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Colitis is the inflammation of the colon and can occur in all breeds of dog at any age. In many cases it can be present from puppy hood. When motions are passed they can be very loose, liquid like and contain jelly-like material. In some cases blood may even be passed. Motions are passed frequently and often the dog strains unproductively, which can initially be confused with constipation but needs to be closely monitored. There are a number of causes of colitis such as stress and dietary intolerance and where a dietary intolerance is identified it is necessary to feed an appropriate diet. 

Wafcol Sensitive diets may offer a suitable solution with their single source of animal or fish protein that your dog is unlikely to be sensitive to. This range includes Wafcol Salmon & Potato. 

If however your dog passes large quantities of very dark coloured blood, please arrange to see your Vet as soon as possible.

 

Gluten is a protein found in many cereals including wheat, barley and rye and it is the protein fraction called gliadin that is often identified as an irritant to many dogs. Gluten can be a factor in problems like colitis, skin irritation and gut disorders. 

Corn, although a cereal does not contain this particular gluten and Wafcol Chicken & Corn and Wafcol Ocean Fish & Corn can be fed where a gluten free diet is required.

If a totally cereal free diet is desired Wafcol Salmon & Potato is an ideal product.

You don’t have to worry about changing your feeding programme until approximately the sixth week of pregnancy; prior to that the embryo has minimal nutritional demands on the mother. 

After the sixth week it might be better for the bitch to have small and frequent meals in comparison to larger spaced out meals. The diet given at this time should be energy rich and be able to provide a good level of protein, Wafcol Salmon & Potato Small & Medium Puppy or Wafcol Salmon & Potato Large & Giant Puppy are ideal with protein levels of 29% and 26% respectively and an oil level of 8%. These diets ensure that the consistent growth of the puppies is at no detriment to the mother.

The majority of foetal growth takes place during the last three weeks of pregnancy and it is essential to increase the total food allowance by at least 10% each week from the sixth week of pregnancy onwards. Therefore the bitches’ intake at whelping can be 3 to 4 times more than when she was mated. She should be fed a nutritious energy dense food that is easily digested or absorbed. Wafcol Salmon & Potato Puppy diets are ideal and provide plenty of nutrients for the dog to cope with the increased demand put on her.It must be remembered however that in many cases the pregnant mother will go off her food one or two days before the birth. This is normal and should not be cause any concern.

Dobermans like a food that will not irritate their stomachs or aggravate the lining of their small/ large intestine. This can be achieved by feeding a sensitive diet which reduces the number of possible irritants in the food that may help reduce bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea. 

Any diet within the Wafcol Sensitive range would be suitable. 

Skin irritations can be very common in dogs with many cases at the vets being dermatological. Breeds such as West Highland White Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, German Shepherds and Boxers can be susceptible to skin problems. Skin problems arise from an inflammation or dermatitis which causes irritation to the dog, making them scratch with either their claws or teeth. This can result in hair loss, more inflammation and more itching. If the itching breaks the skin, bacteria can invade the site and cause an infection.Skin diseases can be very difficult to diagnose and treat with the symptoms of many quite different skin problems having similar properties. Accurately pinpointing the root of the problem can be an expensive and time-consuming process with causes ranging from fleas and mites, wool, drug hypersensitivity, bacterial skin disease to a food allergy. You must initially try and identify what is causing the dog’s inflammation. Assuming that a trip to the vet has ruled out a bacterial skin disease you need to ask questions such as have you used a new dog shampoo? Or changed the dog’s bedding? Or have you noticed any fleas or ticks on your dog? If the answer to all the questions is no then the next step is to investigate your dog’s diet. Does the diet contain any types of gluten? Gluten found in a number of cereal products, may be an irritant to the dog’s skin causing it to become inflamed and trigger the scratching/ itching cycle that results in the reddening of the dog’s skin. An exclusion diet would be recommended at the stage, preferably one that is made without gluten. Wafcol Sensitive Range offers a number of diets that can be used to eliminate gluten, along with other potential irritants from your dog’s diet.

The term diarrhoea includes the excessive passage of motions, and motions that are unusually soft or liquid. Non- specific acute diarrhoea is a common problem with pet dogs. It can be caused by consuming food contaminated with bacteria or bacterial toxins, and is very common with dogs that scavenge. This type of diarrhoea generally lasts a few days before clearing up spontaneously. If toxins or bacteria irritate the gut, food will pass thorough at an increased rate and not allow time for the reabsorption of water. Usually it takes between five and ten hours for food to pass completely through the digestive tract. Where there is increased motility due to bacteria, it can take as little as twenty to thirty minutes. The motions may look yellow/ orange in colour; this is due to the bile pigments not being converted to stercobilin, which would give the characteristic brown colour of faecal matter. If your Bearded Collie is fit and well and not showing signs of vomiting or depression, except for the diarrhoea, simply withhold food overnight. In the morning reintroduce a sensitive diet such as Wafcol Salmon & Potato therefore eliminating common allergens. Continue to keep an eye on your dog’s motions until you are happy with the consistency. However if the diarrhoea continues over a number of days or your dog is vomiting and showing signs of being unwell you should seek advice from your Vet.

Diabetes mellitus is the most common form of diabetes affecting dogs and it is generally seen in dogs of 8 years or over, although younger dogs can be affected. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce or utilise adequate amounts of insulin. Insulin allows the cells of the body to remove glucose from the blood and to convert it to energy. The body tries to compensate for the lack of glucose- produced energy by storing fats and proteins. 

The symptoms of diabetes mellitus include weight loss and excessive hunger, thirst and urination. Treatment of the diabetic dog involves administering insulin by injection, with the daily dose being adjusted according to the level of insulin in the urine. Vets recommend a diet based on an easily digested protein, low in fat and relatively high in fibre. The diabetic dog needs a consistent supply of nutrients at every meal with a high fibre content to ensure a more even absorption into the bloodstream to help regulate blood-sugar levels. Most vets would also advise feeding three or four smaller meals per day as opposed to one or two large ones. Once a diagnosis has been confirmed and a routine of treatment has been established and stabilized, Wafcol Salmon & Potato Light is a diet which offers a lower fat level coupled with higher fibre content than our standard products

Obesity is a growing problem with the overweight dog being more prone to further health problems such as heart disease, diabetes mellitus, breathing difficulties, joint problems, reduced liver function and, almost certainly, a shorter life expectancy. Any breed of dog can suffer from obesity but Labradors seem to be more susceptible to weight gain. The reason for obesity in most cases is simple: more calories are taken into the body than are used during exercise and these excess calories are converted into fat and stored in the body. This is why it is very important to follow the feeding guides on the diet you are using.  The most effective and safest way to reduce weight is to follow a calorie controlled diet and increase the level of exercise. Wafcol Salmon & Potato Light is lower in fat and has reduced calorie content when compared to our standard products. The higher fibre level of this diet also aims to prevent hunger and consequent begging and scavenging. 

It is also important to get the whole family on board with your dog’s weight loss programme and ensure that nobody is tempted to give him ‘tit-bits’ as although this may seem cruel it will ultimately benefit your dog. 

 

Loose and soft motions can be caused by a number of things and can be most uncomfortable for both your dog and yourself. If you are sure that the bout of loose stools has not been caused by scavenging and eating rubbish, or an underlying illness that would require a visit to your Vet, we would recommend feeding a sensitive diet that eliminates common allergens such as wheat, dairy and beef products. Wafcol Sensitive Range offers a number of products that eliminate various allergens and can be introduced to your dog and used as their daily feed. These diets also contain a pre-biotic which promotes optimal nutritional uptake and removal of harmful bacteria, reducing digestive upsets.

If your dog is very active they will require a diet that is well balanced and provides them with the necessary nutrients to maintain their bounding about. Wafcol Salmon & Potato Adult would be ideal for a dog that falls into this category, with the top recommended feeding guide being used to increase the calorific intake. If the weight loss continues we would advise a visit to your Vet to ensure there is no underlying problem.

 

Wafcol diets are palatable and enjoyed by most dogs and as they are dry diets their palatability can be enhanced by pouring hot water over the kibbles to give off an appealing aroma to entice your dog. It is not advisable to keep changing your dog’s diet as this leads your dog to become even fussier. You should allocate a set period of time for feeding and, without any fuss, remove their bowl along with any food that is left at the end of this period. Discard any left- over food and provide a fresh bowl at the next allocated meal time.

 

Kidney problems are very common in elderly dogs and they are characterised by the inability of the kidneys to perform their normal function. A senior diet should reduce the stress placed on the kidneys by dealing with too many waste products, and reducing the protein level can help with this factor.  Wafcol Salmon & Potato Senior has a protein level of 17% and is a sensitive diet therefore reducing common allergens as well and may help reduce the stress placed on an elderly dog’s system.

Unlike humans, dogs do not require a constant change in their diet, and too many changes can in fact increase the risk of digestive upsets. Also by changing your dog’s diet you may be encouraging them to become a fussy eater. Assuming you dog is showing signs of good health, such as healthy skin and coat condition and good energy levels, there is no reason to change their diet.

Changing diets may result in stomach upsets in some dogs even if it is a better quality food. 

For all changes in diet Wafcol recommend introducing the new diet in a small quantity to the current diet then gradually reduce the old diet, replacing it with the new diet over a period of seven to ten days.

Some dogs may respond and show improvements in a short time but when feeding a sensitive/ hypoallergenic diet we recommend trying the diet for at least 6-8 weeks before making a judgement.

In pet food labelling, Ash is the legal term used to represent the mineral content of the product. It includes important minerals such as calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, zinc and copper, all of which are needed to provide a complete balanced diet.

Here at Wafcol we believe in taking all necessary precautions to ensure the products we are producing are of the utmost quality as well as nutritious and safe. Whilst it is not illegal to use Genetically Modified ingredients, as long as they are labelled accordingly, we do not use them in Wafcol products and work with our suppliers to ensure the ingredients we buy do not contain any GM ingredients.

The weaning of puppies should begin around 3 to 4 weeks by softening the puppy food with warm water enabling the puppy to start lapping the food out of the dish. At 5 to 6 weeks gradually reduce the quantity of water used in the diet and feed four meals a day. Once the puppy reaches 6 months the number of feeds can be reduced to three meals per day. Initially we would recommend feeding puppies to satisfaction although the quantity given should not exceed what can be eaten in 15 minutes, as it is important not to overfeed. 

Eczema and dermatitis can both be used to describe the same group of conditions where the skin is irritated or inflamed. There are many causes of eczema in dogs such as environmental irritants, stress, infections and nutritional or dietary factors such as a food allergy. One of the most common forms of eczema is atopic dermatitis with symptoms including red and inflamed skin, dry and cracked skin, itchy skin and small blisters that may become moist and weepy. 

A dog suffering from this condition may often get into the cycle of "bite, itch, scratch and lick" which in some cases may result in further infections. If the cause is found to be a dietary factor, then the Wafcol Sensitive Range offers a number of diets that are manufactured without various known allergens that may help break the endless cycle of itching, scratching, biting and licking.