The four common dog health concerns

If you’re dog parents like us, you’ve likely encountered one of the four common health concerns with your pooch: Picky Eaters, Itchy Coats, Fatty Floofs, and Farty Furballs!

As obsessed pet parents (aren’t we all!?) we want what is best for our dogs. So when we started to notice that pet parents all over are experiencing four very common health issues with their dogs, it got us thinking. Isn’t there something that can help? There is, and it all starts with what goes in your dog’s bowl!

Let’s take a look at how Weruva’s canned wet foods can help your dog eat better and feel like a pup again.

Picky Eaters

Pups want the good stuff. We’re talking REAL MEAT! High-quality cuts of lean protein are what you’ll find in every Weruva recipe. Dogs are smart, they know when they’re eating REAL ingredients, like hand-prepared shredded boneless, skinless, breast meat chicken.

Itchy Coats

An abundance of healthy fats – Omega 3’s and 6’s help pups get a shiny, healthy coat. No more itchy and flakey scratches! Food allergies you say? We have a number of single protein recipes for those extra sensitive canines. Your pup will be looking like Fabio in no time.

Fatty Floofs

The same plan that the doctor prescribes for us humans – moderate exercise and diet are the keys to a healthy weight. For Fido, the same is true.

Dogs do best when their meals are mostly lean proteins, have a moderate amount of fats and minimal carbs. Don’t forget to provide ample drinking water and your pup will be on their way to a trim tummy!

Farty Pups

High quality food and proper fibre will naturally give your pup healthy gut bacteria. If your pup needs a little extra fibre, we have delicious recipes with added pumpkin.

So, whether you have a picky dog, itchy dog, fatty dog, or farty dog maybe it’s time to consider what goes into your dog’s bowl?

ACANA food and treats

How to choose the best dog food for picky eaters

Just like humans, dogs are individuals with unique food preferences and needs. The term “picky eater” is often used to generalize dogs who do not enjoy eating or cannot eat. There are, however, many reasons why a dog may be a picky eater. Each reasoning may require a unique approach when trying to find a diet that will work best for your dog. Here are a few common reasons a dog may be a picky eater, some tips on how to address them, and recommendations on which ACANA food and treats may work best!

1.         Your dog has allergies

Dogs can experience both food and seasonal allergies just like people. Allergies occur when the immune system views certain substances (like ingredients or foods) or environmental triggers as threatening to the body. In return, the body will react in different ways, including the development of rashes, ear infections, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.

Dietary allergies in dogs are most commonly related to an animal protein (i.e. chicken, beef, fish). However, dogs may be sensitive to any ingredient within a diet. Symptoms of dietary allergies generally present themselves immediately after being exposed to the ingredient or food. It is important to note that any dog can develop allergies at any time during his or her life!

If you suspect your dog is experiencing an allergic response to something in their diet, there are a few things to try and troubleshoot. First, try and eliminate the triggering food or ingredient. One way to do this is by feeding a limited ingredient diet. Single protein, limited ingredient diets are a great way to narrow down the list of food that is safe for your pet to consume. Second, cut out all treats from your dog’s diet until you have a better idea of what is causing the allergic responses. In extreme allergy cases, a prescription diet may be necessary.

Allergens can take up to six weeks to make its way out of your dog’s body, or even longer to see improvements. It is always a good idea to consult your trusted veterinarian in these situations. Knowing the health history of your pet will better guide them in making the safest and best recommendations for your dog!

If allergies are a problem, here are some recommended ACANA diets to try:

2.        Your dog has digestive trouble

Some dogs are naturally more sensitive than others. For these individuals, diets that feature easily digestible proteins are a great place to start. Fish is a good example of an easily digestible protein. Fish, especially of the white variety, is low in fat and free of fibre making it a high-quality protein that is easy on your dog’s digestive system.

Alternatively, some dogs may benefit from a higher fibre diet in order to promote more regularity and slow transit time. In these cases, feeding a diet that features high fibre ingredients such as pumpkin, green beans, apples, or carrots is a great way to add bulk to your dog’s diet without adding a lot of calories.

If your dog has digestive issues, you can try these ACANA recipes:

3.        Your dog has personal preferences

Most dogs prefer a variety of flavours and will readily accept new foods. However, some dogs will have specific preferences for certain flavours or even textures.

Some dogs can get overwhelmed by more diverse food recipes that feature flavours from various sources – like a recipe that has beef, lamb, pork and chicken. These dogs may do better on something more simple like a recipe that features a single protein, limited ingredient diet.

Flavour fatigue can also happen to dogs who have been fed the same or similar flavours for an extended period of time. One way to combat this is to feed a rotational diet. Rotational feeding  simply means rotating between different dog food recipes to ensure your pet is getting nutrients and flavors from a wide range of ingredient sources to support overall health and maintain interest. Rotational feeding can be done daily, weekly, monthly or from bag to bag.

To use rotational feeding, start by replacing 25% of your dog’s old food with their new food, gradually increasing it over time until you’re feeding 100% of the new food.

Texture of food is also important to consider. Some dogs prefer the crunch that comes with kibble, while others want a more meat-like consistency that is typical of a wet or freeze-dried food. Figuring out what your dog likes best will help guide you on what types of food will work. Keep in mind that many dogs may enjoy a mixture of textures. In these situations, building a bowl using a kibble topper may be beneficial!

If your dog has specific preferences, here are some ACANA options to try:

  • ACANA Singles for dogs that need a simplified diet
  • ACANA Highest Protein for dogs doing a rotational diet

4.        Consider environmental influence

Do you pour your dog’s kibble into their bowl every morning and it sits there for several hours uneaten? Although feeding your dog may seem easy and straightforward, how and when you feed them may impact their feeding behaviour. It is also important to note that changes to your dog’s environment may impact their behaviour. For example, did you start a new job and now leave for the day at a different time? Have you recently moved? Do you have houseguests? All of these factors and more may impact your dog’s desire to eat.

Here are some tips to help:

  • Set a time for meals and make sure to stick to it.
  • Leave the food out for no longer than 20 minutes. If your dog doesn’t eat anything, take the bowl. Make sure to cover and place any wet or rehydrated food into the refrigerator to preserve freshness.
  • Try to avoid feeding treats or other foods in between feeding times until your dog is on a more consistent schedule.

You can further encourage your dog to eat their meals by making the food more enticing. To do this, add a yummy kibble topper such as a freeze-dried food. A few sprinkles can go a long way in keeping your dog on schedule.

Picky eating can be relatively normal for some dogs, especially if the picky eating is due to a taste preference. However, picky eating can also be a sign of an underlying health concern. You should consult your trusted veterinarian if your dog experiences a significant appetite change that lasts for more than 24 hours or does not return to normal.

Additionally, if you have a puppy, a senior dog, or a dog with severe accompanying symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting, or a dog with a previous health concern that needs to be managed through diet (ie: Diabetes), it’s best to contact your veterinarian immediately following a significant change in appetite.