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Dog Treat chronicles: What do you give a dog with multiple illnesses.

healthy-dogs-on-a-benchWe realise that any advice given on a blog is general in nature, as we are not dealing directly with every dogs specific needs, but recently we had an incredible email from a future client who had some very specific needs.

People might think that expensive pharmaceuticals are the ONLY way you can treat dogs for conditions, but what about preventing conditions in the first place? 

And while many dogs have gone too far down the road of illness such as full blown pancreatitis or diabetes, they still need food to eat, and that food needs to address their conditions. Here I give you two very different cases and how HEALTHY dog treats can actually assist ailing dogs.

Of course names and specifics are changed to protect owner and dog identities.

DOG ONE CASE STUDY

-  A visitor to our site presented with a 12 year old Staffy Cross x  working dog who weighs almost 25kg.

This girl has strong jaws and tends to break hard treats like bones down fast and attempt to swallow them, hence being banned from dog bones early in life.

The dog " hates most if not all kibble " ...  She has some arthritis and recently had .more than 15 teeth removed which the vet said was due to her not actually chewing hard products. The only product she does enjoy and actually chews , is (fake vegetable sticks expensively sold at vets and supermarkets), but I don't think they are doing much good after all the years she's been eating them. "

OUR SUGGESTIONS

She is a 'gulper', so something at least mid-sized might be useful.  She is part staffy and they have great chewing ability, but being 12 that is tempered along with teeth removal.

When she was at her peak I would have recommended anything in the LONG chewing category on our site:  

However it sounds like she  doesnt have that many of their 42 teeth left.  A good alternative people find to bones (when their dogs are overzealous and dont break them down) is often something like beef tendon.  Your dog having few teeth might still be able to manage beef paddywhack.  Also the Jumbo Pork rolls tend to slow down even the biggest dogs, as they cant simply fracture peices off, they have to chew the ends until they get soggy and they can tear them off.

The reason your dog may not like kibble is that its 70% grain or vegetable, with plenty of colourings and preservatives. NOT all dogs see past what their owners offer them, and if they want to eat, and kibble is all they are given, they learn to eat grain. 

The extremely unfortunately thing about grain is that besides promoting diabetes (carnivore dogs would never directly get that much sugar injected into their system, which can also assist the development of other gland issues like pancreatitis (a main function of the pancreas is an "endocrine function that regulates blood sugar.")  When the pancreas of a carnivore dog that was never meant to eat grain, is forced to have a main carb diet, well you can guess the ending ...

Also while many kibble sites will tell you how great their patented shape or formulas are at clearing teeth, the little grains of grain (70% carb filled sugar) get stuck to the teeth and corrode the enamel.   The very reason why se suggest people feed their dogs 100% meat based jerkies that can clean between the teeth.  No dog should need regular vet teeth cleaning or teeth removal if it eats a real natural meat based diet, and in particular bones or jerkies that help scrap carb particles off the teeth. 

DOG TWO CASE STUDY

Male dog 14 and is Cattle dog x  Collie.

He will eat anything and also has 1 (fake green stick) every day.

He is very arthritic, has had 2 cruciate ligament surgeries .. had many lipomas growing all over his  body, He is treated with injections and daily medicine for his arthritis.

He also has bouts of Pancreatitis. His weight has gone up to 35kg since we retired and ill health means we are unable to get to off lead dog parks.

OUR SUGGESTIONS

This dog has a healthy diet, and still has its own teeth which means that they will be able to eat the harder treats, ones full of meat nutrition that will also clean their teeth and strengthen their gums, naturally.  The dog is also fed zero nutrients that it requires from the green vegetable sticks. THe sticks are fed to them to assist with the tartar caused by eating vegetable based kibble in the first place. Ironic.  But any kilojoules it receives from these artificial 'treats' adds dog weight and takes the place of real nutrition from the protein in meat based treats or raw meat meals. That is a secondary danger from these filler vegetable based treats.

Many dogs get arthritis. It is not necessarily a function of diet but potentially that dogs are living much longer than they would in the wild, and of course humans can notice their dogs limping. When vets observe arthritis, the dogs are usually put on an expensive monthly or quarterly injection schedule. We are thankful that these drugs give relief to many dogs, but the injections are usually not a preventer NOR are they a natural arthritis relief.  Some of the drugs can have negative side effects.

From the feeding trials of dogs on shark cartilage and green lipped mussels, we know that these treats can not only act as an arthritis preventative, but also assist joint rebuilding AND the viscosity of the liquid between the joints, and are anti inflammatory. This is one area where I consider dog treats to excel, and if you have ever had a dog like mine, go from lame to enjoying off lead park runs again from daily feeding of shark cartilage, then you will understand why I have such justified faith in them.

lipomas are the bane of many dogs.  The fatty deposits are not specific to a breed or age, but older dogs generally are more susceptible to these benign fatty deposits. When they begin annoying the dog or the owner, its time for the vet to harvest them.

Pancreatitis is a debilitating and dangerous disease for humans and dogs alike. Weight management is important for these dogs, but so is low fat food. some dog food companies provide weight management solutions by rendering meat or putting high fibre in the mix.  WE always recommend the naturally low fat meats like kangaroo and fish, as not only are they 100% meat, (no additives or colouring) they are organic (ie caught in the wild with low pesticide and herbicide levels).

You should also realise that rendering beef and chicken to provide low fat food, often denatures the nutrition value of the meat so that the proteins are not as useful to the dog. Kangaroo, MOST fish and crocodile are naturally LOW fat options, high quality protein (not recombined low quality meat scraps). Also be aware that the fat that is included with the meat is a higher proportion of HIGH quality essential fatty acids like Omega 3, that the dogs actually need more of.

ALL owners should be aware that if you feed your dog pellet dog food by the cup, you can just as easily measure the weight of their regular kibble and replace up to 25 - 40% of their diet with meat based treats (including offal and bones) without substantially affecting the so called affco 'whole and complete' mantra.  

If your dog has a specialist diet need, either proven allergies to certain meats or grains, or a specific gland issues, then you should always check with your vet if they are allowed to have supplementary meat in their diet.  There are very rare dogs out there that cant have decent meat protein diets (at least 70% meat not the 30% in most kibble),  but I know that Dalmatians are said to be one such breed (because of purine issues in foods).

CONCLUSION

These real examples are of older dogs with medical issues, some of them we believe at least exacerbated by vegetable based diets that have required no real chewing. 

Carnivore dogs require high levels of meat based protein to be at their best.  To avoid the rising epidemic of dog ailments presented to vets, and to keep their teeth clean nad in their own mouths.

That is why we suggest that while your dogs are healthy, that you put them on a more quality meat based diet, something that they have to chew before you have to put them on such a diet to reduce the illnesses they have contracted.

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