Last Updated on 2022-02-09 by Admin
When we first got Annie as a puppy, she was used to eating kibble. We continued feeding Annie kibble as well. We did not want to change the food as it was stressful enough to be transplanted to a new home.
After about three weeks of having Annie with us, she got diarrhea. We suspected that she ate something on the ground during our walks. Diligently we watched Annie during her daily walks, also made sure that she would not lick or eat anything that she was not supposed to.
When we noticed that she showed interest in something on the ground, we would tell her to “leave it.” And if she took something in her mouth, I would say “what You got,” and put my fingers in there mouth to take out whatever was in her mouth. She did not like that at all. Quickly she learned to spits out what she had in her mouth when I said, “what You got.” These commands still have the same effect today.
We brought Annie to the veterinarian for a checkup, as we were concerned that maybe she has a health issue. We were told puppies eat things off the ground all the time. Perhaps we did not notice her eating something off the ground.
Annie would continue to have diarrhea, but not every day. I did some research on topics-specific to Boxers and food. Found that many Boxer owners had reported that there Boxer did not tolerate chicken and Rice. So I researched for kibble without Rice or Chicken. In the hopes of finding a solution for Annie.
Research on Kibble
It was clear that something in the kibble did not agree with here. Maybe all that was needed is a better quality kibble, was my thinking. That got me to take a more in-depth look into kibble. I selected new, high-quality kibble brands with the help of the Dog food advisor website , making sure to avoid any that contained Rice or chicken.
At the pet shop, I asked for some samples of 3 good quality kibble brands without chicken or Rice that I selected. I then slowly changed Annie’s food over to one of the new Brands that she liked. For a while, that worked fine. Then after about 3 to 4 weeks, diarrhea would show up again.
I remember nights when I slept on the floor beside Annie. She had to go out every 30 minutes, and we walked around for 45 minutes then go back home, 30 minutes later we go back out again, this continued all night.
While researching diarrhea in dogs, I found some instructions on making a home remedy with cooked oatmeal and apple. It worked great, and Annie liked it. But eventually, Annie stopped eating it. Even today, giving her oatmeal more than once in a while is challenging.
In the meantime, we made another appointment to see the veterinarian again. She had recommended a canned dog food brand they sold at the clinic. She taught that Annie might be allergic to something in the food, the one she recommended was easily digested. The result was not much different.
One of the books I read called “K9 Kitchen Your Dogs Diet: The Truth Behind the Hype”, written by Monica Segal, was a real eye-opener. In it, I found many answers to questions I had. There were fascinating stories about dogs that had way more complicated conditions then what I experienced with Annie. The book contains a wealth of information, covering meats, supplements, vegetables, vitamins, and tips on what to try for some conditions.
Time for Change
My wife and I had decided to cook for Annie; my wife had prepared meals for her prior dogs. We combined what she knew with what I had learned from my research. You can read more about our experience with Home-cooked food here.
While writing this article, I had to reflect on what I would do better or differently next time. There is no satisfaction knowing that Annie had discomfort for so long, she should have had a quicker solution to her issue. Neither my wife nor I had experienced anything like that before.
What to do next time
For me, there is only hindsight. I hope that maybe someone else can make good use of our experience.
I was reluctant to change Annie’s food over to cooked or raw. What I hoped for was a reasonable stable state, then make the change. We also wanted to make sure there was no underlying health issue with Annie.
Below are some things that I would do when presented with the same problem again.
- Get a second opinion from another veterinarian.
- Instead of changing the kibble, switch cooked or raw food sooner
- Be more assertive with the veterinarian and detail the efforts made to make sure she did not eat the ground.
What we did right
Changing kibble is not wrong. Many dog owners I know never change the kibble. Just because dogs eat something does not mean its the best thing for the dog. Having different meats, vegetables, or fish helps to give diversity to the diet.
Today I’m able to feed Annie Raw food, cooked food or even kibble. During the early days of the COV-19 Pandemic, fresh meat was becoming hard to get. I bought some bags of kibble that I remembered Annie liked. I had switched her over to kibble for a month because of necessity.
But I noticed many old familiar symptoms that she did not have for years re-appear, and switched her back to raw as meat became more readily available.
Not sure how many dog owners can claim that they can switch from raw food to cooked food and kibble, without issues. But what I noticed is that a dogs body odour depends a lot on what You feed the dog. At least that has been my experience.
I do recall a conversation with a woman in the dog park. She was there with her Doberman. We talked about what we feed our dogs. She told me that she was a big fan of the BARF diet, Raw meat, and thought it was the best. But to her dismay, her Doberman started to get very finicky with the meat he got. When more than one type of meat was in his food, he would not eat, and things got to the point where he would not eat single raw meat. She was almost embarrassed as she told me that she feeds him kibble now, and he likes it.
One positive aspect of what we went through, is that because we introduced Annie to diverse foods, she can now adapt to unforeseen situations where here everyday diet is not available.
To determine what works for the dog is the key to happiness for dog and owner. Unfortunately, that is not always easy or quick to resolve.