Best Food for a Dog with Colitis

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  • #12174 Report Abuse


    We have a client who has with a dog with Colitis. She want to change food but use looking for a food with very low fat. Please list a few foods dry and wet if possible. Thanks

    #12441 Report Abuse


    I have the same question. I have a beagle who might have colitis. She has been on Wellness for years. The vet wants her on Science Diet I/D or Iams special stomach formula but I’m fighting it. Looking for a better alternative.

    #12443 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom

    Hi dave and AngieH –

    The difficult thing with colitis is that it can have many different causes and it can be acute or chronic. Dietary changes often can help ease the symptoms of colitis. Most dogs with colitis respond well to increased levels of dietary fiber and/or a hypoallergenic diet. Many dogs with colitis also seem to better tolerate foods that are lower in fat. When trying a new food make sure that you don’t feed anything else to your dog during the trial period (no treats!) and give the diet three to six weeks to see if there is improvement (remember, the improvement won’t be immediate and in some cases your dog’s diarrhea can even worsen in the initial stages of the switch as the dog is becoming accustomed to the new food).

    For increasing the fiber level, rather then looking specifically for a high-fiber food, I would recommend just adding some canned pumpkin or psyllium to a high quality food. Both are high in fiber and will increase the overall fiber content of the food being fed.

    For choosing a hypoallergenic diet you want to pick a food that has a protein source and carbohydrate source (if applicable) that your dog has never been exposed to. Making a homemade food is a great option here.

    Two supplements I would definitely start immediately
    1. Probiotics – these will help replenish the good bacteria in the dog’s digestive tract and keep pathenogenic bacteria in check.
    2. Digestive Enzymes – These will give the dog a boost in digesting their food so the dog’s already stressed digestive system doesn’t have to work as hard at producing its own enzymes.

    Some other supplements you may want to try that have proved successful for some dogs suffering from colitis:
    1. L-glutamine – An amino acid that helps to repair the mucosal lining of the digestive tract.
    2. Slippery Elm – An herb that helps to sooth the digestive tract and relieve inflammation.

    I think in the case of colitis, that a high quality home-prepared diet would be best and most easily customizable to the dog’s individual needs. However, here are some commercial foods that are hypo-allergenic and lower in fat that may be worth considering:
    1. The Honest Kitchen’s Zeal – Dehydrated, fish-based food, 9% fat on a dry-matter basis.
    2. Grandma Lucy’s Pureformance Rabbit – Freeze-dried food, 15% fat on a dry-matter basis.
    3. Nature’s Variety Instinct – Limited Ingredient dry foods are all under 20% fat on a dry-matter basis and include a turkey, duck and lamb variety.
    4. Addiction’s Dry Foods – salmon-based, venison-based and lamb-based options, all around 13% fat on a dry-matter basis.
    5. Addiction Dehydrated Foods – brush-tail, kangaroo, venison, lamb offerings, all around 9% fat on a dry-matter basis.
    6. Addiction Canned Foods – brushtail, venison and salmon are only 10% fat on a dry-matter basis.
    7. Great Life – Dry foods Buffalo Rx and Duck Rx are both 13% fat on a dry-matter basis.
    8. Tiki Dog – canned food with some low fat hypoallergenic options.
    9. California Natural Grain-Free – kangaroo, salmon, lamb and venison options, all 13% fat or less on a dry-matter basis.

    *Some of the foods I recommended are a little low in protein for my taste, unfortunately when feeding a commercial food most of the foods that are lower in fat and that contain a novel protein also contain less overall meat and thus less protein – this is why I think homemade is the best option. If you are feeding one of the lower protein dehydrated or kibbled foods I’d highly recommend adding one of the recommended canned foods to boost the overall protein content. Also, this is not an exhaustive list – check out the foods Dr. Mike has reviewed on DFA and you’ll likely be able to find more – these are just some brands that first came to mind.

    Good luck!

    #12711 Report Abuse


    Thanks very much for your help. I also found that Evangers suggests their Vegetable Dinner “Canned” which has 2.0% fat mixed with Sweet Potato which is high in Fiber.

    #12723 Report Abuse

    Hi Dave-

    Why is the owner looking to change foods? Its so hard to find one that works for an individual dog, that I would ask her that question first : ) My girl does best on lower fiber foods and flareups can be stopped by adding a raw medallion or two to the meals.

    #12763 Report Abuse


    I have been using a whole food supplement and my dogs have been doing amazing. There moods are calmer yet they seem to have more energy. The coat looks amazing and my oldest is getting up the stairs easier and she is no longer eating grass and throwing up. I totally recommend it. I use Pedigree maintenance however surviving and thriving are 2 different things all together. My Aunts dog is diabetic and told me that she has been able to cut down on the amount of meds for him so that is a testimony in itself.

    #20121 Report Abuse


    Canine Caviar is perfect for a dog with Colitis. Its formulated with Pro and Prebiotics in the kibble and the foods is also flash cooked for 6 sections making it extremely comparable to a Raw diet (which ultimately is always the best in my opinion).
    With Colitis you want limited ingredients as well, as to not bugger up the system. You could do the Duck, Venison or Herring formula which is all grain free as well, and the entire line of food has Peppermint in the food which is perfect for colitis and IBS systems in dogs.

    its an American company and has been around for over 15 years now. because its so closely similar to a raw diet but in kibble form this would be ideal for a dog with Colitis.

    Of course switching foods isnt always the first choice, however with Canine caviar there is absolutely no need for a transition which is very nice as well..

    #20168 Report Abuse


    Paige: how long have you worked for Canine Caviar?

    #20169 Report Abuse


    i dont work for Canine Caviar . i sell this food in my store, im a pet food nutritionist and do this for a living. so ive done ample research and even use this on my own Lab who has a liver disease, when shes been checked her enzyme levels have gone down, so i know it works for me, and my clients who use it.
    my mother in laws poodle has colitis as well .

    #20176 Report Abuse


    Seems funny tht for a “nutritionist”, the only food oeuvre been recommending on DFA and here on the forum is Canine Caviar.

    #20178 Report Abuse


    because it works. especially for colitis . like i said my mother in laws poodle has it, and its done wonders for her. shes been on many different foods. i can recommend pulsar aswell, but CC is better for colitis. i can recommend natural balance Limited ingrediants, but i dont like that they come from diamond pet foods which is known for recalls.
    i recommend something that i know works. or else by all means those other 2 foods would probably work too.

    #20293 Report Abuse


    I am writing this post in agreeance with Paige. Thank you for your recommendation of Canine Cavier. I am an owner of a doxiepin who has colitus. She has been on Hill Perscription W/D food for about a month because her tummy could not handle anything else. I was becoming discouraged becuase I didn’t want to feed her that crap food anymore. After reading this post and doing further research I decided to give canine cavier a try. I bought a sample of the canine cavier special needs food and my dog is doing great on it! She loves it and no more runs. I am so happy! 🙂

    #20302 Report Abuse


    The post is 3 days old. Don’t get me wrong, I really hope your dog continues to do great on this food, but it is too soon to know especially with something like colitis which tends to be episodic. So please, in a month or so, let us know how your dog is still doing. Good Luck!!

    #20519 Report Abuse


    Is there any food that is good for colitis but easy-ish to find, i.e., at Petsmart? I am willing to travel to get my dog with colitis his food, but I am always afraid that we settle on something and it will go out of business or something. He does great on W/D, but I can’t stand feeding him such a load of yuck!

    #20526 Report Abuse

    I use Victor ultra pro for my colitis girl. I could not find any foods st Petsmart that worked for her

    #20530 Report Abuse


    I own a boarding facility that sells food, We carry both the Canine Caviar and Victors. I would have to agree with Page, how that I have looked into this matter. I also have a friend who is a Holistic Vet that love the Canine Caviar. We have been in business going on 7 years and still growing so if your interested I could ship the food to you. The Canine Caviar comes in 4-4, 12 & I believe 26 pound bags. What size would you be looking for. I If your pup can eat Chicken I think the Special Needs would be best for you.

    #21066 Report Abuse


    any update on how your dogs doing ? on any choice youve made?

    #24408 Report Abuse


    There are quite a few supplements for dog colitis supplements. I’ve tried quite a lot of time, but the one that has worked the best for me was Bionic Biotic from Pooch & Mutt.

    #29647 Report Abuse

    My girl Jasmine is on metrodonizole to firm up her stools. She also has elevated liver enzymes which are around 300 and really not moving down even with daily denemarin & hepagen-c. She has had all the tests needed for liver testing but since she is 12 I have not done further invasive tests. My concern is limiting the metrodonizole (at this point at 250 mg 2x/day) and trying to find the best diet for her. Her stools are soft but not loose or diarrea and tend to be ev. other day. She has been on many from the vet except a hypoallergenic and is currently on Royal Canine Gastro Intestinal. I had her previously on Canine Cavier Special Needs prior to changing to my vet’s idea.
    My current thiking is to try CC again after reading this forum. She also is a cancer survivor, that is why I had started the CC in th beginning.
    Please help us with your thoughts and suggestions.


    #29648 Report Abuse

    continue Karen post

    The vet is primarily calling this colitis since I cannot do further testing, She alks every day, enjoys food andx seems very healthy!! Thanks.

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