Basenji and food problem suggestions

I'm sorry to post this twice, I also posted this under Health Issues:

I adopted a male 4 year old Basenji named Benji 3 weeks ago.

The previous owner had him on Kibbles and Bit's (poor little fella) so I switched him to Purina Adult Pro Plan Chicken & Rice (blended the two until finished). He is vomitting bile 1 - 2 per week, and is now having occassional soft stool.

I use to let him have free run of the house while at work during the day, but now after 2 major messy accidents I can not leave him with free run of the house.

Does anyone have any similar experience or suggestions? Obviously I don't want him on Kibble 'n Bits, but perhaps the Pro Plan is not working out for him either.

I live in Canada, so might not have all the same food suggested by some people here so please keep that in mind.

Thanks for any insight… we want Benji to be happy and not have to be locked up all day.

The bile is an indicator of an empty stomach. I would go with a better quality food than Purina. Get a food that has no meat by products, corn, wheat or soy. There's a number of high quality foods out there. Does he get any wet food? Try a little yogurt. Mixing a table spoon of canned pumpkin with wet food will firm up the stool. How's his coat? Does he have any doggy odors? How about the condition of his teeth? Dirty or clean?

Sometimes mixing yogurt or powdered probiotics can help to get their systems settled when there are changes that upset their digestive tract. It may not be just the food change it could just be from stress of having several changes happening close together.

do you feed once or twice a day?

Let me answer some questions from various posts:

I should also have mentioned that he will sometimes try and eat grass. I know dogs can do this if their stomach is upset.

The previous owner left his food out all day. I wasn't a fan of this and preferred to put food out in morning, and after work to get him into routine of eating and going to the bathroom. But he does not eat on that schedule and likes to eat whenever he wants to eat. This is usually dinner time and late at night, but never usually in the morning.

He doesn't smell at all, his coat is beautiful, and teeth are very clean. I did pick some plaque off his canines near his gum line because it was forming near the gum line and this is bad and can lead to gum disease (my 14 year old mini daschund was testament to that)

The bile is once per week, the soft stool is not always mud-pie like, usually his stool is good enough to pick up (as I have been for 3 weeks now). I thought he was house trained well, so I don't know if these accidents are a result of something else? The first 2 weeks he did not have a single accident and I let him run around the whole house (but blocked off 2nd floor stairs to limit activity).

Purina (IMO) isn't the best food out there either. AJ won't even eat it. You may have to upgrade to something else. A lot of the folks here feed Evo. I use Pinnacle, but I have to order it online now and have it shipped to me. Some have their dogs on raw diets and it works well for them. From the photos I've seen here, the folks who use the above diets have gorgeous and healthy dogs.

It is a difficult changing from being "free" fed (which I am totally NOT a fan of).. to scheduled eating… and that may be causing all of the problems. In my opinion, first go to a good quality food (there are lots of discussion on the forum about diet and I am not a fan of Pro Plan, but is better than Kibbles & Bits). Then try and feed him 3 times a day if you can, however regardless if 2 or 3 times, put the food down, give him 20 minutes to eat it.. and then pick it up till the next time. They do learn to eat as they will not starve themselves. In the in between times, get one of the toys that you can put food in and put some of his kibble in there.. that way he has to work to get it out, but still can eat off and on during the day....

I would say that the vomitting of bile is from empty tummy, the toys with food in them should help that, especially while you are teaching him to eat when fed instead of free feeding.

I don't want to get into a debate what is "good food" or not. People have different opinions, and we (as do dogs) have a different taste of food. So what if someone does not think "X brand" is good or not. Hell, we eat tons of **** that we would never feed to dogs….and I think even the worst dog food is not half as bad as what we cram down our mouths.

My suggestion on the topic at hand:

Wouldn't it be a better idea to go back to Kibble 'n Bits, wait until he is "back to normal" and then gradually transcend (by mixing little by little) over to the food you would like to use?

It sounds like a "shock" reaction to having his diet change so abruptly, especially since he has been on it for some time.

That's what I would do anyways.

I wouldn't go back now-his body is in the process now of changing. But, I would put him on a better food than Purina. Purina is the very low end of good food-you want a midrange to start with. Iams is not good either. I would feed him twice per day-usually 12 hours apart or close to, and change his food over 4 weeks. 1st week 25% new food,75%old-second week 50/50-third 75% new, 25% old-fourth new food. I use nutro chicken, oatmeal and rice for sensitive stomachs and all of mine seem to tolerate this well. Sorry to say this, but you may have to put up with a few more weeks of mud pie poop.

As for the actual feeding-if he's hungry, he will eat. IMO To put him on a schedule is important to me, if mine don't eat within 15-20 min, it gets picked up until the next meal. I will give a few carrots or treats inbetween, but they get the idea very quickly that if they don't eat when the food is down, they have to wait until the next feeding time. Again, this is all MO only.

After I read the other post, I will add, rice is a good idea as well as pumpkin for his stomach, just not too much too fast otherwise you will have the opposite problem of constipation.

First Basenji's

Wellness brand has worked for us. I fostered two B from Brat, and they were in horrible condition…underweight, skin problems. Very nervous. I knew I was getting them so I got Wellness puppy. My vet likes this brand and my Belle ,who I got at 8weeks ,and is now 2, has been raised on this brand, with no problems. I added pumkin to the smaller b's when I noticed there stools were muddy too, and eating grass. This has helped. I also noticed the boys ate way to fast....hardly breathed...so I invested in the "donut" dish, what a improvement. They slowed down alot. I don't free feed the boys, I did with Belle. The boys were so under weight I had to feed in the morning and evenning and a few treats in between. Vitame E helps too. My vets been very good to us and explaining the digestive systems of animals.

Good luck and patience is the key.

Thing is, sometimes his stool is just fine, othertimes soft and mud-pie splatter everywhere. It's happened twice in the house when I wasn't home (thank god for bissel) so I don't know if it was explosive, or him just going to the washroom and not being able to hold it.

On regular walks and letting him out back in the yard, his stool has been a little soft but still properly shaped.

Can anyone say the exact right time it takes for a dog to adjust to food before you can make a good decision that it is good or bad?

I don't think there is any "exact" right time… they are all different especially when the entire situation changes. But rule of thumb I use is at least 3 to 4 wks

Even with his free feeding routine, I found he only ate a little in morning (or none), at dinner time, and before bed. I can try putting out in morning and at night and removing after 20 minutes, but usually in morning he's freaking out over why everyone is leaving, I'm not sure he will settle down enough to just focus on eating. He was free-feeding before I got him, so maybe best to keep that way until he's back to normal.

This week I put him back on KBN unfortunately, but already his stool is firm. I just want to rule out any possiblities with all the changes so that's why I felt I had to. I don't want to go to boiling food right now but if the problems continue I will. I think I did the food change too fast, I thought he was more robust and I definitely did not wait a month as I've only had him for 3 weeks.

What do people here think of Royal Canin - Chicken meal, brown rice, rice, oatmeal, chicken fat, wheat gluten, natural chicken flavor, dried beet pulp (sugar removed)….

Another one I found was "by Nature" - no wheat, no corn, no soy…...

I'm browsing though the dog food section on Petsmart.com

If you are looking for a good quality food with no grains, in Canada, you can buy Acana. Pacifica (fish based) is what I am using for my boxer. I can get it for about $63 in southern Ont. for a 17.5 K bag. (I think that's what it is). You probably won't find it at Petsmart. You can go to their website-championfpetfoods.com- and go to locations to find out where you can get it near you.

People seem to be helping with the feeding, but for brands.. we have a million threads on forum about food brands. Take a gander in the search box for more in depth discussion - but check out
www.dogfoodanalysis.com

they pretty much test everything, and honestly the 6 star dog foods don't cost much more than the 4 or 5 - so why not get the best for your pup ? esp when your dog could have allergic reactions to stuff in 5 and below. When Lycia is fed kibble she is on Orijen which is Canadian (no wheat no rice) and I'm sure being in Canada you can get it.

Royal Canin would not be a good choice, not just the lack of meat in the kibble but the ingredients after (brown rice, rice, oatmeal, wheat gluten) all not very good for dogs. and dogs really shouldn't be fed beet pulp.

Schouiffy: Thank you for sharing that site…very informative. I am amazed at some of the things dog foods are allowed to contain. I was shocked that they rated KnB a 1 star simply because there was nothing lower! I hadn't realized it was that bad, I just knew I didn't care for it. I have been curious how Pinnacle would rate against other foods. I'm happy it's a 5. I'll probably stick with it because AJ likes it and he does well on it.

I'm not knocking you, starcentral...please don't think I am. You are doing the best you can for Benji. It's all anyone can ask. You can't have him running around with loose bowels. I wish you well with him.

Orijen is the flip side of Acana. They are both made by champion pet foods based in Alberta. They are both really good foods, I just have tried both and Zina had fewer issues on the Acana Pacifica than the Orijen. Simply my preference to have her on fish based. But I also know Zina's father is allergic to chicken, so that's why opted for fish.

I can't comment on the feeds mentioned as I've no experience of them but I'm not sure from reading your posts whether you are changing food without gradually introducing the new ones over a period of at least a week.

I know that you've alread had so many experienced advice so hopefully you have understood the necessity of this gradual changeover.

www.dogfoodanalysis.com seems VERY outdated. I have bought 2 of the brands/types they have listed and the ingredients are completely different. Don't forget that brands are constantly changing/upgrading the contents.

Also don't forget that Europe may have more stringent regulations on what goes into pet foods than on this side of the pond.

Looks like your connection to Basenji Forums was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.