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Question
Hi Roger, I have a 4 mo. Old Beagle with an inverted vulva. She's experiencing her 2nd UTI.  I've read that cranberry supplements and probiotic support can support her progress. What is the best way to deliver these products to her? Should I change her daily dry food to a urinary health product?
Thanks!

9lb beagle, highly active, urinates during the day randomly possibly every hour or more. Doesn't urinate overnight or in crate up to 7 hours. Eats 1/2 cup 2 xs day Science Diet puppy.

Answer
Hi Kim,

I'm glad you are coming forward and asking questions about nutrition. Most people don't give it a second thought. Good, balanced nutrition is a huge part of any dogs health, just as it is for people.

We have several beagles ourselves, they are our favorite breed.

There are several key nutritional needs for dogs to remain healthy. First is a high moisture diet. Nature intended them to eat mostly meat, a high moisture content food source of around 70%.

When a dogs diet is mainly dry foods, they will actually live in a mild state of dehydration. This is hard on their internal organs as well as their skin and coat.

It is essential for your pup to eat a high moisture content diet. This will help her set the foundation to longevity.

It would be extremely beneficial for you to learn about the difference between good and bad ingredients in dogs food as well.

The Science Diet, Iamms, Purina, Beneful and other commercial pet foods are not very healthy for dogs. They are high grain based products that more times than not, create ill health, food allergies, and a host of other diseases.

Dogs were not meant to eat this high grain based diet. It does not provide the needed nutrition that dogs need. Especially for puppies as they require high, good quality protein sources for growth and repair.

Other added ingredients they use do not contribute to good health. The quality of ingredients these big chain commercial food producers are very subject. GMO's and feed lot meats add unwanted chemicals into the dogs diets.

These commercial brands are responsible for so many people's pets high rate of newer and newer diseases that the vets are trying to keep up with.

The main allergy and immune weakening ingredients are wheat, corn, soy, by-products, gluten's of any kind, artificial coloring's, chemical preservatives, animal proteins (source not listed), animal fat, peanut hulls just to name a few.

You want to keep your little girl far away from these ingredients as they will weaken her immune system and continue to cause her harm.

Look for premium pet foods like Orijen, Accana, Blue Buffalo, Wellness, Natures Variety, Merrick, and others.

Get some canned food to put in her diet. Girls especially need a very high moisture diet as this helps keep the system flushed. Try to get at least 50% of her diet in these moist foods. The more the better.

Look for the small,independent pet food stores that carry these brands. You can get on the website for some of the above brands and they will help you find a local store.

Supplementation is very critical as well. Dry foods are incomplete nutrition as they do not supply needed nutrients. These missing nutrients are mostly destroyed when you cook foods. The two most critical missing ones are the enzymes and probiotics.

You have to look at it as even the best dry foods are still the worst diet for dogs. It's like the most highly processed foods you can give a dog. Processed foods are not good for us and they are surely not good for dogs.

They are the hardest to digest and as mentioned above, lacking in needed moisture and missing the enzymes and probiotics.

These enzymes and probiotics are the two most important supplements anyone can give their dog or cat. They are found naturally in their natural diet of raw foods. They are destroyed when you cook foods. All bags and cans of dogs food have been processed so these nutrients are missing.

Without these vital nutrients, dogs immune systems suffer and give way to diseases and many other health conditions. Again, just as us humans.

Of course the best diet in the world for any dog is a raw food diet. We feed exclusively raw foods to our dogs. We still add additional enzymes and probiotics to their food just to give them extra support, it's that critical.

There are many raw food for dogs manufacturers now that make feeding complete raw food diets very easy. If you find some of the small independent pet food stores in your area, most will have several varieties and you can learn more about it.

It is by far best for them. It's what nature intended them to eat and thrive on. When you go against nature, something usually gives.

For those who do not choose to feed raw, then you really must supplement with the enzymes and probiotics to help mimic the raw food content.

It is something you should consider looking into and learning more about. Your little girl will benefit from it.

We rescue dogs from kill shelters. Many come to us with all kinds of health issues. We transition them to a raw food diet as soon as we can. This tends to heal them the quickest.

I'm glad to see that you mention probiotics. And yes, it's a great idea to add along with needed enzymes to each meal.

Animal Essentials makes a good one we carry in our store and use ourselves. It comes in a powder form that you just sprinkle on each meal. You can find it at many smaller pet food stores or on Amazon.

The cranberry juice is a good supplement for UTI's. But even a better one is D-Mannose. This is the key nutreint in cranberry juice that supports the urinary track system. Again, you can find this at your local store or on Amazon.

I would look to get both right away and start giving to her. I would look to get rid of that Science Diet as soon as possible as well. Get her on a high moisture diet and proper supplements and you should prevent future UTI's.

Other good supplements for her would be some good salmon oil or canned sardines in water. This provides needed omega's for her brain and eye development. Also good for her coat.

Other good things to add are an egg or two a week, this is a very good protein source, a little cottage cheese mixed into her food for treat and helps bind things in the tummy, some greens like kelp, spirulina or wheat grass, these provide a stronger immune system.

Give her some of your fresh good quality meats if you eat some, also grind up a few veggies now and then.

Long term crating can lead to UTI's as well. Holding it in is not good for dogs, especially females. This also leads to behavior issues in dogs.

They are pack animals and need to be with you or other dogs. If you have to crate all day when you're gone, this will lead to problems. Look for solutions if you do this and can. There are many good day car facilities around, maybe others that stay at home can take her during the day,

When we got our first dogs many years ago, she had to be left alone. She developed problems quickly. We got another dog to keep her company and the problems went away. It don't take much for adding a second dog, especially if you can rescue one.

Beagles are high strung and full of energy. They are hunters that need to run and play. Like I said, I don't know if you have to leave her alone during the day and it sure isn't my business.  But if this is the case, we've seen behavioral problems develop most of the time. It's just not healthy for them.

I know this has been a long answer to your basic questions but I feel it's important for people to learn the complete nutrition needs for their dogs. Things just make better sense that way.

We did write a book on basic dog food selection and how to tell good from bad. It's available on Amazon. If you have a kindle or kindle app on your computer, you can get a copy for a few bucks. It would be a great starter for your education. The more you learn, the more you can keep your little girl healthy and our of the vets office.

You can check out the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Dog-Food-Decoded-Healthy-ebook/dp/B008LX6WGY/ref=sr_1_1?ie

I know this has been a lot of information. Should you have any further questions or want to add something or even want to talk about the raw food diet more, feel free to write back and I'll do the best I can to help.

Roger

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Roger McLeskey

Expertise

Can answer all nutritional information for all dogs. Common problems with food, supplements, weight control, allergies, fleas, etc. Questions regarding raw food, homemade food, skin & coat issues, ect. Can't and/or will not do medicinal type questions that the vet takes care of.

Experience

I am certified in Dog Nutrition. Over 6 years now I've owned a natural pet food retail store. I've worked with hundreds of dogs and there owners to achieve better health. We promote a healthy balanced species related diet. This is the way nature made your pet to thrive. Fortunately for those who cannot or wish not to feed a raw based diet, there are alternatives with supplements and cooked food. Just don't let processed food be there only diet. Food is the most powerful medicine. Heal the core of the animal and the rest will take care of itself. We've turned the lives of many dogs around. There parents come back into the store and comment to us on how there dog acts like a real dog again. Our business is thriving and we continue to help many.

Organizations
We work with Second Chance Companions, Must Love Dogs, members of ASPCA, HSUSA and started our own personal "Red Head Rescue" (non chartered) for stray dogs and rescue dogs from high kill shelters. We've been able to heal the many health ailments these dogs have and place them in good homes.

Publications
Dog Food Decoded - How To Choose A Health Diet For Your Dog and Your Budget - Available on Amazon in Kindle format or Paperback. Various articles for in store and web.

Education/Credentials
Certified - Canine Nutrition Level Three. Last 7 years I've been working with veterinarians, holistic veterinarians, attending seminars and best of all, real life experience with hundreds of customer dogs and cats. I've seen what works and does not work. Feeding a proper species appropriate diet works for most ailments. We've taken away our petís natural diet and caused most of todayís problems.

Awards and Honors
None.

Past/Present Clients
Many satisfied pet owners coming to our store for nutritional help and advice.

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