As an online pet store, we received many questions from customers about their dogs' health, and a few are commonly asked questions. So, we have decided to compile the 10 most asked questions, including questions about dog food, supplements, grooming, and everything in between.
1. How to stop my dog from eating grass?
Grass eating is quite common among dogs, both domesticated and wild. The reason behind this behaviour is unclear but most experts believe that a little foraging isn’t a cause for concern. Many wild canines will eat roots, grasses, and berries in addition to the meat they kill or scavenge. We do need to ensure that the grass your dog is foraging on, is not treated with chemicals. Some paw parents will grow a container of healthy wheatgrass at home for their dogs to munch on.
Occasionally, you may notice your dog gulping mouthfuls of grass to induce vomiting. This usually happens when our canine friends are experiencing tummy upset. This behaviour will often be accompanied by other symptoms like lethargy, watery stool, or bloat. Often, after the regurgitation, your dog will recover and show no other signs of illness. If that is not the case, please bring your dog to the vet for a proper check-up.
A sudden increase in grazing could also be a sign that your dog is missing vital nutrients from his diet. Discuss with your vet and if necessary, change his diet or add some fresh foods to his diet if he is on dry kibble. Adding a multivitamin may help as well.
2. How to stop my dog from eating poop?
The scientific name for this poop-eating habit— is coprophagia (kop-ruh-fey-jee-uh). According to animal behaviourist Steven R. Lindsay, in his book - Handbook of Applied Dog Behavior and Training – poop eating may be a survival behaviour when food is scarce, during times of starvation. This behaviour is quite common in puppies but will fade by nine months old.
If your adult dog suddenly starts eating poop, it can be due to health problems or environmental stress triggers like:
- Deficient in nutrients due to poor quality diet, poor digestion and malabsorption.
- Parasite infection.
- Diabetes or thyroid disease. These illnesses can cause an increase in appetite.
- Isolation and boredom.
How to stop your dog from eating poop.
- Vitamin supplement. Studies have shown vitamin-B deficiency as one of the causes of coprophagia.
- Enzyme supplement. This can help to break down your dog’s meal and aid in nutrient absorption.
- Taste-aversion products or bitter-tasting spray. Taste-aversion products will make the dog’s poop less appealing, thus deterring the dog from eating the poop.
3. What should I give my senior dog with arthritis?
Senior dogs will need additional help with their joints. These are some joint supplements for senior dogs that may help to relieve pain and slows down joint deterioration.
4. How to get rid of dog dandruff?
Dandruff occurs when the dog’s sebaceous glands overproduce. Sebaceous glands are responsible for producing oils that protect and nourish the dog’s skin. When the gland overproduces, the excess oil can irritate the skin, causing the skin to be shed in greater quantities than normal.
Talk to your vet to rule out other health or skin issues, and supplement with fish oil to boost your dog’s skin health. Try this NaturVet Skin & Coat Plus Breath Aid Soft Chew Dog Supplement. It comes with a balanced omega 3:omega 6 ratio, and has added biotin to support the health of your dog’s skin and coat.
5. What should I use for hot spot relief?
First, you’ll want to keep the spot as dry as possible. Here’s a home remedy using tea bags to dry out hot spots.
Apply the antiseptic solution provided by your vet and use a dog collar to prevent your dog from gnawing and chewing on the hot spot.
You can use the NaturVet Aller-911® Hot Spot Foam for Cats & Dogs to relieve itch and prevent your dog from aggravating the spot. This spray contains a bittering agent that helps to deter gnawing and chewing.
6. Is my dog allergic to fipronil?
Fipronil is a chemical substance commonly found in tick and flea treatment. Some dogs suffer from the side effects of fipronil. The most common side effect is skin irritation lasting a few days around the site where it is applied.
Should you encounter this, please discuss it with your vet before applying another round of fipronil on your dog. You may want to switch to a natural anti-tick, anti-flea product. Check out our Flea & Tick section for natural, non-chemical anti-tick, anti-flea protection.
7. How to choose hypoallergenic dog food?
Signs of dog food allergy are usually itchy skin or digestive disturbances such as vomiting or diarrhoea. Other less common symptoms may include excessive paw licking, hyperactivity, weight loss, lethargy and even aggression. Puppy itching can also be caused by environmental allergies. It is best to consult your vet if you noticed these symptoms to get a proper diagnosis.
Work with your vet to identify the food items that are giving your pup the itch. Common allergens are beef, dairy, wheat, egg, chicken, lamb/mutton, soy, and pork. Depending on your dog’s condition, your vet may prescribe medication and a therapeutic diet to manage the allergies.
Some commercial dog foods are sold as “hypoallergenic dog food”. Though the term “hypoallergenic” is not a regulated term, it usually means that dog food does not contain common allergens like wheat, soy, dairy, and corn. It may still contain proteins that your dog is allergic to. So, always check the ingredients to ensure that it doesn’t contain any proteins that your dog is adverse to.
A general rule, if your dog suffers from food allergies, choose a grain-free, limited ingredients and single protein dog food.
8. Why is my dog not eating his kibble?
It could be that your pup is just a fussy eater, or he is bored with his food. Add some fresh or wet food to his meal. You can also add some bone broth or dog food mixer to improve the taste and flavour of his dry kibble. Try this superlicious Wellness 95% Grain Free Lamb Mixer & Topper Canned Dog Food that is packed with real lamb meat. It’s a perfect dry dog food topper for that protein boost.
If your dog has been enjoying his kibble daily and suddenly stopped eating, it could be a sign of some tummy or dental issues. Monitor for other signs of health issues and take him to the vet if necessary.
9. How to firm up my puppy’s stool?
Here are some common reasons for puppy diarrhoea.
- Abrupt dietary changes
- Intestinal parasites infection
- Accidentally eating something toxic
- Bacterial or viral infections
It can take up to five months for the puppies’ immune system to mature. Because of their undeveloped immune systems, they are at a higher risk of getting infections and are more sensitive to “new” foods.
Do understand that the process of moving your pup from the shelter or the breeder’s home to their new home is a very stressful event for the young pup. Coupled with an abrupt dietary change, if the pup is fed a new diet, can result in loose stool. It is highly recommended that you change the pup’s diet gradually. Ask the shelter or breeder for some of the pup’s original food. Continue to feed with the original food, but gradually replace it with the new food to minimise the risk of loose stool.
Other things you can do to firm up your puppy’s stool include adding some fresh veggies to his meal to increase fibre. Adding some mashed pumpkin to your pup’s meal may help to firm up his stool as well.
You may want to supplement with a good quality probiotic to improve your doggy’s digestive and immune health. The CAHO Immuboost Colostrum Milk for Dogs & Cats is an excellent supplement for underweight puppies with compromised digestive and immune health. It is high in active immunoglobulins and probiotics that enhance immunity and reduce the risk of infections.
10. How to get rid of dog tear stain?
Tear stains are dark brown or reddish marks that appear beneath a dog’s eyes. They’re typically more visible on dogs who have white or lightly coloured fur. Epiphora, a condition that comes from excessive tear production or the inability to properly drain tears, is usually the source of the stains. The causes of epiphora can vary greatly from Irritant exposure like exposure to smoke and dust, to more serious medical conditions like Glaucoma.
Supplements containing Lutein for eye health like Naturvet Tear Stain Supplement Plus Lutein Soft Chew Soft Chew Dog Supplement may help to stop tear stains but if the stain is chronic and recurring, please consult a vet to identify the root cause of the stain.
Use a gentle, water-based tear stain remover to remove unsightly stains from your pet’s fur.
We hope these questions and answers have helped you in providing the best care for your furry friend. If you have more questions about your dog’s needs, share your questions with us on Instagram or Facebook.
Katherine is a Pet Nutrition Specialist and GDP’s Pet Wellness Advisor. She is committed to helping pet owners make informed dietary and lifestyle choices in nurturing healthy pets. Katherine is also a practicing Nutritional Therapist (human nutrition) and has been helping hundreds of clients to heal naturally with nutrients.