Raising Litter Mates



Having worked in a veterinary clinic for many years you can only imagine the different types of requests, questions and information I have come across. One of the most common issues revolve around diarrhea in dogs and what to do about it.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Introducing New Treats and/or Ingredients to Your Dog.

Some diarrhea issues arise when our dogs get into something unfamiliar - rotten food on the ground, the garbage, new "treats" and sometimes the introduction to new foods - even home-cooked or people food.

You hear a lot about feeding home-cooked meals and the negative comments surrounding the topic - I have even heard "don't feed your dog human food, it teaches them to beg". Now that is ridiculous - YOU ( the owner) have not taught your dog to behave, don't blame it on him! I don't believe in feeding your dogs table scraps - but sharing carrots, apples, bananas and the like isn't bad at all!

To successfully introduce new foods or treats it is important to know for certain your dog is having normal bowel movements. You want to be sure that for a few days your dog is regular and content! Once this is established - it is time for some new food!

If you are introducing a whole new diet - this may take up to a week to 10 days. First you want to mix 75% of the old diet with 25% of the new diet. Within 24-48 hours ( or sooner ) you will notice if this food is upsetting his tummy. I recommend doing this for at least 3 days - if stools are not 100% normal by the second day - continue this mixture for a couple more days. If stools improve - or you noted no change at all - try doing 50% old diet 50% new diet. Then do 75% new diet, 25% old diet and gradually ween him off the old diet.

Remember, some dogs don't experience ANY problems switching foods abruptly, but it is advised to gradually introduce new foods to minimize any tummy upsets and gas and diarrhea. It can't be comfortable for your pooch.

Introducing new treats is basically the same concept. Depending on the size of the treat - give your dog a bite size piece of the product. Wait at least two (2) hours to be sure there are no immediate allergies. Watch for face swelling, increased scratching, licking, anything out of his normal behaviour. I wouldn't recommend introducing new treats/food if you are going to be out of the house and Fido is left all alone. Wait until you get back. If all is normal after a few hours - you can give him another bite size piece. At this point I personally would wait for a bowel movement before feeding anymore. If stools are good - chances your dog having a problem with allergies to that particular treat and ingredients are slim.

Pretty easy right! If your dog does develop diarrhea or loose stools - stop the treat immediately and only feed regular food and treats until stools are 100% normal again. You can try to introduce the treat again - same procedure to be certain it was the treats causing the upset. If the allergy is affecting the dog in any other serious manner please call your veterinarian and seek advice. Feeding a bland diet ( boiled rice, hamburger meat, chicken ) for up to 48 hours is sometimes advised to help "cure" a stomach upset. Adding canned pumpkin ( not the pie filler) is also helpful for helping diarrhea and/or constipation. The amount of pumpkin depends on the size of your dog. Taro and Kratos get 2-3 tablespoons. If symptoms persist call your animal specialist.

It is okay for your dog to have variety - but of the good kind. Once you have established what works for you dog start enjoying the health benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables with your canine companion!

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Nutritious Home Made Snacks for our Black Labrador Litter Mates.

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What Treats Should You Feed your Puppy.

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