It’s amazing how much dogs have in common with humans. While many of the similarities are good things, there are a few that are less than ideal. One example of that type of similarity is the fact that some dogs get heartburn. If you or a loved one has ever struggled with heartburn, you know how unpleasant this issue can be.
In both humans and dogs, heartburn occurs when stomach acid passes the wrong way and goes up into the esophagus. Because this area has sensitive lining, the acid can cause burning that doesn’t feel good at all.
For most people, it only takes experiencing moderate to severe heartburn once to know when this affliction strikes. But even though heartburn can be just as bad in dogs, it’s much harder to spot. That’s why we’re going to cover how to recognize this condition, when it’s most likely to happen and what can be done about it.
Signs That a Dog is Suffering From Heartburn
Heartburn can be challenging to recognize in dogs. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to your dog’s habits and watch for things like poor appetite, restlessness or gulping a lot. Frequently vomiting after eating can also be a sign that your dog is struggling with heartburn.
Causes of Heartburn in Dogs
The lining of the esophagus is not intended to deal with strong acids. That’s why not only can heartburn cause significant discomfort in this area, but chronic heartburn that’s severe can cause damage in the form of ulcers. So if your dog vomits frequently, it’s important to visit your vet for an examination.
The most common cause of heartburn is stomach irritation. This generally results from something a dog ate. A hiatial hernia or being overweight can also trigger heartburn.
Diagnosing a Dog’s Heartburn
As with any medical issue, it’s always best to get help from a vet. If there’s reason to believe that heartburn is a chronic and significant problem for the dog, a definitive diagnosis can be established via an endoscopy. A vet will also check a dog’s stomach lining to ensure there’s not another issue such as a blockage.
Dealing with Heartburn
If a vet discovers that there is an underlying issue causing the heartburn, that’s the first thing that will need to be addressed. Steps will also be taken to prevent future damage to the esophageal lining and help heal any that already exists.
Since heartburn in dogs is often triggered by eating, there are two main steps you can take. The first is to switch your dog to a high quality food like Pet Wants. And the second is to raise your dog’s food bowl above its shoulder height during feeding times. This will help the food to stay down.