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How to Protect Your Dog from Bloat (Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus)

Bloat (gastric dilatation-volvulus) is a serious and potentially fatal condition in which the stomach fills with gas, causing it to swell. This swelling prevents the dog from regurgitating the gas and makes it difficult for them to breathe.

If your dog has bloat, you need to act quickly. But what if you're not sure what's going on? How can you tell if your dog has a bloated stomach? What should you do if they do? What are the symptoms of bloat?

In this article, we'll answer these questions and more so that you can keep your dog safe from this deadly condition.


Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat) is a very serious condition that occurs when the stomach fills with air and then twists. The stomach can fill with air because the dog eats too quickly, or because the dog throws up and then drinks water.

Symptoms of Bloat include:

  • Enlarged abdomen
  • Excessive salivating
  • Retching without vomiting but producing a foul odor.


Bloat, or gastric torsion, is the leading cause of death in large breed dogs. It happens when the stomach twists on itself and blocks the flow of blood to the heart, causing a dog to die from shock. This can happen quickly or over a period of hours, depending on how quickly it's diagnosed.

So what causes bloat? Hot food, cold food, big kibble, little kibble, too much food, and too much exercise are all culprits that have been blamed for causing bloat in dogs.

But research has shown that breed is a risk factor for bloat. Even if you love your dog with all your heart and know what's best for them (like we do), it's still possible that they're one of the breeds with a higher risk of getting this condition. This means we should all know what signs to look out for!


It's never too late to help your dogs avoid bloating. In fact, here are the simple things you can do for them to avoid it.

Feed smaller portions more frequently throughout the day. If your dog tends to eat quickly, try feeding him from a bowl set on a slow-feeder mat or feeding him from a food puzzle toy that will require him to work for his food instead of gulping it down. Try cutting up your dog's meals into smaller pieces and adding them back into his bowl as he eats them so there's less left over at any given time.

Make sure your dog has plenty of exercises each day so that he doesn't ingest too much air while running around outside or playing fetch indoors with you! Also, limit water intake around mealtimes and especially right after eating. Dogs don't need as much water as humans do, but it's important not to overdo it when they're eating a large meal.


We Offer Care They Deserve 

We're North Shore Animal Hospital, and we're here to give your best friend the care they deserve.

We offer every service your pet needs for optimal health under one roof. We understand how busy pet parents are, so we love offering such convenient care options for our valued clients. Plus, it enables our team to develop an even deeper bond with your beloved companion by seeing them for all of their needs.

For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us!


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