How many times have those big brown eyes looked up at you while you were eating and gave you that pitiful look begging for just a small piece of what you were eating?  Our pets are a great joy and source of comfort and because of that train us to do what they want.  They are very good at it. However our desire to give them what they want does them harm over time. Table food and some treats cause a lot of pets to gain weight, to beg for more and more and not eat their regular dog food, and to have intestinal upsets and possible pancreatitis.


One of the most common problems we see in veterinary medicine is gastroenteritis which usually involves vomiting and diarrhea.  The most common reason for it is food indiscretion which means feeding something besides dog food or a sudden change in dog food. A lot of dogs cannot handle a change in food of any kind. This is all preventable by not giving in to those big brown eyes.  Many hours have been spent by veterinarians to explain this and prevent the intestinal upsets, but pet owners just can’t help themselves, especially the guys.


There are many other causes of intestinal upsets, but the acute cases that happen every so often are usually either food indiscretion or stress related.  They symptoms usually consist of vomiting and diarrhea about 12-24 hours after eating something different or something from the table.  The diarrhea can have mucus and tinges of blood in it due to colitis. Usually your pet will not eat or eat much less.  They might be slightly listless, but they should not act “sick” or depressed.  More serious problems such as pancreatitis or a foreign body will usually depress them more.


It is always best to let your veterinarian check them with any of these problems to be sure what the disease is.  Simple gastroenteritis can usually quickly be controlled so the vomiting and diarrhea does not continue.  If they are becoming dehydrated, it may be necessary to give them fluids to rehydrate them which bring a quicker recovery and a better feeling of wellbeing.


Any time you are changing dog foods, it is best to do it over 5-7 days to allow the gastrointestinal system and the normal intestinal flora to adjust.  Just remember that the little piece of chicken or meat or bacon or milk or new dog treat may just prompt a visit to your veterinarian.


Established in 1981, Palm City Animal Clinic is dedicated to providing the best possible care for your pets. With focuses on compassionate care in surgery, physical therapy and rehabilitation, preventative medicine, extensive diagnostics, and emergency service, Palm City Animal Clinic combines exceptional medical care with a caring philosophy for pets and their owners. For more information, call 772-283-0920, visit or find us on Facebook at