What to Feed a Dog with Colitis – Your Dog’s Best Foods

what to feed a dog with colitis

Colitis is a common condition in dogs that affects the large intestine and can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms. Dogs with colitis may experience diarrhea, abdominal pain, and other digestive issues. Proper nutrition is crucial for managing colitis in dogs and can help improve their overall health and well-being.  If your dog has the condition we'd strongly suggest feeding a dog food for colits.

What is colitis?

Colitis is a medical condition characterised by inflammation of the large intestine, also known as the colon. When the lining of the colon becomes inflamed, it can lead to a range of symptoms, including diarrhea, bloody stools, abdominal pain, and discomfort. Colitis can be acute or chronic and can affect dogs of all ages and breeds.

The causes of colitis in dogs can vary and may include diet, stress, infections, parasites, and other underlying health conditions. In the next sections, we will explore the potential triggers for colitis in dogs and discuss the best dog food options for managing the condition.

Causes of colitis in dogs

Several factors can contribute to the development of colitis in dogs. These may include dietary factors, such as sudden changes in diet, intolerances or allergies to certain foods, or eating food that is spoiled or contaminated. Other potential triggers include stress, anxiety, infections, parasites, inflammatory bowel disease, and certain medications. Identifying the underlying cause of colitis is crucial for developing an effective treatment plan.

Signs of colitis in dogs

If your dog is suffering from colitis, there are several common symptoms you may notice. These may include:

  • Diarrhea (which may be bloody or mucousy)
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Straining to defecate
  • Abdominal pain and discomfort
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Dehydration

If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, it is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible to prevent dehydration and other complications. Your vet can perform a physical exam, run diagnostic tests, and develop an appropriate treatment plan for your dog's colitis.

What triggers colitis in dogs?

While the exact cause of colitis in dogs is not always clear, there are several factors that can trigger the condition. These may include stress, dietary changes, infections, parasites, and certain medications. It is important to work with your veterinarian to identify any potential triggers for your dog's colitis and develop a plan to manage the condition.

Can diet help colitis?

Proper nutrition is essential for managing colitis in dogs. Feeding a diet that is easy to digest and low in fat can help reduce inflammation in the digestive tract and ease symptoms such as diarrhea and abdominal pain. In addition, feeding a diet that is high in fiber can help regulate bowel movements and promote healthy digestion. Your veterinarian may recommend a prescription diet or suggest adding certain supplements to your dog's diet to help manage their colitis. It is important to follow your veterinarian's recommendations carefully and avoid feeding your dog any foods that may trigger their symptoms.

What not to feed dogs with colitis

When feeding a dog with colitis, it is important to avoid certain foods that can trigger or worsen their symptoms. These may include:

  • High-fat foods: Fatty foods are difficult for dogs to digest and can contribute to inflammation in the digestive tract. Avoid feeding your dog fatty meats, dairy products, and fried foods.
  • High-fiber foods: While fiber can be beneficial for managing colitis, very high-fiber foods can also cause digestive upset and worsen symptoms in some dogs. Avoid feeding your dog foods that are very high in fiber, such as beans, legumes, and bran.
  • Dairy products: Some dogs with colitis are lactose intolerant and may have difficulty digesting dairy products. Avoid feeding your dog milk, cheese, and other dairy products.
  • Table scraps: Feeding your dog table scraps can be tempting, but many human foods are high in fat and seasonings that can trigger colitis symptoms. Stick to feeding your dog a balanced and nutritious diet that is recommended by your veterinarian.

By avoiding these foods, you can help manage your dog's colitis and improve their overall health and well-being.

Best dog food for colitis

When choosing a dog food for a dog with colitis, it is important to look for a recipe that is easy to digest and gentle on the digestive tract. Here are some types of dog food that may be recommended for dogs with colitis:

  • Limited-ingredient diets: These dog foods contain a smaller number of ingredients and are formulated to be easy to digest. Look for formulas that contain high-quality protein sources and limited grains and fillers.
  • Novel protein diets: If your dog has a food allergy or intolerance that is contributing to their colitis, a novel protein diet may be recommended. These formulas use novel protein sources (such as pork, buffalo or duck) that your dog has not been exposed to before, reducing the risk of an allergic reaction.
  • Prescription diets: Your veterinarian may recommend a prescription diet that is specifically formulated for dogs with colitis. These diets are designed to be highly digestible and may contain added fiber or other nutrients to support digestive health.

We have a range of dog foods that work well with colitis and recommend trying one of these to assist your dog's health.  We use limited ingredient diets with novel proteins that also contain prebiotics to improve the diegstion process.  Prebiotics may help manage dog colitis by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, which can improve digestion and reduce inflammation.

Dog foods to try to help Colitis

Dog breeds prone to colitis

While colitis can affect any dog, certain breeds may be more prone to developing the condition. These may include:

  • German Shepherds
  • Boxers
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Bulldogs
  • Labrador Retrievers

If you have a dog of one of these breeds, it is especially important to be vigilant for signs of colitis and to work with your veterinarian to develop a management plan that addresses your dog's individual needs.

Pumpkin for colitis in dogs

Pumpkin can be a beneficial addition to the diet of dogs with colitis. The high fiber content of pumpkin can help regulate bowel movements and promote healthy digestion. Additionally, pumpkin contains antioxidants and other nutrients that can support overall health.

When feeding pumpkin to a dog with colitis, it is important to use plain canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling, which contains added sugars and spices) and to start with small amounts to avoid causing digestive upset. You can mix a small amount of pumpkin with your dog's regular food or offer it as a treat. As always, it is important to consult with your veterinarian before making any dietary changes for your dog.

Does colitis in dogs ever go away?

The prognosis for dogs with colitis depends on the underlying cause of the condition and the severity of symptoms. In some cases, colitis may resolve on its own or with minimal intervention. However, in other cases, colitis may be a chronic condition that requires ongoing management. With proper treatment and management, many dogs with colitis are able to lead happy, healthy lives.

How do vets treat colitis in dogs?

Treatment for colitis in dogs will vary depending on the underlying cause of the condition. In many cases, dietary changes and management of stress are key components of treatment. Your veterinarian may recommend a prescription diet that is easily digestible and low in fat, fiber, and other potential irritants. They may also recommend probiotics or other supplements to support digestive health.

If infection or parasites are causing the colitis, your veterinarian may prescribe medication to treat the underlying condition. In cases of severe colitis, hospitalization and intravenous fluids may be necessary to manage dehydration and other complications.

In addition to these treatments, your veterinarian may recommend regular check-ups to monitor your dog's condition and adjust their treatment plan as necessary. By working closely with your veterinarian and following their recommendations, you can help manage your dog's colitis and support their overall health and well-being.


In conclusion, colitis is a common condition in dogs that can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, dietary changes, infections, and other underlying health conditions. It's important to be aware of the signs of colitis in dogs and seek veterinary care promptly if you suspect your dog is suffering from this condition.

Proper nutrition is a key component of managing colitis in dogs, and there are many dietary options available that can help support digestive health.  The diets described above work well with the condition so we'd suggest following these guidelines when choosing a dog food.  Our own dog foods for colitis have been designed by vets to help.

If you suspect your dog may be suffering from colitis, don't hesitate to seek veterinary advice. With prompt and appropriate treatment, many dogs with colitis are able to live happy, healthy lives.



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