Vet FAQ- Dog feeding

Frequently asked questions about Dog Feeding and Nutrition

  • Is feeding pig’s ears or noses harmless?
  • My dog and cat eat each other’s food. Is this harmful?
  • Which food containing low phosphor and high quality proteins for dogs with liver and kidney damage is available in Maxi Zoo?
  • Which treatments are available for dogs that are overweight despite being fed little quantities of food?
  • Is raw meat harmful to dogs?
  • Is it harmful if a dog drinks water from puddles?
  • The dog sheds despite changing the food. Which treatments are available?
  • Which food is suitable for a pup who was fed incorrectly before and is now too big and too heavy for his age?
  • Is yogurt healthy for dogs? If yes, which quantities can be fed?

Is feeding pig’s ears or noses harmless?

I keep hearing that raw pork should not be fed as this generally transmits a fatal viral disease. But can I feed dried pig’s ears or noses without worry? Many thanks in advance for your advice.

It is correct that raw pork can contain the Aujezky’s disease virus which is potentially fatal to our pets. However, this virus is killed off at heats of 100oC, e.g. when boiling the meat. Pig’s ears and other dried pork products are also heated to 100oC during the drying process, whereby the virus is also killed safely. You can therefore feed these dried products without danger, however we always recommend supervision when your dog is chewing a meat product.

My dog and cat eat each other’s food. Is this harmful?

I have a bitch (Jack Russel mix) with three pups who are now 10 weeks old. In addition, we have owned a cat for a few weeks which I found (abandoned). As the pups and the cat are still small, I am feeding the meals throughout the day. I am also feeding the mother on the same schedule. However, now the cat doesn’t like her cat food and the dogs don’t like theirs, which means that they like to “swap” their food. I would like to know if this is harmful to the animals if the dogs eat cat food and the cat the dog food? Do I have to give additional vitamins etc.? Many thanks for your help.

Cats and dogs have rather different needs in terms of food. Cats need very protein-rich food with sufficient taurine as they cannot produce this amino acid themselves, in contrast to dogs. In contrast, dogs do not tolerate that much protein and need food with more carbohydrates which leads to less taurine in the food. Cats, which are fed on dog food, therefore receive too many carbohydrates on the one hand. But they cannot digest this great amount of carbohydrates well and this can lead to diarrhoea. It, however, is much more significant that they obtain too little taurine which can lead to blindness in the long run. Therefore, your cat should eat the cat food only and not the dog food. In contrast, dogs receive too much protein when eating cat food. This excess protein has to be processed by the body which puts a heavy strain on the kidneys and can also lead to skin problems. Therefore, dogs also should only be fed dog food. It would be best to separate the animals during feeding, then they can no longer swap. As pups and young cats also have other food requirements than adult animals, I would advise to feed puppy and kitten food. Such specific food for young dogs and cats also contains a balance of all vitamins and minerals needed by growing animals. Additional feeding of vitamins and minerals is therefore not necessary and can actually be harmful.

Which food containing low phosphor and high quality proteins for dogs with liver and kidney damage is available in Maxi Zoo?

The vet diagnosed bad kidney/liver functions in our 11 year old Westi mix. Fortunately, this was diagnosed early as something can be done about it with a change in food. My question: Which food can I buy at Maxizoo which has a low phosphor content and is high in protein? The food from the vet is an exorbitant price! Nobody can afford that… I would be grateful for some advice.

The food from your vet is specially aimed at the requirements of animals with kidney problems as these animals have other needs (e.g. phosphor or protein) than healthy animals. This food is medicine to help sick dogs, however, could be harmful for healthy dogs in the long term. This means that such products cannot be sold in pet food stores. Unfortunately, I also cannot recommend an “almost” equivalent food as each food eaten by the dog which is not specifically adapted to the kidney problem will irrevocably damage the kidneys further. I therefore advise you to stick to the food from your vet, even if that is expensive. This is the best option to maintain the kidneys and liver.

Which treatments are available for dogs that are overweight despite being fed little quantities of food?

The dog does not eat a lot but it still fat and very lethargic. He was castrated about 1 year ago. Could that be the cause? If yes, what can be done about it? He is also very short of breath during longer walks.

The symptoms displayed by your dog could be caused by being overweight. It is therefore urgently required for your dog’s health to get rid of the excess weight. Dogs often need a third less food after a castration than before. As they additionally develop a larger appetite, it is very difficult to maintain the original weight with normal dog food or to reduce the weight. You should therefore switch to high quality light food. This food has the advantage that your dog takes in less calories with the same amount being eaten. That means that he can lose weight without starving very much. In addition, such food provides very high quality ingredients so that your dog receives all necessary substances for the body even while on a diet. Please adjust the dosage of the food to the ideal weight your dog should be. That means that if the ideal weight (the weight the dog should be at approx. one year of age) is 20 kg for example, you have to follow the feeding instructions for a 20 kg dog. Distribute the quantity between two portions per day. Avoid treats, scraps from the table and other foods. Please use only the light food as a reward and take from the food volume for the day. Please remember that raw hide bones and pig’s ears also contain many calories and only feed them in limited quantities (one raw hide bone per week). Do not switch the food quickly but mix the new food in increasing quantities with the old food over a few days, so that the digestive tract can adapt slowly. As the symptoms described by you can also be caused by heart problems and other illnesses, you should have your dog checked by a vet to make sure. A lot of exercise of course is also part of a successful diet but the heart must be healthy for this. Be strict but try to reduce weight only slowly (500 g per week is enough). Remember that each treat you don’t give will prolong your dog’s life and give your dog most of all the health to enjoy life.

Is raw meat harmful to dogs?

I feed my dog with fresh scraps and flakes from the butcher’s. Now, a friend told me that raw meat is harmful to the dog. Is that true?

Raw meat itself is not harmful to your dog but it harbours some dangers. You therefore should observe the following points. The most important rule is: Never feed raw pork. It could contain the Aujetzky’s disease virus. This virus, which unfortunately occurs again and again in pigs, causes a fatal disease in dogs. However, boiling kills the virus and it is therefore harmless to feed boiled pork. In contrast, raw beef, sheep or horse is harmless in relation to this disease. However, dogs can process boiled meat better than raw meat. Therefore, you should combine boiled meat with mineral- and vitamin-enriched mixers (e.g. flakes by Matzinger) to achieve the best possible balanced and digestible feed. If you mix your own flake mixture, you have to add vitamins and minerals at all times. A balanced human food is not suitable for dogs and can cause deficiencies.

Is it harmful if a dog drinks water from puddles?

My dog drinks a lot of dirty water from puddles when we are out walking. In contrast, he doesn’t touch the clean water in his bowl. Is the puddle water harmful?

A dog’s stomach fundamentally can handle a lot of dirt, but even the most robust stomach can be overtaxed if the puddle is contaminated by petrol or chemicals. You therefore should try to make the water bowl at home more palatable to your dog. Dogs often do not like the chlorine taste of tap water. Therefore leave the water to stand out in the open for 24 hours before you give it to your dog so that the chlorine has time to evaporate. Also take some water with you on longer walks so that the dog can drink clean water in between. Try to feed wet food in the morning (tins or moistened dry food) so that your dog is not that thirsty during the day. If drinking from a puddle cannot be avoided, check the puddle for oil films or discolorations at all times and find a clean puddle with your dog.

The dog sheds despite changing the food. Which treatments are available?

My dog (female) sheds a lot! After discussing it with our vet, we changed from dry food to tinned food (for a year). It has become a bit better but the dandruff has not disappeared completely. What can we do?

Flaky skin is often a sign that the dog is lacking important vitamins and fatty acids. It can also be a sign of allergies to certain ingredients in the food. Give your dog high quality food (even if it is a bit expensive) and take care that it contains enough essential fatty acids. The sales assistants in your Maxizoo shop will be happy to assist you in selecting the food. In addition, give your dog a teaspoonful of olive oil per day on the food. You can also bathe the dog from time to time with a special anti-dandruff shampoo to loosen and wash away the flakes.

Which food is suitable for a pup who was fed incorrectly before and is now too big and too heavy for his age?

I have had my dog (Doberman 7 months old) only for 3 days. He was fed with the cheapest tinned food by his previous owner. He is 7 months old but weighs 31.6 kg and has a shoulder height of 72 cm, therefore has grown much too fast. What can I feed him? Can I “repair” something with a puppy food for large breeds? I fear that bone and joint problems are pre-programmed.

Unfortunately, your dog has really grown too fast and there could already be possible damage to the musculoskeletal system. But you can try even now, most of all by reducing food, to stop growth. I therefore advise you to feed very high quality but low energy junior food (e.g. Nutro junior lamb and rice) and only relatively low amounts (i.e. at most the amount for his “ideal weight” which would be 24 kg for his age). The speed of growth is affected by the daily consumed energy volume. In addition, feeding some mussel extracts (e.g. Luposan) can improve band firmness. But do not feed more than indicated on the package. You should not feed additional mineral or vitamin preparations in any case.

Is yogurt healthy for dogs? If yes, which quantities can be fed?

I heard that yoghurt is supposed to be good and healthy for dogs. Is that true? If yes, how often and in which quantities can I give my dog yogurt.

It is correct that yogurt cultures are also healthy for canine intestines. In addition, dogs can handle the lactose in yoghurt better than directly from milk. Despite that, yogurt is no balanced complete nutrition and should therefore only be given in small quantities. If too much yoghurt is fed, the dog will then eat too little balanced food. The quantity of course depends on the size of the dog. As a rule of thumb it can be said: Normally, one tablespoon of yogurt can be added per cup of dry food without problems. However, keep an eye on the droppings of the dog at first. If the faeces become softer, you have to reduce the amount of yogurt.

Call into your local store today to discuss your dog’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts.


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