Fibre and food

Discussion in 'Labrador health' started by Alfie and me, May 16, 2018.

  1. Alfie and me

    Alfie and me Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Messages:
    75
    I had to take Alf to the vet due to him biting himself at the base of his tail because of itching and making himself bleed. I was concerned about mites or something even though I only just (a few days before) treated for fleas and ticks. The vet found no skin condition but when she examined him up the bottom she said that his glands were quite full and removed some of the stuff ( very scientific I know!) She then told me that she has to do this most days because dogs aren’t getting enough fibre in their diets. I feed Alf on Millie’s Wolfheart kibble and he seems to like it but obviously I’m now rather concerned about his diet. I’ve heard (not the vet) that you can add bran to their food,and a friend who goes to the same vet as me recommended Chappie!! I was quite shocked to hear this and was wondering about any thoughts anyone may have about this.
     
  2. snowbunny

    snowbunny Registered Users

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    15,785
    Location:
    Andorra and Spain
    Yes, dogs need plenty of dietary fibre to keep a healthy digestive tract. Chappie is a go-to for dogs with sensitive stomachs or to get them back on track if they have a case of diarrhoea. I'm not sure I'd want to be feeding it long-term, though.

    As a basic level, there are two main types of fibre; soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre is the type that keeps things going and can lead to soft stools if fed in too great a quantity. Insoluble fibre firms things up and slows them down - one benefit of which is that it helps the glands to self-express. The bonus is that insoluble fibre tends to be relatively indigestible, meaning that it passes through with very little impact on weight. So, yes, wheat bran is one source, as well as whole grains and some vegetables.

    You need to find the right balance of soluble and insoluble for your own dog; every animal's digestion is different, so even a "good" food may not suit every dog, or may need some supplementation to get it to work for your dog's needs.
     
    Alfie and me likes this.
  3. selina27

    selina27 Registered Users

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2016
    Messages:
    3,201
    Location:
    Herefordshire UK
    I changed Cassie's food last year to Burn's Original, she was beginning to show signs of having anal gland problems although this wasn't my primary reason for changing her diet. But I can say that she no longer farts or smells from either end -- unless she's been eating other things :rolleyes::rolleyes:, and has not had any issues with her anal glands.

    Of course as @snowbunny says every dog is different, but for Cassie Burn's has really done what it says on the bag.
     
    Alfie and me likes this.
  4. MF

    MF Registered Users

    Joined:
    May 5, 2014
    Messages:
    2,545
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Does he have allergies? My vet said that anal glands can fill up with allergies, that they overact during an allergic reaction.

    You can also feed meaty bones - the bone content will contribute to hard poos, and your dog will enjoy chewing the bone. Make sure the bones are non-weight bearing.
     
    Alfie and me likes this.
  5. Alfie and me

    Alfie and me Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Messages:
    75
    That’s really interesting.I didn’t realise that their were two types of fibre. It makes me think that just kibble is not enough for him,but Chappie is not something that I want to feed him long term. I’m looking into food containing the right type of fibre and I’ll see if that helps. I would like not to have to take him to the vet to have his anal glands expressed regularly!!! Thanks so much you’re always really helpful. In fact I don’t know what I’d do without this forum.
     
  6. Alfie and me

    Alfie and me Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Messages:
    75
    I’m not sure about allergies. That’s a good point.
    When you say meaty bones,do you get those from a butcher? And what do you mean by non weight bearing?
     
  7. Boogie

    Boogie Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2014
    Messages:
    8,416
    Pro fibre is a good additive. I put a scoop on each of Tatze's meals.

    :)
     
    Alfie and me likes this.
  8. SwampDonkey

    SwampDonkey Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2015
    Messages:
    8,126
    Location:
    leicestershire uk
    Rory has colitis and he's been on pro fibre since @Boogie suggested it and it really helps. He had Millie's wolf heart tracker mix and pro fibre and had no out breaks of stomach issues for about 18months
     
    Alfie and me likes this.
  9. snowbunny

    snowbunny Registered Users

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    15,785
    Location:
    Andorra and Spain
    Both sorts of fibre are good and necessary for healthy digestion; sorry, I didn't mean it to sound as if one was "good" and one was "bad". It's just that, if Alf's anal gland problem is caused by slightly loose stools, then increasing the amount of insoluble fibre may help, as it will harden the stools and help him to self-empty. But it seems as if some dogs are just a bit prone to problems with their anal glands even if they have normal, healthy (as we like to say, "kickable") poos.
     
    Alfie and me likes this.
  10. MF

    MF Registered Users

    Joined:
    May 5, 2014
    Messages:
    2,545
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    If a dog is going to eat bones, it’s recommended they’re incased in meat, hence meaty bones. I guess the logic is that the meat protects the gut from sharp bones. Although having seen my dog’s drool, I’m sure his gut is well oiled in drool and mucus!

    Some bones are too hard to bite and can cause a tooth fracture, especially if your dog is a hard chewer. Weight bearing bones are very hard, esp from big animals - cow legs, for example. A rabbit leg would be fine cos they’re small animals. You’d want to feed a bone that can be chewed up and swallowed. Chicken carcasses are good as are rabbits. My boy eats up venison neck bones. It’s recommended that the bone is fed raw; apparently cooked bones can be brittle and make sharp points.

    I get meaty bones delivered - raw dog food is a thriving business in my area. I guess you could ask your butcher to save whatever bones you’d like, just keep some meat on them, or feed together with meat. Supervise at first to make sure your dog doesn’t choke. I don’t supervise my dog - he’s been eating raw meaty bones his whole life and is a very sensible chewer.
     
    Alfie and me likes this.
  11. Me and my dog

    Me and my dog Registered Users

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    Messages:
    229
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Hey I'm wondering about things with my own dog... How old is your dog?
     
  12. Me and my dog

    Me and my dog Registered Users

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    Messages:
    229
    Location:
    New Zealand
    In refard to bones, ate veal bones ok?

     
  13. MF

    MF Registered Users

    Joined:
    May 5, 2014
    Messages:
    2,545
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    I’m not familiar with veal bones. But I presume a young animal = softer bones regardless of whether they’re weight bearing or not. You should probably google them to find out more. If it’s neck or rib bones they should be fine.
     
  14. Alfie and me

    Alfie and me Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Messages:
    75
    He’s two years old.
     

Share This Page