I have a quick question. My half whippet/terrier mix has always been a slow and picky eater (unlike his boxer/shepherd sister who can inhale 2 cups of food in 30 seconds flat). I’ve been feeding them both Sportmix Wholesomes the last 8 or 9 months and I noticed that three times in the last 2 months (once about a month and a half ago, twice this week) my whippet/terrier starts eating his food and then part way through the meal starts wheezing/rasping at every bite. It’s like right after a bit he really tries to get it down and you can see him swallowing a couple times to get the food down like it’s stuck in the throat. The first time it happened I got super worried, but I figured out really quickly that if I pour a little water or chicken stock in his food that it suddenly clears up. Like instantly. he drinks a little broth and the wet food just goes down like butter. No more hacking/wheezing trying to get it down.
my SUSPICION is that the sportmix wholesomes kibble is just a bit big for him and a whole dry piece gets lodged in there sometimes making a temporary obstruction during his meal. The Sportmix wholesomes isn’t super big for a 27 lb dog, but it’s more like medium size kibble …bigger than the smaller bites of Victor or the like… Am I right that the kibble is probably getting stuck in his throat (this only happens once in a while, 3 times in 2 months being fed twice a day) and it always instantly goes away if the kibble has moisture or broth added to it.
I was thinking of switching him alone over to a small bites formula, or making his food into a soupy mix with water or broth but wanted to make sure there wasn’t something super obvious I was missing.
- This topic was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by Mike E.
Get a dome dish to slow him down, presoak his food and/or add water.
Example of dish https://www.chewy.com/indipets-stainless-steel-slow-pet/dp/135949
Obviously, if his symptoms continue for more than 72 hours or he appears to be in distress, go to the vet.
PS: Don’t free feed (leave food down). And observe during meals, twice a day, measured amounts
You may want to take him to the vet anyway, something may be going on.
it’s weird. he doesn’t scarf. he’s a single kibble at a time dog. and the symptoms don’t persist. they only persist till he gets a little liquid in his food and it seems to wash away anything causing him trouble swallowing, which means he can finish his meal without a cough or wheeze.
I’m going to start pre-soaking his food and also try experimenting with small bites food for him alone (I live 4 miles from a tractor supply so I can grab a 5 lb bag of 4health small bites to experiment) … he gets soup broth in his kibble half the time anyways so that’s probably why I don’t see it more often. it’s only a rarity and ONLY on completely dry meal. I was just double checking to see if I was missing anything important. But like you said,
He might just have a narrow trachea…make sure you discuss the next time you bring him to the vet.
I used to presoak food for a senior. I would put the kibble in water and leave in the fridge overnight, either that, or soft food.
I always add a little water to kibble anyway, a lot of dogs don’t drink enough. I had a dog that developed bladder stones. I determined the cause to be genetic predisposition and inadequate fluid intake.
Hi Mike are you 100% sure it’s not acid reflux?? that’s what Patch does, its like reverse swallowing, he was doing it after eating certain kibbles, doesn’t do it when he eats wet foods, only sometime with kibbles, not since he’s been eating Canidae or Taste Of The Wild kibbles .. He’d go outside eat some grass & the grass seem to wash the acid down, then he did big burp…
Can you feed a low carb kibble & look at feeding wet foods, just make sure the fat on tin is 3-4%max & under, when you convert a wet tin food to dry matter (Kibble) 5% min fat in a wet tin food when convert is around 20-25% max fat converted to dry matter (Kibble), so 3% min is about 11% fat, I feed wet tin it’s 3.5% fat that’s around 13.7% fat….
Don’t add water to kibble it makes the acid reflux worse I have found, unless all the water is completely drained out, when kibbles is soft then put soft kibbles thru a blender so kibble all fluffs up…Your better of cooking or feeding wet tin foods….
Find a lower carbohydrate kibble look at “Canidae Pure Meadow Senior” it’s grain free the fat is 10.8% max, I emailed Canidae for a neighbor, the carbs are around 37% & protein is 28%-29%, email the kibble companies they will give you accurate % of fat, carbs, protein & fiber %…
Why I always recommend “Canidae” & “Taste of The Wild” Sierra Mountain, Roasted Lamb is Patch has IBD & gets bad acid reflux & is doing really well since starting the Canidae Pure Wild Formula & when he eats the TOTW formula & I feed cooked & wet tin food, I try to feed less kibble & more fresh whole healthy foods….
dead certain. It’s very obviously like he’s TRYING to swallow something that’s dry and hard to swallow. the minute I add liquid to a dish or moisten it in the slightest it vanishes.
I had a Yorkie with a narrow trachea, this was years ago when I didn’t always go right to the vet, so it was never diagnosed.
The poor dog used to have what resembled an asthma attack, occasionally after meals.
It may be best to get it checked out if it gets worse, or the next time you bring him to the vet.
It would be rare, but you never know, he could have a growth developing in there causing the trachea to become narrow and harder for food to pass through, like a partial blockage.
I don’t want to worry you, but if it is a sudden change from his normal eating habits, that could be a red flag.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by anonymous.
I’ll keep an eye on him. I’ve been watching every meal like a hawk and I noticed the pattern (remember I’ve only noticed this a couple times over months of watching him eat). He’ll start to wolf food whole, then it’s like something “catches” and he tries huffing as he chews trying to swallow. The second he gets any water, any moisture on the food it vanishes. if I add in a little broth or water or wet food, or coconut oil to the mix it’s a non issue. He won’t have the issue to begin with.
I’ll of course let the vet know if it gets worse or his next checkup, that’s for sure, but right now I’m leaning towards tiny 26 lb dog and pieces of kibble that meant for a bigger dog. switching to small bites seems to have helped the last few days. before he would have to break down and chew almost every bite (sometimes he tries to swallow whole but he almost always ends up chewing about 1/4 way through the meal as he realizes “oops, too big”), now he eats at a steadier pace with the smaller food
as for sudden change. I didn’t always WATCH him when he ate (many times he’s in the bedroom eating his food while his sister is outside in the living room eating where we are …she’s a piggy and will eat her food, his food, the bowl, and has no compunction stealing his dinner while this little guy looks on mournfully), but for the first year and a third of his existence he ate a much smaller bited kibble. we switched foods when we lost our distributor for Victor Premimu (which has really small kibble in general) and went with he sportmix since Tractor Supply started carrying it and we live a few miles away from one. So it’s an issue that cropped up ONCE WE SWITCHED FOODS.
Good luck. Nothing wrong with adding water/broth or presoaking kibble, in my experience.
Of course they will need to have more frequent bathroom breaks, opportunities to urinate.
But, I think it’s worth it. Kibble is so dry.
Ps: Your dogs sound like they are getting excellent care, I was just erring on the side of safety with my advice.
yup, he’s always been a picky eater so we ALWAYS wetted his food or doctored it with dog gravy for most of his life. he just liked the taste of the Sportmix on it’s own so we stopped wetting it a few months ago out of laziness.
Have you looked at https://www.chewy.com/
I am on the autoship plan and have had no problems, they are very flexible, you can change your order and/or the date very easily.
The best part, the big heavy bag of dog food gets delivered right to your door!
yeah, I’ve been looking them again. I REALLY liked my Victor premium, but we got it for a STEAL at our local feed store ($35 for a 40 lb bag, chewy has it for $50 🙁 ), but when they went away the only other feed store had it for like $45+ tax. I noticed Chewy has the victor beef for $38 which isn’t too bad. I may have to grab a couple of bags from there since they both did so wonderfully on Victor when we had it. I’ll have to try it.Thanks!
Well, I’m now pretty much 100% sure it was the bigger kibble from the sportmix… I wetted his food for a week and he’s fine. I switched over to Victor Premium again with the smaller kibble it has and he’s been fine. We still had 3/4 of a bag of the Sportmix so it’s being fed to his much bigger and more voracious “sister” who gobbles it up like a piggy. I gave the sister her 2 scoops of sportmix this morning and am off to grab the victor the our little choker and he comes RACING in and steals some of her food, gulping it whole in front of my eyes. Guess what. he got a piece caught in his throat and started wheezing again (even did the “stretch neck out near the floor as he tried to swallow it down). I shoo’d him away from his sister’s food and fed him his Victor… flawless…. It seems the sportmix is JUST big enough for him to swallow (it’s not massive) but also just beg enough to get stuck vs. the small bites that Victor is…. So smaller bites it is
- This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by Mike E. Reason: spelling
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