If a dog has inflammatory bowel disease or IBD, then it causes the inflammatory cells to invade its GI mucosa. Many breeds are at an increased risk for IBD including German Shepherds, Basenjis, Soft coated Wheaten Terriers and Chinese Shar Peis. Common symptoms of the disease include lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stools and weight loss. These symptoms may occur on and off for a few months and in extreme cases, may even lead to dehydration due to loss of fluids. In this guide, we will discuss some IBD dog food recipes, best homemade diet for dog with IBD as well as best dog food brands for dogs with colon issues.
My dog with IBD won’t eat
This is a common complaint from pet parents having a dog with this chronic or acute condition. According to several dog IBD forums, it is important to work closely with a vet before making dietary changes in your beloved pet’s diet. Your vet might even administer steroids but these should not be a long term solution. After all; drugs like Prednisone have several side effects.
Homemade ibd dog food recipes work best for most dogs. It is important to feed your pet twice a day to maintain his weight and prevent nutritional deficiencies. These days, many prescription dog foods are also available and they take care of all of your pet’s needs.
Elimination trial – know what your dog is allergic to
Before we move on to discussing the best homemade diet for dog with IBD, it is essential that you perform a few trial and error runs with his food. It is very important that you closely work with your vet, especially one who specializes in canine IBD. In such trials, your dog may be fed a different protein for 3-4 weeks and your vet will ask you to keep a track of his stools and symptoms. After this period, your pet will be fed another protein and so on until you know exactly which food is causing symptoms.
Best dog food for dogs with IBD
Apart from homemade IBD dog food recipes, you can feed your pet the following brands of commercial foods:
Honest Kitchen™ believes that pets deserve the very best so they include only the best ingredients in their meals. The company is against mass produced dog foods and they want to ensure that dogs and cats received human-grade foods containing the healthiest ingredients. That is why you will find organic, grass fed and preservative-free ingredients like chicken, salmon, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and parsley in their food. The best dog food for dogs with Inflammatory bowel disease from Honest Kitchen is called LOVE. It is a beef recipe that contains ranch raised beef, along with sweet potatoes, flaxseeds, organic coconut etc. Talk to your vet if this is the right food for your dog with IBD. Start slowly at first; you do not want your pet to gain weight too rapidly.
Nutrisca is another top dog food brand recommended by many pet parents having dogs with canine IBD. It contains high quality natural chicken, lamb or salmon along with real peas, chickpeas, and fruits and vegetables for antioxidants.
Wysong offers dry and wet dog food especially made to mimic an archetypal canine diet. They have a range of different diets like original, optimal and starch free. Wysong is particularly known for their true, non-thermal raw food diet which is particularly beneficial to dogs with food sensitivities.
PS for Dogs
PS stands for Pet Sensitive. They make only 2-3 food products for dogs with skin issues and food allergies. Their Lamb recipe contains grass fed, free range lamb exported from New Zealand. The food is free from potato and grains and is gently air dried. PS dog food for dogs with Inflammatory bowel disease contains only one source of protein and mimics the diet of animals in the wild.
Zeal Pet food
This is another great brand of dog food for canine sensitivities; they are known for their lactose free milk for pets and canine and feline fish oil supplements. This food is free from additives, grains and starch. Zeal is also well known for their 100% New Zealand exported products such as natural soft dry dog food, grain free canned food, and healthy treats made using free range or wild caught animals.
For more information about best dog food for dogs with IBD, you can join dog IBD forums to interact with other pet parents.
What should a homemade diet for dogs with IBD contain?
If you decide to cook your pet’s meals yourself, you must work with your vet to decide upon the right food ingredients. This way, you can ensure that s/he gets all the nutrition needed for optimal health. Most dogs with IBD do well with grain free and starch free diet. You can feed millets and chicken for a few days or rice with meat to see if there are symptoms.
Energy dense meals
Diets for IBD dogs should be energy dense; this way, you can feed smaller meals to minimize GI secretions. If your pet vomits frequently, you need to give him potassium rich food. Fluids can also get lost and cause dehydration. In extreme cases, consider IV therapy to replenish lost fluids. Make sure your pet drinks fresh water from time to time.
Avoid too much fat
Avoid high fat diets as they contribute to osmotic diarrhea and further fluid loss. Moderate fat diets are best for dogs with IBD.
Constant diarrhea can lead to loss of protein. So include protein in the diet for your IBD pet. It is best to go for hydrolyzed proteins (protein that is broken up so small that your dog’s system cannot recognize what it is and as a result does not react unfavorably to it).
Every dog with IBD is different. Some dogs can tolerate high fiber and moderate fat diets but some can only tolerate low fiber diets. So consult a vet and develop a diet plan that works best for your dog.
Vitamins and minerals
Humans with IBD often suffer from zinc deficiency and same is the case with dogs. So supplement your pet with this important mineral. Additionally, if your pet has constant vomiting or diarrhea, then all water soluble vitamins could be lost. In such cases, administer a multivitamin supplement to your pet based on your doctor’s suggestion.
Coconut oil and probiotics
Delilah an American Staffordshire Terrier was diagnosed with IBD. She was placed on an anti-inflammatory diet without wheat and grains. Delilah also received lightly cooked a commercially prepared boneless raw food diet. After significant improvement, she was placed on raw food diet plan which significantly improved her symptoms of vomiting, etc. She was weaned off antibiotics and steroids. Her guardians gave her probiotic supplement to increase the good flora in her intestines as well as coconut oil to fight inflammation. She never had an episode of diarrhea or vomiting again!
Sample IBD dog food recipe
Here is a sample IBD dog food recipe you could try:
- Canned pumpkin
- Sweet potatoes (bake them with skin and then remove the skin)
- Baked or broiled fish (do not use fish with mercury such as tuna or swordfish)
- Steamed vegetables (spinach, zucchini, carrots, kale, etc)
- Scrambled egg (if your dog tolerates it)
- Lightly cooked chicken/lamb without bones
Mash all the ingredients and add it over kibble that your pet tolerates well. If your dog can tolerate rice, you can add the above stew over rice. Be sure to feed a probiotic supplement, a multivitamin and high quality Omega 3 supplement to reduce inflammation.
Canine IBD dog life expectancy
Inflammatory bowel disease is not life threatening as long as it is diagnosed and treated early. You also cannot cure your dog’s inflammatory bowel disease but you can take steps to manage its symptoms. Use the above best dog food brands and homemade diet tips to keep your pet healthy and happy.