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Messages - Dottie

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Dog foods / Re: Air Dried Dog Food
« on: Oct 21, 2020, 10:49 »
White potato is ok but sweet potato has better nutrients. Some dogs don’t tolerate white potato very well - one of mine is in this category. Parsnips and carrots are starchy vegetables. Broccoli and the like have good nutritional value.

My Pet Nutritionist has a Facebook Live video about itchy dogs on Friday, 23rd October 2020 at 7pm.

Dog foods / Re: Air Dried Dog Food
« on: Oct 21, 2020, 10:22 »
Thank you very much for clarifying this issue. I had wondered if the starchy vegetables were cooked because I understand that dogs are ill equipped to digest them unless they are cooked and mashed. I wonder if it is down to how you define the word ‘cook’. To me, the ingredients are cooked to some the extent because the bacteria is removed. You could perhaps take the information to the vet and see what he/she thinks about it.

The products look quite good and easy to prepare and store.  They attract good nutritional ratings on the Dog Food Directory. I also like the simple recipes. AFAIK the Vegi Plus Mixer is the only one of its kind on the market although I stand to be corrected. I think it would be useful if  they sold another variety  with an alternative to potato.

Dog foods / Re: Air Dried Dog Food
« on: Oct 21, 2020, 08:31 »
That's interesting Vivann - well spotted. It doesn't say that the food is raw on their own website:
Gently air drying involves blowing warm air across our ingredients to remove the moisture content. Our meat, fruit and veg are slowly air dried at around 60℃, removing the risk of harmful pathogens (E. coli, salmonella, listeria, campylobacter) whilst retaining the goodness and nutrients of our fresh, human-grade ingredients.
David's explanation on this page makes things clearer:
Air drying takes things one step further as the ingredients usually start the process fresh rather than ground or pre-cooked. The food is exposed to a current of heated air, gently removing the water through evaporation which is thought to reduce the damage to proteins, vitamins and enzymes compared to conventional cooking methods. Some air dried foods need to be rehydrated by adding water so, while these packs might seem small, the volume of food you get from them is considerably larger.
So it seems that the ingredients are not pre cooked but the heat from the air drying process does cook them because they say on the website that the harmful pathogens are removed.

Dog foods / Re: Air Dried Dog Food
« on: Oct 20, 2020, 17:54 »
I think it will be precooked dehydrated. The only company that I am currently aware of that sells dried raw dog food is Rocketo.
Rocketo website
AADF Rocketo review

Supplements / Re: Probiotics and prebiotics ?
« on: Oct 20, 2020, 14:42 »

Feeding dogs with health problems / Re: Diabetic Puppy
« on: Oct 18, 2020, 16:01 »
Thank you very much for your input Lottie - much appreciated. Personal experience is so useful. Some of those Facebook groups are very helpful. I am glad that you have been able recommend a good one.

I understand that current thinking is that dogs need two meals per day, not one.  This is particularly important in dogs who are deep chested and prone to bloat. The stomach is highly acidic and giving two meals should help to prevent biliousness. Personally, I have fed three smaller meals per day for many years plus a biscuit at bedtime because I feel it is better for their digestion. Also, my dogs are quite greedy so it helps sate appetite.  When kibble is soaked in slightly acidic water you can see how much it expands and I would imagine the stomach becomes distended for a while if a big meal is given all at once. It takes a while to be digested. Also, dry food makes the dog quite thirsty.

Feeding dogs with health problems / Re: Diabetic Puppy
« on: Oct 17, 2020, 17:48 »
Hello and welcome to the forum Shearer. I have never had a diabetic dog and as you say, it is unusual in a puppy. I would be inclined to look for a good quality food just the same as for any pup.  This means that it needs to have crystal clear labelling and a good quality digestible protein source which should appear at the top of the list of ingredients.

When I use the Dog Food Directory to source foods I always use the clear labelling and no red ingredients tick boxes.  This usually brings up the higher rated foods. I agree with spanielowner in that complex carbohydrates might be better as they release sugars more slowly. Brown rice fits this criteria so might be worth looking for products containing this. Some of the grain free products contain white potato and derivates so it might be best to avoid those. 

I am wondering if the cold pressed foods which contain brown rice might be helpful. These products are highly digestible and tend to attract a good nutritional score on the Dog Food Directory. Some of them are grain free and if you prefer these then you need to look carefully at the carbohydrate source.  Sweet potato would perhaps be better.  We have a thread on cold pressed foods here.  There are more cold pressed foods available these days and some are made in the UK. The ones I am familiar with are the Markus Muhle varieties and the UK companies that sell this are Gentle and Guru. Both have versions containing brown rice and have staff who may be able to help you. The big advantage of cold pressed food is that you will not have to change it as the puppy grows up because it is an all age product - you just give higher amounts to puppies and reduce it as they get older. As mentioned, their staff will hopefully be able to guide you on this matter.

Another option (but more expensive) is fresh cooked food. Butternut Box has lentils in the recipe and these are complex carbs.

If you prefer traditional kibble or wet food then you can search for that on the Directory using the filters but please ask if you need our help with this.

I have to say that  whatever you decide upon you need to take the ingredient list to the vet to check.

Dog news / Re: Pet food is harming the planet
« on: Oct 12, 2020, 21:08 »
I can't help but think that it is not pet food but mankind who is harming the planet, what with carbon emissions, plastic waste and goodness knows how many other pollutants.  :(

General discussion / Re: Rainwater
« on: Oct 09, 2020, 18:44 »
I don't know why dogs prefer water from puddles but my two do this regularly. My patio collects one or two puddles when it has rained and despite them always having a fresh bowl of water they invariably have a drink from the puddles when they go out to the garden to toilet.

We have a few posts on the forum about this common problem. These can be found by using the search box at the top of the Board Index. I have had a conversation with David about this and at some time in the future he hopes to write a blog about the subject.

I had this problem with one of my dogs many years ago and more recently with one that I have now. I am not an expert on this subject but I thought that if I gave a few pointers about what I learned it might be helpful.

•   Causes: food often gets the blame for skin problems and it can be the cause but not always and is less common than one might think. It can be caused by environmental or genetic factors. Finding the cause can be really difficult. Dogs can be sensitive to the house dust mite, food storage mites, chemicals used in the home, pollen, flea bites but any one of a number of things can trigger a reaction. The owner needs to observe carefully and make notes.  Obvious causes such as fleas needs to be ruled out.

•   An itchy dog is a stressed dog so the first thing to do is to see the veterinary surgeon. Delaying this will only make the dog's condition worse. Treatment can be given to ease the dog's discomfort. Commonly steroids and Apoquel are used and these can be very effective. When dogs scratch the skin is usually broken and they often introduce bacterial infection. This, together with  a possible overgrowth of yeast can make the itching worse. These can be detected with a skin scrape and this would also reveal the presence of other diseases such as mites. These conditions can be treated. I found that my dog would have a week of antibiotics then a short while later the itching would start again.  In chronic conditions the dog may need a longer course of antibiotics and medicated baths.
*  It’s worth remembering that one of the signs of stress and pain can be excessive paw licking/chewing/biting. It can cause a lick granuloma and these can be very painful.

•   Food - even if your dog’s itching is not caused by food, a good, digestible diet will help to strengthen immunity and optimize the dog’s general health. Sometimes people try different foods, often on recommendation but this approach can be expensive as well as disappointing;  it can even make things worse. If you feel that your dog’s itching is food related a better approach would be to conduct an elimination diet with the help of your veterinary surgeon. These are time consuming and will need patience and perseverance (see below).  There is anecdotal evidence that raw diets are helpful. This could be due to the fact that they are low in carbohydrate, contain high levels of digestible animal protein and high in fat. If anyone wishes to try this choose a reputable company that produces complete food and seek the advice of their nutritionist. A home cooked diet may also be helpful (see home cooking section).

•   Supplements – there are many supplements (usually oils) which may be helpful. However, it may take some weeks to elicit a response so patience is needed, as well as observation.  Your vet may be able to advise.

Elimination diet:
Food allergy develops over time so when an elimination diet is commenced the dog is given food which it has not been exposed to before.

a) Vets usually advise a hydrolyzed protein diet because the protein has undergone treatment which alters it so the dog’s system does not recognize it as an allergen. Gradually different proteins/ingredients are introduced and the dog’s reaction monitored. 
b)  A commercially prepared food which has a different protein source than the one the dog is used to may be used. In this case, look for a product that is clearly labelled and has a simple recipe – the fewer ingredients, the better.   
c) Another method is to use a simple home cooked diet that includes a protein and carbohydrate. Ideally, both ingredients should be ones that the pet has not been exposed to before. The problem with this is that it is unlikely to be correctly balanced and may be deficient in calcium and other vitamins/minerals so it would be advantageous to discuss this with your vet or a pet nutritionist (see home cooking section).

While an elimination trial is taking place the dog must have nothing at all except the diet – this includes treats.  It seems rather draconian but it is only for a comparatively short period of time and can have great benefits in the long run.

With my own dog I was fortunate in that she was insured and I was able to have her referred to a dermatologist. It paid dividends even though the exact cause was not discovered.  Looking back, contributory factors include a genetic tendency (it is known in the breed) and certain foods, notably white potato, legumes and high carbohydrate. I have been able to tailor her diet to exclude these and she has been in remission for some time.  She has no problem with any of the protein sources.  I found that bathing using a medicated shampoo was very helpful. Initially I used a soap free, hydrating dog shampoo but during the treatment period Malaseb was prescribed and worked very well.  This treatment,  plus antibiotics was intensive for some weeks but gradually she began to improve.

Allergic dermatitis is a complex condition and cannot be cured. However, it can be treated and the dog made more comfortable. It is necessary to have patience and to be observant. Don’t expect a quick result. Skin cells take time to regenerate. With my own dog, although she was itch free it took about two months for her skin to return to a normal colour and appearance. I consider her current situation as ‘managed’ rather than cured.

There are many treatment suggestions on the Internet but be careful not to try too many things at once. Administer one thing at a time and give it chance to work (or not) so that it can be properly assessed. A slow and steady approach is needed.

There is a lot of information about allergic dermatitis on the Internet. Here are some links that I have found useful:

Alison Daniel from My Pet Nutritionist Talking All Things Allergy
Dr. Becker Discusses Yeast Infection in Dogs
Dr. Becker: How to Treat Allergies in Your Pet

If anyone would like to share their own experiences of managing this condition or has any useful information/links, please share.

Thank you for the update. I am pleased that Symply is helping your dog.

There is a short article on obesity/joint health in pets  by My Pet Nutritionist - Obesity and Musculoskeletal Health in Dogs. There is mention of the pet owner's perception of what is a healthy weight. I have experienced this myself when I compared my two with two overweight dogs that we met in the park (similar breed). Mine looked a bit skinny but actually their body condition is just about perfect. Sometimes people don't actually realize that their dog is overweight, especially if they rarely see dogs who have a healthy weight.

Feeding dogs with health problems / Re: Cockapoo Puppy
« on: Oct 06, 2020, 16:03 »
I forgot to mention that skin scrapings would also reveal the presence of mites. These can cause intense itching. Your puppy is very young to have food allergy so it's best to eliminate other causes first (as I have already mentioned).  If you do decide to change food again please remember that it can take some weeks to see an improvement. Skin cells need time to shed and be replaced.

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