Dog Dietary Needs – Pain as an Indicator
I’m in the hospital, so today’s post is a gently used one from 2012. Pray for me!
Dog dietary needs are a big deal to some, a non-issue to others. Today is a laid-back chill kind of day here at Casa de Pulga. Mostly because Pulga (Flea) has a migraine. We’ll make the best of things, yes?
I’ve talked about this before, but my migraines are, by and large, preventable. And not by the use of medication. My food choices make all the difference in my pain levels and frequency. It took 20 long years to discover this. By food choices, I don’t mean eating well one day and eating poorly the next. I mean eating well long term. So far it means, for me, being a vegan. Which wagon I fell off of a few months back, so the pain has returned.
Pain is a great motivator. Methinks a trip to the grocery for lettuce and veggies is in order.
Your dog can’t speak – well, my dog can speak, but that’s a trick for a different post – and tell you when it’s in pain. Sure, there are signs that something is wrong. If you’re paying attention, you know that things aren’t right with your dog. But what if your pup started life on food that doesn’t agree with it and doesn’t know any different?
For instance, a few weeks ago I did a post about farting dogs and their diets. Quite a few of you weighed in with your own dog gas stories, including Laura, with her tale of Lady’s grain allergies, and that switching to grain free food solved the stink issue. So nasty, kill-a-person-at-twenty-paces farts are one indication that there’s something wrong. See the post about digestion for a different view of this.
Different Dogs, Different Needs
What I’m learning, through my own journey, your stories, via friends, is that every one of us is not only different, but has different dietary needs. So do our dogs.
By that I mean, I may need to be vegan, but my friend Kelly may need to be grain free, while meat isn’t her issue for absorption and digestion. While we humans can eliminate and try different food combinations, knowing what the results are pretty quickly, we can’t do the same so easily for our dogs.
What to Avoid for All Dogs
So is it just trial and error? I don’t think it has to be. First and easiest is the list of foods which dogs should avoid altogether. The Palm Coast Gov site lists them, with in-depth discussion, and I’m just going to give the brief run-down here.
- Grapes & Raisins
- Garlic, Onions & Powders
- Macadamia Nuts
- Xylitol (sweetener in sugar free foods and gum)
- Chicken Bones
- See their list for the other, minor ones
What to Give All Dogs
Second, and still easy, but perhaps costly, is making sure our dogs have all-natural diets. This may mean expensive foods. It may mean making your dogs’ food, a popular option now. I’ll tell you straight up that I buy bulk bag food from the grocery. But if one of my children, heaven forbid, started eating dog food, or one of my dogs had any health problems, which in nearly eleven years they have not, I’d make the switch in a heartbeat. Actually, I’d probably just start making their food and freezing it. First and foremost, though, I check SlimDoggy’s food rankings to know if what I’m feeding my dogs measures up, then plug in brands until I find one which would work for my dogs.
Is the Issue Food?
Third, and most time consuming, is determining that the food is an issue. Issue? Not just with stinky gas, but the problems most dogs seem to exhibit with food allergies – skin problems. Dry, itchy, hot spots. Itchy ears or rear end. And y’all, elimination diet seems to be the best way to deal. Eliminate one thing at a time till the source is found. If all your dog eats is kibble, read the ingredients. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient, be suspect. All natural is best. Even with all natural, an item like grains may be the culprit.
I’m so glad my dogs don’t seem to have a problem with grains. They eat a lot of them in the form of chicken and duck poo. And y’all, that’s all the chickens and ducks eat.
To sum up – start all natural. Eliminate before replacing. Be aware of your dog’s needs. And get them a bag of Jones Natural Chews variety bag for Christmas. Heh.
Your dog wants and all natural dog treat that’s made in the USA! Jones Natural Chews is giving one lucky dog a Bandit’s Bone, a perennial favorite. To enter, click this sentence, scroll down to the Rafflecopter in the new window, and follow the directions! Your dog will thank you.
Spreading the good chews …