We're the owners of Murphy, a 3-month-old fox red yellow lab. Almost every time someone new meets him they say, "Oh, it's Marley! [from the movie, for those who didn't catch that tear-jerker]" And I cringe, because it always reminds me of the title character's eventual death due to bloat and a twisted stomach.
How worried should we be, really? I've done some reading online and we're following the general guidelines: No food with corn as first ingredient, not exercising him after meals (well, that's tough with a rambunctious puppy, but we're doing our best), etc.
What have been your experiences with bloat, if any?
Steph, Jeff, and Murphy
You should be aware, but not worried. Memorize the symptoms. Always have anti-gas liquid in the house. When in doubt, dose him. My first Lab bloated on a regular basis. I've not had a case of bloat since then. I believe genetics can play a part, but always be aware that it could happen and take precautions.
♣ Laura ♣
I've never had any dog with bloat, but I've always fed twice a day instead of once, since I read that two smaller meals helps.
I agree with both the above - there are many things we can spend our time worrying about when it comes to dogs (and kids!) but best to do abit of research, know the signs and enjoy life.
Like Jan, I feed twice a day (for many reasons) and avoid feeding an hour before or an hour after strenious exercise (but I don't call a 20 min gentle walk strenious - I mean like na hour long trip to the dog park type of thing). Once in awhile if I cannot do that I may split in three feedings - but no idea if that helps!
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
I keep Gas-X pills in the house. It quickly knocks down built up gas, but be aware that gas is a result of bloat and generally not the cause. If in doubt, call your Vet.