Big dogs are great fun and a brilliant addition to any family. Here in Ballymena we are a town of dog lovers and when the weather is good it is common to see lots of owners out and about with their dog or dogs. When we asked out et experts at Grove Vets what we should highlight this month for our Pet focus they gave us some information about how best to care for big dogs. Maybe you don’t have a big dog but the odds are that you know someone who does – if so please share this as they might find it helpful.
Caring for Big Dogs – Ballymena
Larger Dogs can have very specific medical needs and problems. One which would like to highlight is called Gastric Torsion. Unfortunately gastric torsion, or bloat is something that large and giant breed dogs are more susceptible to and can occur when dogs eat a large amount of food very quickly.
What is Gastric Dilation Torsion (GDV)?
Gastric torsion, or Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV) Syndrome, means twisting of the stomach, which usually occurs because the stomach has become filled with gas. It mainly occurs in deep-chested breeds. (Source)
Royal Canin have the following advice for owners of large dogs.
They highlight a few points which are easy to do and will help you dog:
Split the dog food into three smaller meals to stop your dog from gobbling down and full portion of food on one go.
Choose a dog food which is specifically designed with larger kibble more suitable to your big dog.
Leave plenty of time before and after meals before playing or heading out for a walk.
As with any emergency with your dog, if you suspect something is wrong, speak to you local vet – Grove Vets are located on the Grove Road in Ballymena and woudl be happy to help you.
Signs to look out for:
Anxiety – Pacing around or trying to vomit, without success, may be warning signs
Too much air intake – Animals often take in excessive air when anxious – common in kennelled dogs
Saliva – Watch out for dribble or saliva from your dog’s mouth
Gut bloating – If you notice a distended stomach, seek advice fast (Source)
If you have a large dog and are worried about their eating patterns or bloating after meals then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with you vet and please share the conversation with anyone in Ballymena you know who has a big dog.