I have been feeding my lab Muenster Dry Dog Food for several years with no problem. He recently developed allergies and even though we are not sure they are caused by his diet, we decided to change to Nature’s Variety Instinct Chicken Kibble. Everything was going along fine for a few days but now his elimination habits have drastically changed. He used to go to the bathroom twice a day, once after breakfast and once after dinner when I take him for his walk. For the last week, he is just about stopped going to the bathroom after breakfast. He continues to go to the bathroom during his walk for the most part, but occasionally, he doesn’t eliminate until later on in the night. Also, he has way more flatulence than previously and it has a very noticeable odor. I am not sure if just feeding the kibble is what is causing the problem since it appears there is very little fiber in it. What do you all recommend as a supplement to the kibble? Thank you.
Just curious why no one has responded to my questions.
I missed your questions. Did you do a gradual change from the old food to the NV or an abrupt transition? Chicken is a protein that I can be a high allergen for some dogs. Try a different protein. You can also add probiotics (I use human Dr Langers from Swanson vitamins), digestive enzymes (I use dog ones from Mercola healthy pets)…. You can try canned pumpkin, plain, not the one with spices.
I would say if your dog has been eating that brand of food for years then he is just not capable of digesting the Instinct. He has only been exposed to and digesting the certain set of ingredients in Muenster so his body is not use to the ingredients in Instinct. Not to mention the high protein and fat in Instinct is probably quite different than the Muenster. I would suggest going back to his old food until his bowels are back to normal. Then do a very slow transition. Also give him probiotics to help strengthen his gut and give him a more variety of beneficial organisms that help with digestion. He might even need a digestive enzyme. When I say slow transition, I mean real slow. Go with 75% old food with 25% new food until you know for sure he is digesting well and having normal stools. That could be a few days to over a week, maybe two. Then go to 50/50, then 25/75 but only increase the Instinct food when he has normal bowels for several days or longer. I would call going from Muenster to Instinct a drastic food change. I might have gone with a food in between Muenster and Instinct. Maybe Nutrisource grain free Heartland Select or Grain Free Lamb. My fosters do well with those and I get fosters of every age and have no idea what they have been eating in their previous home.
First of all, thank you both so very much for your responses. I did transition him but I don’t think I did it as slowly as you recommend. I also did not realize how much the change would affect. This is totally my fault for not being better at researching all this. I must admit when it comes to figuring things like this out, I am not the best at it, as you can tell by what I have already done. I am going to put him back on the Muenster as suggested and then do the very gradual changeover as you both recommend. My poor dog.
I changed his dog food because he had been having allergy problems and I thought going to a different food might help. It appears I went from one extreme to the other in too quick a fashion. I noted you mention chicken is a protein with high allergen. I assume you are saying this could cause the change in his stools. Would it also be something that would cause the increased itching he had been experiencing? Our vet has him on a Claritin-type product, as well as a fish oil. His itching has gotten much better. I think what I may have done is started too many things at once. I should have just gone with what the vet suggested to help alleviate the itching and see if that fixed the problem frst before I also changed his diet. I do, however, want to switch eventually from the Muenster. So, I am going to give the Nutrisource a try once I get him back to normal.
I can’t believe I did this – so stupid of me.
Thank you all so very much for your help.
Forgot to mention a friend of mine told me about using pumpkin so I have already tried that and it seems to help.
I have one more question – if a dog food contains probiotics and/or digestive enzymes, is it still recommended to use them in addition to that which is in the dog food?
Don’t be too mad at yourself. Who really knows anything about dog food or dog nutrition! You definitely don’t learn it in school and the vet definitely doesn’t teach you anything. They only only give you what they sell. Not all, some vets.
Any ingredient can be an allergen to your dog. It could be the corn or the animal protein or other ingredient. For grains, there is always a possibility of contamination with insects and molds and some grains have gluten which if your dog is sensitive or has developed a sensitivity to gluten, then you’ll need to take it out of his diet. If a dog eats the same food for so long, he can develop a sensitivity even though he might not have had a problem before.
Check out http://www.dogtorJ.com regarding gluten intolerance
Also in the other side of dogfoodadvisor in the Library, search for “grain” and some articles come up about some grain related diseases.
For kibble, it’s hard to say if any probiotics survive the kibble making process so I would suggest adding your own probiotic supplement which Dr Langers (as InkedMarie mentioned above) is on sale right now buy 1, get 1 at swansonvitamins.com!
Info on probiotics:
Actually I have Mercola and Dr Langers probiotcs and Mercola digestive enzymes. I highly suggest both products (even if you only use them for a couple months) to get his digestive system/immune system on the right track. I give these to all my dogs and my 14 yr old fosters has great digestion/poop! And I just got him in late January at age 14.
Some of my other pug friends (which pugs can be an allergy prone breed) have had success with giving a colostrum supplement and a quercetin supplement for allergies.
You can also see other Dr Karen Becker videos on youtube or at the mercola.com site.
I sometimes give 1/4 teaspoon of ground psyllium for poop issues for the first week when I get a new foster in place of pure pumpkin puree.
ground psyllium or coconut fiber per meal:
25# 1/2 tsp
40# 3/4 tsp
50# 1 tsp
75# 1-1/4 tsp
100# 1-1/2 tsp
Thank you so very much for all the great information. I guess dogs can develop food allergies just like humans. Also, I never thought about the grain contamination nor the gluten thing. Wow. I will read up as you both suggested and thank you both again for your patience and kindness.
Lisa (and Earl)
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