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Hound Dog Mom
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Hi Janet –

If you’re sure the “scooting” is not due to anal gland issues I would bring a stool sample to the vet to check for parasites just in case (certain worms – such as tapeworms – can cause “scooting”).

To help with the stools and the transition to a new food I would add a spoonful of plain canned pumpkin to each meal and supplement with probiotics and digestive enzymes (there’s no need to buy a “pet” supplement, something from the health section for at the grocery store with suffice and likely be cheaper). You can continue the pumpkin and supplements permanently if need be.

Grain-free foods are, unfortunately, pricier than grain-inclusive foods. Earthborn is probably one of the most budget-friendly grain-free foods available. Some other options would be Nutrisource, Taste of the Wild, The Source, Victor, Authority and 4Health (note: Taste of the Wild and 4Health are manufactured by Diamond). NutriSource, Taste of the Wild and Source run about the same price as Earthborn while Victor, Authority and 4Health are slightly cheaper. Authority Grain-Free is available exclusively at Petsmart. The Source and 4Health are available exclusively at Tractor Supply. Earthborn, Taste of the Wild and Nutrisource can be found at most high end pet specialty stores and online. Victor will likely be the most difficult food to locate – I haven’t been able to find an online retailer and it’s not sold in my area but if you can find it, it looks like a fantastic food and it a great bargain.

You’re correct that dry food doesn’t really clean teeth, that’s a myth. I wish it wasn’t though – I’d eat potato chips and cookies all day and use the excuse that it’s for my dental health lol. 🙂 Canned food is actually healthier and more species appropriate (higher moisture content and higher protein levels) so if you can afford to occasionally buy some quality canned food (4Health has some grain-free varieties that are a bargain at only $0.99 per can) that would be great for your dog. Healthy “people food” is good to add to kibble too – eggs, tinned sardines, leftover lean meat, plain yogurt, cottage cheese, low glycemic veggies, etc.

I think raw bones are best for dental health. My dogs eat a raw diet and get raw bones daily – beef ribs, pork necks, turkey necks, chicken backs, etc. If you’re going to buy something from the store I’d go for “natural” chews (make sure they’re made in the US) such as dried tracheas, bully sticks and pig ears – these are species-appropriate (high protein, grain-free) and great for dental health. As far as “treats,” I’d go with high protein meaty treats such as jerky (made in the US of course), grain-free biscuits or freeze-dried raw foods. I’m a big fan of Nature’s Variety Instinct dog biscuits, EVO biscuits and Darford Zero-G biscuits (although I’m not sure if the Darford biscuits are being made anymore 🙁 ). I also feed freeze-dried raw (such as NV Instinct and Stella & Chewy’s) as treats.