Have you ever heard of the pH value? It is not only important for cosmetic creams or chemical solutions, but also a key indicator of the acidity of the blood. The pH value of the blood provides information about the body’s pH balance. If the organism of your dog is overly acidic, health problems can be the consequence.
Effects of prolonged acidosis
A disturbed pH balance in the dog is not to be taken lightly, especially not if the acidification has become chronic. If there is an excess of acids in your dog's body for a long time, it can cause serious physical problems.
The intestine has an important function in this process: If the intestinal mucous membrane is damaged and not strong enough, the acids formed can pass into the blood. They are then distributed throughout the body, where the acids can then be deposited. So-called buffer systems such as (bi)carbonates are becoming offset or insufficiently available and cannot counteract the excess amount of acids. This lowers the pH value in the blood and disrupts the pH balance for the body.
These acids have an effect on the metabolism and the electrolyte balance of your furry friend. They can even damage the kidneys and heart. The organism also draws on reserves of minerals to balance the pH balance. Demineralization of bones occurs. The breakdown of minerals changes the bone structure and becomes softer. Increased bone fractures are the result. However, this only occurs with long-lasting, untreated acidification and is rather rare.
Even if the intestine plays an important role, if not the most important, other organs such as the kidneys, skin or lungs also help regulate the pH balance. It is therefore important to quickly rebalance an over-acidic organism.
The optimal pH balance
You can have the pH value of the blood measured by your veterinarian or animal health practitioner using a blood test; if it is below 7.36, it is referred to as an acidic pH value of the blood. The lower the value, the higher the acid content in the organism.
The acids are positively and negatively charged in the body, both in humans and in dogs, and they must be present in a balanced ratio. Sufficient physical activity and an appropriate diet normally regulate this process and keeps the pH balance in balance. A disorder can have adverse effects on your dog’s health, so it doesn't hurt to have this quick and easy test done occasionally.
Symptoms of hyperacidity
A well-known phenomenon here is “licky fits.” The dog gasps to swallow and compulsively licks objects. This is a clear symptom of heartburn that can develop as a result of excess acid. The dog tries to relieve the heartburn by gasping for air and licking. In addition, there are other symptoms, such as:
- eating grass and dirt
- excessive salivation
- teary eyes
- lip eczema
- hot spots
- breathing unusually fast or deeply
- heart arrhythmia
- depressed behaviour
- low blood pressure
Causes of hyperacidity in dogs
The causes of hyperacidity can be varied. If the pH balance is found to be off, it is first necessary to investigate where the imbalance in the body originates from. Possible reasons can be:
- underlying conditions such as problems with the pancreas, kidneys, liver, or thyroid gland
- gastritis - chronic acidosis
- eating snow
- food intolerances
If there is an underlying disease, it would have to be treated accordingly. If there is no clinical cause found, you should take a closer look at your dog’s diet. An unfavourable composition of the feed, especially with BARFing (raw feeding), can lead to an imbalance in the pH balance. Meat and animal dairy products supply the body with important proteins. If these proteins are broken down, acids are formed. Too much protein therefore contributes to acidification in dogs.
Stress is also a common factor since the organism is out of balance and produces more acids, which cannot be completely balanced due to the compromised reserves.
Re-balance the dog's pH value
There are different measures you can take to rebalance your dog's pH balance. First and foremost, the gastrointestinal tract should be treated and the mucous membrane rebuilt. A healthy gastrointestinal tract can prevent further imbalance. Intestinal cures are the first measure when other diseases are excluded as the cause. Healing moor mud is ideal as an intestinal cure. This natural product contains important nutrients and supports your dog’s intestinal activity and immune system. The organic mass contains a unique composition of ingredients that can only be found in healing moor.
But prebiotics such as Jerusalem artichoke are also healthy foods for the gastrointestinal tract. Jerusalem artichoke is rich in inulin, an indigestible fiber that contributes to your dog's natural intestinal lining. In this way you can naturally support the mucous membrane and provide food for healthy intestinal bacteria.
Another measure to regulate the acid balance in the dog is to change the food. In the case of acute acidosis, we recommend feeding the dog home-cooked food for a while and increasing the frequency of the meals.
Feed change in case of disturbed acid balance:
- low-fat meat, preferably lean meat
- leafy salads to balance acid
- foods with bitter substances
- omit gas-inducing foods, such as cabbage
- several feedings a day / at least 3 times
- different feeding times
- rest when eating, avoid distractions so that the dog does not get stressed
- reduce general stress
Are you BARFing your dog? Then we recommend revising your BARF meals. You can discuss and analyse the composition with your veterinarian or animal health practitioner. Alternatively, our animal healers and animal nutrition experts are also available to assist you (just email us at email@example.com). In addition, an individualised BARF nutrition plan can be created for your dog, of course taking into account all clinical diagnoses.
In acute cases, the vet can give the dog intravenous fluids to rebalance the acid ratio.
Fruits and vegetables that help with acidity
As with humans, the dog's acid balance can be balanced with foods that counteract the acids. Salads, fruit and vegetables are the best acid killers here - even for dogs. Here is a list of foods that compensate for excess acidity in dogs and are of course well tolerated by most dogs:
Salads and herbs: basil, dill, iceberg lettuce, dandelion (also contains a lot of bitter substances), coriander, parsley, sage, leafy greens.
Fruits: apple, banana, pear, strawberries, raspberries, plums
Vegetables: cucumber, carrot, potato, spinach, zucchini
However, feed fruits, vegetables and herbs in moderation. The main ingredient of a dog meal should always be lean muscle meat. If you notice that your companion’s symptoms are worsening when changing the food, you should definitely consult a specialist you trust.