Dog Food for Specific Health Problems

Share

The following items represent some of The Dog Food Advisor’s most frequently asked questions about specific health problems.

My dog has been diagnosed with bladder or kidney stones. Is there a specific food that can help?

There are many different kinds of urinary tract crystals and stones. Whether or not a specific food can help all depends on the type of stones your dog has.

To prevent urinary stones, my vet recommends foods low in oxalate content. Where can I get this information?

Unfortunately, other than contacting each company, I know of no easy way to obtain information about the oxalate content of all the different dog foods on the market.

Can you suggest a good dog food with low oxalate content?

Look for a 3, 4 or 5-star dog food that containing no ingredients known to be high in oxalates.

Where can I find a list of ingredients high in oxalates?

You can find an excellent article written for humans afflicted with these same types of bladder and kidney stones. It’s published by a major medical center1 and entitled, “Low Oxalate Diet“.

Can you suggest a quality low fat dog food?

Dogs diagnosed with fat-sensitive health conditions like pancreatitis or obesity can frequently benefit from a low fat diet. For help, be sure to visit our article, “Suggested Low Fat Dog Foods“.

Can you suggest a dog food for pets with joint problems?

Once diagnosed by your vet with joint problems or hip dysplasia, your dog may benefit from a recipe containing omega-3 fatty acids as well as glucosamine and chondroitin.

What dog foods are most likely to be high in omega-3 fats?

Recipes with fish or fish oil as well as those containing flaxseed or canola oils are naturally high in essential omega-3 fats.

However, not all omega-3 oils are created equal. From a standpoint of biological availability, fish oil is far superior to plant-based sources of omega-3 fats.

How can I find a dog food that contains enough chondroitin and glucosamine to help my pet?

Unfortunately, manufacturers rarely publish the actual amount of these two nutritionals contained in their dog food recipes.

Just seeing the words chondroitin and glucosamine on a marketing piece or the ingredients list itself doesn’t guarantee there’s enough present to be clinically effective for your pet.

Is there any way to be sure my dog gets enough omega-3 and chondroitin or glucosamine in his diet?

You may wish to consider using a quality fish oil or chondroitin and glucosamine supplement. There are many on the market. But quality can vary based upon the purity of the brand.

In any case, check with your vet to determine an appropriate dose.

Footnotes

  1. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
  • LunaLove

    Thank you for your reply!
    However while she did have some obvious signs of pancreatitis a few months ago her lipase was high but neg pancreatitis result. Seems depressed didn’t want to eat one morning which is unusual so I took her to the vet right away to find out her lipase had gone up and they did the pancreatitis test again but it was still in the very normal range wasn’t elevated at all. I know there is something going on. She has had pancreatitis in the past (couple years ago) but I could tell that’s what she had from the symptoms. Right now it’s likes she’s showing early signs but never actually gets it. I would understand if it takes awhile for it to come on but her lipase has been high for a few months now. And like you mentioned I know how fast it can come and go! A long long time ago when I didn’t know better I did give her hills i/d when she was recovering from her spay. She seems to be very allergic to anesthesia. However now the only two foods she tolerates is zignature and Fromm. I bought the lowest fat content of zignature for right now but was looking into nulo as they have some appropriate fat percentages for pancreatitis. Have you ever heard/ tried that? There are some other things in her blood work that came back border Line high or low but I’m still unsure of what it could be.

  • Susan

    Hi my boy gets Pancreatitis pain all the symptoms but by the time I make appointment to see vet she’s only there Tuesday & Thursday we do the blood test $300 & bloods test came back all good I even went to another vet cause where Patch goes was booked out & the wait was 2 weeks to have an Ultra Scan done the Vet was away getting married In New Zealand Gays are allowed to marry in NZ legally & there was only 1 vet that knew how to use the Ultra Scan Machine….. everything look good the new vet said no swelling of the Pancreas, he doesn’t have thickening of the bowel, his Gall Bladder looked great, then vet wanted Patch on Steroids he said it’s probably his IBD (Stomach) causing him his pain, if he eats a kibble that’s high in fat or high in Kcals per cup he gets his Pancreas pain that’s why I rotate between a few foods so he’s not on 1 food long enough to cause any problems….TOTW seems to be the only kibble that doesn’t cause any pain, acid reflux, no diarrhea or sloppy poo’s & Hills I/D Chicken & Vegetable Stew 156g small can vet diet…..
    Have you tried the Hills I/D Chicken & Vegetable Stew not the other Hills I/d formula’s they have more rice, beet pulp & more oils, more ingredients…. I’m not one for vet diets but the Hills I’d formula seems to agree with him & it smells pretty good even my cat meows & meows when I’m picking out the rice & carrots, I give her the pieces of carrot & rice Patch can’t eat boiled rice diarrhea or carrots make his ears smell & itchy… have you joined the Face Book “Canine Pancreas Support group? maybe you’ve changed her diet & now she’s doing heap better & test results are all good again this happens, Pancreatitis can come on so quickly & then by the time I make app with vet his bloods are all OK Patches vet say’s save your money, change his food & put him back on Metronidazole 10days, low dose the Metronidazole has an anti inflammatory in it & it seems to help with his pain, Patches vet says it’s his IBD playing up again.. & his allergies are putting his immune in over drive….. I’m off to the vets now to take back the 8tins of the Royal Canine HP wet tin food, Patch prefers the Hills I/d Chicken Stew.. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1435920120029740/

  • LunaLove

    My vet thought my dog had pancreatitis because her lipase levels were high but when they checked for that the range was normal..what else could cause high lipase and is there anything i can do about it or a diet change i would need to try? only asking here because the vet i took her to has not gotten back to me. I am taking her somewhere else since I cant get into contact with him but until then I was wondering if anyone else is dealing with this?

  • InkedMarie

    I only use salmon oil.

  • Gord Gray

    What are some good omega 3 supplements?

  • InkedMarie

    I like Orijen, Acana & Natures Logic but it may be wise to try a “diet food” such as the two I mentioned above. I’m not a fan of Science Diet and I wouldn’t use it unless nothing else worked.

    Watch the treats. You can use fresh green beans and a few carrots. Not a whole bunch as they’re higher in carb. You can also use the food she’s eating, just take them out of her daily ration.

    I tend to use products with more than just glucosamine. Joint supplements to look at:

    * In Clover Connectin
    * VetriScience makes Glycoflex
    * Arthroplex by Thorne Veterinary
    * Synovi G3 by DVM Pharmacuticals
    * SAM-E: those containing 200mg are for dogs
    Over 15lb
    * CETYL M by Response Products
    *K9 Liquid Gold
    * Webenzym

    Good luck!

  • Glenda Pacey Gray

    Yes… I would appreciate any feedback you could give me. I rotate between all the varities of acana including the light and fit( I am in Canada so it’s available to me!). Was looking into some foods which seem to be higher in omega 3. Thought of Orijen senior, holistic blend marine 5 and natures logic sardine. Would it be a good idea to add these to the rotation? Are they good foods? Really don’t want to use the science diet j/d. However some said I could use their canned food as a topper. What’s your opinion on science diet? My vét recommended just going to my local pharmacy and buying omega 3 and glucosamine. Is there anything I should look for when buying these? Sorry for all the questions but I really want to keep her healthy!

  • InkedMarie

    You’d be doing well to get some weight off of her. I think Acana has a weight los food but I’m not sure if it’s available in the States (if you are in the US). Others are Annamaet Lean and Wellness Core reduced fat. You can use your current food and feed less but you also need to make sure she gets enough nutrition.

    There are some very good joint supplements out there; let me know if you’d like a list!

  • Gord Gray

    No … my vét recommended 300 mg of omega 3 twice a day and 500 mg glucosamine twice a day. Said to go to pharmacy for these. Her weight is a little on the chunky side… not really bad he said but she should be a bit thinner than she is now.

  • Susan

    Hi, like InkedMarie wrote start adding your own Omega supplements or add fresh foods high in Omega 3 like tin Sardines in spring water, Green Lipped Mussels are excellent, a fish kibble will be higher in omega 3 but I wouldn’t leave my dog eating a fish kibble long term…. here’s a link for “Clean Label Project”. the worst rated pet foods had fish as the main protein, they had the most toxins, the better pet foods had Turkey or Chicken got better results less toxins, also grain free had higher levels of toxins.. http://www.cleanlabelproject.org/product-ratings/pet-food/#top-ten ….When you look at vet diets the wet tin vet diets seem to have a bit better ingredients then vet diet kibbles….Have you looked at the Hill’s Metabolic + Mobility Canine, Vegetable, Tuna Stew, weight & joint care wet tin food,? it has pork liver, carrots, spinach, tuna, fish oil, egg whites, flaxseed, coconut oil, if you buy the Hills Metabolic + Mobility wet tins & give for dinner & still feed the Acana for breakfast & give some green lipped Mussels as treats a day, I buy the K-9 Natural freeze dried Green Lipped Mussel treats, my boy can’t take salmon/fish oils, so I give foods like tuna, salmon, green lipped mussels, almonds, I bite 1/2 the almond & he gets the other 1/2 of the almond then it’s the size of a kibble & he has to chew the almond, he gets about 3 almonds a day, he has a very shinny coat, he’s 8 yrs old & touch wood has no joint problems yet but he was desexed age 4yrs old, he’s a rescued dog, they are finding desexing dogs when they are older plays a big part in dogs not having as many health problems….. link for Hills Metabolic + Mobility vegetable & tuna stew wet tin ingredients.. http://www.hillspet.com.au/en-au/products/pd-canine-metabolic-plus-mobility-vegetables-and-tuna-stew-canned.html

  • InkedMarie

    Hi Glenda,
    You’re better off to add your own omega 3. If your dog is doing well on Acaca, buy the Omegas and a joint supplement. Does she get a joint supplement now?

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    If she is overweight get her weight down. This is a genetic disorder that depending on the severity,may require surgery. I would work closely with a vet, maybe consult a specialist.

  • Glenda Pacey Gray

    Hello… I have a 4 year old basset hound recently diagnosed with a luxating patella. I don’t want to switch her to science diet j/d because it’s mainly corn. Currently feeding acana but wondering what other good quality foods are available that contain good sources of omega 3.

  • Susan

    Hi food sensitivities cause bad gas & soft poo’s, there’s probably an ingredient in the royal canine food that Peanut is sensitive tooo. Go on the Royal Canine site & have a look at all the R/C Specific Breed formulas they all have the same crappy ingredients, Corn, Wheat, Poultry Protein (Byproduct meat) gluten maize, Beet Pulp etc the fat & protein is what is adjusted in all these breed formula… have a look at “Canidae” Pure Small Breed formulas or the Pure formula’s like Pure Wild, Pure Sea, Pure Land, the kibble size is nice & small in all Canidae formulas… your boy wont need to eat as much kibble there’s no fillers & ingredients are healthy, Canidae also has the matching wet tins, or there’s “Zignature” wet & dry both these brands are limited ingredient wet & dry, so less ingredients for ur boy to react to, introduce new food over 7day period….
    http://www.canidae.com/dog-food/products

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    I almost forgot, make sure you are brushing his teeth at least once a day.
    Small breeds are notorious for having lousy teeth/periodontal disease.
    See Youtube for how to videos.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    He’s adorable! My small breeds do well on Nutrisca salmon and chickpea as a base with a topper , a spoonful of chopped cooked chicken or scrambled egg or cooked ground turkey….or something. Plus a splash of water, I always add a little water to dry as some small breeds are vulnerable to develop bladder stones later on and this helps.
    Two meals a day, an occasional 1/2 raw carrot as a snack. Check chewy dot com, also check out the new Dogswell line (grain and grain free)

  • Juliana&Peanut

    http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/640416bafedd44424a568942596faec94de9def537e33380918746489876ecaa.jpg Hello I have a 2.5 year old Pomeranian named Peanut, he is currently on royal canine for small breeds dry food, but has problems with being gassy and soft stool. Is there a better choice than royal canine for me to feed him?

  • Rochelle Wilder

    you can just soak kibble for 20 minutes in water and it turns soft

  • Jodie Whiteley

    disqus_SBl7sCuYS7 Don’t worry about it. I just wanted to be clear, that all I wanted was more info on this “KIDNEY DIET” so that I could review all his options. I have learned from my own health that sometimes, not every Doctor has all the answers, so u need to do ur own research & ask questions, rather than just do what u r told. Sometimes, they just give u one option cuz it’s the only one THEY r familiar & comfortable with, but when u do some research, u may find there r many other options available, ur Doctor just didn’t know about them to offer them to u.

    I just didn’t want u to think I was delusional about his age, or trying to keep a sick & unhappy dog alive for my own benefit. I monitor his health closely & just always want the best for him, because he sure does deserve it.

  • Jodie Whiteley

    Thank u very much, that is a great idea. I had not heard of that website before.
    I just want the best diet for him, if the Hills is the best fine, but if it’s just a popular go to brand name, & does not contain the most healthy ingredients out there for this type of diet, then I would like to know what my options r.

    I appreciate ur help!

  • Pitlove

    Hi Jodie-

    If you want a very detailed answer as to why Hills K/D is the preferred diet compared to OTC foods go to petdiets.com and go to the “Ask the Nutritionist” section and pose the question to Dr.Remillard.

    She is a board certified veterinary nutritionist, so in the same way that the Cardiologist that you saw is a heart specialist, she and her staff are nutrition specialists. She might be able to give you a better explaination of why K/D is preferred.

    Also for a fee of course, she can put together a recipe for a homemade cooked diet for a kidney patient for your pup.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    I didn’t mean to sound harsh (regarding his age) I can think of a lot of foods that might put weight on him. However, if he is receiving treatment for the medical conditions you mentioned, they would be contraindicated. So, I would discuss with your vet how strict you need to be with his diet. I hope you have a few more good years with him. He’s a lucky dog to get such good care.

  • Jodie Whiteley

    disqus_SBl7sCuYS7 Let me try to be a little more clear.
    Yes, I do realize that my Bambam dog is no young pup these days, u r correct in that he is well over 100 yrs old, (since small breeds, like Minpins, age 6 dog years, for every 1 human year) technically, he would be 105 years old this month actually. However, his age had little to do with my question.

    For the record…..For a dog his age, he is in remarkably good health. He has no heart problems what-so-ever, his medical issues that he does have, r very easily managed w/medication, which has very few negative side effects, and which he takes willingly, (without being tricked by having it snuck into food or treats).

    All in all, he is still a pretty happy dog, who is extremely spoiled, & loved more than u can imagine. In fact, since I am retired due to disability, & he is considered my emotional support dog, he is lucky enough to have me with him every moment, of every day, at his beck & call 24/7, as I rarely leave my house these days, (less than once a month) and when I do, he always gets to come with me. As much as I love & need him in my life, if & when the day comes, that his quality of life is just not what HE deserves it to be, I will make the difficult decision of letting him go. Being a chronic pain patient myself, has led to depression issues as well, which has made me a STRONG ADVOCATE for the right to choose QUALITY of life, over quantity of life. I beg my family to promise me, that when & if the time comes, that I decide, this is just not fun anymore, that the bad outweighs the good in my life, they will let me go ON MY TERMS, despite how they may feel, so I will definitely give my little guy the same courtesy.

    According to his Cardiologist he see’s every few months for check ups, this time around, he just happened to have some elevated values on his urine panel, which can indicate he may have some kidney disease starting to progress, which is not uncommon in older animals. In fact, it is generally what animals who die a natural death due to old age, actually die from. As we age r kidneys function less & less due to overall wear & tear on the body, in most dogs his age, the kidneys would be functioning at probably 25% of what they once had been. Which is why it becomes more difficult for them to properly filter the way they should. That is why, changes in diet, is the suggested course of action at this stage. Simple changes can help prolong quality of life, like making it easier on the kidneys, by not making them work so hard to process the food we eat.

    SO NOW TO GO BACK TO MAKING MY QUESTION MORE CLEAR….
    There is no major, life threatening, painful, emergency happening with my dog at this point, that I am trying to use food to solve. So we r not in a place where he needs comfort meds or sub-q fluids, there r no unrealistic expectations that a diet will cure him, and there is definitely no aggressive treatment happening in an effort to prolong my dogs life.

    Right now, I simply have a happy, fairly healthy, elderly old man dog, whose body is starting to show signs of wear & tear from all his years. Due to a few (newly elevated) stats on a random urine screening, which he has done several times per year, as part of an overall geriatric wellness check. His Doctor has advised that the best course of action at this point, is to simply make some changes to his diet, then keep an eye on things via follow up visits. By simply switching him over to a restricted diet, (what is known as the “Kidney” diet) which will allow him to eat less protein for example, and the protein he does eat, will consist only of types that r easy for the kidneys to process. In doing this we will lesson the burden or workload on the kidneys, which will allow him to stay healthy & happy longer. Whereas if he were to continue eating as is, it becomes only a matter of time until the workload just becomes too overwhelming for the kidneys to handle & he could go into renal failure. By not changing his diet, there is no saying whether that burden becomes too great in days, weeks, months, years or maybe it never becomes an issue at all. We just simply know this, old dogs generally, all have some stage of kidney disease, the elevated numbers are a predictor that things may be getting progressively worse. By changing his diet, we r simply being proactive.

    MY QUESTION I NEED HELP WITH IS ….WHAT DO I FEED HIM?
    My Vet suggested Hills Science Diet Prescription k/d formula, only because she has seen good results with it in the past. When I asked, what specifically a kidney diet referred to she said she honestly did not know, she only knew to recommend that brand. This left me at a loss, I couldn’t investigate my choices & make an informed decision on which brand I felt was best for him.

    Generally, I do not 2nd guess my vet, however, being a constant patient myself, I have learned to do my research & not be afraid to ask questions or even challenge answers at times. So for me to hear, “I don’t know what the dietary requirements r, I just always use this one brand we happen to carry” practically made my head spin. As I researched Hills Science Diet Prescription k/d formula, not everything I found was good. My dog has been on a 5 Star High Quality Healthy Diet his entire life, I don’t want to now, put him on a lesser quality, less healthy brand of food, simply because my Vet always uses the one they carry in the office, if there may be other, better quality options out there. I get that he needs to follow the dietary plan of a kidney diet, but there has to be more than one brand that offers this prescription type of diet? Or maybe even another, non-prescription brand, whose ingredients happen to follow the kidney dietary guidelines, (whatever they are exactly – I still haven’t totally figured that out) whatever they r, u would think, if most elderly dogs have some stage of kidney disease, then healthy, 5 star, high quality grade, dog food diets geared toward geriatric, senior citizen dogs, would aim their recipes towards diets that take some of the burden off the kidneys, right?

    So again I ask…
    IF ANYONE, HAS ANY ADVICE, REGARDING THIS RESTRICTED DIET TYPE:
    PRESCRIPTION “KIDNEY DIET” TOY OR SMALL BREAD DOG FOOD (AND TREATS)
    I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR WHICH BRANDS U THINK R BEST & WHY – PLS LET ME KNOW ASAP!

    FYI: Just in case anyone was curious, I know of several Minpin Mom’s & Dad’s whose babies lived to be 18, 19, even as old as 22 yrs old. This is an AMAZING BREED, which u cannot help but fall in love with, & spoil rotten, (which is probably why they live so long). Before u know it, they r in charge of the show, & u gladly cater to their every need. Besides, hell after 10, 15, 18 yrs together, they r pretty much like ur damn child. By this point u have put just as much time, money, love, effort & patience into raising them as u do ur own children who hopefully move away at age 18, whereas these little fur babies stay to keep u company, which makes u only love them that much more.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    Prescription Food. That would be your best option, imo.
    You do realize that at 17 1/2 years of age he has well exceeded his life span, and if he was a human he would be over 100 years old.
    Please talk to your vet regarding your expectations of what diet can do. Discuss comfort meds? Sub-q fluids?
    I would go into care and comfort mode vs aggressive treatment if it were my dog.