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August Ask the Vet

Dr. Moser

Dr. Moser

This month, Dr. Moser answers your questions about helping a dog with digestive issues and selecting an adult food for a 1 year old puppy.

Q: We own a Biewer Terrier that weighs 3 lb. 11 oz. and is 2 1/2 yrs. old. She has a very touchy digestive system and gets gastroenteritis on a regular basis. We feed Wellness Super5Mix for Small Breeds in the morning, and canned (Venison & Sweet Potato or Duck & Sweet Potato) in the evening. She gets a treat in the evening (Wellness Pure Rewards Chicken & Lamb Jerky). Nothing else is fed to her, no table scraps, etc. Still she gets terribly growling stomach which leads to diarrhea. Her stool has been checked for parasites. Due to her small size, we are always concerned about dehydration when this flairs up. Any suggestions?

A: Some dogs develop allergies, sensitivities or intolerances to commonly used dietary proteins and food additives which can result in gastrointestinal discomfort and diarrhea.  I recommend a dietary elimination trial using a canned Wellness Simple Food Solutions diet for about 8 weeks.

Wellness Simple Food Solutions is designed to aid in the nutritional management of this issue with a one protein: one carbohydrate diet plan.  (Compare the simplicity of the ingredient panel with any other dog food– including Wellness Super5Mix).  This special natural recipe drastically limits the number of ingredients your dog is exposed to daily.

Since your dog has been exposed to duck and lamb ingredients in the past year, I would recommend Simple Food Solutions Salmon and Rice Formula canned canine diet for the elimination trial as the sole source of nutrition.  Nothing else is to be fed.  Eliminate the use of the dry diet, and the evening treat.

Feed small frequent meals –at least two to three times per day.   Monitor dietary response by recordings in a journal; note days your pet experiences digestive upset as well as days with stool that is not normally well formed.

A 3.11 pound Biewer Terrier dog requires about 200 kcal of energy per day to maintain body weight.  The Simple Food Solutions Salmon and Rice Formula canned canine diet contains about 471 kcal of energy per 12.5 ounce can.  In a day you should offer about 40-45% of the can.  Don’t overfeed.

Remember to weigh the dog – feed less if it is gaining unwanted weight and more if losing weight.

Q: My one year old border collie/husky mix is on Wellness puppy formula. When should I feed him adult wellness and what would be good for him?

A: Now is a good time to switch from a Wellness puppy diet to a Wellness diet directed at the maintenance of an adult dog.   Most veterinarians recommend switching when the puppy reaches about 80% of anticipated adult body weight or at 1 year of age.

Within the Wellness line of natural canine foods you have choices; Complete Health Super5Mix, CORE Grain Free, and Simple Food Solutions.  Canned and dry foods are available for all of these recommended Wellness dry dog food recipes.  Remember each dog is an individual and response to diet will vary from dog to dog.  Try different products and monitor the response; coat and skin softness and sheen, activity level, the presence of a small amount of firm stool, etc.

Score your dog on weight and body condition monthly to evaluate the amount of food you are offering. If the dog is too thin—feed more; too fat—feed less.  In addition overfeeding can result in soft stools.  Remember– when a dog is neutered, there is a decrease in the daily energy needs of individuals by as much as 25%–you will need to feed less.

Feed adults at least two meals per day—don’t free choice feed.

A great diet to try on your dog would be Wellness CORE Grain Free Ocean Dog Food Recipe.  It has enhanced levels of protein from fish (34%), moderate (14%) fat that is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, and increased crude fiber (7%).  A cup of this food has 430 kcal of energy; two cups is usually sufficient to maintain body weight in a 35 pound dog.  As a point of comparison:   your current food, Wellness Just for Puppy dry dog food, contains about 450 kcal of energy per cup.

4 Responses to “August Ask the Vet”

  1. Heather says:

    So are you saying that no matter the age of the dog it is best to feed twice per day? Also, what is the diffence between nutro vs. wellness in terms of bones and joints?

    Dog: Labradoodle, 8 weeks old


  2. Dave Brown says:

    I have 2 australian shepherds,one of them is 8 and the other is 1.I feed them the wellness dry food and the feeding chart on the bag and on this web site says to feed them both 2 to 2.5 cups 2 times a day. The younger dog weights 49lbs. and the old dog is 55lbs.I feed them both about three quarters of a cup 2 times a day to maintain this weight along with there exercise time.So my question is are the dogs getting enough nutrition?If I follow the manufacturers reccomendation I think both dogs would be over weight,considering they are medium size dogs.I feed both dogs wellness complete health dry food.I have one more question please,if you don’t mind,what can I use to stop my 1 year old Aussie from eating poop?I clean up after the dogs but there are cats around our house so Its really hard to clean everything (try to stay on top of it)plus sometimes I will miss a pile or 2. Mylee the 1 year old does not eat hers but she will eat Kellsies or the neighborhood cats poop.I have looked in to this quit a bit and only to find that I could put pumpkin or pineapple in there dog food and see if that helps,any other tips would be a BIG help,Thank You Dave

  3. Kristen says:

    I just brought home a 11 weeks old Boston Terrier who was free fed at her breeder to my 3 year old boston terrier who is on more of a schedule. I am currently feeding the puppy the puppy formula dry food and my 3 year old the small breed formula. It is close to impossible to keep them out of each others food. Is it bad for the puppy to have the adult food and vice versa? Also, my 3 year old is still not eating like she used to since we brought the puppy home. I have been giving her some of the wellness wet food just so that she eats and I dont want her to get to used to eating it because she has a sensitive stomach and I have found that the wet food is a little too rich for her. I am hoping for some good insight! Thank you!

  4. Rebecca says:

    I am not as knowledgeable as the pros however I have done lots of research on this. I have been told by breeders and veternarians that a pup is a pup at least till they are approx. 2 years old. I have had dogs all my life, mostly big outside dogs, now i am on my 2nd Dalmatian (i wouldn’t have any other kind now 🙂 ) and our breeder and vet both reiterated that a dog is still a pup until about 2 years of age. I would gradually work them up to the maintenance of an adult dog food. Maybe start mixing it with the puppy food you are using now and gradually work them up to the pure adult maintenance food recommended.