MY DOG VOMITS/ HAS DIARRHOEA OCCASIONALLY
BUT ISN'T ILL
This usually indicates that there
is a build-up of waste matter in the dog's system. The vomiting
or diarrhoea is a way of discharging this waste thus helping to
cleanse the system for a time. There is probably some sub-clinical
This pattern of behaviour is usually
associated with feeding low-quality pet food and a change to decent
feeding regime will usually solve the problem. See the Health
Management Programme at the end of this site.
Many owners find that the dog (or
cat) habitually vomits in the mornings. The owner may be advised
to feed frequently. This is often successful in stopping the vomiting
but it is not good practice because this is only keeping the lid
on the problem not curing it.
THE FUSSY DOG
It is truly remarkable how many owners
have dogs which are fussy. Many owners seem determined to make
their dogs eat come what may. The main reason why a dog refuses
food is that IT IS NOT HUNGRY! However,
the owner concludes that the dog no longer likes the food and
decides to try something else (usually tastier) in order to get
the dog to eat. The dog will eat this tastier food for a time until it tires of that. The owner will
then seek out something else in order to stimulate the dog's jaded
appetite. And so it continues. The owner does not seem to realise
or care that the dog is simply not hungry .
The best way to please a dog is to
give the dog, not food, but time by providing the stimulation
of play or by taking it for a walk.
Management Programme offers advice on organising the feeding
of the fussy dog.
THE PERPETUALLY HUNGRY DOG
Some dogs seem to be always hungry
and to want to eat non-stop. This occurs even when it is clear
that the dog does not need more food. Many humans are similar
in this respect. Sometimes there is no solution to this problem
of feeling guilty that the dog is being deprived. Very often,
the desire for food is conditioned. That is, the dog has learned
from past experience that if the owner is eating then the dog
will be given food.
The best way of dealing with this
is the same as for the fussy dog - by providing diversion and
stimulation in the form of a walk or play. The more you giv efood
on demand, the more the dog will expect it.
WHY DOGS EAT GRASS?
Grass eating is an intuitive action
by the dog which wants to vomit as a means of discharging toxins
from the system.
WHICH IS BETTER - CANNED
FOOD OR DRIED?
The answer is that what is in the
food determines whether it is good for your dog, not how it is
presented. Moist foods tend to be tastier than dry (mainly because
they contain more protein and fat) but dry is more economical
WHY SHOULD I CHANGE IF MY DOG
IS FINE ON ITS PRESENT FOOD?
Health problems are more likely on
a low-quality food and they often develop without showing outward
signs. A high-quality diet reduces the risk of a problem developing
in the future.
HOW MUCH FOOD DOES MY DOG NEED?
It is much easier and much more common
to overfeed rather than underfeed.
Recommended feeding amounts are only
a very rough guide and as such should only be used as a starting
point. Two similar dogs may require very different amounts and
this will only become apparent with experience. . Also the amount
will probably vary from summer to winter. The dog will probably
need more food in winter in order to generate body heat.
Management Programme is really a feeding guide which should
enable you to find the right amount for each individual dog.
The amount of food your dog needs
and how much he wants are not necessarily the same things. Remember
you can undo the value of good quality food by overfeeding.
IS IT HARMFUL TO ADD OTHER THINGS
TO THE DOG FOOD?
This depends on the individual dog
and what you want to add but home-made food especially vegetables
may be acceptable.
A prepared pet food cannot by its
nature be tailored exactly to suit every circumstance and I sometimes
even recommend adding other home-made foods depending on the individual's
needs. I do not necessarily agree with the advice which some manufacturers
give that adding to the diet will "upset the balance".
But it is not advisable to add things regularly to the food in
order to get the dog to eat more. Over a period of time this will
result in the dog eating more than it would otherwise and could
undo any benefits.
I CAN'T BE OVERFEEDING BECAUSE
MY DOG IS NOT OVERWEIGHT
NO! ! ! Many dogs which are overfed
do not put on weight but discharge the excess giving rise to the
symptoms described in the Development
of Disease Stage 1. This tends to be true especially for dogs
which have lots of exercise. In general, it is the dogs which
are not well exercised which become overweight
I CAN'T BE OVERFEEDING BECAUSE
MY DOG ONLY EATS WHAT HE NEEDS AND LEAVES THE REST
NO !!! If your dog regularly picks
at his food and leaves food behind then this means that he is
eating as much as he wants rather than as much as he needs. It
is likely that he could manage with a little less each day, his
health would improve and he would probably enjoy his food more
if he was eating less.
MY DOG HAS DRY, FLAKY SKIN. DOES
HE NEED MORE OIL IN HIS DIET?
No! Dry, flaky skin (dandruff or
scurf) is a sign that there is an excess of waste matter in the
system. It is not a sign that anything is lacking in the diet.
The solution is to feed a high quality diet in smaller amounts.
This will enable the body to eliminate the waste matter and the
skin condition will then improve. See the Health
MY DOG HAS ARTHRITIS. WlLL ADDING
OIL TO HIS DIET HELP THIS?
Some dogs do improve when oil is
added to the diet but the best way of treating arthritis is to
tackle the cause which is the build-up of waste in the system.
See the Health
Management Programme. It is better to improve general health
by feeding a good quality diet than to supplement a poor diet
in order to compensate for inadequacies.
MY DOG IS UNDERWEIGHT. SHOULD
I FEED HIM MORE?
It is first necessary to establish
if the dog really is underweight. There are so many overweight
dogs that a fit, lean dog looks underweight. Forget what the charts
and scales say. You should be able to feel the dog's ribs with
only a thin covering of skin. In a short-coated dog you should
not be able to see the ribs and the bones should not be prominent.
Many dogs are lean because they are active, not because they need
more food. Often, increasing the food intake will reduce the efficiency
of digestion so the dog may not put on weight. Increased feeding
may even cause problems, for example signs of excess in the system
as described in Stage 1 of the Development of Disease.