Dietary indiscretion, also referred to as “Garbage Gut,” describes gastrointestinal upset that occurs when dogs ingest something their bodies cannot tolerate. Consumption of table scraps, garbage, spoiled food or food that just doesn’t agree with them may result in symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite, and weakness in dogs.

This condition may also be referred to as bacterial food poisoning, Song Bird Fever, or Carrion Toxicosis and the syndrome is similar to food poisoning in humans and is most likely to occur in warm climates or during the summer months when food is more likely to spoil.

Dietary indiscretion (“Garbage Gut”) is extremely common and, unfortunately, when it happens it can be very scary for the dog owner and extremely uncomfortable for the dog. In some cases, people living with the dog feed table scraps or inappropriate foodstuffs that cause illness. Many other cases of dietary indiscretion in dogs are self-inflicted. These cases occur when dogs get into the trash or break into cupboards or refrigerators.

It may look cute on YouTube, having precocious pooches forage through trash and garbage looking for a new taste treat, but dogs like Lamb Chop, a Yorkie, can get “Garbage Gut” by eating foods that don’t agree with their gastrointestinal system.

It may look cute on YouTube, having precocious pooches forage through trash and garbage looking for a new taste treat, but dogs like Lamb Chop, a Yorkie, can get “Garbage Gut” by eating foods that don’t agree with their gastrointestinal system.

Many times, episodes of dietary indiscretion, according to PetVet.com, results in a short bout of decreased appetite, soft stool, and possibly vomiting. This should clear up in 24 to 48 hours; if not, your dog maybe suffering from something more serious and you should seek medical attention.

Sometimes “garbage gut” does produce such severe gastrointestinal discomfort that dogs require veterinary intervention and medications. In worst case scenarios, a dog’s dining habits may result in life threatening pancreatitis or surgery to remove a foreign body,

What should you do if your dog starts having soft stools, vomits or rejects his dog food? You know your dog best. I find that owners are often a good judge of the severity of their pet’s illness (denial is, of course, a powerful and detrimental part of medical cases and can, unfortunately, delay treatment of serious problems). If you are not sure, it’s never a bad idea to call your veterinarian and describe your dog’s symptoms.

Signs may begin within 15 minutes of ingestion or within six to eight hours post ingestion of the raw food diet or garbage. They are: diarrhea – can be foul smelling; watery or bloody; vomiting, lethargy, lack of appetite (anorexia), fever, weakness, abdominal discomfort and can progress to shock.

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