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Homemade food for a fussy eater - does anyone have any advice?


I am hoping someone may be able to offer some advice re. homemade food or ideas to try for a fussy eater.

Bertie (9 yrs old) has never been interested in dog food. After trying many brands of dry food we found a grain free one which he would eat, providing we put a topper with it, which seemed to agree with him and his stomach! We think he is gluten intolerant.

About two weeks ago he had emergency surgery for bloat (the second time he has had it) and thankfully is recovering well. We were advised to feed him smaller portions 3 times a day so have been feeding him boiled rice with fish or chicken. We started to reintroduce his dry food and he will not eat it at even when crushed up and mixed with the rice etc. So we are now thinking should we make his food. Does anyone have experience of this? Or ideas to ideas to try for fussy eater?

Many thanks.


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Dear Louise,

I'm very sorry about Bertie - what a stressful time and situation - so glad, he is recovering well and I wish him all the best!!!

We had problems with Joy when she was 8.5 years old - not bloat thankfully, but pyometra - and then the vets discovered (when cutting her open) that her intestines were all inflamed and thought it might be something like ibd and put her on cortisol. She had diarrhea and cramps.

As we are in personal contact with Dr. J. Dodds (hemopet), I wrote to her about a possible food intolerance and she told me: "...this breed has heritable wheat -sensitive enteropathy." Joy's dry food did not have gluten in it, but her biscuits and co had and she loved a piece of dry bread, so we removed that from her diet.

We also changed her food from cold pressed dry food to 'platinum iberico and greens' (trying a new protein source) - this food is still 18% moist and does not swell in the stomach as conventional dry food - have a look here: https://www.platinum.co.uk/dry-dog-food/platinum-dry-food/platinum-... And we also add platinum wet food 'pure fish' (she loves that!) and add fresh greens and yellows, mostly from our own organic garden or a bit of cooked rice or potato, as she too is quite a fussy eater. 

It took about half a year for Joy to recover and gain back the lost weight (she lost many kilos!) but then she started to thrive. She is 11 now and has a lot of strength! This morning at the vets, it took four persons to bandage a paw! During the time of her recovery, we also added probiotics to build up the good bacteria. 

I'm sorry, I can not help you with cooking for a dog that bloated but I thought the info about gluten intolerance in the breed and platinum food might be helpful. Best wishes C & Joy xxx

Dear Cornelia,

Thank you for your reply - sorry it has taken a while for me to reply back to you.That is interesting about this breed having a heritable wheat sensitivity.  

Last night we had to rush Bertie to the vets again with bloat. Luckily they were able to deflate him without operating and his stomach did not twist (it is stitched in two places thankfully). The vet said the cause is uncertain but his food and the physical structure of his stomach could be causing it, and that it could worth us looking for a food which releases less gas. 

I will definitely look at the link you posted for the platinum food - thank you!

Kind regards


Dear Louise, 

I'm sorry to hear that Bertie bloated again - but glad you managed to deflate him without operation! If his dry food is hot pressed, I would not give it to him anymore anyway, because it expands quite a bit in the stomach, i.e. when in contact with fluids. Maybe just put some into a glas of water and test it as shown in the above link. I'm convinced that anything is better than hot pressed food.

Do you know if there are other dogs with bloat in the family? If yes, it might be good to get in contact with the owners and talk to them about their experiences and what they feed their dogs...? You know, Joy is an epileptic - another hereditary disease - and is treated since 8 years now; that is since her second grand mal. Luckily, she only had three fits all in all. Her half brother is similar though and it is good to know that he too is fine on a low dose of medication. It was just a thought...

Best wishes, C & J xxx

Hello Louise

I am the health rep for the Irish Setter Association, England. I'm sorry Bertie and yourself are having such a bad time. If possible I would like to speak with you and arrange to get some DNA from Bertie.

Together with all the breed clubs we are holding our first Health Day on the 16th November 2019, if you go to this link,  https://isae.org.uk/Health/ you will see the flyer for the day and a booking form if you would like to attend. My details are displayed on the flyer.

Very best wishes


Hello Rosie

Thank you for your post. Bertie was taken to the vets last night with bloat - luckily they could deflate him with surgery.  

Unfortunately we cannot make the Health Day on the 16th November but I will contact you regarding Bertie if that is still okay.

Kind regards





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