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Cath S

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My dog has been on a specific diet for months due to ill health. He was feeling off colour at the weekend - sickness, poor tummy and off his food. We let him be for a bit and kept offering him small amounts of boiled chicken. He is now feeling better and we want to get him back on his specific food that he needs. My question is do I still have to transition back bearing in mind he was on this food for months and has been off it for about 4 days? It is gastro food as he does have gastritis and IBD. Thanks
I'd offer a small amount of his chicken with some of the water it was boiled in, and make up the rest with his usual food. Adjust according to results, but if he is over his tummy bug, it should be straightforward.
No you should be absolutely fine as long as it's the same brand, same food there should be no issues.
However I do advise you to do this for the first 2days of giving him his normal food again. Instead of 2 meals a day which I'm assuming is the way you normally feed him? Feed him the same daily amount as you usually would but divide into 4 small meals a day for 2days so it's not heavy on his gut and a shock to his belly and intestines. Also mix the boiled chicken in with it.
So ...
x4 - small meals a day for the first 2/3days
So turns out we need to change Freddie’s diet again. He has been diagnosed with B12 deficiency and also the vets says he should now be on a true hypoallergenic dog food. They have suggested Purina HA which I have ordered but I just wondered what to do if he won’t eat it? Normally I would be able to give him some chicken to help tempt him but no longer. Also does anybody know of an alternative just in case? I see Royal Canin do one and he historically likes RC so might be an option. Any advice welcome. Thanks in advance
I have no advice - just a cooling flannel to apply to your forehead because you must be bashing it against a wall right now:(
I have no advice - just a cooling flannel to apply to your forehead because you must be bashing it against a wall right now:(
Ha ha! - that did cheer me up though!
When transitioning to new food - is it normal for Freddie to have loose stools even though I am doing it super slowly? Needs to be on a hypoallergenic food and he would eat the first one we tried.
Not really, but he may improve.

When a dog (or any other animal for that matter) digests food, a lot of the work is done by the gut bacteria. In humans, for example, the gut bacteria are accustomed to a variety of different things so cope with change well. In a dog that tends to eat the same thing, a small change can throw the gut bacteria off balance, often resulting in diarrhoea. That's why new foods are advised to be introduced slowly.

Maybe Freddie's will get more settled if you can slow down some more.
Ok thanks - will give it a bit longer. He has only been having a desert spoon with each meal. Wish I hadn’t started the day after daycare as he may well have picked up something there and nothing to do with the food - I just don’t know!
Oops I don't know what I have done here ! Please click to expand.

So turns out we need to change Freddie’s diet again. He has been diagnosed with B12 deficiency and also the vets says he should now be on a true hypoallergenic dog food. ]

Purina, HA;
Where is the meat protein in your dogs diet, the ingredients in the above product looks like a vegetable type kibble of which is neither natural for a canine and much of which can be difficult to digest causing problems.
Unfortunately our vets are not qualified to give nutritional advice, although there are some who have studied further with an interest in raw feeding.

Royal Canin is another poor quality product.

B12 deficiency in dogs. Will "Raw feeding" help ?
ORGAN meat is highly nutritional and full of many important vitamins, including B12.
Feed; eggs, natural live yoghurt, and fresh raw or lightly cooked (pink) meat.
To help improve the diet you can add some seaweed powder.

Meat values are changed by cooking / processing, they can react a lot better by being under cooked or even raw.
Please read the attachment below
Myths About Raw: Is my vet really qualified to be giving nutritional advice?
So we never transitioned onto the food stated above - it just made Freddie too ill. Currently at my wits end with his diet - vet says he needs to go on an elimination diet but the one we tried is currently causing large sloppy poos sometimes at night (Hills Z/D) It’s 10 days in and still only 30% new food so doing it super slow. I wondered about raw feeding. Not a fan myself and the vets don’t recommend it for him but currently wondering if this is an option? I don’t have a particularly large freezer but if it helps I will trial it. Maybe a novel protein? I just want his tummy sorted but yet to establish what sets it off. Any advice welcome.
What is it that worries you about raw feeding? A lot of dogs do benefit from it, but of course all bets are off as Freddie's digestion is a bit 'special'. I'm sure we've covered this in the past, but is chicken a no-no for him?
We don’t actually know what sets him off. He currently has Hills I/D with a little bit of chicken and veg and trying to change to Hills Z/D under the vets instruction. We keep ending up going back to Hills I/D as it seems the best of a bad bunch. I am hesitant about raw as I dont have the storage space and the vets told me it’s a fad and not suitable for him. Willing to try anything at the moment as it’s getting me down and I am sure is not fun for him either!
It's definitely not a fad - there's people on this forum who have been feeding raw for decades. There's lots of suggestions online for raw feeding dogs with sensitive stomachs, though it's fair to say most of these are on raw food sites. Generally, raw chicken is the best protein to start with, though some dogs are intolerant of it. I don't feel I can really give advice as Freddie isn't your average dog - but maybe as a start you could try replacing the chicken he has with raw chicken to see if there's any reaction?

As for storage - if you have a pet shop nearby (or a supermarket if you use supermarket chicken) that sells suitable raw food then this shouldn't be too much of a problem. You could always clear out some of the 'human food' from the freezer to make space, and if it does agree with him you could consider a new/bigger freezer. (We managed for a week on holidays with a small freezer compartment, fridge, and cool box with ice blocks - if mince is densely packed it takes ages to defrost.)
We have used raw products for a good 40 years, and have never had any problems with it. Poo's are always firm and there is almost NO smell. Raw is of course an appropriate food for our canine friends unlike the masses of wheat and fillers that are in so many of the modern day kibbles, which can cause a lot of digestive problems amongst various allergies too.

Our dogs digestive systems react quiet differently to a raw product and a same product that has been very processed with most of it's goodness altered and destroyed.

Many dogs and especially puppies can be changed over to raw feeding very quickly, but if you want to try the change over carefully that's fine.
There are good pet stores with freezers and selections of "complete" mixes if you wish but not essential.
I always suggest purchasing a little book to help with raw feeding "Honeys Natural Feeding Handbook for Dogs". This book is easy to read and understand . Try ebay or Amazon who often have cheap offers for this book, prices can start as low as £3.50.
I'm another who has fed raw for around 40 years. Never had any trouble from it at all. Some fad!

Wishing you and your dog well with whatever you decide.
I forget - has Freddie had a referral to a gastro specialist? Is that worth asking about?
I’ll add my comment with regard to raw - our whippet has been on raw for quite a few years and the only time she’s had runny poos is with eating something else - scavaged on a walk or a disgusting dehydrated animal part (as oily as hell) from a pet shop. Of course a vet may state that raw is a fad - have you seen the dehydrated ‘prescribed’ stuff on their shelves in the waiting room? And their price? Perhaps a vested interest? I merely ask the question. Furthermore you don’t have to buy raw online by the ton. Your pet shop will have stuff in its freezer available in 1kg bags. Worth spending <£5 to see whether that suits Freddie, one would have thought. Best of luck.
Joining a little late in the day, but one thing you can almost guarantee is that most vets are sceptical about raw food. I personally have had mixed results with raw food, and at present I have one dog doing really well on raw and the other having just changed from raw to z/d because of allergies. So you could say I am pretty well balanced on the subject.

It comes down to the quality of food, whether or raw or processed, and I can recommend Natural Instinct for raw. They do a 'special diet' version which kept my little collie cross who has liver and pancreatic disorders in great health for several years. z/d in my experience produces vast amounts of poo, but I have used it with two dogs personally, and they have both done well on it: of course Freddie may not, it all depends. You don't have to use z/d long term: Hill's recommend a month's trial and to feed it for no longer than one year.

One thing I will say is that the recommendation with both raw and z/d is to change the food 100% rather than easing into it. That's certainly what I have always done when I've had a dog with long-term stomach problems, because you need to know where you are and what's going on. If the dog is getting a mixture of different foods, it's impossible to know what might be aggravating the problem. This also applies to a dog being unsupervised while you are trialling new foods. Dogs with tummy problems sometimes have a morbid appetite and eat soil, grass, stones etc, so if you want to know whether a new diet is having the desired effect, you have to exclude all that for a while (it's fine for dogs to eat soil and grass otherwise, of course - not stones though!)

One final recommendation (which might seem a bit off kilter) is to try the tinned food Chappie. Although it is cheap and looks terrible, I have had particular success with German Shepherds (notorious for delicate tummies) going onto Chappie and doing very well, with only occasional flare-ups.

You don't say whether any poo samples have been analysed - I assume they have? A second option from another vet is also an option.

Good luck. Dog diets can take over your life, so I do sympathise as you try to nail the right one for Freddie!

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