Does your four-legged friend have a dog hairball? Try these tips to help him stop licking and find relief.
The other day I was in the dog park, enjoying this fine New England spring weather, when I overheard a conversation between some of the human parents. One two-legger was worried because her dog recently spit up a few hairballs, and the rest of the group couldn’t believe there was even such a thing as a dog hairball. I couldn’t believe my remarkably big ears. Do you humans really not know that us dogs occasionally choke a bit on furballs? It seems that common belief is that hairballs only happen with cats, but that’s not true. Dogs experience them as well.
Just in case you are totally clueless as to what a dog hairball is, I can explain. It’s actually very simple. A hairball can happen when your animal ingests too much hair. The hair mixes with stomach contents, and a hairball is formed, which can make your dog quite uncomfortable. He will either try to throw up the hairball (and might end up gagging on it) or it may pass through his stool if it is small enough. In extreme cases, where the dog hairball becomes too big and gets stuck in the stomach, surgery may be your dog’s only option.
Now that we’ve established that dogs do, in fact, get hairballs, let’s talk about why it’s happening. Some dogs, like cats, are extreme groomers, and spend a lot of time licking their fur to stay clean. Other dogs may bite or lick at their skin if they are experiencing fleas or ticks. Some dogs may lick moderately, but because they are medium-to-long hair breeds, the furballs may happen more frequently than short-hair breeds.
Since hair doesn’t get broken down by stomach acids, there’s nowhere for it to go besides up or out. If you’re looking for a natural way to prevent or treat hairballs, I have a few folk remedies suggestions for you. Some of my friends like these options when their stomach gets full with fur, but remember, it’s best to consult with your dog’s doctor before trying anything out.
My pal Paco loves pumpkin-flavored anything, and his human parents feed him real pumpkin to help with digestion. He thinks the reason he never gets a dog hairball is because the pumpkin keeps him regular, and all hair gets quickly passed through his digestive tract. My friend Lucy eats a lot of grass when she’s forming a dog hairball. She claims the grass soothes her stomach, and her mom notices it as a cue that something isn’t quite right. Since Lucy gets a lot of hairballs, her mom is always on the lookout.
If you find your dog is getting hairballs frequently, be sure to consult your veterinarian. They may recommend natural or prescribed laxative options for your dog. Your veterinarian might also suggest using a hairball remedy (even though it was created with cats in mind). There’s no need to suffer when there are treatment options available!
Does your dog get hairballs? What dog hairball treatment remedies have you used in the past? Let us know in the comments!
Side note: Do you run a business in the pet industry? Would you like to drive more traffic and sales to your site through a search-optimized pet blog? Get in touch with my office-mates at Lantern Content Marketing!