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Hi all

I have a 2yr 8 month Red Setter called Riley.  In short - he is beautiful - but then I am completely biased!

I am concerned about his stomach and am considering changing his food.  He eats James Wellbeloved Lamb & Rice dry food and wet food - he has been on this since he was a young pup.  His poo is fine - but he seems to really struggle with wind - both ends - but mostly 'up' wind and his stomach makes the most horrendous noises sometimes for hours after eating.  He doesn't gobble his food.  We never exercise him within an hour of having food (before & after food) and he has quiet time in his (very large!) crate for a short while after eating.  He does drink a lot of water and we try to limit this so that he doesn't guzzle lots of water in a short space of time.

I'm considering changing to a Royal Canin sensitivity food.  Need to talk to the vet before we do anything - but like to be prepared.

Any advice welcome.



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My youngest now 2 1/2 has wind both ends but always has, she is on raw food. I do get their wind up after meals to lessen the chance of bloat. Maybe some dogs are more windy than others as my other Irish have not been as windy and I feed them all the same. I am not a lot of help, worth asking your vet next visit, good luck take care X


Thanks Angela.xxx

hi! my alarm bells would be ringing- all this tummy rumours, the excessive water drinking- bloat-gastric torsion... to kerp my reply short: keep away from any dry food/kibbles. Cook for your dog: buy fresh meat, oatmeal, cook some veggies, oil, cottage cheese, sometimes a high quality tinned food, fruits- well thats it, you will never look back!

Hi Vanessa, like Eva my alarm bells started ringing when you mentioned tummy rumblings and intake of water but it sounds as if you are doing everything you can to prevent bloat....however we know that some dogs seem pre disposed and would definitely ask the vet but would also consider changing diet to a raw one although I note that Angela says her dog is fed raw and is similar! Personally I hate all dry kibble but that's just my opinion and even on raw I have one of my four dogs who has trouble with digestion but not as bad as when he was on kibble. Hope you get an answer, please update us on what the vet says xxx

Christine - thanks for the advice - I will take it on board when I speak to the vet next week. xxx

Eva - my biggest fear is bloat and that Riley may be susceptible.  Im speaking to the vet next week so hopefully between the two of us we will come up with a plan  of action. Thanks for your advice. xxx

I am no authority but you might have a blood test done for diabetes. The only reason I say this is the amount of water he drinks. I have a 6 month old puppy I thought he was drinking water excessively and upon talking to my vet he suggested a test for diabetes. It was negative and Riley's would most likely be the same. However, it never hurts to be sure. As far as the digestive issue you might try a real bland diet for a few weeks to see if anything changes. You might try a combination of hamburger, rice, yogurt or pumpkin and canned green beans. Due to the excessive wind you can eliminate the green beans so as not to "add fuel to the fire". After a few weeks if nothing changes well then if it were me I would see what the vet has to say. Two of my "boys" burp or belch after they eat and when I brought this up a couple of friends they told me that belching relieves the extra air some dogs may take in if they stand when they eat. I watched my dogs and they both stand when they eat but lay down when they are having their "treats". They said belching can help prevent a dog from bloating due to getting too much air in the stomach and digestive track. You certainly are doing everything "right" from what I read and it could just be this is a idiosyncracsy of Riley's. My biggest concern was the older boy would belch at a show when the judge was going over him. While I think there is some humor in that I am not sure a judge would feel the same. I can certainly understand your concern since this behavior sometimes continues for hours after he eats.

Another thing you could try is giving Riley a Pepcid or GasX with his meals. While they are typically "people" medicines according to what I have read they are not harmful to dogs. There are several other OTC products which relieve gas or belching which are from what I understand safe for dogs.

I feed Victor grain free kibble mixed with Taste of the Wild kibble. I change the flavor of the TOW every now and again as my boys like the salmon, the lamb and rice, and the bison. I mix the kibble with a small amount of canned food, yogurt or cottage cheese, white rice occasionally and fresh raw ground turkey. My dogs seems to thrive on this combination but everyone's dogs are different.

Hope this helps but by all means do talk to your vet and she what he/she suggests.

Like you I am very, very biased about my "boys". All three are Best In Show in my heart and mind (the puppy has yet to be in a show).

My furkids and I send our very best to you and Riley and hope something included in this email will be of help. There is also a book which is like a "bible" for me and has answered lots of my questions. The title of it is Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook, 3rd Edition by James M. Giffin and Liisa D. Carlson. It is the one which has a chocolate Lab on it. I found a used copy on eBay for I think $12.00. I have found it to be  a great resource and has answered many questions for me I would normally have called my vet about.

Let me know if I can be of any further help or if you have questions about the content of this email

Mary Fairchild Shader and of course, Kirby, Bud and Shane

Mary - thanks for your advice & your 'fur kids' sound lovely.  I appreciate you taking the time to help me. 



Wouldn't consider changing to Royal Canin - you will go from the frying pan into the fire. Much poorer quality food. ALL dry foods dehydrate the dog - they do by their very nature. I have had my brains chewed up by the dry food zealots on here before, and this is why I rarely come on here any more, but for those who are prepared to take the padlocks off their minds. Dry foods DO dehydrate dogs.  Dry foods also take up to 12 hours to leave the stomach before entering the colon.  During that time, the stomach is working like a saw mill to try and break down these foods which have been cooked 3 times, virtually to a cinder. They then have flavour enhancers added to make the dog want to eat it.   There is no natural water content  by design (which is totally unnatural to any species of animal therefore the dog has to drink more to compensate. The water they take in will then have to permeate through the dry food before it reaches a state to aid digestion. Soaking in advanced still doesn't cut it - because you cannot get it back to its natural volume without the entire thing becoming a complete and utter mush and that could take a good 24 hours.  By that time, your dog would probably not want to touch it. 

By design it also lacks digestive enzymes which raw food would naturally contain. Therefore digestion becomes even more difficult.   Add to this, most dry foods (although not all now - because the pet food industry are concerned about the growing number of raw food and steam cooked moist food feeders gobbling up their market) contain very large amounts of carbohydrates - which is species inappropriate. Dogs are carnivores. They have NOT evolved to become carb eaters which the pet food industry have tried to convince vets and other people. Even  the first states of pre-evolution takes millions of years! dry foods have only been around for about 100 years - even if that.

I am a real advocate of feeding good quality raw foods. Most dogs who are fed a good quality raw food drink far less, wee far less, fart - hardly ever - and have really good firm pooh which empties the anal glands naturally as it passes through - so no - mine never have to see a vet to have their anal glands expressed, and my oldest who is 11 has really lovely teeth from eating raw bones, that at this stage, shows no signs of needing dental assistance.  They are far less likely to when they are fed raw, but obviously things can go wrong with teeth  - but they certainly don't need descaling - and probably never will. Two of my reds do have slightly weak pancreases - therefore additional digestive enzymes are required which keeps them going well. One of my reds developed myeopathy and laryngeal paralysis which almost killed her - but once the enzymes were introduced her conditions reversed by around 80% and she is still here - enjoying life. Chases her ball, jumps railings and whats more - a recent health check had our vet astounded.  She said to me in the middle of the waiting room, out loud when she spotted me "I have to say that for an 11 year old AND an 11 year old Setter at that - Tallulah's blood results are truly remarkable to be amazing.  Everything is slap bang mid range, and anything which is not is so slightly off that it's not work mentioning". If any dry food zealot wants to challenge this - I have a copy of these results which I would be more than happy to publish - so don't even go there!

If anyone wants help in going raw with their dog, feel free to pm me and I will point you in the right direction. If you cannot bear the thought of raw feeding (which some people can't because they think it will sit around in a dish all day - like dry food - it doesn't. It goes in minutes!!!) then look into feeding something along the lines of Forthglade - which is a really good quality moist food - which contains absolutely nothing it shouldn't and they also do grain free packs now which is brilliant.  If you go down this route - please don't add dry thinking this will clean your dogs teeth and provide an adequate "crunch". It doesn't. Far from it, hence why SO many dogs get hauled into the vets by the time they are 8 to have their teeth descaled. Also the stomach handles the digestion of dry at a totally different rate to the moist - as mentioned above.

I hope this helps. As I say - I am very reluctant to come on here now having been chewed to pieces in the past by people who want to defend their own way of thinking for whatever reason. If you lot don't want to consider this because it affects your beliefs then that's up to you.  It's your money and your dogs.

Planet Paws Pet Essentials with Sonia Maria and Soninha Maciel
Sponsored · Edited ·


The biggest attack on feeding your pets raw food has always been the debate surrounding bacteria. “Only feed cooked meats/kibble”, is what some veterinarians are telling their clients. But are these same clients also warned about HCAs in cooked meats?

Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are chemicals formed when meat, including beef, pork, fish, or poultry, is cooked using high-temperature methods, such as pan frying, grilling directly over an open flame, baking in the oven, or even during the extrusion process of kibble.

Studies have shown that exposure to HCAs can cause cancer in animals.

Temperature is the most important factor. Problems begin at 212 F (100 C), with the real nasty HCAs forming at about 572 degrees F (300 C).

Essentially, the hotter and longer a meat is cooked, the more HCAs. Direct heat methods like frying and grilling produce more than indirect-heat methods like stewing, steaming or poaching. Kibble itself has most often gone through a double cooking session (meat meals are pre-cooked and then cooked again during the making of the kibble).

“A study published in the journal ‘Mutation Research’ showed that out of 25 commercial pet foods analyzed for mutagenic activity (the ability to induce mutations in cells), all but one had a positive response. Fourteen of the 25 foods were analyzed for heterocyclic amine mutagens or carcinogens, and all but one contained a carcinogen.

Dogs eat these types of foods consistently, whereas most humans have very diverse diets. So a pet’s level of intake and exposure may be much higher than a human’s and the risk much greater as a result.” – Dr. Karen Becker

So if we don’t cook the meats when feeding our pets, what about the problems with bacteria?

According to Dr. Richard S Patton, who has been an animal nutritionist for over three decades: “The gut actually needs a regular flow of bacteria of different kinds. I think the worse thing you can do is feed canned this or that because it’s legally and literally sterile and I think this sets up problems. Now I’m not an advocate that we should all go live like vultures. But I do think that we can be obsessive about our need for sterility and that is actually setting up problems.”

Moral of the story: raw foods don’t have HCAs and although bacteria may worry some, every pet parent should always be presented both sides of the story.

Pet Nutrition Blogger - Rodney Habib

i had a similar situation with one of my dogs. Switched to Wellness Core Grain Free and have had no problems for months. Expensive but worth it.

Jamie who is now 15months old had continual stomach problems, lots of gurgling noises, very windy, poo sometimes good sometimes bad. It progressively got worse until we had a really bad night, I was really quite scared for his health. I changed my vet on recommendation and he immediately put Jamie on raw food, and gave me probiotics to cleanse his stomach. The change has been amazing, no wind, no gurgling noises. He was on Royal Canin. The vet informed me that NO dog who has been fed on raw food has ever had bloat. I would suggest raw food, but you have to go the whole hog, no treats as biscuits, all raw food. I bake kidney and liver and then chop up for treats. Good luck. x




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