Reducing the risk of Bloat (GDV)
Reduce the chance of your dog getting GDV (bloat)
- Feed your dog good quality food.
- Do not feed ONE large meal. Divide the day's ration into two or even three meals and space them well apart. If possible, ensure someone keeps an eye on the dog for at least one hour after a meal.
- If you feed a dry food, soak it well beforehand.
- If your dog gulps food or eats very quickly, try the following methods of slowing them down:
- Place two large rubber 'Kongs' (too big to be swallowed) on top of the food in the bowl. The dog will have to push them aside before each mouthful.
- Divide the food between the holes of a muffin tin.
- Put a pool of yoghurt under the food. Yoghurt fans push the food aside to get at it, taking in small amounts of food along the way.
- Feed by hand.
- If there is a 'competition' element in the speed two or more dogs eat, try feeding them separately or in separate rooms.
- Do not allow your dog to drink large quantities at one time, especially after a meal.
- Avoid vigorous exercise for one hour before and two hours after a meal.
- Avoid feeding before or during stressful or exciting situations. If appropriate, wait for at least an hour after the stress or excitement has ceased before feeding.
- If you change your dog's food, introduce the new one gradually over a 3 to 5 day period.
- Teach your dog a command to stop him gobbling up any food you may accidentally drop on the floor.
- Avoid leaving your dog for long periods without checking on him.
- If your dog sleeps in an area remote from you, get a baby monitor and position it so you can hear if he becomes distressed during the night.
- Study the symptoms of GDV, especially the early ones and be alert for any changes in your dog's behaviour.
- Establish a good relationship with your vet and discuss GDV with him.