Arden Grange Dog Nutrition FAQ's
Has he been eating too much? Has he been scavenging and eating rubbish? He may be reacting to an ingredient in his diet - Avoid the 4 main dietary allergens wheat, beef, soya and dairy products. All Arden Grange foods are free from these allergens, so should be easily utilised by even the most sensitive digestive system.
The Arden Grange Sensitive is often beneficial for pets with dietary allergies, and the Adult Salmon & Rice is very easy on the digestion. When dogs and cats suffer from diarrhoea, it is their fat digestion enzymes which suffer the most. For this reason, a few days on a bland, low-fat home-prepared diet such as lean chicken or white fish served with boiled rice or mashed potato (fed little and often) is often helpful and will allow the digestion a chance to eliminate residual fat which may have accumulated within the large bowel. Non-dairy probiotics can be very helpful in cases whereby the friendly bowel flora need a helping hand, but if you are caught short a little banana or live yogurt added to each meal may be of benefit (but don’t give yogurt if your pet is known to be lactose intolerant or has a dairy allergy). Bacterial infections are common, so if things don’t clear up quickly or your cat or dog is unwell in himself, don’t hesitate to call your vet.
For more information on the subject, please view the fact sheets below:
All Arden Grange foods are extremely palatable and readily enjoyed by most cats and dogs. However pouring hot water onto the dry kibble further enhances palatability, as it will melt some of the high quality fats, which then give off an enticing and wholesome aroma. Too much variety can make this problem worse. Never make an issue out of meal- times ~ put the food down and pretend to occupy yourself with something else in the vicinity. If the food is not eaten in your allotted time frame, then take up the dish calmly without showing you are disturbed. Always put fresh food down at the next mealtime.
Sometimes refusal to eat or picking at food is attention seeking behaviour, but do make sure that there is no underlying health reason for a depleted appetite. Puppies often have reduced appetites during the teething process as they can have swollen gums and sore mouths. Adult males can refuse food if there is a female 'on heat' in their vicinity. A sudden loss of appetite should be reported to your vet if there is no obvious cause, since it may be indicative of a medical condition.
For more information on the subject, view the fact sheet available down below:
If your dog exhibits symptoms of colitis (inflammation of the large bowel) an easily digestible food should be given. Make sure that water is always available and not restricted. In mild cases (where the faeces are slightly soft with evidence of mucous), offering smaller, more frequent meals can help. Because all of the Arden Grange foods are hypoallergenic and contain high quality protein sources, any of our products would be suitable unless your dog requires a restricted fat intake due to a nasty flare up, or has any known allergy or dietary intolerance. In the case of the latter, you will need to check ingredients carefully since some sensitive dogs can even react to popular ingredients like chicken and lamb.
In such cases, the Arden Grange Sensitive is often beneficial. If fresh blood is present in small quantities in the stools, this is often indicative of irritation to the lining of the colon. It is not usually serious, but as with any medical condition, it is recommended that advice is sought from your vet. Dark blood in the stools is far more serious, and may be evidence of bleeding from the small intestine. If this is the case, you MUST inform your vet. Colitis can have many causes, but one of the most common bacterial infection. The vet may ask you to collect a sample of faeces for analysis (this should be taken prior to the administration of antibiotics in order to provide a true representation of the bacteria present within the sample).
Some general tips include:
1. Splitting the daily feed portion into 3 or even 4 small meals per day.
2. Soaking dry food with warm water for about ½ hour prior to serving to soften the kibble and ease the initial work-load of the digestive enzymes.
3. Stop any treats or titbits during a flare-up
4. When symptoms are bad, some bland home-prepared food which is low in fat can be especially helpful (e.g. chicken or white fish with some rice or boiled mashed potato).
For more information, visit the factsheet down below.
There are different schools of thought as to whether dogs NEED variety or not. There are pros and cons of both sticking to one food or giving several. Dogs don't have as many taste buds as we do (not nearly as many in fact), and it is widely considered that we apply our own human attributes to appetite to our pets in so far as that we personally would get very bored eating the same thing day in day out. Many cat and dog owners prefer to give their pet some variety, and the advantages of feeding more than one type of food are:
1) It makes us happy!
2) Some animals really do prefer some variety and it keeps them interested at meal-times
3) If the pet had only ever been fed one kind of food and the supply ran out and you had difficulty getting hold of more, then feeding something unaccustomed could cause an upset tummy
The disadvantages of feeding more than one type of food are:
1) It can make fussy animals even fussier - the more choice given the finickier they can become
2) The more protein sources that a cat or dog is exposed to, the more difficult it is to determine which ingredient is the culprit should a dietary allergy arise
3) If you've had digestive problems in the past and aren't really sure what caused them, it makes sense to stick with a tried and trusted product rather than run the risk of future upsets
Many of our customers do interchange between the adult maintenance foods with no problems, and providing each new food is introduced one at a time and gradually to begin with, this is generally not problematic. We also produce the Partners canned food for dogs which can be fed either alone or in conjunction with the Arden Grange dry food.
As with many problems that affect our pets, flatulence is often as a result of a combination of causative factors. It can occur as a result of a food allergy / dietary intolerance but it’s important to rule out some of the more common causes too. These can include eating too quickly, eating too much and scavenging. Some foods can be gas producing; so a highly digestible diet such as Arden Grange can often be very helpful. Don’t forget to ensure that you only feed hypoallergenic treats too (such as the Arden Grange Crunchy Bites) too. Rawhide chews are often enjoyed, but can be the primary cause of wind in many dogs as they are made largely from indigestible protein.
For more information on the subject, view the factsheet available down below:
As with many problems that affect our dogs and cats, increased thirst may arise for a variety of reasons; some serious, others less so. Drinking more can be symptomatic of medical condition; for example renal dysfunction, liver disease or diabetes insipidus, and for this reason if your pet is drinking more than usual it is very important to seek veterinary advice if matters do not resolve quickly.
A urine specific gravity test is a relatively inexpensive and non invasive means to check that the kidneys are able to concentrate the urine properly. Occasionally some dogs can become psychologically obsessed by drinking water and the excess fluid intake causes medullary washout that makes them want to drink even more.
For more information, view our factsheet on the subject available down below:
Constipation is defined as the passing of very dry, overly firm (sometimes crumbly) stools, and the animal will usually strain to pass them. This differs from obstipation (inability to pass stools altogether) and tenesmus (attempting to pass stools following a bout of diarrhoea when the bowel is empty).
For more information, download our fact sheet, available down below.
Diarrhoea happens when food travels too quickly through the intestine and water and nutrients are not extracted from the stool. However, a dog doesn’t necessarily have to suffer from “the runs” to have a problem.
For more information, download our diarrhoea fact sheet, available down below.
Unless your vet has specifically advised soaking your dog’s food or recommended feeding it dry, there are no hard and fast rules about whether you should or shouldn’t soak it. A lot depends on the individual dog!
Soaking the food may be beneficial if:-
a) The dog is prone to taking a long drink after a dry meal, since a belly full of water on top of a belly full of dry food may increase the risk of bloat.
b) The dog is a rapid eater, because soaking the food makes it easier to adhere to the base of an anti-gulp bowl to help slow down the rate of ingestion (an anti-gulp bowl is made to a special design with obstructions inside that the dog has to eat around to get to the food). Eating too quickly may also increase the risk of bloat.
c) The dog is prone to a sensitive digestion. Soaking the food softens it, and so eases the initial work of the digestive enzymes which may well be struggling during illness or a period of recovery. If a dog suffers from acid reflux or is recovering following episodes of vomiting, soft food is kinder on the oesophagus which may be inflamed and irritated.
d) The dog finds the kibble size too small or too large. Soaking the food until it is soft enough to mash with a fork renders kibble size of much less importance; although we produce a variety of products in varying sizes and shapes, so there should be something to appeal to every dog.
e) The dog is not a very good eater. Some dogs prefer a softer consistency to their food, and soaking it with warm water will bring out the smell.
f) The dog has dental problems. Soft food is easier on a sore mouth.
g) The dog is a puppy! Very young puppies may find soft food easier to manage, especially if teething.
Some people still do say that crunching on kibble is better for the teeth, but these claims can be rather exaggerated. It is actually the antioxidants in the food that have the greatest benefit to oral hygiene (especially vitamin C), and these are "active" whether the food is served wet or dry. There are plenty of ways to help keep the teeth clean that are more beneficial than simple crunching including brushing, anti-plaque preparations and dental toys.
If soaking your dog’s food, make sure it isn’t steeped for too long (up to half an hour is generally fine) as fermentation can occur. The food is also attractive to flies (especially in the warmer weather) so keep it covered whilst it’s being prepared. Soaked food is not ideal for dogs who like to go back and forth to their bowl to eat rather than finish a meal soon after it has been given for the reasons above. Dry food is quicker to serve, and cleaner. But even if your dog licks his bowl until it looks sparkling clean; do bear in mind that it isn’t! Dog bowls should be washed after every meal as there are lots of bacteria that inhabit your dog’s mouth and some are invariably transferred to the bowl! Dry kibble is convenient to carry around and makes an ideal packed lunch on a doggy day out.
You might wonder why it’s worth bothering to soaking kibble when there are plenty of wet dog foods on the market. The main advantage is cost. Dry food is generally much more economical, and this is because it is more calorific due to its much lower moisture content. Dry feed portions are subsequently smaller than commercial wet food. Soaked dry food may therefore be a more suitable option for dogs that are unable to tolerate large volumes of food very well.
So with regard to soaking or not, do what you feel is best for your dog based on his or her individual circumstances.
Ness Bird RVN