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Pet Nutrition

Questions about Pet Food Safety

Do you offer products for older or overweight dogs and cats?

Yes. We offer our CANIDAE PLATINUM? and FELIDAE PLATINUM? lines specially formulated for a lower calorie, nutritious diet.

Is it safe to switch between pet food products/flavors?

It is safe to change flavours or products.

However, remember to introduce a new product gradually over a 7-10 day period. Sudden changes in a pet's diet can cause intestinal upsets, more so in dogs than in cats. Also, constant changes can create a finicky eater. Please see our dog food transitioning guidelines for information on how to best transition your pet to a new diet.

How much water should my dog or cat drink each day?

Your pet should always have fresh clean water available to drink as he/she pleases.

Questions about Proper Colon Health

When switching pet food to a brand such as CANIDAE and loose stool occurs, is there reason for alarm?

No. It is not uncommon for pet owners to report their dogs have softer stool on CANIDAE foods after feeding other products. That is because all CANIDAE diets are designed to optimize gastrointestinal health through the deliberate selection of dietary fibres. These fibres, both soluble and insoluble, promote healthy fermentation in the large intestine (colon) which makes elimination easier.

Stools may have a different odour (less offensive) and hold more water than before. The elevated water holding capacity of some fibres results in this softer stool. It is not a cause for alarm, but rather an indication that the food is working to promote a healthy gastrointestinal tract.

Occasionally dogs get diarrhoea. Does this mean something is wrong with the food?

Although the food is the most tangible and easiest to blame, it usually is not the food that causes diarrhoea.

Sometimes, the introduction of a new diet can lead to vomiting (usually from over-eating), but seldom does a extruded food lead to sudden episodes of diarrhoea. Sudden and dramatic bouts of diarrhoea are almost always caused by the ingestion of pathogenic micro-organisms such as clostridium perfringens, salmonella, or e. coli.

These organisms are found in the soil, on spoiled foods (garbage), or carried by other animals (e.g., rodents, birds, insects). If your pet has diarrhoea, make sure it has access to plenty of fresh water to replace the lost moisture. If the diarrhoea persists for more than a day, consult your veterinarian as it may be a sign of a pathogenic infection. If the stool contains blood, consult your veterinarian immediately.

What is the ideal healthy stool for a dog?

The nutritional ideal and the preference of pet owners may not be the same. From a nutritional perspective, stool should be regular (the same number of daily bowel movements), easily eliminated, consistent from beginning to end, and not accompanied by gassiness or mucus.

Pet owners often prefer a stool that is small, dry and easy to handle. When formulating a super premium pet food, the goal is to find a middle-ground that does not compromise the health of the pet.

How does CANIDAE protect the gastrointestinal health of my dog?

CANIDAE pet foods are formulated with a careful selection of fiber containing ingredients. These include fruits, vegetables, rice bran, tomato pomace, dried peas, and inulin (from chicory root). These nutritious ingredients contribute insoluble fiber for bulk and water binding properties, and soluble fiber to promote beneficial fermentation in the colon.

Selecting just the right combination of ingredients and fiber types aids in normal passage and elimination and keeps the delicate tissues of the digestive tract healthy.

Questions About Pet Food Allergies, Contributed by Dr. Melissa Brookshire, DVM

How Common Are Pet Food Allergies?

Many people think that their pets have allergies to their food, but science tells us that food allergies are much less likely to be causing your pet's skin problems than other ailments. Did you know that food allergies are the least common type of allergy diagnosed in dogs and cats and make up only about 5% of ALL cases of skin disease seen by veterinarians? So, if 100 dogs came into the vet clinic with itchy skin, only 5 of those dogs would be itchy because of a food allergy.

My pet?s food changed and now he is itchy. Does he have a food allergy?

A common myth about food allergies is that they develop when the food is changed. This is the opposite of how an allergy develops. Food allergy takes time and many pets have been eating the offending food for years.

My puppy has itchy skin and is losing hair around his eyes and mouth. Is he allergic to his food?

The most likely cause of these symptoms is Demodectic mange. This can be diagnosed and treated by your veterinarian. However, about 1/3 of confirmed food allergy cases (in dogs) are in pups younger than one year of age. This tells us that these dogs have a genetic component to their allergy. Adult dogs with food allergies should not be bred, as they might pass the allergy on to their offspring.

My five year old dog has had one ear infection in the past two years and now he is sneezing occasionally. Does he have food allergies?

What does a food allergy look like? In cats, the symptoms are typically scabs and itching around the face and neck. Ear mites are a common ailment of kittens that will also cause itchy head and neck, so it is important to have your veterinarian do a thorough check of your cat?s ears. Dogs with food allergies are most itchy around their face, belly and feet. They also will have recurrent ear infections. These dogs are even more itchy than dogs with other types of allergies, often scratching or rubbing their skin to the point that it is raw and inflamed.

Every spring my dog starts scratching his ears and rubbing his body on the rugs. Does he have a food allergy?

Food allergies are not seasonal. The most common types of allergies are flea allergy and atopy (inhaled allergy). Spring is the time of year when both of these types of allergies tend to flare up. Keeping up with flea control is critical to protect pets from flea allergy dermatitis. Just because a diagnosis is made of flea allergy does not mean that the pet is infested with fleas.

Flea allergy tends to be very strong and a dog or cat can become very itchy even after being bitten by a single flea. Interesting fact: Dogs with flea allergies may have allergies to foods as well. If the fleas are completely controlled though, the food allergy symptoms may never appear. If the fleas are not controlled, the dog might show flea allergy dermatitis and evidence of food allergy together.