Dog's diet and vegetables

(18 Posts)
pigsDOfly Fri 07-Sep-18 15:58:07

For some inexplicable reason my dog, 7 year old female, approx 6.5kilo, started to gain weight while eating the same food in the same quantity as she has been eating for quite some time. It's a wet prescription diet for an ongoing condition and apart from this weight gain suits her very well.

I cut her food intake down myself and then under the guidance of the vet cut it down even further, to the extent that she was thoroughly miserable and very hungry.

Spoke to the nurse at the vets who told me to introduce vegetables to bulk up her meals, which I did starting with broccoli - one floret - then adding a few slices of carrot on the second day. She's having that twice a day mixed in with the wet food and everything is cooked. Result a happy very contented dog.

However, I was looking online to see what other vegetables are okay to feed her and now I'm thoroughly confused.

One website said broccoli can cause problems and that you shouldn't use frozen vegetables as sometimes they have salt added to them - nothing about salt on the vegetables I've been giving her, just says the vegetables are frozen once they've been cut up - nurse suggested using frozen.

She's been on them for a few days now, and whilst her poos are larger she's still only going once a day and everything looks healthy.

Can anyone tell me, is what I'm doing all right or should I not be giving her these things?

I got the impression from the nurse that she could pretty much have as many vegetables as she wants - although the amount she's having is all she needs and I won't increase it, just add a bit more variety - and pretty much most vegetables are suitable, with the obvious exceptions.

I would really appreciate any advice as I'm very anxious not to cause her further problems with her health.

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Fri 07-Sep-18 16:26:06

I feed mine mostly fresh carrots and frozen peas simply because that's what we tend to keep in the house.

Whenever I have googled the veg that is ok to give to dogs it always seems to come with a caveat of 'too much can upset their stomachs'.

pigsDOfly Fri 07-Sep-18 16:37:16

Thanks Bitey. This is part of my problem, how much is too much and given that she's been on it for a few days can I accept that she's okay with it. Given that it's not a supplement as such but very much part of her meal, otherwise she's hungry, I'm anxious to get it right.

I want to keep her on the broccoli and carrot for a little while as I don't want to introduce too much variety too soon but the website that said broccoli can cause problems never actually said what those problems might be, which isn't very helpful. Could be some long term thing for all I know.

Think I'll have to have a further dig around the internet see if I can get any more information.

OP’s posts: |
pigsDOfly Fri 07-Sep-18 16:42:14

Found a bit more information on broccoli. Apparently in large enough doses it can prove lethal.

Think I'll hold off on it for now.

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Fri 07-Sep-18 16:45:54

Mine gets a carrot a day and peas when we are having them for lunch. I tend to feed veg in addition to his meals as he sees them as a treat.

The only thing I have seen sometimes when he has had a large carrot is bits of it in his poo (tmi).

Maybe mix the broccoli up with some cauliflower so she's getting a mix of different ones.

BassAce Fri 07-Sep-18 16:58:25

I use this handy guide... I've not had any problems with my two eating anything on this list

pigsDOfly Fri 07-Sep-18 17:59:44

Thanks for that list BassAce.

Yes, she's always had carrot as a treat in the past as well Bitey. I'm going to cut down on the broccoli and try mixing a tiny amount with some cauliflower and carrot. She's already had some pea and they seemed okay.

I don't want to introduce too many new foods all at once and I was so pleased when she loved the broccoli and carrot mix. I've also bought some brussel sprouts but suspect that might give her wind.

OP’s posts: |


Vallahalagonebutnotforgotten Sat 08-Sep-18 09:07:02

I would want to look into the weight gain in more detail. If having a complete food dogs should not need to have anything added to fill them up. Complete food has fillers just for that purpose and to be honest if we are hungry does eating veg fill us up .

Has absolutely nothing changed in her lifestyle at all? No decrease in exercise over the hot weather we have had this summer for example?

If she has been given a clear bill of health (And there are conditions that could cause weight gain but I guess the vet ruled them out) I would look at upping exercise if possible rather than giving less food and veg. Veg is great as a treat but to make it part of the daily nutrition long term is not ideal.

How much overweight is she?

Aprilshowersnowastorm Sat 08-Sep-18 09:09:35

My ddog is nearly 9 and has cooked fresh veg every day.
Every veg going tbh.
Our old ddog did also and lived to 20!!
She has raw carrots and cauliflower /broccoli stalks occasionally.

MasonJar Sat 08-Sep-18 09:58:13

You could try the Green Bean diet, lots of info online if you google.

Vallahalagonebutnotforgotten Sat 08-Sep-18 09:58:27

Rereading my thread - it was not meant to sound critical - sorry!

Just that complete food is complete and filling up on veg may mean the dog is not getting the right balance of food long term.

BiteyShark Sat 08-Sep-18 10:30:24

Vallahalagonebutnotforgotten I can't remember the condition the OPs dog has (sorry pigsDOfly I have seen you mention it before iirc but can't remember exactly what it was) but if it is anything like my dogs (inflammatory bowel disease) it was when he was 'well' his weight suddenly shot up significantly without any other changes.

Vallahalagonebutnotforgotten Sat 08-Sep-18 11:44:15

I've got one with IBD too - the joy at having a solid poo to pick up smile

So another reason to be very very very careful in giving veg - I am surprised the vet suggested it if on a special diet for digestion.

pigsDOfly Sat 08-Sep-18 14:58:44

Sorry I've been unable to come back here until now. Thank you for all your replies.

Nothings changed in her life Vallahala. I didn't take your post as critical at all, I agree she should be getting all she needs from her dog food but because the vet and the nurse have agreed it should be cut right down to 100 grams of wet food twice a day it's not enough to sustain her.

Even for a small dog, that's a tiny amount. The feeding guide on the tin says for a 5kilo dog to feed 301grams a day. I know they always suggest larger quantities than is sensible but she's probably 6kilo at her ideal weight so 200 grams a day is pretty mean.

I'm not sure what's going to happen long term as she can't be fed like this for the rest of her life and I don't think she's getting enough protein with this amount of dog food anyway.

I did wonder about giving lots of vegetables to a dog with digestion issues too, which is something else that's worrying me as I can see it all going horribly wrong and her ending up with awful diarrhea.

Normally she has a raw carrot from time to time, not every day though as I think it's too much for her and I give her water melon. She can cope with those well but as I say that's not every day and certainly not every meal.

It was the nurse that suggested the vegetables and the way she put it seemed to imply that I could give her loads of vegetables and fill her up that way and everything would be fine. Have to been honest I can't see how it's going to work either.

She had already lost a bit of weight - I'd cut her food down myself a bit - before I had the conversation with the vet and in total she probably had around 1.5kilo to lose, so probably 1kilo to go, perhaps a bit more. We haven't really settled on a goal weight it's more about how she looks.

The vet didn't mention her weight - I was there for something completely different - so she isn't huge, I drew his attention to the fact that I thought she was a bit heavier than she should be and he suggested cutting her food down further and said she should lose it very quickly as she's not massively overweight. I only made the appointment with the nurse because the poor dog seemed so hungry all the time.

Yes Bitey I think that's exactly what's happened with her. She has pancreatitis and when it last flared up she was very ill and lost quite a bit of weight. She hasn't had an attack for a few months, has been doing really well and this weight has suddenly piled on. I wondered if the food was being digested and absorbed better now she's well - don't know enough about it to know if that how it works but just wondered if that's a possibility.

She's really enjoying the vegetables in her food, so from her point of view it's a good thing, but I'm wondering if I should give her more of the dog food so the vegetables aren't so necessary. As I said she was losing weight on what I'd cut it down to, probably just a bit more slowly, and she wasn't hungry.

So I'm wondering if I should go back to giving her more food and cut back on the vegetables, although I'm not giving loads of vegetables I just think every meal time is too much for a dog with her condition. Tbh I'm really floundering with this and really appreciate all the advice.

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Sat 08-Sep-18 15:30:26

When BiteyDog finally had a couple of months without a IBD flare up he put on 2kg, going from seeing his ribs sticking out (not a good look for a spaniel) to being a lean but healthy weight. I am sure it was because he was actually digesting the food correctly for a change.

Personally I would go back to what you was doing if she was losing weight but not starving hungry and keep the veg as treats.

Vallahalagonebutnotforgotten Sat 08-Sep-18 16:09:48

As an owner of a ibd dog the joy at seeing them healthier and not looking like a rescue/abused case is just wonderful.

All my dogs are very lean but ibd dog is allowed to be a bit fatter as he can lose it all so quickly.

I have also learnt that if the food is working dont change it! All my dogs are raw fed except for ibd dog. He is on prescription food and it works so he gets nothing else. He has not had a major flare up for a while (only then when he finds something out on his walks - why do people always throw their banana skins away!)

I agree with Bitey stick to the food that works maybe try a weeny bit less and be happy for a slow but healthy weight lose and a happy dog.

pigsDOfly Sat 08-Sep-18 18:52:03

Thank you both so much for taking the time to reply again.

On her walk this afternoon she did a poo - second one today, usually only does one - and it was a little bit irritated looking; sorry if that's a bit too graphic but I'm sure you'll both understand what I mean. She's not unwell (I hope) but clearly the vegetables at each meal are having an effect.

The idea of the dog being allowed to carry a tiny bit of extra weight in case of loss when a flare up occurs is a very good point - I couldn't believe how suddenly she lost weight during the last flare up - and the little bit of extra weight she has at the moment certainly isn't stopping her running around, chasing her ball and having a good time. Although, I definitely want her to lose it.

I think it's a good idea to go back to what I was doing and yes, I'll give her slightly less. It'll be slow but I'd far rather that than a quick loss anyway, and as you say, she'll be happier that way.

Again, thank you both for your help. It really helps to have other people to go over these things with, especially people who understand what it's like to deal with a dog with digestive issues. Much appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
Miscella Sun 09-Sep-18 20:46:12

Have you looked into alternative remedies for the ibd?

I found slippery elm bark a huge help for our dog with digestive problems. It is cheap and safe to use for both dogs and people. If you google slippery elm bark for dog with ibd you will get lots of info.

Good luck, I hope you find something that helps her.

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