Cooking for Dogs With Sensitivitiesby Deborah Lundin
Cooking at home can make dealing with food sensitivity easier on both you and your dog.
If you notice your dog is suffering with an upset tummy after eating, she may suffer from food sensitivities. Unlike food allergies that trigger immune system responses and cause symptoms such as itchy skin and ear infections, food sensitivities are a digestive issue where she is unable to digest certain foods. Symptoms include stomach upset, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea and gas. Depending on what she is sensitive to, cooking her food may be your best option.
Begin cooking one of the protein options that she is not sensitive to. The meat can be boiled, roasted, baked or any other method you choose. Do not add seasoning, as this is not something she needs and these can contribute to sensitivities. Cut the meat into small pieces to aid in digestion.
Cook non-meat proteins such as eggs or serve low-fat cottage cheese if she is sensitive to regular meats. These also can be made to add variety if they are tolerated.
Include a carbohydrate source such as cooked brown rice and yams or sweet potatoes. Make sure the sweet potatoes are cooked and cut into small pieces or mashed to aid in digestion.
Offer her a variety of fresh vegetables such as green beans, broccoli or carrots. Cook the vegetables until they are soft as this helps with digestion.
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- Various meats – chicken, boneless fish, turkey, lean beef, lamb or duck
- Low-fat cottage cheese
- Brown rice
- Sweet potatoes
- Various vegetables – green beans, squash, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots
- If you have not determined which foods she has sensitivities to, work together with your vet to create an elimination diet. These diets usually require feeding one protein and carbohydrate source for a period of a few weeks before gradually adding other ingredients. If an added ingredient creates symptoms, this is likely the culprit.
- Talk with your vet about portion sizes for each of the diet elements. Make sure you work together with your vet to monitor her weight. It may take some time and you may need to adjust your serving sizes for the new diet.
- If a change in diet is not making a difference, talk with your veterinarian to rule out any possible medical conditions.