Thursday, December 10, 2009

Are You Tired of Cleaning Up Dog Puke? 3 Ways to Avoid It

I hate cleaning up dog puke.

Literally abhor it. Worst of all, I usually end up cleaning up this foul substance in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning, when, let me tell you, I am less than at my best! Oh yes, and I usually have to step in it first! Are you like me? Hate cleaning up dog puke?

Then I've got three words for you: acidophilus, bifidus, and enzymes.

These three little words will prevent you (mostly) from having to wipe slime off your bare foot in the middle of the night because you have stepped in a pool of dog puke on your way to the bathroom. Just about anything is worth avoiding that experience in my book.

Just so you know, the reason I'm writing about this right now is because we adopted a Chihuahua mix (nicknamed "Mouse") a while back (that's his adorable mug above), and he went through a long spell of "dog puke-itis." Not pleasant. Being a street dog in Denver for his first year of life, he literally eats anything ... and then pukes it back up later. It's like having a goat in a dog suit.

Luckily, having been a nutritional counselor for years, I knew to immediately supplement his diet with enzymes, acidophilus, bifidus.

How Acidophilus, Bifidus, and Enzymes Help Your Dog's Digestion
Basically no matter what you feed your dog, adding acidophilus, bifidus, and enzymes to his diet will help decrease the chances of dog puke. Of course, the better quality food you feed him, the healthier he will be, and the less he will puke. However, this article isn't about debating the ins and outs of feeding a raw diet versus serving up Alpo. This article is about how to prevent yourself from having to clean up more dog puke. So here goes. We'll start at the top of your dog's digestive track and work our way backwards!

Enzymes and the Stomach
Once food enters your dog's stomach, dozens of different kinds of enzymes start to break down the food. For instance, there are separate enzymes for digesting proteins, starches, and lactose. If your dog's body does not naturally produce enough enzymes, or the right kinds of enzymes, to digest the different kinds of substances in his food, then you get all kinds of "feedback," including vomiting, burping, bad breath on the front end, and all kinds of unmentionables on the back end. Adding a full-spectrum potent enzyme supplement to your dog's feed will prevent these problems from occurring.

Acidophilus and the Small Intestine
Acidophilus (more properly called lactobacillus acidophilus) is a probiotic, a beneficial bacteria that lives in small intestine of healthy dogs (and healthy people, too!). Acidophilus manufactures the enzyme lactase, which digests sugars. This beneficial bacteria also produces lactic acid and natural antibiotics, which can keep your dog healthy. Acidophilus helps your dog better digest his feed, no matter what you feed him. It has also been shown to improve coat condition, and kill off Candida yeast as well as 27 kinds of harmful bacteria, including salmonella. Best of all, Acidophilus prevents gas (yay!), bad breath, and, oh yes, dog puke.

Bifidus and the Large Intenstine
Like acidophilus, bifidus (properly called bifidobacterium bifidus) is a friendly probiotic. This strain of bacteria lives in your dog's large intestine, and is responsible primarily for aiding in digestion (especially of fiber) and preventing harmful viruses and bacteria from taking up residence in your dog's large intestine. Bifidus is even effective against nitrite toxicity (nitrites are present in packaged meats and many dog foods) as well as the bacteria that causes toxic shock syndrome. Bifidus even addresses the opposite end of the dog puke problem: diarrhea. If your dog suffers from diarrhea, Bifidus tends to "soak up" the excess fluid in the bowel and firm up loose stools.

High Quality Enzymes, Acidophilus, and Bifidus
So there you have it. That covers the gamut of your dog's digestive tract, and gives you three ways to avoid cleaning up dog puke. Enzymes, acidophilus, and bifidus are perfectly safe to feed your dog on a regular basis, and should be fed in increased amounts if your dog will be under stress.

For instance, when we brought Mouse home, his diet changed from "street dog fare" to home-cooked meals. That definitely put his digestive tract under stress, not to mention the fact that he was probably already deficient in enzymes, acidophilus, and bifidus. Other activities that may stress your dog's digestion include travel, boarding, or visiting the veterinarian. If you increase your dog's dose of these three digestive aids before any of these activities, you drastically reduce your chances of having to clean up dog puke.

Finally, if you are going to feed your dog enzymes and probiotics, go for the best quality you can afford. The best quality probiotics are the ones that are kept and sold in refrigerators. This maximizes the number of live bacteria present in each capsule. I have found that  from The enzymes and probiotics I have found to work best and can be ordered online. However, there are also many health food stores that carry high quality enzymes and probiotics (stored in the fridge). Feeding straight yogurt usually won't provide enough density of probiotics to really improve your dog's digestion, so I suggest sticking with straight supplements.

You can expect to see results from these supplements in four to eight weeks, depending on your dog's original level of digestive health. After that, prepare to experience a life free of dog puke, bad breath, and stinky farts! Enjoy!

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