Have you noticed sudden burping and bad breath in your dog? Does he show irregular eating habits and signs of discomfort while swallowing?
If your pet is facing similar symptoms, then he might be suffering from acid reflux. It’s a condition also known as heartburn and occurs when stomach acid repeatedly enters the esophagus and returns to the stomach.
Managing your dog’s diet is a crucial step towards recovery.
What to know how to choose the appropriate nutrition?
Well, in today’s post, we will review the best dog food for acid reflux and help you find the right match.
Top 5 Anti-Acid Reflux Dog Food
Natural Balance - Best Overall
In the case of heartburn, it essential to feed your pet with fewer ingredients possible. The more components you include, the longer it will take him to break down and digest everything. Completely grain-free and formulated to limit caloric intake, Natural Balance L.I.D. is the best dog food for acid reflux. The sweet potato and fish meal is one of the brands premium recipes.
If you prefer giving your pooch fish-based protein and healthier carbs, then this formula is the right choice. Even though it’s a limited ingredient diet, Natural Balance still offers the right amount of protein, fat, and calorie. Additionally, omega fatty acids will stimulate cognitive development, and promote healthy-looking skin and coat.
So, if you are looking for unique dry food for your dog that supports healthy oxidative balance, life stage requirements and immune system health, the Blue Buffalo is a perfect choice.
CANIDAE - Best For All Life Stages
Dog food for all life stages has a lot of benefits. So, whether you are breeding a puppy, adult, or mature canine, this nutrition will match any age, size, or breed. For that reason, vets often recommend Canidae all life stages multi-protein recipe. The primary protein source comes to chicken, turkey, and lamb meal.
Additionally, this meal features a lot of antioxidants and omega fatty acids. There are no traces of soy, corn, wheat, or any harmful additives. The Canidae all-in-one approach will satisfy the dietary needs of your pet. The nutritionally dense formula is designed to stimulate growth. In that case, chondroitin and glucosamine will promote healthy development. On top of that, probiotics and prebiotics will ensure proper digestion.
Overall, the premium set of components Canidae offers will protect your pet’s GI tracts. And he will lead a long and healthy life.
Wellness CORE - Best For Digestion
Digestive disorders are quite common in canines. Therefore, diet plays a crucial role in managing the GI tract. If you want to resort to wholesome nutrition, then Wellness Core is the right recipe for your pet.
This meal is packed with high-quality proteins, sourced from real chicken and turkey meat. The powerful antioxidants will protect your canine’s body, while probiotics ensure proper digestion.
We should mention the presence of glucosamine for optimal growth and joint health. Canines with food sensitivities will benefit from Wellness Core grain-free recipe. It will stimulate the absorption of nutrients and promote healthy digestion. Moreover, it contains zero additives, artificial colors, wheat, soy, and corn.
In all, offering your dog easily digestible ingredients will only boost up his GI tract and prevent stomach disorders.
Halo Holistic - Ideal For Metabolism
As your dog matures, his metabolic processes start to slow down. However, feeding your four-legged friend a holistic diet can make a significant difference and improve his metabolic rate. The Halo Holistic recipe features farm-raised chicken as its first ingredient.
The chicken is paired with a wholesome variety of fresh garden veggies and nourishing oils. Here you won’t find meat meal or meaty flavors. Halo Holistic only contains premium nutrients to ensure maximum absorption.
Additionally, vitamins and minerals are added to keep your pooch healthy and active. On the other hand, the antioxidant-rich ingredients, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, blueberries, and cranberries will keep cancer at bay.
The bottom line, even though Halo Holistic formula promotes metabolism, it also manages the weight in your canine.
Purina Pro Plan - Best For Sensitive Stomach
Purina is one of the biggest manufacturer of dog food in the world. They have various lines targeting specific health conditions in canines. If your pet is dealing with upset stomach and food sensitivities, then Purina Pro Plan Focus might be the right solution.
This meal contains highly-digestible proteins such as salmon meat. It will promote digestion and soothe your pet’s GI tract. Additionally, Purina Pro Plan Focus is ideal for all types of allergies and digestive disorders.
Therefore, all these features make this recipe the best-canned dog food for acid reflux. Considering salmon is loaded with omega fatty acids and DHA, it will stimulate cognitive development.
In summary, canines with sensitive stomach require complete and balanced nutrition. Purina Pro Plan Select will offer premium ingredients, while protecting your pet gut.
What Is Acid Reflux in Canines?
Dog’s stomach contains digestive enzymes and acid which breaks down the food. However, when acid repeatedly enters the esophagus, it can damage the tissue. For that reason, this condition is called gastroesophageal reflux.
Along the way, it can affect your canine’s digestion, emptying of the stomach, and cause obesity. On the other hand, some medication can also provoke this disorder. If you ever suffered from heartburn, then you know how uncomfortable it can be. However, many pet owners don’t recognize the risk it carries. If you are dealing with advanced stage, the tissue of the esophagus can erode.
Eventually, heartburn can lead to esophageal ulcers. Some dogs, are very well at hiding the symptoms. So, you need to keep a close eye on them. Even though this disorder isn’t life-threatening, it can irritate your pet and cause tissue to die.
What is the PH of a Dog’s Stomach?
The gastric pH in canines has caused a lot of controversies. While some think it’s higher in dogs than in humans, others don’t agree with this opinion. However, scientist discovered interesting results, based on numerous studies conducted on fasted and fed dogs.
For instance, gastric pH in fasted canines varied between 1.26 to 2.05. On the other hand, fed dogs showed surprisingly lower pH, than fasted ones.
This research states that reported values in the literature are significantly different than those in practice. Therefore, it’s crucial to measure pH. It will help you determine whether your pet is sensitive to drugs, or food.
Symptoms of Dog Gastric Reflux
Coughing is one of the signs of gastroesophageal reflux in dogs. If your pet overeats, or his meal doesn’t agree with him, then it might be time for a change. Talk to your vet and try to find an appropriate meal, which will soothe his upset tummy. Also, changing the time of the day that your canine eats might help as well.
Another thing you should pay attention when it comes to heartburn in your pet is spitting. In this case, dog either produce too much saliva or have issues swallowing the food. Of course, some canines may not like the meal you feed them. But, if this pattern starts repeating, it’s time to visits the vet.
Pain When Swallowing
In most case, gastric reflux in dogs leads to esophageal ulcers. For that reason, dogs feel pain when swallowing. The tissue inside the esophageal is too damaged since the stomach acid circulates all the time. It further disables your pet to swallow food, causing a lot of discomforts.
Gurgling or Burping
When a dog starts burping, it doesn’t necessarily mean he has health issues. However, gurgling and burping happen for a reason. To put it simply, your pet will release gases through the mouth.
Usually, heartburn is one of the causes which may affect his eating habits. Too much acid will make him gurgle and burp all the time.
If your dog is suffering from heartburn, then he may experience excessive salivation. Every time acid hits his throat; he may salivate more. In some cases, it might be connected to water brash.
Water brash may leave a sour taste in his mouth or will taste like bile. Additionally, your dog can have heartburn at the same time.
Loss of Appetite
Even though it’s not life-threatening, heartburn is still uncomfortable. Loss of appetite is a common sign of this disorder. You will notice irregularities in your pet’s eating habits, which leads to loss of weight as well.
A dog will often avoid the food, to prevent discomfort in his stomach and throat. However, loss of appetite might indicate other health issues, so take your pooch to the vet.
Acid reflux doesn’t only affect canine’s appetite, but also his weight. Since he’s not consuming enough nutrients, this condition causes decreased weight. You will have to check on your dog regularly and try to apply appropriate recipe.
Many pet parents use specialized formulas to boost appetite and restore normal body functions in their canines.
Various gastrointestinal issues affect your pooch’s breath. In the case of heartburn, the stomach acid often enters esophageal leaving an odor. So if you notice a strange smell in the dog’s mouth, then he might be suffering from a digestive disorder or heartburn. Make sure to perform a medical check-up to clear all doubts.
Read more: 5 Best Dog Food for Bad Breath
In general, to some extent, all dogs experience anxiety issues. For that reason, stress is linked to many health disorders, and one of the is heartburn. Considering dogs don’t have control over their emotions, they tend to show anxiety in other ways.
In most case, it will affect their behavior, but also disrupt digestive functions.
Causes Acid Reflux in Dogs
High Stomach Acids
Overproduction of stomach acid often leads to heartburn. If your pet east too much food, then his stomach will produce more acid to break down all the nutrients.
Therefore, this condition requires a bland and balanced diet. Try to avoid table scraps as well because canines don’t have digestive enzymes to deal with human food. Inappropriate diet can only elevate this disorder.
Spicy or Hot Foods
Once we are on food topic, we should mention the adverse effect of hot and spicy food on the dog’s GI tract. This type of ingredients will make your pet uncomfortable and further provoke gastroesophageal reflux.
Even when your pooch is dying for a bite, remember you aren’t doing him any favors. Keep this food away from him.
The recent clinical studies found the link between heartburn and obesity. The weight gain and the increased size of the stomach can worsen this condition. It usually occurs right after a meal, so your pet may experience an uncomfortable sensation in mouth and belly.
Read more: 5 Dog Foods for Weight Management
High Calcium Content In The Blood
Increased calcium content in blood or hypercalcemia is not a common disease in canines. However, it can happen when you feed your pet food and supplements containing a high amount of calcium. Further, this condition can affect digestion, which causes gastroesophageal reflux to appear.
How To Treat Acid Reflux In Dogs
Specialized Dog Food
One of the best ways to treat heartburn in dogs is to use specialized nutrition. These days, various dog food manufacturers develop recipes targeting health conditions in canines. In that case, you should focus on low-fat, low protein dog food for acid reflux, which improves digestion.
We already mentioned some of them in our review section. However, your vet may also have a couple of suggestion.
Feeding Smaller Meals
The most common treatment for this condition is giving your dog smaller meals throughout the day. Dry meals can reduce gastroesophageal reflux, and if you add a cup of water, it will help with easier digestion.
On the other hand, you can resort to homemade meals. Many pet parents feed their canines with boiled chicken, pumpkin puree, or cooked rice, to minimize the symptoms.
Acid Reflux Raw Diet
People often avoid giving their dogs a raw diet. But, in the case of heartburn, it can be beneficial. Compared to commercial dog food, it takes the same amount of stomach acid to break down the raw ingredients.
Sometimes vet may prescribe Pro-Kinetic medication. It stimulates food to move through the GI tract and facilitates digestion. Additionally, this medicine will strengthen the esophageal sphincter muscles.
On the other hand, you can try giving your pet Pepcid. The safe dose is between .25 to 0.5 mg per pound every 12 hours. However, before administering any drugs consult a medical professional.
Daily diet adjustments can significantly reduce heartburn and minimize symptoms. Ingredients such as kefir and yogurt for acid reflux in dogs are natural probiotics. They can substantially improve your dog’s health condition.
However, you can purchase probiotic supplements in the pet store. Make sure to use good products, to provide optimal health and proper digestion.
Natural honey is famous for its healing properties, and it’s called the world’s perfect food. By adding it to your pet’s nutrition, you will decrease the symptoms of heartburn. Honey also supports the immune system and provides antioxidants.
But, before you start applying this natural medicine pay attention to dosage. For every 20 pounds of body weight, you should add ¼ tabs.
Nowadays, you can find different types of honey. Your four-legged friend will benefit the most from the organic product.
How To Choose A Dog Food For Acid Reflux
Canines with heartburn require a balanced diet. So, checking the label should be the first step in finding the appropriate nutrition. In this case, you should go for highly digestible meats, such as lamb and chicken.
Look for those ingredients when purchasing dog food. You can choose from a wet, dry, and raw diet. However, you want to make sure that the recipe you select features the high-quality nutrients. But, be prepared because finding the best dog food might be a challenge.
The dog acid reflux diet requires low protein and fat content. On the other hand, formulas containing grains and artificial additives should be avoided.
Frequently Asked Questions About Canine Acid Reflux
Can they experience heartburn?
Yes, gastroesophageal reflux is at some extent a heartburn. Once the stomach acid leaves the stomach and enters the throat, it can cause a severe case of indigestion.
However, food is the best way to manage this condition. Canines with an extreme case of heartburn require medical attention.
Can colitis sufferers have an acidic stomach?
The scientists haven’t been able to find the connection between colitis and acidic stomach in dogs. However, they aren’t ruling out this possibility. Even though, numerous factors affect colitis, the stomach acid might be one of them.
Read more: Top 5 Food For Dogs With Colitis
Is it safe to give them antacid/medicine?
Usually, antacids are given to canines to reduce the acidity in the GI tract. They work on increasing the pH level in the stomach and providing proper digestion.
However, you have to be careful when administering any drug. Some pets are more tolerant than others. The better solution would be to utilize a natural antacid for dogs.
What is the best homemade food to give them?
Plenty of ingredients can have a positive effect on your pet’s condition. He needs a balanced and bland diet, without too many proteins and fats. Considering dogs are carnivores they require a daily intake of meat.
In that case, you should pay attention to boiled beef, chicken and lamb. Additionally, you can add boiled eggs, rice, plenty of vegetables, and coconut oil for acid reflux in dogs. They will improve digestion and minimize the symptoms.
Is it normal to experience it at night?
Pets fed once a day are more likely to experience heartburn at night. The longer your dog goes without food, the higher the acidic leaning becomes. However, this can be cured by increasing the number of times you feed your pooch.
Is it common to experience it after surgery?
Yes, acid reflux is quite common after surgery, or while the dog is under anesthesia. This condition provokes esophagitis, which results in poor motility of the esophagus.
However, it will be resolved in two or three days after surgery, and it doesn’t require medical attention.
The most common question we get asked is: dog with acid reflux what can I do? Even though it’s an uncomfortable condition, followed by pain and bad breath, heartburn is not life-threatening.
In this article, we explained possible symptoms, cases, and treatment. We hope your pet will benefit from our research. Additionally, focus on our food review section, it will help you find the best nutrition for your pooch.
There is a reason why we selected the Natural Balance as our top choice for acid reflux. It will help your dog lead a long and healthy life while protecting his GI tract.