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IBD Diet For Pets

Pet Diet & Nutrition 3 min read
Lab dog eating out of a stainless steel dog bowl. IBD diet for pets.

Inflammation bowel disease (IBD) is the name given to several conditions in which the walls of the gastrointestinal tract (gut) of your little one become inflamed. IBD is a common issue in many pets and can also be related to other health conditions. Diet is one of the ways that you can help manage your pet’s IBD. Keep reading to learn more about what an IBD diet for pets may entail.

Can Diet Cause IBD?

Dietary intolerance or allergies seem to play a part in triggering IBD.

The causes of IBD are never completely determined. However, dietary intolerance or allergies seem to play an important part in triggering IBD. Cats and dogs may be allergic to a particular part of the diet (usually the protein source such as beef and chicken) or may develop intolerance to one of the many different types of bacteria that live in the gut.

Types of Diets For Pets With IBD

Trial Diet: A diet formulated in three phases to help determine if a food is triggering your little one’s IBD. Start by limiting the diet to very few ingredients and slowly introducing other ingredients over time. If you notice a flare-up, it will be easier to determine what the cause is and eliminate it from their diet.

Novel Protein Based Diet: Protein in dairy, chicken, and beef are common allergens in dogs and cats. Choosing foods without these common allergens may be helpful to reduce immune system reactions that aggravate the disease.

Highly Digestible Diet: Some foods are easily digested than others food. For example, fiber and fat can be more difficult to digest for pets with IBD. Therefore, diets that are high in moisture such as wet foods can be beneficial for your little one with IBD. 

Decreasing Additives and Artificial Flavors: Additives have been found to cause an immune reaction. Therefore, additives should be avoided. Choose foods that are made with natural, high-quality ingredients, or try cooking your pet’s meals at home. By cooking the meals yourself, you know exactly what your pet is getting and can ensure it is free of additives like preservatives. We offer personalized nutrition plans to guide you in making nutritionally-balanced meals for your pet’s condition.

Four cats of various ages and breeds eating out of bowls. IBD diet for pets.

How To Tell If You Should Change Their Diet

If the diet is not the right one, some of the most common signs can be poor appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or weight loss. Some animals can develop dry, scaly skin and matting of the fur, particularly if they have secondary vitamin deficiencies. In some dogs and cats, excessive gas, bloating and flatulence, or even constipation can occur. 

Before changing your furbaby’s diet, it is important to talk with a veterinary nutritionist. If the new diet is going to be beneficial, an improvement in clinical signs is seen within 14 days. If no improvement occurs with diet changes alone, anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed.

Dietary Supplements for Pets With IBD

Supplements such as NHV TumFlora can be very beneficial. It is a soothing formula that helps with the symptoms of IBD. It is vet-formulated to help improve natural intestinal flora and maintain a healthy gut.

NHV Yucca is a supplement that may be helpful. It contains two very beneficial compounds called Sarsasapegenin and smilagenin. These two compounds work on the mucous membranes of the small intestine which help with the penetration and absorption of minerals and vitamins.

NHV Plantaeris is another supplement we recommend for pets with IBD and IBS. Plantaeris may help maintain normal bowel function while helping to reduce discomfort and diarrhea.


If you have any questions about ways you can support your pet with IBD, we are here to help! Our pet experts are available via phone, email, social media, or live chat. Click the button below to start chatting with our team now.

Dr. Amanda Nascimento DVM, MVSc, PhD

Dr. Amanda Nascimento DVM, MVSc, PhD

Dr. Amanda completed her undergraduate degree in veterinary medicine in 2010 and graduate studies in veterinary pathology (MVSc. 2012 and PhD 2016) at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of São Paulo. She completed her post-doctoral training at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine – University of Saskatchewan in 2018. Dr. Nascimento will be hosting her own blog series and sharing her knowledge with our extended NHV family.

Published: January 14, 2022

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