Why do some treats give me an upset stomach?

Why do some treats give me an upset stomach?

Dr. Maria de Bettencourt Tavares Dr. Maria de Bettencourt Tavares
4 minute read

20–30% of our dog’s veterinary visits are related to digestive issues such as vomiting or diarrhea. Unfortunately, treats are sometimes the ones to blame for!

Considering that no other organ is so directly and immediately affected by nutrition than the digestive tract, it is of no surprise that diet can be both a risk factor as well as serve as prevention for the occurence of different diseases!! 

Below, we’ll take you through the different steps of a dog’s digestion and why some treats can lead to an upset stomach and diarrhea and others to a good digestive health for our doggies.


Main steps of a dog’s digestion. 

 The gastrointestinal tract is where the digestion of the food occurs. But how does it really happen?

Well, to take advantage of the nutrients provided by the diet, the stomach and intestine must work in tandem and carry out the following consecutive processes:

  • Digestion: This process occurs mainly in the stomach. Thanks to the acidic pH and the action of enzymes, the food is broken down into all its smaller components (proteins are unfolded into amino acids, fats are digested into small droplets, and so on..)
  • Absorption of nutrients: This step takes place along the small intestine, where nutrients will be absorbed through the intestinal mucosa into the bloodstream. Fibers and everything else that is not absorbed will continue its journey into the large intestine. 
  • Elimination of feces: To ensure that what remains is turned into a more solid form, the role of the large intestine is to absorb water and electrolytes, contributing to a final firm fecal material. 


What happens when treats are of poor quality? 

 Treats are of poor quality when they include:

  • Fats in excess. Treats with too much fat content, can lead to slimy feces or diarrhea, will have a negative impact on your dog’s liver and contribute to increasing weight. 
  • Synthetic ingredients or chemical compounds (such as artificial colorants, flavors/aromas, abrasives and glues utilized during manufacturing processes and so on) that when absorbed by the blood stream or in contact with the small intestine, trigger allergic and/or inflammatory reactions, damage different body organs and can even have a detrimental influence in a dog’s mood and behavior. 
  • In Europe, synthetic colorants have been under scrutiny, for their adverse effects on human health. The food colorant titanium dioxide (E 171) has been banned in Europe earlier this year, and colorants Yellow 5 (E102), Yellow 6 (E110) and Red 40 (E140) have also been banned, in earlier years, or restricted to its use in small amounts and with a written warning (depending on the country). Unfortunately some of these colorants are still widely used in Pet Food, so as a rule of thumb, avoid treats that contain artificial colorants and the same applies to aromas. 


What are comforting ingredients for a dog’s happy tummy ? 

We’ve covered ingredients that might have an adverse effect on your dog’s digest system and now we’ll discuss those that can have a beneficial effect. 

There are a variety of ingredients that promote gastrointestinal health, and they can be given as treats or included in your dog’s diet. Here are a few examples: 

  • Fresh apples, green peas (cooked) and pumpkin (cooked): Supply soluble dietary fiber and prebiotics and help regulate intestinal transit time and favor maintenance of a healthy intestinal flora. They are great both in episodes of diarrhea and constipation or for the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. 
  • Goat or sheep kefir (options that are very low on lactose): They are rich in probiotics that inhibit the proliferation of pathogenic bacteria and in turn favor the development of beneficial bacteria.
  • Cooked broccoli and nutritional yeast: They contain active compounds that have antimicrobial effects against pathogenic bacteria and fungi as well as stimulate the immune system.
  • Ginger, mint, and aniseed: They improve digestive comfort, reducing gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomit, flatulence and stomach and intestine cramps.


Invite your dog to a healthy and Happy Tummy treat ! 

Now you know why our Happy Tummy organic dog treats have earned their name! Because they contain ingredients that will promote a healthy digestive system.  Invite your best furry friend to a Happy Tummy treat and see for yourself ! 

Happy Tummy Bio Baked Dog Treats

Happy Tummy Bio Baked Dog Treats

CHF. 16.00

Perfect for dogs with a sensitive stomach or that just want to keep a healthy gut. These easily digestible dog treats are made with hand-picked, premium, organic soothing ingredients that are highly nutritious.  Handmade and traditionally baked, made with fresh and human-grade quality ingredients. Recommended for puppies,… Read More

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