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Question
Hi there. Ive got a 15 year old dog. Who recently has started being sick after drinking water. I am going to be taking him to vets on wednesday as i think he may have acid reflux. After drinking a  little water he will burp and some mucous water would come up or will just be sick a huge amount. There is no warning as when it is going to happen. Anyway i know some dogs need to go on a low fat diet so was just wondering if boiled chicken, rice and boiled and mashed up carrot would be appropriate to help reduce acids?
If you could get back to me.
Thanks in advance.
Lyndsey

Answer
Hi Lyndsey,

That action could be a lot of things. Acid reflux or Gastroesophageal reflux could definitely be a possibility. It is best to take him to the vet for a complete work-up.

Depending on what his diet has been, a reflux is very common. I'll not get into a complete work up on all diets unless you request it but there are a couple of guidelines that are common for dogs.

First, they need to be on mostly wet type food diets. No dog should ever be on a dry food only diet as it is void of needed moisture. Dogs are meat eaters which is 75%+ moisture. This is for reason.

The top of the list for good for dogs diets are of course their natural diet of raw foods. This has the high moisture and "live" nutrients not found in ANY cooked foods. The lack of these nutrients is what causes so many health issues in today's dogs.

The next on the list is home-made diet like you were talking about. But the hard part here is to make it complete. If you don't follow some careful guidelines and make it complete, he will develop a malnutrition state. That just causes other problems. So we tell people who want to feed a home-made diet, that's great as you know what is going in their diet, but you have to be very careful. There are many books and websites that can help guide you should you choose this route.

The next on the list is canned foods as they are still high in moisture. They are still highly processed but is a much better choice than dry.

The bottom of the barrel for dogs is dry food. As mentioned before, its dry and void of moisture and cooked to such a high temperature that it destroys most of its nutrients. It can have a place in a dogs diet if needed as it helps with the budget of feeding big dogs or multiple dogs. But it should not ever make up more than about 50% of a diet.

There are a couple companies that are making lightly cooked foods. These are great for those who do not want or cannot feed a raw food diet. One is called My Perfect Pet Foods and we sell that one in our store and its becoming much more popular.

As dogs get older they actually need more and higher quality of proteins, not less. Lower fat is acceptable but they need that protein. Unless a dogs has a kidney disease, don't let a vet tell you otherwise. They are not trained in nutrition, just medicine.

The number one thing I tell people to add to a dogs diet is enzymes and probiotics. No matter what you feed, get these and add them to their diets. The number one thing you can do.

They get natural enzymes and probiotics in a raw food diet but when you cook foods, these vital nutrients are destroyed. That's why you must supplement them back into a cooked food diet.

You can get this in a powder form and just sprinkle a little on each meal. The enzymes help digest the foods so that would help your guy out a lot. If his food isn't broken down enough from the enzymes, then most nutrients are passing right through him. This could also cause gas, bloating, and indigestion.

Probiotics help fight off bad bacteria and thus, diseases. They also help transport nutrients throughout the body.

We feed a raw food diet to all our dogs and cats. We have for many years. We still add enzymes and probiotics to each meal just to give them that much more help with the digestive system.

One of the good ones we carry in our store and use, is from Animal Essentials. You can find them on their website or places like Amazon. Most natural pet food stores will carry them as well.

Dogs need a high acidic diet, thus the meat (protein) part. Where humans need a more alkalizing diet. This is the main difference in our digestive systems.

Here is a website that talks a lot more on acid reflux in dogs. Although your vet will help you determine if this is the case, the more you can learn about it the better. Most times simple solutions can take care of it.

The site is at: http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/digestive/c_multi_gastroesophageal_reflux

I hope this helps and gives you a little better understanding about what might be going on and the major causes of it.

If you would like me to evaluate his diet, please reply back to this same question and let me know everything that is in his diet including supplements if any and treats. Please also provide name brands so I can look up the ingredients and we can discus them.

Food has the power to heal or cause great harm. It's best to learn the proper ingredients and types. i'll be happy to share my knowledge with you if you would like.

If you want to get back to me after your vets visit and let me know the diagnosis, we can then discuss the best route moving forward to keep him around as long as possible.

Take care,

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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