Red Golden Retriever taking a break during a game of fetch.
It takes guts to keep your pet’s digestive health on track. With up to 70% of a pet’s immune system contained within the digestive system, a healthy gut is key to their overall well-being.

That’s why we created Pet Digestive Health Month. Many pet owners underestimate the importance of good nutrition and healthy digestion so every August, we’re spreading awareness while helping pet owners evaluate and improve their pet’s digestive health.

Why August? It’s a month that’s always bustling with summer activities and outdoor adventures. As pets spend more time outside, in new places and with new people, they’re more likely to eat things that aren’t good for them and face stress that can be hard on their digestive systems.

Pet Digestive Health FAQs

  • Are there any specific breeds that are more susceptible to digestive issues?

    Great Danes, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers and Collies tend to have more digestive sensitivities.

  • What are the most common causes of pet digestive issues?
    • Abrupt changes in a pet’s diet.
    • Eating table scraps or rich snacks.
    • Eating spoiled food from the garbage.
    • Stressful events, such as traveling, boarding or separation anxiety.
    • Internal parasites.
    • Allergies.
    • Medication side effects.
    • Body organ dysfunction.
  • What foods should I keep away from my dog?
    • Onions, garlic, apple seeds, apricot pits, cherry pits, macadamia nuts, moldy foods, mushroom plants, mustard seeds, peach pits, potato leaves and stems, rhubarb leaves, salt, tomato leaves and stems, walnuts, yeast dough, avocado, grapes and raisins, milk and dairy, chives.
    • Chocolate, candy containing the sweetener xylitol.
    • Alcoholic beverages, coffee and tea (caffeine), gum (xylitol), hops from home beer brewing.

    Note: This list is not all-inclusive but addresses the most common concerns.

  • How do I know if my dog has a digestive issue?
    • Always be on the lookout for signs of digestive discomfort, such as:
      • Straining during defecation
      • Excess gas
      • Loss of appetite
      • Need to go outside or use litterbox more often than usual
      • Vomiting
    • If you are concerned about a digestive issue, ask yourself these questions:
      • Has your dog or cat gotten into anything they should not have, such as garbage, dangerous food items, food on the counter, or treats from a non-family member?
      • Did your dog or cat get exposed to or eat any indoor or outdoor toxic plants?
      • Did your dog or cat get into anything in the backyard, such as a dead animal or wildlife scat?

    If the issue persists, consult your veterinarian to determine if there are any underlying health issues. Ask if a stool sample should be brought to the appointment.

  • How can I keep my dog’s digestive health on track when traveling?
    • Make sure to always have a fresh source of water available, including rest stops when traveling by car.
    • Be sure to bring enough of your dog’s food for the trip. Avoid the need to switch brands or diet while traveling.
    • Try to maintain your daily feeding times.
    • Avoid new treats and watch that your dog does not steal food lying around.
    • Avoid letting your dog drink or swallow river or lake water.
  • Does water help my pet’s digestive health?
    • Water is one of the most vital nutrients that is needed daily. It has multiple functions in the body, including the facilitation of digestion and metabolism. Water also aids in the regulation of body temperature and the elimination of waste in the body.
    • If your dog or cat is undergoing digestive upsets like diarrhea or vomiting, they may become severely dehydrated. Assuring good hydration will be important during these health events.
    • The best tip for keeping your pet hydrated is to make sure they always have access to a fresh water supply. Be sure you are cleaning and refilling your water bowls daily.
    • Be sure to remember to bring a source of water during long car rides or long walks. In general, be as cognizant of your pet’s hydration needs as you are for yourself. If you are bringing water bottles for you and your family, be sure to add one for your dog or cat as well.
  • Which plants can be harmful to my dog?
    • Poison ivy, oak and sumac.
    • American and English holly, mistletoe and poinsettias.
    • The lily flower family: lilies, tiger lilies, tulips, calla lilies, daylilies.
    • Baby’s breath, bird of paradise, carnations, daffodils, dahlias, irises, peonies, geraniums and foxgloves.
    • Azaleas, buttercups, chrysanthemums, gardenias, gladiolas, hibiscus, hydrangeas, mums, primrose, rhododendrons and sweet peas.
    • Climbing plants like ivy and wisteria.
    • Medicinal plants, such as St. John’s wort, aloe vera, tobacco and rhubarb.

    Note: This list is not all-inclusive but addresses the most common concerns.

  • How much exercise does my dog need?

    Establishing and maintaining a routine is important for your dog’s digestive health. Consistent exercise helps to maximize digestion and keep food passing through the digestive tract. The ideal amount and type of exercise can vary by breed, lifestyle and age. Read more to determine the right balance for your dog.

French Bulldog and Border Collie sit next to each other on a trail
Pet Digestive Health Month – August

Unlock Our Pet Digestive Health Guide

Small changes can make a big impact. Click the button below to access our five-step guide to help improve your pet’s digestive health.



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