Your Weimaraner's deep chest and statuesque body make him elegant and agile, unfortunately it also makes him prone to bloat -- an excruciating condition that twists you dog's stomach like a balloon filled with food, air and water. The right guidelines will help you prevent your dog from developing bloat.
Slow down your Weimaraner's eating. A dog that scarfs down his food quickly is more likely to create an unpleasant buildup of air and food in his stomach. Instead, spread your dog's food on a baking pan and place two tennis balls in the center. Navigating around the rolling tennis balls forces your dog slow down his food consumption.
Keep your dog calm for 30 minutes before and after feeding. Increased oxygen intake that occurs during exercise, combined with a full belly, increases the possibility of bloat. This doesn't mean he has to stay in his crate, but he shouldn't be leaping around on furniture, chasing balls or running outside. Try offering him a nonfood chew toy while he waits to keep him mellow and distracted.
Feed your Weimaraner several small meals a day instead of one large meal. Spacing out his feedings will make him less likely to eat too much, too quickly. A stomach that gets only one feeding a day naturally shrinks and is forced to expand rapidly to accommodate the larger single meal. Such drastic expansion and fullness of his stomach increases the risk of bloat.
- Bloat is relatively common among Weimaraners. If your dog has a history of the condition in his family or has had bloat once before, speak with your vet about possible surgical procedures that can further reduce his chances of bloat.
- Check with your vet about any special dietary recommendations for certain brands or food ingredients.
- Take your dog to the veterinarian immediately if you suspect he's suffering from bloat. The condition can kill a dog within a few hours.
Christina Bednarz Schnell began writing full-time in 2010. Her areas of expertise include child development and behavior, medical conditions and pet health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations.