Did you know that it can take a sloth up to a full month to digest one meal?
With a multi-chambered stomach designed to slowly break down the fiber in the leaves she eats, the sloth is just as slow at digestion as she is at moving.
A crocodile, on the other hand, secretes stomach acid ten times faster than any other animal. He has a unique heart valve that diverts carbon dioxide-rich blood to his stomach to ramp up stomach acid production, breaking down muscle and bone.
It still takes him two weeks to digest a big meal, but that’s because he can eat an incredible 23% of his body weight at one time.
Some animals don’t have any stomach at all. The lungfish and platypus both digest their food with nothing more than an intestinal system. Same with the seahorse, who digests so fast he can eat up to 3000 brine shrimp a day.
Dogs and cats land somewhere in the middle of this array of animal digestion.
Like all carnivores, their digestive systems are fairly simple – a stomach, two intestines, and a few digestive organs like liver and kidneys – and considered rather short.
A cat usually takes 10-20 hours to digest her meals, while a dog averages around eight hours – the fastest of any land animal.
Both species have the advantage of strong stomach acid that kills most pathogens, along with a short small intestine that doesn’t allow time for pathogens to grow.
But even with this simple, germ-stopping setup, cats and dogs still sometimes experience an episode of upset stomach or bowels.
When this happens, you want to be prepared with a soothing regimen that can help her digestive system recover its normal healthy function as soon as possible.
Don’t Ignore These 4 Signs – See Your Vet Now
Gastrointestinal complaints are among the more common reasons pet parents take their cat or dog to see the vet.
While issues such as loose stools, constipation and vomiting are usually easy to resolve, sometimes, they are a warning sign of a serious problem.
If there’s one message I want to emphasize at the outset, it’s this…
Digestive distress must always be taken seriously.
For healthy adult animals, a single bout of loose stools or vomiting isn’t necessarily a reason for concern, especially if your pet acts normal afterward.
However, if he is older, smaller or debilitated, you need to pay special attention…
In these situations, just one episode of loose stools or vomiting can raise your pet’s risk for dehydration. It’s important to carefully observe him afterward for any signs of distress.
What if your pet has more than one episode?
If your pet’s vomiting or loose stools last more than a day, I recommend calling your integrative veterinarian.
If you see any of the following signs, get help immediately:
- If he passes blood in his vomit
- If your pet passes blood in his stool, which can appear as dark and tarry
- If you notice any weakness or other signs of debilitation, such as fatigue
- If he is moaning, whimpering or otherwise signaling pain
However, if your dog or cat appears healthy and shows no signs of distress, you can use some simple measures to help him get back on track.
Try a short-term fast (not for puppies or kittens under three pounds) to help his gastrointestinal tract rest and rejuvenate. This means that you withhold food for 12 hours but provide fresh, clean water.
Then, follow up with a bland meal of fat-free ground turkey and plain canned pumpkin. This easy-to-digest combo usually leads to a rapid recovery.
Digestive distress is a common occurrence, and I see it regularly in my practice. But you can reduce the chances that your pet will suffer from it by paying careful attention to a few important things…
These Things Can Throw Off Your Pet’s Digestion
When cats and dogs have tummy troubles, they often experience it differently. Whereas cats are more inclined to throw up, dogs tend to display their digestive distress through loose stools and straining to go.
Either way, when you have a pet, it’s just something you must be prepared for.
Occasional digestive distress can result from a variety of things:
- Eating something she shouldn’t
- A sudden change in her diet
- Food allergies or sensitivities
- Stress caused by a change in your pet’s environment, such as travel, boarding, house guests or a new family pet
- Trauma from visiting the veterinarian or groomer
- Foreign gastrointestinal invaders
- Disease and inflammation
For dogs, eating something they shouldn’t is by far the most common reason for loose stools. That’s just her body’s way of getting rid of the unwanted substance as quickly as possible.
The most common reason for vomiting in cats is ingesting something inedible, such as yarn or hair. Hence, the famous cold, wet hairball on the carpet.
When you feed your pet the same food every day, and then suddenly switch to a new diet, that can also cause digestive distress. A monotonous diet conditions her gut to process only one type of food, which isn’t ideal for her physically or nutritionally.
That’s why I recommend feeding pets a variety of foods – it helps make their digestive systems more resilient.
But pets are like humans when it comes to this issue. Even with the best care, a GI episode will pop up occasionally.
And when it does, I want you to be prepared with a soothing, comforting herbal blend that I created over two decades ago…
Often, pets who experience repeated digestive troubles have an imbalance of gut bacteria. Support your pet’s digestion with a probiotic designed to promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria, such as Complete Probiotics for Cats & Dogs.
This comprehensive probiotic supplement provides 38 billion bacterial “helpers” ready to support your pet’s gut and promote a natural, healthy balance of bacteria for smooth digestion. It can help your pet handle the stresses of life with a higher chance of avoiding GI episodes.
A “Must” for Every Pet Owner’s Emergency First Aid
After years of working with pets suffering from episodes of acute GI distress, I wanted a way to help them enjoy a quick return to normal, healthy GI function.
So, I formulated an original blend of nine herbal ingredients – each with an outstanding reputation for GI support – to help soothe my patients’ GI tracts and promote their return to normal.
But before I tell you all about GI Support for Cats & Dogs, let me tell you what it’s not intended for…
- It should never take the place of a complete diagnosis by your vet.
- It’s not a solution for a poor diet or food that’s too rich.
- It’s not intended to deal with food allergies.
It’s important to know the underlying reasons for your pet’s recurring loose stools and vomiting. You must rule out any dangerous conditions. And only your trusted vet can do that.
GI Support for Cats & Dogs is designed to be used for occasional, acute gastrointestinal events.
It’s become my go-to GI supplement, and I’ve had tremendous success with it for over two decades.
One thing’s for certain: You won’t find a blend exactly like it anywhere else.
GI Support for Cats & Dogs is my own original formula. I carefully designed it with all of my favorite go-to GI herbs, and now, I get to offer it to you through Mercola Market.
Let’s take a closer look at each of its impressive ingredients, starting with an herb that has long been my favorite for GI distress…
Famous for Its Lubricating Qualities, This Tree Bark Soothes and Supports Normal Bowel Function
A medium-sized deciduous tree that grows throughout the Eastern U.S., slippery elm has been valued for centuries as an herbal remedy for gastrointestinal issues.
Prepared from the inner bark of the slippery elm tree, the remedy was used by Native Americans for GI issues including loose bowels and stomach problems. And it’s still very popular today.
Slippery elm supports your pet’s GI tract with a variety of benefits, including:
- Mucilage, a viscous or “slippery” gel that forms when slippery elm mixes with digestive juices, coating and soothing the mucus membranes lining your pet’s stomach and bowel.
- Mild laxative effect, to encourage healthy bowel movements.
This remarkable bark provides outstanding support for your pet’s normal bowel and GI function and occasional constipation or loose stools, helping him get back to normal after an upset.
While slippery elm has been studied in humans, no animal studies exist. Because its effects are generally mild, I feel comfortable using it with my pet patients.
This Mighty Little Flower is a Favorite for Settling Stomachs
A member of the daisy family, chamomile grows abundantly in pastures, along roadsides and in other well-drained, sunny locations in the Northern Hemisphere.
Chamomile is one of the oldest, most widely used plants in the world. Valued for its ability to help settle stomachs and calm the mind and body, people love to drink it as an herbal tea.
Chamomile is loaded with beneficial compounds that promote your pet’s healthy digestion, including:
- Flavonoids – Powerful antioxidants, these help protect your pet’s bowel from damage caused by free radicals.
- Sesquiterpenes – Promote a healthy digestive system
- Coumarins – Sweet-smelling compounds that promote healthy cellular function.
- Apigenin – A special antioxidant flavonoid it also binds to receptors in your pet’s brain and promotes calm feelings after a bout of GI distress.
Chamomile is considered one of the safest and most useful herbal pet remedies known today.
Beyond its overall calming effects, it’s also known for supporting your pet’s healthy digestion and helping to relieve occasional gas, cramping and discomfort.
It can also be very helpful for calming occasional stomach upset due to excitability and for supporting already normal inflammatory response in the gut.
Used by Humans Since Antiquity, This Aromatic Seed Promotes Your Pet’s Digestion Too
A popular plant often found in home gardens, fennel, or Foeniculum vulgare, is native to the southern Mediterranean. The herb was well known to the ancient Romans, Egyptians, Indians and Chinese.
The Romans grew it specially for its fragrant seeds. Even Emperor Charlemagne reportedly encouraged its cultivation throughout Central Europe.
Fennel seed contains a unique combination of phytonutrients, including:
- Rutin – Reduces oxidative stress in your pet’s GI tract
- Quercetin – Increases your pet’s gut microbial diversity, potentially helping to protect against leaky gut
- Glycoside – This molecular compound shows antioxidant activity
I routinely use fennel to support a pet’s digestive processes, reduce gas and GI discomfort, and help calm his GI tract.
Fennel also provides an additional benefit for pets who’ve just experienced a bout of uncomfortable digestion and may be hesitant to eat anything… It helps increase appetite.
Plus, it even helps freshen doggy breath.
Inside the Aloe Vera Leaf – an Abundance of Benefits for Your Pet’s Healthy Digestive System
The Aloe vera plant is a member of the succulent family, originating from North Africa.
In its true whole leaf form, Aloe can be toxic to cats and dogs. The outer portion of the leaf contains a substance called aloin or latex, which can cause GI upset and laxative effects.
A high-quality Aloe vera supplement intended for pets won’t contain any of the portion of the outer leaf.
The inner portion, however, is a whole different story…
Aloe vera is considered a superfood, courtesy of its rich supply of phytonutrients and polysaccharides, which support your pet’s immune function and already normal inflammatory response.
The gel inside the Aloe vera leaf also contains many important substances that support your pet’s digestive health and get her back on track after a GI episode, including:
- Amino Acids
Aloe vera has been used for hundreds of years to relieve digestive distress.
It soothes stomach irritation – something your cat will appreciate if her tummy is unhappy. And it has been shown to support healthy normal gastrointestinal motility and mucus secretion in the colon – things your dog will appreciate if she’s gotten backed up.
This Revered Root Provides Soothing Support For the Mucosal Barrier in Your Pet’s GI Tract
Licorice root has been used for thousands of years in Eastern medicine for its soothing properties. Its use with animals is probably as ancient as it is with humans.
Licorice is so popular that in China, it used more than any other herb, including ginseng.
Unfortunately, licorice also contains compounds that can increase blood pressure, including glycerrhizinic and glycerrhetinic acids. To avoid the risk of blood pressure issues, these components must be removed.
When these compounds are taken out, what’s left is called deglycyrrhizinated licorice, or DGL.
Research shows that DGL:
- Supports a healthy mucosal barrier in the GI tract.
- Helps soothe digestive distress.
- Supports adrenal function and an already normal inflammatory response.
I especially recommend licorice root when I have a patient showing signs of digestive distress, such as cramping, bloating, gas and loose stools.
An Iconic Vegetable Valued for More Than Just Its Novelty and Flavor
A member of the thistle family, artichoke, or Cynara cardunculus, is a perennial plant native to the Mediterranean region. The most active compounds in the plant are found in the leaf.
Some of the most valuable compounds in the artichoke include:
- Caffeoylquinic acid – an antioxidant that helps support normal detoxification
- Luteolin – an antioxidant that supports an already normal inflammatory response
- Cynarin – another antioxidant that supports healthy bile production to aid in the digestion of fats
- Inulin – a prebiotic that promotes the growth of beneficial gut microbes
Researchers have found that artichoke leaf extracts offer more potential health benefits than the artichoke itself.
Studies show that the use of artichoke leaf extract helps reduce occasional gastrointestinal symptoms, supports a balanced intestinal microbiota and helps ease spasms in the GI tract.
Promote Healthy Gut Bacteria with This Powerful Yellow Alkaloid
Berberine has long played an important role in Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. A yellow plant alkaloid with a variety of benefits, it is found in several plant species including goldenseal, Oregon grape and barberry.
Recent studies show berberine has significant biological effects on gastrointestinal function and may hold value for supporting normal bowel health in cats and dogs.
Here are some of the observed effects of berberine:
- Influences gut bacteria, promoting beneficial strains such as short-chain fatty acids
- Supports intestinal health and a healthy gut mucosa
- Supports an already normal inflammatory response
The berberine we use in GI Support for Cats & Dogs comes from Oregon grape root and from the bark of the phellodendron tree.
The Oregon grape is an evergreen shrub with leaves that resemble holly, and berries that look like clusters of grapes. This yellow-flowering beauty is Oregon’s state flower and native to much of the Pacific coast.
Oregon grape root is related to barberry and contains high levels of berberine, along with other properties that support your pet’s GI health.
It’s known to calm and soothe the smooth muscles lining the digestive tract, support the healthy flow of bile for normal waste removal and bowel function, and support the proper digestion of fats and proteins.
A Reliable Old Remedy for Upset Stomach
If you’ve ever personally experienced digestive distress, there’s a good chance you’ve reached for a cup of peppermint leaf tea or a peppermint oil capsule.
Peppermint has been used for centuries as a digestive aid. An aromatic herb in the mint family, its leaves contain phenolic compounds, including rosmarinic acid and flavonoids such as luteolin and hesperidin.
This herb’s leaves also contain essential oils, including menthol, menthone and limonene, which lend its distinctive invigorating fragrance.
Animal studies show peppermint relaxes your pet’s digestive system and provides abdominal comfort, courtesy of its menthol. It helps prevent the smooth muscles in the gut from contracting, which helps relieve spasms.
Peppermint may also help relieve digestive symptoms such as occasional gas, bloating and indigestion.
Actively Support Your Pet Through Episodes of Occasional Loose Stools, Constipation and Vomiting
My unique formula has helped many of my patients over the years, supporting their quick return to normal after brief episodes of GI trouble.
GI Support for Cats & Dogs gives you what you need to help your pet get back on track with the soothing, strengthening and replenishing qualities of these herbs:
- Organic Slippery Elm Bark
- Organic Chamomile Flower
- Organic Fennel Seed
- Organic Aloe Vera Leaf (the inner leaf portion only)
- Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice [Glycyrrhiza] Root Extract
- Artichoke [Cynara cardunculus] Leaf Extract
- Berberine HCl [from Phellodendron amurense (Bark)]
- Oregon Grape Root (contains berberine)
- Peppermint Leaf
When your pet experiences occasional digestive distress, she looks to you for effective relief. With GI Support for Cats & Dogs, you have a tool that can help make those tough days a bit easier, and help her feel better in short order.
Add it to your pet’s emergency first aid kit or keep it handy on your shelf for when you need it. With dogs and cats, it’s not if, but when.
Be prepared for when nature plays its unpleasant tricks and your pet needs you to provide a little extra soothing and support by ordering GI Support for Cats & Dogs today.