Pet food, especially commercial pet food, can be the underlying cause of many illnesses in dogs (and cats). These are the top 5 diet-related illnesses in dogs:
It won’t be news to most of you that commercial, heavily processed pet food or unbalanced home-made meals may lack the nutrients your pet needs to truly thrive. But did you know that there is a easy way to balance out the nutrition in the diet you’re already serving your dog or cat?
Why should I feed my dog multi vitamins?
Like taking a Multi-Vitamin, a decent supplement for dogs can help improve general wellbeing. No matter what your pet’s current diet, even kibble, one of these supplements is well worth adding to your dog’s diet!
If you can opt for a multi vitamin supplement which uses human-grade or natural ingredients. I’ll recommend a decent one below, but you may find a savvy local pet business who create their own.
Key benefits of a doggy multi vitamin supplements
Here are a few key benefits of giving your dog a multi vitamin supplement alongside his or her regular food:
- Provides essential nutrients that cooking or processing foods can destroy
- Promotes healthy skin and shiny coat
- Promotes a healthy immune system
- Naturally enhances energy & vitality
- Promotes healthy organ and gut function
- Prevention & management of arthritis and joint pain
Recommended multi vitamin supplements for a dog
There’s a few on the market, but the one I favour the most is Bruce Syme’s Vets All Natural Health Booster available from My Pet Warehouse. It’s Australian made with loads of multivitamins and ingredients to boost health. It’s designed to be fed alongside a diet, and what I do is sprinkle a little on top of my dog’s evening meal.
Here’s a video which covers the range of Vets All Natural products of which there are a many. They make a great meal mix which you mix with fresh meat, and Bruce is also the guy behind Balanced Life.
How much and how often?
Most supplements are designed to be fed daily, but don’t overthink it. A varied diet is always a good idea so adding in a little here and there will always have benefit. If you’re on a budget then just add some to your dog’s meal as and when you can – most supplements tend to have a decent shelf life.
We all want what’s best for our fur babies, and as a pet nutritionist people often ask me what the healthiest pet food is.
So what is the healthiest food for your dog? Let’s discuss.
Pet food marketing
Popular pet food brands advertised on TV or lining supermarket and pet shop shelves do not necessarily deliver top nutrition. Commercial brands, more often than not, contain ingredients that aren’t good for dogs or cats. Some examples are corn, rice, wheat, and animal by-products. It’s impossible to buy 20kg of healthy food for $40 – these foods are cheap for a reason, and likely contains ingredients which would make you feel sick if you knew the truth.
How the kibble-making process destroys nutrition
Dry dog and cat food (kibble), even the premium varieties, are processed using heat and pressure. This destroys the vital nutrients in the food, that are then replaced with synthetic vitamins. Diets lacking in moisture force your pet’s internal organs to work overtime, resulting in conditions such as kidney problems and UTIs.
People also ask if they should allow their dogs to free-feed on kibble. Allowing a dog or a cat free access to kibble is one of the easiest ways to cause obesity or diabetes in animals. Obesity is one of the greatest premature killers of our companion pets, and causes all sorts of joint and health problems.
Dogs that are kept lean live an average of 2 years longer than their overweight counterparts, and veterinary treatment for age-related health conditions can also be delayed for around 2 years when dogs are fed a lean, natural, species appropriate diet.
You can’t count on your vet either, as chances are they’ll recommend a special diet for your dog, which not only will be more expensive, but will still be a kibble full of grains. Don’t believe me, take a look at the ingredients list.
Finding the healthiest food for your dog (or cat)
Here are some tips for finding the healthiest pet food for your best friend:
1. Buy food that’s closest to fresh. Contrary to popular belief, raw fresh, raw frozen, dehydrated pet food or freeze-dried foods are better than canned foods, which are in turn better for your pet than dry kibble. Yes, a good quality canned food is better than kibble! This is because pets need moisture in their diet that kibble can’t deliver. Many people find fresh or raw frozen foods inconvenient, and that’s where dehydrated pet foods can bridge the gap between quality and convenience (although they do come at a cost).
2. Read the label. The first ingredient should be one or more “named” animal proteins for example chicken, lamb, kangaroo or pork. The broad term “meat” can mean anything, and often does. If you have any questions, ring the manufacturer’s toll-free number on the label. Don’t be fooled by labelling trickery either, as a kibble which is meat first and a whole list of grains will in reality have very little meat.
3. Avoid all by-products. These are the parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered animals, including the spleen, brain, blood, bone, fatty tissue and stomachs and intestines. Many would say that by-products are perfectly appropriate to feed our animals, however, this is a cheap, low-quality protein with inconsistent ingredients, and the quality and source of your pet’s protein is important, particularly as they get older.
4. Don’t accept meat meal. Again, this involves the use of bone and by-product as cheap filler, and reduces the quality of the protein you are serving. More often than not, meat meal can be carcass, such as chicken carcass.
5. Reject corn products and gluten meals. Corn and gluten are common allergens. Wheat gluten is used as an attempt to boost protein without the use of meat. Mars brand Advance Dermocare in Australia, made significantly of corn, fell foul to a mycotoxin known to originate from crop disease in corn. This led to a spate of dogs with incurable condition megaoesophagus as well as a number of fatalities.
6. Say no to chemical preservatives (like BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin, propylene glycol). Opt for natural preservatives such as Vitamin E or Rosemary instead. Australian pet food labelling regulations allow for ambiguous ingredients which can conceal such chemicals, so avoid any dog or cat food which lists “antioxidants” or other questionable ingredients.
7. Avoid “light” or “senior” or “puppy” or “breed-specific” foods. These variations on pet food are marketing gimmicks, sold at a premium, with little or no real benefit to your pet. As our pets age they become more dependent on the right diet, such as meats rich in protein, yet these fad diets reduce such ingredients under the guise of your old pet is slowing down so doesn’t need the energy from an appropriate diet.
8. “Natural” or “human grade” foods are best. This is because they generally use the best quality ingredients, free from harmful toxins and chemicals. One caveat though, as some Australian brands trick you by saying “made with ingredients from a human grade facility” which doesn’t mean the ingredients they use are human grade, or even “contains human grade ingredients” which only means perhaps one small inclusion is human grade.
9. Variety is great. Feed several types of protein sources, vegetables and fruits your pet tolerates well, and rotate them frequently. We don’t eat the same food every day, and neither should your pet.
10. Buy Australian. By buying Australian pet food you are supporting local growers, producers, and the economy, but you are also ensuring your pet’s food has not been treated or irradiated as part of its importation into Australia. This too comes with a caveat, as without proper pet food regulations in Australia, you need to ensure the pet food you’re buying is in fact good quality.
So what’s the buzz about bee pollen? You wouldn’t think it, but yes, bee pollen is good for dogs! In this article we’ll take a look at some of the many benefits of giving your dog bee pollen, where to get it (in an easier way than finding it in flowers), and how to give it to your dog.
What is bee pollen and how is it absorbed?
Made from the male seed of flowers, bee pollen is roughly forty percent protein. Approximately half of this protein is made up of free-form amino acids, which require no digestion. They are immediately absorbed and used by the body, regardless of whether your pet is an omnivore or carnivore (and they’re a carnivore, right?).
The buzz about bee pollen for dogs
Did you know that bee pollen can improve your dog’s immunity to allergies? Yes, who would’ve thought? But that’s not even scratching the surface of what bee pollen can do!
Bee pollen is high in the bioflavonoid rutin which strengthens capillaries, protects against free radical damage, and has anti-inflammatory effects. Rumour has it one can survive on bee pollen and water alone, but please don’t take my word for that one!
Along with helping with allergies, bee pollen can also be used to treat an array of ailments, from skin conditions to chronic pain.
How can bee pollen benefit your dog?
I’ve already mentioned some big plus points, but regular use of bee pollen, in conjunction with a raw, species appropriate diet or natural pet food, can achieve the following:
- Boost your dog’s immune system
- Correct a deficient or unbalanced diet
- Aid and improve healing
- Increase energy and vitality
- Help maintain a healthy weight
- Help your dog live longer
- Regulate the digestive system
- Protect against inflammation
- Help treat skin conditions
- Help treat chronic pain
Experiments with bee pollen have shown that the pollen contains antibiotic factors that inhibit the growth of bacteria, meaning that not only will your dog’s immune system get a boost from bee pollen to help fight off sickness, but he will have less of a chance of catching any bugs to begin with.
Bee pollen can also improve your dog’s appearance by helping to keep skin and coat smooth, soft, and healthy. It promotes healthy cell growth and can rejuvenate the body, delaying premature aging and keeping your dog healthy and active for longer.
How and where to buy bee pollen
As always, the quality of the product being used is a key factor. If you want to incorporate Bee Pollen into your pets diet, make sure it is Australian. As is the case with imported pet foods, products imported from other countries may contain additives and are exposed to damaging heat to preserve them which destroys enzymes and eliminates the important health benefits the natural product offers.
In order for the pollen to be effective for allergies, it must be locally sourced, and never exposed to harmful heat. Make sure you buy it in grain form – here’s a number of options.
Important – How to give bee pollen to your dog
Please note that like people, dogs can have allergic reactions to bee pollen, including wheezing, breathing problems, and even anaphylactic shock. Start with a few grains of bee pollen and check your pet’s response. If he shows no symptoms of discomfort, give additional grains the next day, and slowly increase the amount over several weeks to a maintenance dose of 1/3 teaspoon per 5kg of body weight per day, mixed with food. Bee pollen can also be blended with honey.
- A little background on pet food myths
- Debunking common pet food myths
- Why are there so many misconceptions with pet feeding?
A little background on pet food myths
There’s a lot of confusion out there regarding what diet is best for our pets. Veterinary endorsements and emotional advertising leads us towards what the so-called-experts say is best.
It would seem, however, that there are a number the misconceptions with feeding commercial dog foods. They have developed as a result of popular opinion and clever advertising rather than any real scientific evidence.
As pets become more and more like members of our family, many pet parents have been led to think the modern dog’s metabolism differs to that of their wild ancestors, when it really doesn’t differ all that much. You only need to look as far as their teeth to know this.
Unfortunately this way of thinking engrained in us by marketing has resulted in a shift away from the simple and appropriate diets Australian dogs enjoyed until the 1960s, which is when commercial pet food became popular. This followed the American trend which started 30 years earlier.
According to Dr Ian Billinghurst, alleged pioneer of BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Feeding) and author of “Give your Dog a Bone”, it is the idea that dogs require a “complete” diet without bones that has supported wide-held belief in the pet food myths listed below.
Debunking common pet food myths
These are some of the most common pet food myths. All of which can be easily debunked, or at the least viewed with common sense. There are, of course, many others surrounding pet food, mostly from pet food marketing.
Pet food myth #1: Do modern domestic pets require different food to their wild ancestors?
FACT: Cats are and always have been obligate carnivores, which means they can and do thrive on a meat-only diet. Dogs are usually referred to as Omnivores or Scavenging Carnivores, which means that, like humans, they will thrive on a varied diet of meat and plant matter. Vets and Scientists confirm that the digestive system, nutrient absorption process, and metabolism of both wild and domestic animals are fundamentally the same, and can therefore thrive on a similar diet – that is a variety of foods including bones, uncooked meats, and little, if any, grains.
Pet food myth #2: Is commercial pet food always best?
FACT: Clever advertising, veterinary endorsements, and paid “consumer testimonials” combine to make a compelling argument for the benefits of commercial pet foods, however the reality may be quite different. The underlying issue is always money, and every pet food manufacturer will do their utmost best to convince you their product is the absolute best. Unfortunately, some of those pet food manufacturers include a set of the wealthiest corporations in the world, and most pet food “science” is instigated by them, for their own purpose.
Pet food myth #3: Should every meal consumed by your pet be “balanced and complete”?
FACT: The idea of a “complete and balanced diet” resonates with the well-meaning pet parent who wants to ensure their pet has the very best nutrition. Because small animal nutrition is still a relatively new specialty, and forms a very small part of broader Veterinary Studies, few pet owners would understand that many of the ingredients contained in commercial foods (such as cereals, grains and other fillers), whilst forming part of a complete human diet, are not appropriate and potentially harmful for pets.
Pet food myth #4: Does kibble keep teeth clean?
FACT: A particularly interesting misconception, and one that appears to be very popular, is that dry food (kibble) prevents dental problems by scraping tartar and preventing build up on pets’ teeth. In reality, feeding dogs a commercial diet and no bones causes significant damage. This is due largely to high levels of calcium present in the food, and the fact that the abrasion has very little real benefit.
The suggestion that kibble will keep your cat’s or dog’s teeth clean is similar to saying eating a healthy portion of crackers every day will be enough to keep your own teeth clean. As much as some people might prefer eating dry crunchy snacks to daily teeth brushing, it just doesn’t work that way!
Why are there so many misconceptions with pet feeding?
In reality, it would seem all of the above myths and misconceptions stem from the marketing by pet food companies. The simple reason is they stand to profit from the use of meat by-products and other refuse from the human food manufacturing industry.
Commercial pet food wasn’t invented for the benefit of the pet, it was a very clever way of turning the huge costs of waste disposal from the human food industry into a very lucrative profit.
A staggering statistic recently published by Inc. Magazine revealed that The Pet Services Industry in the US alone in 2012 was worth $53b, with pet food making up a significant proportion of the market. In Australia, according to the Australian Companion Animal Council, this number is estimated to be closer to $6B – that’s still a lot of pet food being sold!
Convenience is also no doubt another factor why pet owners choose to believe the hype surrounding kibble and canned foods. The idea of opening a can or packet and scooping a complete meal cleanly into your pet’s bowl is an appealing concept for most busy pet owners who may not be inclined to prepare fresh meals daily or handle raw meats and offals.
After all, how many of us really look at an ingredients label? If it’s sold, it must be healthy, right?
Not unlike the human food industry, nutritional claims made by pet foods can be largely unsubstantiated. No laws exist to ensure their veracity. The “complete and balanced diet claims” made by pet food companies are generally not supported by any real scientific evidence, or at the most a hypothesis, and whilst these foods may meet nutritional profiles established by AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials), there is no real way of ensuring that the levels of nutrients are appropriate or even safe. They simply meet the minimum AAFCO compliance levels.
Being AAFCO compliant doesn’t mean the ingredients you’re feeding your pet will keep them in good health for the long term. In fact, the lack of variety, extensive amount of grains or starches, or poor quality ingredients, can likely be the cause of a plethora of illnesses.
Australia doesn’t even have an AAFCO equivalent standard, so if your Australian pet food doesn’t adhere to AAFCO (which is not mandatory), then you have absolutely no guarantees. How can you trust the health and wellbeing of your pet on such a product?
At the end of the day, the key to a healthy dog or cat is neither raw nor processed food alone, but an overall diet that meets the individual requirements of the dog or cat in question. In addition to lots of fresh air and sunshine, exercise and plenty of fresh drinking water.
Do you have any pet food myths to contribute? Say so in the comments below!
Diabetes in dogs has been on the rise for quite some time. In fact, cases of canine diabetes have tripled since 1970.
This article will help you prevent and treat canine diabetes.
A few interesting facts about diabetes in dogs
– Diabetes is one of the most common endocrine diseases affecting middle-aged and senior dogs, with 70% of patients older than 7 at the time of diagnosis.
– Diabetes rarely occurs in dogs younger than 1 year of age, and it is more common in females and neutered males than in intact males.
– Keeshonds, Pulis, Cairn Terriers, Miniature Pinschers, Poodles, Samoyeds, Australian Terriers, Schnauzers, Spitz, Fox Terriers, Bichon Frise, and Siberian Huskies may be at higher risk. Because of these breed connections, researchers speculate that the development of diabetes may have a genetic component.
– An estimated 50% of canine diabetes cases are likely linked to pancreatic damage caused by autoimmune disorders. These disorders have many possible causes, but we believe that they are linked to overstimulation of the immune system from over-vaccinating, highly processed foods, and other environmental factors.
– Obesity can contribute to insulin resistance, making it more difficult to regulate overweight dogs with diabetes. Obesity is also a risk factor for pancreatitis, which can lead to diabetes.
Prevention and Treatment
A natural diet is very important for all dogs, but particularly those suffering with canine diabetes. Most commercial dog foods contain grains, carbohydrates, sugars, and other fillers. For that reason, we recommend you feed your diabetic pooch a raw or natural diet, that is low in sugars and carbohydrates.
What to feed a diabetic dog
A species appropriate, minimally processed diet and natural supplements can be effective in controlling milder forms of diabetes, and this can often result in the decreased use or elimination of insulin. A species appropriate diet is one that consists of mostly raw meats and some vegetables, fruits, and even eggs. Sardines contain fatty acids which can add additional benefits. A minimally processed commercial dog food, such as air or free-dried raw, can deliver the convenience of natural feeding without the fuss.
It is important to feed diabetic dogs two to three times a day. This helps to control the rise and fall of blood sugar throughout the day and prevents it from falling to dangerously low levels between feedings.
We recommend the following supplements to stabilise glucose levels:
Coconut Oil – helps prevent and treat diabetes by regulating and balancing insulin. Coconut Oil is available from most supermarkets on health food shops.
Raw apple cider vinegar – in your pet’s water bowl is also very effective in controlling diabetes symptoms. Apple Cider Vinegar is also available from supermarkets and health food shops.
Vitamins and Minerals
It is important the diet you feed is rich in the following nutrients:
Vitamin C – prevents cataracts, protects the kidneys, and controls blood sugar. Vitamin C is also instrumental in strengthening the immune system.
Vitamin E – reduces the need for insulin, controls blood sugar levels, improves insulin action, and prevents oxidative stress, thereby strengthening the immune system.
Magnesium – guards against high urinary loss and a magnesium deficiency could lead to retinal damage and heart disease.
Zinc – lessens the effects of diabetes.
It is important for a diabetic dog to have daily exercise at the same time each day. The exercise should not be too strenuous, but should adapt to the dog’s temperament, age, and health. The dog should be comfortable doing exercise without having to pant.
Do not give treats at random throughout the day, as this can cause blood sugar spikes that the insulin may not be able to control. It is best to give treats when you know the insulin will be at peak effectiveness (usually around 4 to 6 hours after insulin injection).
Most commercial treats are high in carbohydrates and sugars and should be avoided. Choose treats that are high in protein, and preferably gluten-free. Avoid any treats with corn, soy, fructose, or molasses. Fruits are fine in moderation and veggies are a good choice for diabetic dogs. The fibre in vegetables will help stabilise blood sugar. Steam or puree them to make them more digestible or you can try frozen green beans for crunch.
Don’t overdo it with treats – make sure less than 10% of your dog’s daily calories come from treats.
When to get help
If you suspect your dog has diabetes, seek the advice of a canine health professional. It would be best to seek the advice of a holistic vet who can address your dog’s needs focusing on proper nutrition and supplements. In some instances, insulin may not be necessary.
Many dogs suffer yeast infections for a variety of reasons. This guide is for treating yeast infections in dogs naturally, but covers some basics as to why dogs so commonly suffer these infections.
What are yeast infections in dogs?
One of the most common reasons for Vets visits for dogs are yeast infections – usually in the ears or feet, but sometimes on other parts of the body. Yeast infections are caused by an imbalance of the immune system – either an overactive or underactive immune response. The most common course of medical treatment is of course steroid therapy, which shuts off the natural immune response completely, masking, but not treating, the source of the problem and causes more problems.
Should a secondary skin infection arise from scratching or biting or licking, these are usually treated with antibiotics. If allergies are indeed to blame, this is even more of a problem, as antibiotics wipe out both good and bad bacteria, preventing the body from repairing itself and creating more grief.
Whilst clinical diagnosis of a yeast infection needs to be carried out by a Vet by looking under a microscope, tell-tale signs of yeast infections in dogs are a musty, mouldy smell, itching and scratching at ears, paw licking, and bum scooting.
Can these often chronic yeast infections be treated without resorting to steroids and antibiotics, and frequent visits to the Vet?
Our Top 5 tips for beating yeast infections in dogs naturally
Here are our Top 5 Tips for beating yeast infections naturally, for good:
- FOOD: Eliminate kibbles, cans, and all processed foods containing carbohydrates, grains and starches from the diet. Switch to a natural diet, including raw chicken necks, raw meaty bones from your butcher, and a good quality, grain-free raw diet. If convenience is a factor, you can use a decent quality air-dried, freeze dried, or BARF food which has been formulated with basic nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
- BATHING AND CLEANING: You can bathe puppy in Calendula flower water to soothe the skin, and use a good quality natural soothing shampoo. If the infection is in the feet, a frequent foot soak made up of 4 litres of water, a cup of hydrogen peroxide, and 2 cups of apple cider or white vinegar is critical, several times a day. Soak the feet in this solution, do not rinse, and dry thoroughly. If the problem is with the ears there are a few products like dog ear cleaner wipes (with coconut oil and aloe vera) which work well, or alternatively Witch Hazel from Health Food Stores and large cotton balls to keep the ears clean and dry. Please do not use cotton buds to clean your dogs ears.
- SUPPLEMENTS: Introduce supplements including Omega Oil, Vitamin C and a Multivitamin such as DermaDOG Multivitamin. You can also add a teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar to the food, available at health food shops.
- PROBIOTIC: Probiotics contain the good bacteria needed in the digestive tract. As the yeast is brought under control, the beneficial bacteria need to be replenished. Some Multivitamin products contain probiotics or “prebiotics” (nutrients that feed the beneficial bacteria), but your dog may require a higher or more therapeutic dose. You can use either a Human Grade Probiotic capsule or alternatively kefir, available from some health food shops or continental delis, retailing at around $5 per litre. Depending on the severity of the yeast problem, probiotics can be introduced 2-3 weeks after introducing supplements.
- TOPICAL APPLICATION: Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is beneficial added to food, but can also be applied topically to skin irritations. Available from health food shops and some supermarkets. Expect to pay around $15 for a jar.
Have you beaten your dog’s yeast infections?
Have you managed to beat your dog’s yeast infection naturally? If so, we’d love to hear about your experiences! Leave a comment below.
What is liver disease in dogs?
The liver is a busy little filter and its malfunction can be fatal for pets. When toxins aren’t being removed efficiently from the blood, symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, appetite loss, fatty-looking stools and diarrhoea will usually be the first symptoms you’ll see.
But not every case of liver failure is untreatable, and holistic healthcare has saved the lives of many dogs and cats that Vets may have given up on. Liver disease is a serious matter, and you should always consult with your Vet when embarking on any new treatment – but the following complementary therapies just might save your best friend:
- Begin with a short fast to let the digestive system detox. Give filtered water, not tap water, which may contain impurities.
- Improve the diet and give large doses of Vitamin C along with raw shredded carrot in the food.
- Reduce fat, and improve protein quality – feed only fresh, human grade foods to an animal with liver disease.
- Include a Probiotic supplement or Kefir to the diet. You can also add some Apple Cider Vinegar, as well as Brewer’s Yeast for Vitamin B.
Most pooches lap up liver cleansing teas such as FoodiePooch Detox Tea, containing Milk Thistle, Dandelion and Burdock Root.
Canine Myofunctional Therapy can encourage detoxification and healing as well as make your pet feel great.
Diarrhoea in dogs can occur for many reasons, and when it occurs it’s worth considering why in the hope you can prevent it in the future. This guide delves right into diarrhoea (sounds gross, right!), with info on what to do to prevent it or treat it naturally.
What causes diarrhoea in dogs?
There are lots of reasons why dogs develop diarrhoea, the most common of which is food related. Sudden dietary changes, the introduction of new foods, allergies to certain commercial dog foods, inappropriate leftovers or picking something up outside can all cause loose stools.
Parasites can also cause intermittent diarrhoea, as can viral and bacterial infections and certain medications such as heartworm preventatives. And of course, just like in humans, sometimes stress can trigger an attack of the runs. Hunching, straining, fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, and dehydration are all symptoms of an upset tummy.
If your dog is otherwise healthy, an occasional episode of loose stool is not a problem and is usually over very quickly by itself. But if your pooch suffers from chronic diarrhoea, it can be a serious issue for their health, particularly if he’s a Pup or a Senior.
When to get help
If your dog has a bout of diarrhoea but then seems normal, just keep an eye on him. But if you notice she’s sluggish, there is blood in the stools, your dog feels warm to touch, or not behaving like his usual self, or if you are in any way worried, please call your Vet.
If your dog seems fine otherwise but is experiencing recurrent bouts of diarrhoea, your Vet will usually recommend a sending a stool sample off for analysis to help identify any underlying causes.
How to treat dog diarrhoea at home
If you have an otherwise healthy adult dog, it is recommended that you fast them – that is not feed them at all – for at least 12 hours. Please ensure fresh water is always available.
Then you can offer a bland, fat free diet of 50% lean chicken mince or roo mince plus 50% mashed pumpkin or sweet potato, cooked.
We also recommend adding a herb called Slippery Elm, available from your Health Food Shop. Add half a teaspoon per 5kg of bodyweight.
Please don’t use fatty meats such as beef, pork or lamb, or rice.
Once the stools start to firm, we suggest adding some Kefir Probiotic drink to the meals.
Things should improve in 3-5 days. If they don’t, please speak to your Vet.
Lot’s of dogs and cats are fussy eaters. Especially cats (who believe it or not are slightly autistic and get confused by a new food).
If you know you’re feeding something good and healthy, like a meaty bone, then here’s some methods to stimulate the appetite and encourage eating in finicky or sick pets:
|Soups, broths or stock||Can add flavour and variety to any type of meal.||Choose salt-reduced, MSG free, and onion free formulas.|
|Raw or cooked meats||High quality nutrition as nature intended!||Calcium, vitamin A, or other deficiency possible with long term use without balancing the diet using raw meaty bones, vegetables, fruits, oils and supplements.|
|Canned fish in spring water: salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, anchovies||Great for cats! Great for dogs!||Can be high sodium (salt). Larger fish such as salmon and mackerel can be high in toxins and heavy metals.|
|Liver (cooked or raw)||Great nutrition!||Only feed once or twice a week. Can worsen feline bladder problems.|
|Tamari (Organic Soy Sauce) – 2-3 drops on top of meal||A favourite of cats.||High sodium (salt). Please choose a brand that does not contain MSG.|
|Parmesan or other grated cheese||A favourite of both dogs and cats.||High sodium (salt).|
|Catnip||A favourite of cats.||Hallucinogenic. May cause cat to roll in food rather than eat it.|
|Dairy products – cottage cheese, kefir, yogurt||Low in lactose, great source of calcium. High fat varieties may help with underweight pets.||Choose low-fat options for maintenance diet.|
|Brewer’s (nutritional) yeast||High in B vitamins.||Can worsen bladder, digestive, or skin/ear problems.|
Please note that some appetite stimulants can create problems, even when used in appropriate quantities for short periods. Anything containing high levels of sodium can be addictive. Some may not be suitable for your pet. Remember, the best way to decide on these is to weigh the pros against the cons. Though all of these have been used safely on many pets, please use them at your own risk. Please use common sense or consult your pet health professional when trying new foods, and introduce any changes slowly.