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Digestive Health

Tips and Advice

Keeping a healthy digestive tract

Feeding a good quality complete dog food will help your pet look and feel their best. The decision to feed a wet or dry diet often comes down to owner preference, however dry food will help keep teeth cleaner and is more practical for larger sized dogs.

How much to feed will depend on the individual dog and the type of food they are eating. Every brand of dog food comes with a recommended feeding guide; remember this is only a guide. The quantity of food your dog needs will depend on a combination of factors such as their activity levels, breed, life-stage and type of food they are eating. Weigh them regularly and speak to your vet about their body condition score, a system to test if they are underweight or overweight.

Remember that their nutritional requirements will change as they move from puppies to adults and the quantity of food required may reduce as they become older and less active.

 

Hmmm, that looks tasty...

Whilst dogs have similar digestive systems to our own, there are certain human foods which are not suitable for our four legged friends.

  • Grapes, currants, raisins and sultanas: There appears to be no correlation between the quantity of these substances ingested and the clinical signs which can include vomiting, diarrhoea, uncoordinated movement and acute kidney failure. Dried fruit is more toxic than grapes – remember not to give your dog a slice of Christmas cake!
  • Chocolate, coffee and caffeine: These substances affect the central nervous system, cardiac and skeletal muscle. Dark chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate but all are best avoided.
  • Onions, garlic and chives: Ingestion of these plants can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and destruction of red blood cells.
  • Xylitol: An artificial sweetener in confectionary and baking. Ingestion at high levels can cause insulin release, low blood glucose and liver toxicity.
  • Milk: Some dogs will be unable to digest the sugar found in dairy products, this may cause mild diarrhoea.
  • Small bones: Chicken and turkey bones splinter easily and can cause serious injury to your dog’s mouth and digestive tract.

 


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