0 EN

Cart summary

Your shopping cart is empty

: 0
Total items: € 0,00

Go to cart
0 EN

Cart summary

Your shopping cart is empty

: 0
Total items: € 0,00

Go to cart

Everything you need to know about gastrointestinal problems in dogs

Learning about dog intestinal issues and knowing how to spot the symptoms is critically important. Our four-legged companions often suffer from disorders of the stomach and intestines.
While inflammation and other ailments of the digestive system may seem harmless in some cases, they should never be underestimated. These conditions can cause dehydration, malnutrition and a number of other more or less serious consequences.
This article will give you a complete overview of dog intestinal and inflammatory conditions and help you act quickly in times of need.

The dog’s intestinal flora: Learning its composition and enemies

When speaking of the dog’s intestinal flora, it is essential to make reference to the microbiota, an actual living ecosystem inside the body of our four-legged companion. The microbiota is composed of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, archaebacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses.
With that composition you would have never guessed that the microbiota exerts an essential function in a dog’s health. But the fact is that it provides nutritional benefits and also plays an important role in immune system function.
To give you an idea, this intestinal barrier is like a border station. The “guards”—its huge invisible population—fight off hostile and harmful substances and allow in only substances that contribute to the body’s well-being.
However, while this huge population made up of billions and billions of specialised bacteria is capable of effectively combating known enemies (viruses, bacteria, fungi and toxic substances), in this day and age it is attacked daily by stealthy chemical and pharmacological substances unknowingly ingested and that’s the real problem.
The microbiota relies on the delicate balance of cooperation developed by the microbes, a balance which has created a dynamic ecosystem that is constantly growing and renewing and re-organising itself.
Through competitive exclusion, the microbial community prevents potential pathogens from colonising the intestine and allows beneficial bacteria to develop.
But there’s the risk that the new harmful substances will lead the latter to be replaced by a large number of useless and/or pathogenic micro-organisms.
Simply put, these hostile and dangerous agents can easily enter the body through the food your dog eats, damaging or even destroying the organs they encounter.
Obviously, not all residual chemical and pharmacological substances in the food are equally toxic, but you should be aware of the fact that everything can be contaminated.
The degree of danger depends on toxicity level, the amount ingested, how long the food has been fed, and individual sensitivity.
Fortunately, the dog’s body can quickly warn that something is attacking its intestinal flora through a variety of symptoms.
This is why it’s so important to keep a watchful eye and carefully observe conditions that manifest constantly or occasionally.


Which substances can trigger dog gastrointestinal problems?

Studies conducted by the SANYpet Research and Development Department have shown that many gastrointestinal conditions are caused by meals made with meat from intensive farming.
These meals are very often contaminated with toxic antibiotic residues, most commonly oxytetracycline, an antibiotic practically no longer in use in Italian farms but still widely and legally employed in intensive farming in many other parts of the world, especially in chicken and turkey production.
So choosing a dog food from a top pet food brand that has made nutritional research a priority is definitely a good idea!

What causes intestinal inflammation in dogs?

As described, gastrointestinal problems are commonly caused by intolerance or hypersensitivity to certain substances in the food.
Generally, vomiting and/or diarrhoea are caused by multiple intestinal environment-related effects, including a change in the amount of active particles within it, alterations of the bacterial flora and the resulting increased amounts of fermentation products, and other changes to the flora (we talked earlier about the microbiota), but also by the presence of physical or chemical materials that induce an inflammatory response and lesion to the mucous membrane.
In addition, situations due to the presence of parasites such as coccidia, giardia and roundworms should also be considered.

What are the symptoms of intestinal inflammation in dogs?

The symptoms of an intestinal problem in your dog are easy to spot.
The signs of discomfort in your four-legged companion are definitely recognisable without your vet's help.
Here are the most common ones:
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea and/or watery stools
  • Flatulence
  • Stomach noises
  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Constant itching
When you notice these symptoms, seek the advice of your vet right away to avoid complications and a worsening of your pet’s state of health.

Dog gastrointestinal issues: what are the most frequent disorders?

As mentioned in the opening paragraphs of this article, the gastrointestinal system is the most affected by adverse food reactions.
That’s because the intestinal mucous membrane, through the activity of the local lymphatic system (Peyer's patches), is involved in generating a protective immune response against pathogens and, at the same time, preserving its tolerance to harmless environmental antigens, such as commensal bacteria (“good” bacteria) and certain food components.
Chronic or recurrent gastrointestinal issues are particularly frustrating for loving pet parents. Our furry friends hardly respond to drug treatments, suffer from recurrent episodes and, let’s admit it, force us to get really creative in the ways to trick them into taking the prescribed medication.
Some of the most common gastrointestinal disorders and problems in dogs you should know about include:
  • Acute gastroenteritis, which usually manifests with sudden vomiting and diarrhoea episodes
  • Enteritis, the inflammation of the small intestine
  • Colitis, i.e. the irritation of the large intestine
  • Enterocolitis, the significant inflammation of the small intestine as well as the colon
  • Chronic enteropathy, a disorder with a slower onset and protracted in nature
  • Gastritis, i.e. the inflammation of the gastric mucosa, which can cause burning pain, vomiting and bad digestion
  • Constipation, characterised by difficulty in passing stools
  • Pancreatitis, a serious, life-threatening problem requiring immediate veterinary care
The various different food allergies should also not be underestimated.
Even though real allergies are rare and episodes of intolerance are, instead, more frequent, dogs can often have adverse reactions to what they eat so it’s important to know the signs to look out for.
The following are among the most common warning signs of an allergy or intolerance: 
  • constant tearing and/or conjunctivitis
  • ear infections, chronic or recurrent
  • stomatitis, gingivitis and foul breath
  • itchiness around the neck and the lower back
  • Itchy dermatitis
  • dry and dull coat
  • constant hair loss
  • foul body odour
  • obsessive licking of paws
  • craving for grass
  • excessive salivation
  • night-time vomiting of gastric acid
  • flatulence
  • constantly inconsistent stools
  • chronic diarrhoea
  • anal gland inflammation and chronic scrotum swelling

Similarities and differences between enteritis, colitis and enterocolitis, the three most common gastrointestinal conditions in dogs

Gastrointestinal disorders have become the no.1 concern among pet owners and veterinarians.
Over the last few years there has been an alarming trend of digestive tract disorders. The number of animals suffering from infections or inflammation of this delicate “structure” has been growing exponentially.
 Dog diarrhoea is among the most common problems.
Depending on the culprit and individual sensitivity, the disorder may be due to inflammation of the first section of the intestine (small intestine), the second section (large intestine), or both.
Recognising the symptoms is very important in order to understand the urgency for action.


Enteritis refers to an intestinal inflammation that can be caused by any number of factors, including abrupt changes in diet and food intolerances.
If intestinal parasites and accidental ingestion of a foreign substance have been ruled out, then try recalling if you fed your furry friend something different that might have upset it.
Remember this: the difference between diarrhoea from food and diarrhoea from an infection is that in the former case there is no fever and the animal won’t be lethargic.
In a case of enteritis, inflammation is at the level of the small intestine.


Colitis, on the other hand, is a more serious condition that causes weight loss, intestinal noises and flatulence, watery stools, vomiting episodes, and very painful colic episodes, in addition to diarrhoea (sometimes with mucus and blood).
This condition could be due to factors associated with the diet as well as to external infectious agents or parasites.
In this case, inflammation is at the level of the colon.


Lastly, enterocolitis involves inflammation of both the small intestine and the colon.
The causes are many and varied, ranging from dietary issues to the presence of viruses or parasites. However, a bacterial infection is the most frequent cause and it may come from eating spoiled food or drinking contaminated water.
In all three of these cases, you should seek the care of your vet to solve the problem.

Why is it important to quickly spot and treat a dog gastrointestinal problem?

The intestinal tract serves a crucial function in the dog’s body. It is responsible for breaking down the food predigested in the stomach and for the absorption of its nutrients
It has been long known that there is an important link between diet and the well-being of the digestive system and, as a result, the general state of health of the animal.
Malabsorption due to poor or partial functioning of the digestive system that results in vomiting and/or diarrhoea can cause even more serious issues.
Dehydration and malnutrition can be life-threatening for our four-legged buddies and should not be underestimated.

What if there’s blood in my dog’s stools?

The presence of blood in the dog’s stools can be a symptom of various disorders.
If the blood is bright red, the bleeding could be due to irritation of the anus because of inflammation or a parasitic infection, or to parasites like worms, roundworms or whipworms. 
If the blood in the stools is dark, it could be coming from the higher part of the intestine and might require a visit to the vet.
If your dog is showing this symptom, our advice is to take it to the vet as soon as possible for a thorough check-up and an accurate diagnosis of the condition. In the meantime, you can try changing your dog’s diet. Also, make sure your little buddy is drinking enough water to avoid dehydration

How diet can be the solution to your dog’s intestinal issues

The primary solution to protect your dog’s intestinal flora is to eliminate all foods containing the meals discussed in an earlier paragraph of this article.
If meals made with meat and bones from intensively farmed animals is what’s causing your dog’s intestinal inflammation, as is usually the case, the symptoms will disappear when you remove the meals from the diet.
For your furry friend’s diet, it’s important you choose foods based on caught fish, organic meats, and meats not sourced from intensive farming.
After identifying the main cause of these food intolerance manifestations (which also include reactions to toxic agents), the Research and Development Department at SANYpet came up with a specific diet that, in combination with a certain pool of botanical substances, is able to effectively and quickly compensate for poor digestion, thereby reducing acute intestinal absorption disorders.
Our foods are made with premium quality ingredients, are free of contaminants identified by us as harmful, are subject to stringent controls and sourced from pristine regions, and possibly, are enriched with botanicals.
We have said many times that any kind of intestinal inflammation in dogs is a complex problem and requires the care of your veterinarian and the prescription of an adequate drug treatment.
During and after the therapy, we recommend feeding your dog with foods like FORZA10 Intestinal Colon Fase 1 and Intestinal Active. Both products are specifically formulated to reduce intestinal absorption disorders and help with poor digestion and their efficacy is guaranteed by scientific research and clinical testing.

FORZA10 Intestinal Colon Fase 1

The efficacy of Intestinal Colon Fase 1 was tested in a clinical study that we will try to explain briefly and in simple terms below.
A group of subjects suffering from intestinal tract disorder symptoms—such as diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea and flatulence—was observed closely during the development of the condition.
Thanks to the product, there was a significant reduction of the disorder as early as 20 days after beginning the treatment, and the disorder was resolved in 186 cases out of 206, in other words, in 90.3% of the dogs in the study.
In the cases where the product resolved the subject’s enterocolitis, the vomiting and diarrhoea disappeared, the presence of mucus or blood in the stools was no longer observed, the abdominal pain vanished, there was an improvement in appetite and resulting weight gain, and all the animals resumed their normal everyday activities.
Most importantly, the composition of the bacterial flora constituting the “normal resident microbiota” (good bacteria) was restored.
You can read more about it here: Multicentre study on the efficacy of Intestinal Colon Phase 1 (formerly Intestinal Colitis) as a nutritional tool in intestinal disorders.

Intestinal Active

The efficacy of the  Intestinal Active diet was clinically assessed by the SANYpet Research and Development Department in collaboration with other 100 colleagues.
A multicentre analysis examined the role played by this diet on 60 dogs. The diet is based on caught fish supplemented with titrated and standardised botanical substances.
The animals examined had the classic clinical manifestations of an acute gastrointestinal illness: dehydration, vomiting, diarrhoea, flatulence, stomach noises, etc.
A 30-day dietetic trial was conducted without the aid of pharmacological therapy.
The data were obtained from specific clinical protocols developed and completed by 51 veterinarians Italy-wide.
To diagnose a chronic adverse food reaction, an 8- to 10-week exclusion diet is usually recommended. In our case, however, the dogs were fed with Intestinal Active, a food free of specific pharmacological contaminants and enriched with botanical actives.
The findings of the clinical study demonstrated the extremely fast effects of the dietary change. This is justified by the use of raw ingredients free of the pharmacological contaminants that are responsible for intestinal absorption disorders and altered digestion problems.
Our conclusion is, therefore, that the food is especially indicated in the case of intestinal absorption disorders and effective in compensating for poor digestion.
We hope this article on dog gastrointestinal problems was helpful to you as a first step to get to know, understand and assess the disorders of your four-legged bestie.