Dog


With the holidays and fall festivities around the corner, the next few months will be a whirlwind for most folks. The end of the year is marked by traditions of throwing our good habits aside and indulging until it’s time for the dreaded New Year resolution.

Those dogs that have the privilege of being attached at the hip with their owner get the joy of sharing a similar holiday experience. Like their human counterpart, the holiday months are full of special occasions and extra treats that distract them from their routine activities that maintain their shape and figure.

Obviously, this can be the most pleasurable time of year for our pooches, but it can also be a dangerous time of year, if precautions aren’t taken. With the lack of physical activity due to dropping temperatures and increased indulgence, the holidays are an opportune time for the pet community feared bloat to occur in dogs.

Gastric Volvulus (or bloat) is a horrible acute condition in which a dog’s abdomen becomes twisted and fills up with gas. If immediate medical attention isn’t given, suffocation will occur. It's a very dangerous and fast acting condition. The causes of bloat can be as simple as over eating or drinking in a short period of time.  All dogs are susceptible to it, but generally overweight or deep chested dogs are more likely to experience bloat.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Visible swelling of the abdomen
  • Obvious discomfort (pacing, panting, inability to lie down)
  • Whiteness of gums
  • Unsuccessful attempts to vomit or defecate
  • Late symptoms include rapid heart rate, labored breathing, and collapse


  • Avoiding table scraps and fatty foods.
  • Separating daily rations into smaller meals (substitute one- three cup meal into three- one cup meals over the course of a day.
  • Avoid extensive physical activity (including those that could be stressful on the stomach immediately before and after meals).
  • Control your dog’s drinking by discouraging them from lapping up too much at once, especially after play.
  • Avoid feeding from a raised bowl.

If your dog does have an unfortunate case of bloat, you can save their life be identifying the signs and acting quickly to get them hospitalized. By identifying bloat and resetting the spleen, normally the gas pressure will be relieved and the threat will be eliminated. If promptly treated, the procedure has a high success rate but still delivers a devastating vet bill. For this reason, taking steps to ensure prevention will be well worth you and your dogs time.

Every pooch works hard throughout the year and deserves to relax and over indulge just a little. It's important for owners to step in and draw the line in order to side step a holiday ruining experience like bloat. By keeping an eye on your curious pooch and making sure she isn’t getting too carried away with the dog biscuits and bones, you can enjoy the end of the year events and ring in the New Year pet drama free. Getting her back in shape next year is another problem. 


Photo Courtesy of ritingon

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Jacquie Rohr on October 19 at 2:43 PM said:

I just lost my 3 year old female boxer last month to bloat. We now do all the preventative measures we can with our remaining dogs to avoid having to go through this tragedy again. Thank you for posting this very useful information for pet owners.
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