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Thread: Food doesn't really work...

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    Rescue Volunteer cefe13's Avatar
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    Default Food doesn't really work...

    Never-ending story...and this post is long, so please bear with me. It's not altogether about raw feeding, but I post it here. The problem is that we have still not quite managed to find the optimum food for Castor who is almost 2. We have tried both kibble and raw, and everything seems to work for a while, but then either Castor loses interest in his food or he doesn't digest it well.

    Before he had his nares/soft palate surgery a couple of months ago, he was scratching himself raw. The vet who performed the surgery put him on an allergy kibble because of the scratching, but as it stopped right after his surgery, it probably was stress-related due to his breathing problems rather than food-related. The allergy kibble was great for his digestion but he showed very little interest in eating it, so he went back to normal food, and we tried a high-quality kibble (Canagan) - great reviews, but quite soon Castor had to be persuaded to eat and would often leave part of his portion (which perhaps is not a problem, but we would like him to get back the weight he lost in connection with his surgery). His stools were loose too.

    Therefore, I decided to try raw again. He did eat raw last year before his surgery, with varying success. We tested a couple of different frozen ready-made brands, and some of them he loved and some of them he didn't show much interest in. Generally, his stools have been much better when he's been on raw than on kibble - one grainfree brand even made him constipated. Now, he's on a grain-free raw food that he likes a lot, but his stools are terribly runny. He doesn't need to go more often than usual, but he doesn't seem to digest the food. I called the manufacturer who said this was surprising as dogs often get constipated rather than runny poop when on grainfree raw, but they suggested I add some oatmeal or rice. I'm not sure if that's the right way to go, though?

    So we have a dog who is overall doing very well but who hasn't found a food that works long term. He usually goes two, possibly three times per day, and although his stools are too loose now, he doesn't seem to be sick and there are no signs of tummy ache or anything like that.

    I guess my question after this long post is whether there is something I'm missing? When we have transitioned him to kibble, we have taken it slowly over two weeks; with raw I've read that it's better to switch directly, without transitioning, so that is what we have done.

    Thankful for any input! I realize it's normal having to switch food now and then but I would like to find something that Castor likes and that his tummy digests well too.

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    Default Re: Food doesn't really work...

    I'm not an expert at food by any means… I have my boxer on raw, but I do the pre-made patties. I'm going to tag some people that are food guru's… I'm so sorry that Castor is having so many issues w/food.

    "What we once enjoyed and deeply loved, we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us." Helen Keller
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    Default Re: Food doesn't really work...

    Could it be that all the transitions have made his stomach upset. Try sticking to one for a month or two before trying another. I feed raw so I of course recommend raw.

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    Rescue Volunteer cefe13's Avatar
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    Default Re: Food doesn't really work...

    Thanks, @ddnene and @RiiSi Yes, you are right; his diet has been changed a lot, but he has been on the various foods for at least a month, so it's not all that bad ;-) Perhaps that is not long enough, though.

    Now we have some 15 kg of raw food sitting in the freezer, and as Castor likes it we will try to find a way to help him digest it better (what comes out of him is runny with what looks like bits of the meat/rumen). Do you think I should add rice or is there anything else I could add to make it less tough for his tummy? Last time he was on grainfree raw (Finnish brand Mush), he was almost constipated, but now (Swedish brand called Nordic) it's the opposite.

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    Default Re: Food doesn't really work...

    Quote Originally Posted by cefe13 View Post
    Never-ending story...and this post is long, so please bear with me. It's not altogether about raw feeding, but I post it here. The problem is that we have still not quite managed to find the optimum food for Castor who is almost 2. We have tried both kibble and raw, and everything seems to work for a while, but then either Castor loses interest in his food or he doesn't digest it well.

    Before he had his nares/soft palate surgery a couple of months ago, he was scratching himself raw. The vet who performed the surgery put him on an allergy kibble because of the scratching, but as it stopped right after his surgery, it probably was stress-related due to his breathing problems rather than food-related. The allergy kibble was great for his digestion but he showed very little interest in eating it, so he went back to normal food, and we tried a high-quality kibble (Canagan) - great reviews, but quite soon Castor had to be persuaded to eat and would often leave part of his portion (which perhaps is not a problem, but we would like him to get back the weight he lost in connection with his surgery). His stools were loose too.

    Therefore, I decided to try raw again. He did eat raw last year before his surgery, with varying success. We tested a couple of different frozen ready-made brands, and some of them he loved and some of them he didn't show much interest in. Generally, his stools have been much better when he's been on raw than on kibble - one grainfree brand even made him constipated. Now, he's on a grain-free raw food that he likes a lot, but his stools are terribly runny. He doesn't need to go more often than usual, but he doesn't seem to digest the food. I called the manufacturer who said this was surprising as dogs often get constipated rather than runny poop when on grainfree raw, but they suggested I add some oatmeal or rice. I'm not sure if that's the right way to go, though?

    So we have a dog who is overall doing very well but who hasn't found a food that works long term. He usually goes two, possibly three times per day, and although his stools are too loose now, he doesn't seem to be sick and there are no signs of tummy ache or anything like that.

    I guess my question after this long post is whether there is something I'm missing? When we have transitioned him to kibble, we have taken it slowly over two weeks; with raw I've read that it's better to switch directly, without transitioning, so that is what we have done.

    Thankful for any input! I realize it's normal having to switch food now and then but I would like to find something that Castor likes and that his tummy digests well too.
    I am by NO MEANS an expert when it comes to Bulldog diets BUT maybe some banana or pumpkin might help rather than rice?

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    Default Re: Food doesn't really work...

    I agree, see if leaving im on it for awhile if that helps. Also adding a spoonful of plain pumpkin to his food may also help.
    Have a Great Bully Day.
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    Bulldog Vet in Training Become a 4 Paw Member Donnam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Food doesn't really work...

    Have you tried giving him a probiotic? I give my dogs Fortiflora which is a powder I sprinkle on their food every morning. It helps a lot with digestion. I get mine from Chewy.com, where it is way cheaper than if I get it from the vet. My dogs' stools were loose before I gave them the Fortiflora. Good luck!

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    Default Re: Food doesn't really work...

    I use crushed flax seed for my boys. It add's fibre in to the diet of raw food and it has good oils in it. I let about 15g swell in some water and then mix it in their food.

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    Default Re: Food doesn't really work...

    Hi, I also don't have any experience with raw feeding, and you have been given great info from members above who do regarding adding banana and pumpkin. I'm not an expert on nutrition but have done a lot of research on different dog foods, and because my two guys have different food issues such as allergies to chicken, salmon, beef and grains, plus they have suffered from loose stools, I have had to switch their foods 4 times before I found one that works for them. I did the slow transition over two weeks for each food change. It really is trial and error when looking for foods that work for your baby. Each bully is different in what they tolerate. We feed our guys Fromm's Lamb and Lentil with good results. I agree with others as well regarding adding some probiotics to his kibble to help with digestion. I add 2 Tbsp's of plain unsweetened yogurt to the morning kibble everyday. This helps with digestion and also boosts the immune system which helps with infections, parasites, and allergy symptoms. I also add 1 Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar to their drinking water everyday, there are many health benefits to ACV such as it is a natural anti inflammatory, and a natural anti bacterial and anti fungal, and it also boosts the immune system. I also add 1Tbsp of Coconut Oil to their evening kibble for the Omega Fatty Acids.

    http://www.englishbulldognews.com/fo...+cider+vinegar
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    Default Re: Food doesn't really work...

    Thank you so much for all your advice!
    @Goob14 and @Davidh if we try pumpkin, should it be cooked or raw?
    @Donnam and @Vikinggirl thanks for reminding me about probiotic and yoghurt; that is what we use for humans so might be worth trying on Castor too! We did give Castor apple cider vinegar when he was younger and perhaps we should bring out the bottle again.
    @RiiSi great - will consider that too. So 15g per dog per day?

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    Default Re: Food doesn't really work...

    Your welcome. For the pumpkin, make sure it's pure pumpkin and not the pumpkin filling used for baking. I bought mine in a can at RENs Pet Depot, and I'm sure you can buy it anywhere where pet food is sold. Pumpkin is good for both diarrhea and constipation.
    LEARN A LESSON FROM YOUR DOG, NO MATTER WHAT LIFE BRINGS YOU, KICK SOME GRASS OVER THAT AND MOVE ON.

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    Rescue Volunteer cefe13's Avatar
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    Default Re: Food doesn't really work...

    Quote Originally Posted by Vikinggirl View Post
    Your welcome. For the pumpkin, make sure it's pure pumpkin and not the pumpkin filling used for baking. I bought mine in a can at RENs Pet Depot, and I'm sure you can buy it anywhere where pet food is sold. Pumpkin is good for both diarrhea and constipation.
    Thanks; I would probably need to buy a pumpkin, though, as I've never seen canned pumpkin here. But it should be cooked, right - not raw?

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