View Full Version : Vets & dry food...

8th October 2008, 08:09 PM
I'm just back from the vets getting Sparky's stitches taken out.

While I was waiting to see the nurse a fella came in to buy some tins of royal canin sensitive for his cavalier - the nurse told him the dog should be on dry food & not the tins as it was much better for the dog, after some pursuesion he took a couple of tins & a bag of thr royal canin sensitive.

I so wanted to perk up & say that they're saying that coz they're paid to but I knew I'd just end up looking stupid so I didnt - he did tell her that his dog was very food sensitive & it sounded a lot like how Sparky used to be till I totaly ditched dry food but I guess it wasnt my place to say. I just hope it does suit the little fella (or girl!).

9th October 2008, 02:21 AM
Working at a veterinary office, I know the general rule of thumb is to feed a high quality food, provide substantial exercise and to keep up to date with preventative vaccinations. Cavaliers generally have a genetic disposition to dental disease and therefore dry food tends to aid in strengthening the teeth and also reduces tarter build up that causes gingivitis. Of course the best preventative is to brush your dog's teeth, but sometimes this isn't realistic. I think the clinic may have been more effective in explaining the reasons to the client. Every little cav is different and you need to feed what is right for him!

12th October 2008, 07:19 PM
Dogs (and cats) should not be fed only on tinned food -- the vet's office was absolutely right. This is exactly what I discuss with people who take rescue cavaliers from me.

If all they eat is the mush of soft food all the time they are far more prone to gun disease and dental decay. As this is already a problem with cavaliers, and because gum disease is directly linked to heart health, and the bred also has heart problems, they need a diet that offers more than just soft food. The worst rescue cases in terms of teeth and gums are those I get whose owners say 'he only eats tinned food'.

The occasional bone or chew is not adequate. Dogs need something that will regularly scrape the teeth and give jaws some exercise and a quality dry food is good for this. I don't like feeding only a dry food day after day but neither would I ever recommend feeding only tins of food or soft food. For someone who doesn't want to feed a dry food at all and is not working with some sort of bone or other option, then I'd get advice on how to address the problem of gum and tooth decay. Daily brushing and regular descaling is going to be a must.

Some also opt for a raw diet but last week I had Leo vomit up two pretty frightening pieces of bone 12 hours AFTER he ate a raw chicken wing so that is it for me -- second time with a second dog where I have had direct evidence that bones do not get pulverised in a dog's stomach and the stomach acid does not dissolve the bone, as is stated by so many raw advocates. We are talking two inch pieces of narrow very sharp bone :eek:. I won't risk that any more.

Also: many puppies have some food sensitivities while growing up; almost all that I know of (including my own) have those disappear in adulthood.

13th October 2008, 02:11 PM
The nurse (and Karlin) are totally correct. Dogs need crunchy food to help their teeth and gums, when they are pups it is ok to soften it up with some water first to help the little pets digest it but an adult dog should be fed on dry food. I'm not saying that they need to be on a totally dry diet, but this is possible with the good quality complete foods that are available today. A bit of mixing up with various other foods (for example, half dry and half wet food) can be fine for the dog as long as it is getting the correct level of nutrition.

I am a big advocate of dry food because in my experience it is amazing the difference that can be seen in gums and teeth (esp in older dogs) between those fed on dry food and wet food. I know some dogs have very sensitive stomachs and often food does not agree but there is a food out there for all dogs, it's just a matter of finding the one that works for you.