My 17 lb. terrier mix has a sensitive stomach. When he was having trouble a couple of months ago, he was vomiting daily or at least several times a week, and had loose stools frequently. He was sick for about 12 weeks, and we were at the vet every other week testing for IBD and getting a range of pills to try, some of which worked, some didn’t. Finally, with trial and error and time, things are under control. I am about to switch his food from our vet recommended Hill’s Prescription Diet I.D (dry) to a higher quality food, now that he has been symptom free for a couple of months. I am not a fan of the low-quality ingredients in I.D which is the main cause for the switch, even though my dog has been doing well on the diet and enjoys the food. I plan on transitioning him to the new food over a 14 day period. I noticed that the new food (BLUE Basics Grain-Free turkey and potato recipe dry food) has twice the amount of fiber as the old food (3.5% old to 7% new), slightly higher fat (9% old to 12% new), but almost the same amount of protein (21% to 22%). Is the extra fiber in the new food going to cause him trouble, or might it actually help him?theBCnutMember
PLEASE, please don’t switch him to Blue. There have been a huge number of people that have been reporting that their dogs got diarrhea on Blue and some of them have been on Blue for a while but opened a new bag and BAM.
What you should do is try adding a particular protein, like fresh chicken, to the ID for a bit and see if he reacts to it. Then try beef and so on. Do the same with the major carb sources. After you know a few things your dog can tolerate, then go looking for a new food. I hate Hill’s foods for their low quality ingredients, but they do have their place, temporarily. If you really need to get off Hill’s now, try an easy to digest food like NutriSource.
If your dog has IBD, you may have to watch fiber levels. Some IBD dogs are set off by too much fiber, some are helped. Some are helped by the addition of coconut to their diet. I’m sorry I have no definite answers for you. You are going to have to experiment and see what works for your dog.CaitlinNesParticipant
Thanks Patty, this is very helpful advice. I’ve been doing a lot of research on dog food brands and somehow I missed all the complaints people are making about Blue until you alerted me. Yikes! My dog does not have IBD; in fact, the blood test revealed that all his levels couldn’t be more normal even during a “flare-up”. So, although he is now doing well, we still have no idea what caused the stomach upset to begin with, which is frustrating. He’s almost two years old, and has had periods like this since he was a puppy. My diagnosis is simply “sensitive stomach”, at least for now. Our favorite “quick fix” when he has trouble is to give him 5 mg. of famotidine (the active ingredient in Pepcid). Seems to relieve his trouble right away!
I looked at NutriSource and I like that it contains probiotics and glucosamine chondroitin. A lot of their products also have rice in them (which I know is a common dog food ingredient) but I have read that rice often contains arsenic. I still eat rice but only occassionally, so I wonder if the arsenic levels would build up to dangerous levels in a small dog who eats a little bit of arsenic in every meal. Do you have any thoughts on this?
I will try your suggestion of keeping him on ID for a little longer while I test his tolerance for different proteins and carbohydrates. I know he does well with chicken. I plan to try beef, turkey, lamb, sweet potatoes, and oatmeal. Any other suggestions to try? Lastly, how long do I add in one of these ingredients, two or three days? Also, how much should I add, maybe a 1/4 cup to each meal? Thanks so much for your help 🙂theBCnutMember
If you think it is nothing more than a sensitive stomach then add probiotics and digestive enzymes all the time. The only way I am aware of to eliminate or positively comfirm IBD is with a biopsy, though
About rice, the amount of arsenic in it is supposed to be so small that they can easily handle it, but I would not be comfortable feeding it as a large part of my dogs diet day in and day out. But then I rotate everything, so I guess you could say I don’t feel comfortable feeding anything long term.
Add in new things for about a week at a time. You can do two things at once like a protein and a starch. If you find a limited ingredient food that you are interested in and try those ingredients first, then you will have a food you can switch to if your dog doesn’t react to any of the ingredients. I would just completely eliminate grain for a while. A lot of dogs that have issues like this seem to be intolerant of grains, whether they are gluten intolerant or something else, I can’t say, but grains seem to really inflame the intestines of a lot of dogs.
You can replace about 1/4 of the ID, the first and second days, 1/2 the third and fourth days, 3/4 the fifth and sixth days, and all the seventh day. Remember this is a short term trial so you don’t need to worry about the balance, but you can move slower if that is too fast a transition for him. You really need to have him on a food for about six weeks to see if he only has a mild reaction to something, but for stronger reactions, I can tell within 3 days usually with my dog. If he does react to something, you can go straight back to the ID and give him time for his system to settle and try again with something different.
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