In this article you will find:
- What Is Canine Colitis?
- What Causes Colitis?
- Best Dog Food For Colitis
- What Role Does Your Dog’s Diet Play?
- Buyer’s Guide When Choosing the Best Dog Food for Colitis
As sensible pet owners, we should know that switching our dog’s food abruptly can cause stomach upset and loose stools.
But what if you haven’t changed his dry or wet food lately, and yet, he is still experiencing diarrhea? In this case, there are many possible causes, and one of them is canine colitis. Fortunately, this condition can be managed with the best dog food for colitis.
In this article, we will talk more about this condition that affects our pet’s health – its simple definition, causes, symptoms, and treatment (which includes choosing the right diet for your pup).
And of course, we will also share our top picks for the best dry dog food for dogs with colitis.
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What Is Canine Colitis?
Colitis is a harmless condition – most canines recover completely. Colitis involves inflammation of the colon or bowels that are very painful and irritating.
Although Colitis may appear harmless, it is still advisable to go through the vet’s recommendations about the best dog diet for this condition.
Dogs may have canine colitis due to their diet. Hence, proper nutrition can be helpful to reduce symptoms and contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
Our goal in this article to compare different types of dog food choices and give you tips to get the perfect meal for your furry friend.
OUR TOP 3 PICKS FOR BEST DOG FOOD FOR COLITIS
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What Causes Colitis?
Colitis can occur for many reasons, and the most common of them is stress. Other causes can include parasites, bacterial infections, food allergies, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Parasites are a huge cause of colitis in dogs. This means if you have a dog with bowel syndrome in the future you can diagnose it fairly quickly.
Limiting the number of triggers will help the dog to cope with stress and get back to health as soon as possible. As a pet parent, understanding the underlying causes may help you tailor the ideal environment for your dog's needs.
Bacterial infections caused by E. coli, salmonella, and clostridium are common triggers for a dog’s colitis. These bacteria can make your dog extremely sick and dehydrated. Your dog may show symptoms that require immediate medical attention. Seeking veterinary guidance is essential.
When your pet is diagnosed as having a parasitic infestation in his GI tract, such as cryptosporidium, giardia, or whipworms, you will notice colitis symptoms immediately. Treating colitis caused by parasites may include dewormers or other prescription medications.
Food and the environment around the house could be allergenic and toxic for your canine companion. Compared with us, humans, dogs' allergies can be more difficult to detect. It is possible to diagnose the problem with your pet by speaking with the veterinarian.
Some of the common allergens for dogs are wheat, grains, eggs, dairy, some animal proteins, as well as other artificial additives.
When you remove the allergens from his life, your dog's immune system, and digestive health will return to normal. It’s advisable that you shift your pup to a hypoallergenic diet or grain free diet.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic condition wherein a dog’s intestines or digestive tract becomes inflamed consistently.
While the cause is not totally understood, the end result is the same, and that’s the lining of the intestines is attacked by inflammatory cells.
IBD can be easily diagnosed through fecal examinations, blood tests, and X-Ray or ultrasound imaging of the intestines.
Symptoms that you should watch out for include vomiting, excessive gas, stomach upset, depression, body weakness, and colitis. Fortunately, many dog foods can help manage the symptoms caused by this condition.
Just like with us, humans, stress can also cause gastrointestinal problems to our dogs, such as colitis. The key is to identify and understand the triggers for your dog, so you can manage his symptoms accordingly.
Reducing anxiety triggers can help relieve stress-induced colitis symptoms, and help your dog to get back to his active and healthy lifestyle.
The swelling in your dog's bowels can have many symptoms, and it can also be caused by several factors. Hence, it's best to consult your vet to identify the culprit to your dog's GI symptoms, so that the appropriate treatment and management can be started right away.
Purina Hypoallergenic Formula
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Royal Canin Veterinary Diet
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Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet
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Hill’s Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome
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Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Natural
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The Honest Kitchen LID Duck Recipe
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Taste of the Wild High Prairie
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Best Dog Food For Colitis
- Purina Hypoallergenic Formula
- Royal Canin Veterinary Diet
- Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet
- Hill’s Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Natural
- The Honest Kitchen LID Duck Recipe
- Taste of the Wild High Prairie
We’ve listed the seven best food choices for colitis in a dog. Since every pup is different, finding the best pet food can change from case to case depending on his condition, or specific dietary requirements.
Colitis is easy to handle if you make the right diet for your canine companion. Below are some great recommendations for dog food for dogs suffering from acute or chronic colitis:
1. Purina Hypoallergenic Formula
First 5 ingredients: Corn Starch, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein Isolate, Vegetable Oil, Dicalcium Phosphate, Partially Hydrogenated Canola Oil Preserved with Tbhq
Relieve your dog’s stomach issues with Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Vegetarian Formula Dry Dog Food. This tasty recipe is specially made for dogs with food sensitivities and problems with digestion.
It features hydrolyzed protein that has been broken down into molecular bits to promote optimum nutrient absorption and prevent unwanted dietary reactions.
It is specially formulated by veterinarians, nutritionists, and experts, and it prides itself on having only one source of high-quality protein and carbohydrates to help minimize side effects and allergic reactions from dogs with sensitivities.
Overall, this dog food won’t only benefit canines with colitis, but also dogs suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, food allergies, dermatitis, and pancreatic issues.
Additionally, it is also free from artificial additives, as well as grains, which are both known to be common triggers for gastrointestinal issues in dogs.
To order this food, though, you must first get authorization from your veterinarian.
2. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal
First 5 ingredients: Chicken By-Product Meal, Brown Rice, Corn, Brewers Rice, Chicken Fat
Another veterinary diet that lands in our top picks is Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Dry Dog Food. It contains highly digestible proteins, fibers, and other essential nutrients that support optimal digestive health, such as prebiotics, and omega fatty acids (EPA and DHA).
This palatable formula that can please even the pickiest eater is also specifically designed and approved by experts in cat and dog nutrition.
The recipe is rich in dietary fat and calories, so, you can feed your pup smaller portions each meal to lessen the workload of his sensitive GI tract.
This also helps promote healthy weight for dogs with decreased appetite or who are not getting the calories that they need to thrive.
3. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet
First 5 ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Peas, Potatoes, Pea Starch, Salmon Meal
Most dogs love chicken, but if your dog is allergic to it, yet still likes munching on this tasty meat, then, Blue Buffalo Limited Ingredient Diet is a great alternative.
This dry dog food features only one source of animal protein, which is deboned salmon. It is also its first ingredient, which means that the recipe is made up primarily of deboned salmon, a novel protein, which is beneficial for dogs with food sensitivities.
Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet is also crafted with LifeSource Bits – Blue’s exclusive blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, handpicked by veterinarians and animal nutritionists to support the overall health and wellness of every dog.
Additionally, it is also free from beef, corn, wheat, dairy, and eggs, which are all common triggers for dogs with sensitive tummies and compromised gastrointestinal health.
What’s more, the formula is devoid of by-product meals, artificial flavors, or preservatives. This line is also available in various flavors which you can choose from.
4. Hill’s Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome
First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Cracked Pearled Barley, Brewers Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Corn
Poop can be a sign of a dog’s general health and wellness. So, it’s just normal for pet parents to be worried if they see their dog passing out soft, and watery stools.
Good thing, with the right food, such as Hill’s Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome, your pup’s poop could now go back to normal in as little as 24 hours.
So, feel free to ask your veterinarian about it. After all, you need his authorization before you can purchase this online or in stores nationwide.
This prescription diet uses a breakthrough ActiBiome+ ingredient technology, which is Hill’s exclusive blend of active fibers shown to quickly activate the good bacteria inside your dog’s gut to promote digestive health and well-being.
With the help of your vet, your dog can use this diet and see the results for yourself. And don’t forget that for best results, you still have to shift your dog to this new food gradually even if it’s a prescription diet.
5. Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain
First 5 ingredients: Turkey, Chicken Meal, Whole Dried Potato, Sunflower Meal, Dried Peas
Grains might be small, but they can get your dog into big trouble if they are sensitive or allergic to them. So, time to treat your canine buddy to a tasty and nutritious meal that won’t give him frequent trips to your yard to do his thing.
Rachel Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Natural Turkey and Potato Recipe features turkey as its first ingredient, followed by other wholesome ingredients like chicken meal, whole dried potato, sunflower meal, dried peas, etc.
All of these ingredients work together to provide your pup with a nutrient-dense meal to support not just his digestive health, but also his overall health and wellness.
Additionally, this recipe is also gluten free, which makes it a great food option for dogs with colitis and gluten intolerance. It’s free from corn, wheat, soy, and artificial preservatives.
And it’s packed with essential vitamins and minerals, as well as omega-3 and -6 fatty acids that can help support your dog’s skin health.
6. The Honest Kitchen LID Duck Recipe
First 5 ingredients: Dehydrated Duck, Dehydrated Sweet Potatoes, Dried Navy Beans, Organic Flaxseed, Dehydrated Eggs
If your dog’s colitis is caused by a food allergy, then, consider shifting him to The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Dog Food – which is not only a limited-ingredient diet but is also grain-free. These two features are both helpful for dogs with food sensitivities and gastrointestinal issues.
The Honest Kitchen Limited Ingredient Diet Duck Recipe Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food is suitable for dogs of all ages, and it can be served alone or as a topper on your dog’s favorite kibbles or canned foods.
This recipe is also formulated under strict quality control standards using real ingredients, such as cage-free duck. And in totality, it only uses six whole food ingredients, which makes it a great option for dogs with sensitive tummies.
Also, this dog food is 100% human-grade – it’s made using human-grade ingredients and produced inside a human-grade facility.
Hence, you can breathe well knowing that your dog is getting safe and high-quality nutrition that could support his digestive problem and overall health.
Plus, this dog food is made without fillers, GMO ingredients, corn, wheat, soy, by-products, and preservatives.
7. Taste of the Wild High Prairie
First 5 ingredients: Water Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
Taste of the Wild is another trusted brand in cat and dog nutrition. So, it’s not surprising to have Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food in this list of the best dog foods for colitis.
This recipe features real Water Buffalo meat as its first ingredient, and it also contains bison, and other wholesome and grain-free ingredients, such as sweet potato, and peas. This dog food offers highly digestible energy sources, which is helpful for your dog’s compromised GI health.
Additionally, the recipe is enriched with vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients to ensure that your pup is getting complete and balanced nutrition with the irresistible taste of the wild that dogs innately crave.
And the best part is that this recipe contains K9 Strain Proprietary Probiotics, along with antioxidants and prebiotics to help promote healthy digestion, healthy skin and coat, and support his immune health, and overall health and wellness.
What Role Does Your Dog’s Diet Play?
Diet plays a critical role in treating colitis. Choosing the wrong or right food can trigger your dog’s symptoms, or manage them, respectively.
If your dog suffers from constant bouts of loose stools after being on a certain food for a while, his condition will just worsen or develop into a series of issues. His condition is most likely because his digestive system isn’t agreeing with his current wet or dry food.
Dogs with colitis may be fed hypoallergenic food or a low residue diet. Nonetheless, it's also right that there is no one-size-fits-all diet for all dogs, as every individual canine has different responses to certain dry or canned foods.
Having a clean healthy diet with simple ingredients and a good protein source is your best chance and will make improvements to your dog's gut health. Your pup may take some time to adapt to a new diet, so do not panic immediately.
Shifting your dog to a new diet could take several weeks to complete. And it must happen gradually in order to prevent gastrointestinal issues.
Also, some other medicines might be required depending on the severity of your dog's condition. Your vet will generally recommend removing first the more commonly appearing irritants in dog foods.
Buyer’s Guide When Choosing the Best Dog Food for Colitis
Aside from seeking your vet’s guidance regarding the right food for your dog with colitis, there are also common factors that can help you make an informed decision if you opt to shop for your dog’s food independently.
Below are some of the things that you should look for when selecting the right food for your pup:
Dog foods with rich dietary fiber are great options for canines with gastrointestinal problems because it helps detoxify dogs’ stomach. And contrary to popular belief, fiber-rich foods don’t need to contain wheat, corn, or gluten – other alternatives are peas and sweet potatoes.
As mentioned earlier, foods that contain wheat, or grains are not really good for dogs with colitis. For some dogs, grains can trigger their symptoms. Hence, it is safer to choose a dog food that uses a grain-free formula.
Just like fiber, probiotics in your dog’s diet can help promote healthy digestion and overall gastrointestinal health. And the good thing is that there are a lot of commercially-available dog foods that contain probiotics.
No fillers and sensitive ingredients
As pet parents, it’s helpful for us to make it a habit to read the label. So, take time to ask your vet for the ingredients to watch out for or to avoid considering your dog’s condition, and specific dietary restrictions.
Your dog’s age
While there are many dog foods that can be given to all life stages, there are also a lot that caters best to the nutritional profile of a certain age group. So, for your pup to get the best nutrients from his food, only buy kibbles that are appropriate for his age – puppy, adult dogs, senior.
Whether you believe it or not – the size of the kibbles can make a difference. Dog foods that feature small kibbles are not appropriate for large breeds because these products can make them prone to eating disorders. On the other hand, large kibbles are also not safe for toy dogs because they can choke on them, especially if they’re in a hurry to chew their food into tinier bits.
Wet or dry food
No matter how appropriate a certain food is if your dog won’t eat it, then, it wouldn’t serve him well, too. That’s why it is important to pay attention to your pup’s food preferences – dry, wet, or mixture of dry and wet foods. Some dogs are also picky and are only inclined to eat foods with a specific aroma.
So, what are you waiting for? Your pup might dehydrate if he continues to have frequent bouts of watery stools. Choose your pick now, but first, it’s always best to have your dog checked by his vet for proper diagnosis and treatment (if needed).