My dog has smelly breath what can I do?
One of the reasons for smelly breath in dogs is the build up of plaque - this is the film on teeth that, in humans, brushing would remove. Dry foods are better at keeping teeth clean because the mechanical action of chewing to break up the kibble helps to clean teeth. If your pet has trouble eating, a sore mouth or smelly breath that does not improve with a good diet, then please consult your veterinary surgeon for a professional dental health check for your pet.
My dog always seems lethargic and rarely wants to go out for walks, why?
Dogs are individuals that vary in their enthusiasm for exercise. Breed size can play a part and even the same animal will vary during its life from a bouncing puppy to a more sedate senior. Your dog’s diet plays an important role in its activity levels and a high quality, highly digestible Complete food will ensure that your dog benefits from all the goodness and nutrients efficiently which may restore its enthusiasm for exercise. Check you’re feeding your dog the best diet for its needs, depending on age and breed size – see the ‘choosing the correct food’ section of this guide. If your dog is in good condition and suddenly appears lethargic you are advised to consult your vet.
My pet has a sensitive stomach, what can I do?
Sensitive stomachs may be a result of food allergies and looking out for foods with no artificial colours, preservatives or flavours can often alleviate symptoms. Some dogs may simply be struggling to digest their food effectively so look out for foods with high quality protein and carbohydrate sources, e.g. chicken protein, lamb and rice, which are highly digestible and optimise the absorption of nutrients whilst settling your dog’s stomach. Always keep an eye on what your dog is eating aside from its usual food i.e foraging in the park or table scraps, as this may prove insightful. Remember also, that some human foods are poisonous to dogs and can easily contribute to stomach upsets. Especially onions and chocolate!
When my dog stands up its joints seem stiff, what can I do to help?
Many dogs get stiff and show signs of mobility problems as they get older, or if they are overweight and some breeds of dog, especially large breeds such as Labradors and German Shepherds, may have mobility problems earlier in life due to breedassociated diseases such as hip dysplasia. The nutrition centre has a range of products, e.g. Large Breed or Light products, to help ensure your pet remains at its ideal body weight throughout life, minimising excessive wear and tear on the joints. These foods contain natural glucosamine and chrondoitin to help maintain healthy joints, as well as essential fatty acids (Omega 3) from fish oils to help support a healthy immune system and healthy joints. Food is only part of the solution however and will not cure advanced mobility problems such as arthritis, so always consult your vet if you are concerned.
My dog scratches all the time and its coat smells, why?
Bad ‘doggy odour’ may be a sign of a skin complaint and if your dog is scratching when fleas or mites are not present, this may also be a symptom. Often skin complaints can be traced to food allergies and by changing your dog’s diet you could see an improvement in the condition of its coat and ‘doggy odour’ in just a few weeks. A food allergy can develop over time and dogs may suddenly develop an allergy to an ingredient in the food they have been fed for years. Allergies relate to a number of ingredients: more commonly beef, lamb, wheat and dairy products and changing your dog’s food to one which draws from an alternative protein source can alleviate symptoms quickly. Nutrition centre brands have products specifically designed to help dogs with sensitive skin. High quality protein and specific amino acids promote hair growth and the renewal of skin cells, improving the skin's health and appearance. The high levels of an optimum blend of essential fatty acids (Omega 6 and Omega 3) also help discourage inflammation and increase the glossiness of the coat and the smoothness of the skin. If your dog scratches excessively or has red, inflamed skin, it may be a sign of underlying medical problems. Please seek advice from your veterinary surgeon for a medical check.
My pet suffers from a wheat allergy. When can I expect to see an improvement in my pet's wellbeing?
Although uncommon, if your vet has diagnosed a wheat allergy, feeding a wheatfree food should lead to an improvement within 6-12 weeks. You’ll also find that your pet will stop scratching and biting itself. If your pet has lost fur and has developed a bald spot as a result of an allergy it can take six months for the fur to grow back, although in some cases it may not grow back at all. Always consult your vet. If your dog has a diagnosed allergy you must be strict with what it is eating for symptoms to subside. Ensure the whole family knows what the dog is allowed to eat; a stray biscuit here and there will delay any improvements to their health. Nutrition centre foods most suitable for dogs with wheat allergies are Wainwright’s, James Wellbeloved and Supadog Wellbeing, they are wheat free and hypo allergenic yet still contain all the nutrients for a happy and healthy dog.
My pet struggles when it goes for a poop, what should I do?
Please refer to the previous question relating to sensitive stomachs. Also note that pets that struggle to pass faeces may be constipated and may benefit from a high fibre diet. Nutrition centre brands have a selection of products that include high and low fibre diets to ensure you can find the correct level to suit your individual pet's requirements.
My pet has loose stools all of the time, what should I do?
There may be many reasons why your pet has loose stools such as stress, depression and ill health, but one common reason is a pet being fed a human diet as opposed to a pet food diet. Dogs are not small humans and the wrong diet can make your pet unhealthy and loose. To alleviate this problem feed a good quality dog food and do not overfeed; measuring cups are available to ensure you are feeding the correct daily allowance. You will find that once in a healthy feeding routine your pet’s stools will start to firm up; although they may struggle to begin with it is important that you persevere, a firm stool is important for long-term health. If you have any concerns see your vet.
Why should I feed a special puppy diet rather than just a normal dog food to my growing pet?
Just like growing children, puppies have unique dietary requirements necessary for providing the building blocks and energy for healthy, safe growth. Specially formulated puppy diets are easily digested and contain higher levels of good quality protein to support healthy growth and strong muscles. They have higher levels of calcium to promote strong teeth and bones and contain the correct levels of nutrients to give optimum growth and development whilst avoiding excesses. The brains and eyes of puppies continue to develop after birth so it is important to use a DHA supplemented food until adulthood, which will stimulate brain and vision development and make puppies easier to train. Also, high levels of antioxidants help support the immune system during stressful periods such as weaning, re-homing and vaccination. Because large breed dogs (those that reach an adult weight of over 25kg) can suffer from skeletal and joint problems such as hip dysplasia as they grow, they have special requirements to ensure optimum growth and bone development. If you have this kind of puppy look for a specific large breed puppy diet as the energy and calcium levels are controlled to help avoid developmental problems. Large breed puppy diets also have added L-Carnitine to support healthy muscles and stronger bones.
My pet is gaining weight, or is already overweight, what can I do to help get it back to a healthy weight?
The number of overweight pets is, unfortunately, on the increase, often due to overfeeding, lack of exercise and poor diet. If your pet needs to lose weight, embark upon a safe, controlled and well monitored programme to ensure your pet is still gaining the nutrition they need for a healthy lifestyle, as this will be much more effective in the long run. Never starve your dog or simply reduce the food you feed. A hungry dog will beg and scavenge for more food and an unbalanced diet lacking in nutrients can affect their overall health. Light foods are low calorie, balanced and will make your dog feel full, even if the quantity of food is far less than they are used to. Light recipes also include antioxidants to support the metabolism during weight loss and an ingredient called L-Carnitine, which increases the conversion of fat to energy. Please seek professional veterinary advice for your pet before embarking on a weight loss programme as some animals may have underlying medical conditions causing, or caused by, obesity.