You have decided that a Doodle is for you but you’re still going through the ‘which one’ process. Known health issues are always a consideration when looking for a dog and we know that different breeds all come with their own predisposed problems. But what about tummy issues in Doodles? Are they a problem? Are they cross breed dependent or does a Poodle have genetic problems that extend to all their hybrid offspring? We investigate and find out all you need to know.
Some Doodles, especially deep-chested ones like the Goldendoodle, Labradoodle and Bernedoodle have sensitive stomachs and are prone to bloat. The Poodle is predisposed to tummy issues and this can be inherited by their young. Allergies and intolerances are also common.
Dogs are like people, are all different. Some have allergies, some have intolerances, and some have the constitution of an ox. But are some breeds predisposed to sensitive stomachs or GI issues? Let’s have a look at the Poodle and common breeds that are used to give us our loveable Doodles.
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What Breeds of Dog Have Known Stomach Issues?
All three varieties of the Poodle (toy, miniature and standard) can be prone to tummy issues. Obesity is a significant disease and can have a knock-on effect and cause other issues including digestive disorders. They are also at higher risk of sensitivities, allergies and some inherited digestive disorders of the pancreas and intestines. IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is also a condition that they often suffer with.
Labradors (Labradoodle) are known for being a hoover around leftovers and dropped food. This puts them at risk of not only ending up with a foreign body lodged in their intestinal tract but eating something that’s also going to make them ill. They are also predisposed to food allergies and a condition of the esophagus called megaesophagus. Megaesophagus is the most common cause of regurgitation in dogs because it leaves them unable to swallow properly.
The Miniature Schnauzer (Schnoodle) is another breed who are vulnerable to tummy issues. HGE (Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis) will comprise of symptoms similar to pancreatitis (which is also common in this breed) and bloody diarrhea.
Whilst bloating can be caused by excessive wind in the digestive tract bloat is a serious and life-threatening condition that can affect all dogs. The Golden Retriever (Goldendoodle), Labrador (Labradoodle), Bernese Mountain Dog (Bernedoodle) and the Poodle are all particularly susceptible. It is imperative that you have your dog seen by the vet asap if you suspect bloat.
Please do remember that your Doodle is not guaranteed to have these issues, just at a higher risk based on their genetics. This risk will however be lower due to them being a hybrid and not a purebred dog.
What are the Signs of a Sensitive Tummy and Digestive Issues?
There are many signs of a sensitive stomach which include;
- Mucus in the stool
- Weight Loss
- Stomach Cramps
This list is not exhaustive, and you must remember that you know your Doodle better than anyone. Are they behaving differently? Have they eaten something different? Not just at dinner or treat time but could they have picked up something poisonous or particularly icky on their daily walk? Could someone have given them something or are they maybe just a little under the weather? These are all questions you need to ask yourself if you think your Doodle may be unwell.
Vomiting and Diarrhea are pretty obvious to spot. Mucus is a thick liquid that is present in the intestine and helps things to move in the right direction. However, should your pooch’s tummy be compromised by an intolerance or a one-off irritant then a significant quantity can end up on the outside when they have a poop.
Some dogs vomit bile when they have an empty tummy. If this should prove to be the case with your Doodle, then rather than feeding them one or two meals a day little and often may be preferable.
Gas is something else that you’re not really going to miss. Over a short period of time it’s worth noting if the frequency or smell changes. If this persists then it could be an indication that it hasn’t been caused by one overindulgence.
We have mentioned bloating already, but we are going to reiterate because of the importance of a quick referral if you suspect bloat. Your Doodle’s tummy will appear swollen and quit firm. Their breathing may be labored, and they may be very lethargic. Collapse is a possibility. There may be excessive or unusual drooling. The classic sign of bloat is dry retching. Not all symptoms may present but the onset can be sudden.
Constipation will cause your Doodle to be uncomfortable. We all know how it feels to have that heavy, blocked feeling in our tummies. You may find that they are restless, circling or trying to poop without success. They may cry or show distress if they do manage to defecate and their feces will present as hard and dry. They will probably lose their appetite.
Weight loss is likely to happen over time and can be a sign of a gastro-intestinal disease. It will most likely be combined with other symptoms and is something you will most certainly notice.
Stomach cramps are harder to notice as it’s not something that you can see, or your Doodle can tell you. Well, they can tell you, but you just know how to understand their communications. They may find a quiet place and just want to be left alone. They may show signs of lethargy and be unusually snappy or grumpy. Their tummy may be quite noisy, and you may hear a gurgling from inside. As previously mentioned, you know your Doodle better than anyone and will recognize any unfamiliar behavior.
All these issues on their own or if they are a one-time occurrence are likely nothing to worry about. They are probably caused by a bug or something they ate, even stress can cause an upset stomach.
However, should many symptoms manifest at once or be persistent than its time to see your Doodle’s vet to investigate possible triggers or chronic illnesses.
How to Treat and Avoid Issues
Treatment is best given by a qualified Vet but there are many measures that you can take to prevent digestive problems and ease a sensitive tummy.
Every dog is at risk of becoming overweight from being overfed so ensure that you are only feeding your Doodle the recommended quantity of food and not overdoing the treats. Especially treats that are high in fat salt or artificial ingredients. Just like in people, these treats are bad for your Doodles digestion.
When your Doodle is giving you the puppy eyes because they want to share your dinner, don’t give in. You can literally love your pooch to death if you overfeed them to the extreme, causing obesity. A cuddle, a nice walk or even some playtime are all perfect alternative treats to extra snacks.
It’s important to make sure you don’t unwittingly leave things about that your pooch could see as a scrummy ‘Scooby Snack’ that could leave them either unwell or in need of a foreign body removing, especially the Labradoodle.
Eliminating all those extra treats and ensuring that your Doodle isn’t stealing anything he shouldn’t should also help to ease and sensitivities that your dog may have.
If you change their food do it gradually over a few weeks. Use the 75:25 ratio increasing the new food by 25% and decreasing the old food each week. If there is a sudden change for whatever reason watch out for signs that it hasn’t agreed with them and make sure you then eliminate the change going forward.
Your Doodle may have a vitamin or mineral deficiency if they are on a home cooked or raw diet. This is something that you need to check with your vet to ensure that you are meeting all their nutritional needs.
Switching the protein source in your Doodles diet may resolve any issues if they are struggling to digest a particular one. For example, you can change a chicken-based diet to a lamb-based one to see if this has any affect.
If you feed your Doodle a commercial dog food, then check the ingredients. It may be that the fat content is too high. Especially for a sensitive tummy as fat is harder to digest. If there is a high fat content, then look to swap brands for one with less. Remember to do this gradually though.
They may need extra fiber. Speak to your vet about how to add more into their diet if you feel this may be an issue.
You may ask what is the best food for a Doodle? It’s kind of like a how long is a piece of string question because like us, each dog is individual and will have their own individual needs. You do need to be feeding them a high quality, complete and balanced food but remember when researching this each brand is going to tell you that theirs is the best. Speak to your vet from the get-go and ask them for their recommendations.
Bloat can be prevented by feeding your Doodle little and often, avoiding exercise around mealtimes and ensuring that they eat from the ground. This also reiterates the importance of keeping table scraps and the contents of the trash can out of their reach. There are products on the market that are designed to slow down your dog’s eating which is another preventative measure.
When to Seek Professional Advice or Call the Vet
Chronic symptoms. If any of the symptoms that we have discussed persist or if you are at all worried contact your vet.
Vomiting and diarrhea amongst other things can cause dehydration and low blood sugar. If your Doodle, especially if a puppy or a smaller breed is showing signs of lethargy, experiencing vomiting and diarrhea and is drinking very little if anything at all then they need to be seen sooner rather than later.
If your Doodle hasn’t defecated for two days or shows signs of distress when they do, then it’s likely they are constipated. There are many causes of constipation so it’s important that you get them checked out with the vet to find out what’s going on and access appropriate treatment.
And bloat, don’t forget bloat. Be mindful of the symptoms and be prepared to contact the emergency vet if they manifest.
NB: We at Know Your Doodles are not Veterinary Surgeons. We are dog lovers who just want to share our experience and knowledge with like minded enthusiasts. If you have any concerns with your dog’s health or wellbeing you should seek the advice of trained professionals at the very earliest convenience.
Are Goldendoodles Picky Eaters?
Many dogs, like people are picky eaters. It’s not uncommon for your Goldendoodle, or any Doodle for that matter to fall into this category. However, it’s not necessarily a cause for concern and can usually fix this by changing their diet to a little and often basis.
What else do you want to learn about Doodles? How about which are the calmest breed?