Dog with history of bloat and stomach issues being switched to raw?


My friend is adopting a dog that one of our classmates is having to re-home. He is a 4 year old australian shepherd german shepherd mix. He has extremely dry skin, he has a history of bloat, and he has a sensitive stomach. The old owner has him on a specific kibble that supposedly helps settle his stomach, but my friend forgot to ask what kibble (and she is not picking him up until Friday).

I, of course, want to switch him to raw, and she of course agrees with me (after listening to all my dog food rants, LOL). However, I’m just concerned about the bloat and a possibility of gastric torsion, as I’ve never experienced a dog with bloat problems being switched to raw. Would splitting one meal a day into two meals a day be a smarter idea? Or any other suggestions/advice from my fellow raw feeders?

Thanks guys!
Thanks Debbie, I’ve fed raw for years to my own dogs. The only problem I have with this new dog is that a larger amount of food can cause bloat and torsion, especially in a dog already known for bloat. For example, a dog eating a lot of kibble, and then the kibble expands even more in the stomach. This dog is roughly 50 lbs and overweight, so would probably only get half a pound a day or so for now. I’m just concerned about the amount of food over anything else. I PREFER one meal a day, I just don’t know if that would be the best thing for this dog or not.

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    7 Responses to “Dog with history of bloat and stomach issues being switched to raw?”

    1. Bindi says:

      Personally, I might start this dog on 2 meals a day, but work into one.

      Dogs are meant for a gorge fast style of feeding, not tiny meals a couple times a day.

      I can’t prove this, there’s no study I know of, but I think part of the problem with dogs bloating on kibble is that they don’t chew. They don’t have to, their food is already bite size. Dogs weren’t designed to chew, they were designed to break down their food into swallow able chunks. So give them kibble why bother, it may seem like they are chewing, but I think that’s out of boredom or because it happened to get stuck in the wrong place.

      If you’re grabbing chunks of food and not chewing, you’re gulping alot of air. Its just the nature of the beast.

      Add to this the crap ingredients in most foods, and viola BLOAT!

      Yeah a raw fed dog can bloat too, we really don’t know the reasons for bloat, but it seems to be of much lesser problem in raw fed dogs.

      And I agree, if the dog already has bloated, why wasn’t his stomach tacked? Unless his bloat didn’t result in stomach flip and they were able fix it with just letting the gas out. Maybe the previous owner decided putting him out for stomach tacking was to expensive?

    2. Lioness says:

      I guess to be on the safe side you might want to feed twice a day, but I really don’t think you’re going to have too much trouble even if you feed once.

      Like Curtis, I cannot for the life of my understand why this dog’s stomach was not tacked, and like Schmeemers, I feed frozen blocks to slow my dogs down when they eat.

      Physiologically, if you’re feeding raw, your already light years ahead of feeding kibble if you’re trying to avoid bloat.

    3. Schmeemers says:

      Raw won’t likely cause bloat. Gastric torsion is caused by eating too quickly, and by gases formed by digesting kibble. They can’t eat the food too quickly because (ideally) it’s still on the bone- I actually prefer to keep it frozen to encourage slow eating.

      Added: gluttonous bloat can be an issues if doing large feedings, but that’s pretty easy to guard against with portion control.

    4. Curtis M says:

      If he’s had bloat before why wasn’t his stomach tacked in place!?!?! I’ve heard that raw fed dogs can bloat but I have never heard it from a direct source so…yeah. Also keep in mind the dog will ingest less air which is great and won’t be eating dehydrated dry spongey dog food that expands as it gets wet.

      I feed 2 meals a day with 0 problems ever.

    5. miaugh says:

      Even raw fed dogs can bloat, although I imagine the incidence is much less. Two meals (or even 3) a day would definitely be better than one meal.

      see the section titled "prevention"

    6. Debbie says:

      YAY! Go raw, lol. The dog will probably have less trouble than ever now that the "death nuggets" are gone. There is a wonderful group on Yahoo groups: Check their archives. I’ve seen several people ask about dogs with bloat, and from what I can remember, (I’ve never had a problem with it, so I don’t pay real close attention) a dog on a raw diet is less likely to bloat than one on a commercial dog diet. There is also a lot of good information on how to start an adult dog on raw. Tell your friend "welcome to the club", lol.

    7. Joh: think outside the bag says:

      I’ve read a study that links bloat etc to the high grain contents in dry food – raw was actually the recommended option. Once I find it I’ll link it for you.

      The raw will help with the coat too.

      Dr Andrew Jones, DVM
      ‘Primarily feed an Animal Protein Food – MINIMAL CARBS.
      I have yet to see a Dog Bloat on a Raw Diet.
      Reduce carbohydrates as much as possible.
      Feed a high-quality diet
      Whole, unprocessed foods are especially beneficial"

      Prevention lies in maintaining a healthy digestive system. Bloat and torsion is practically unheard of in dogs that consume a high protein, raw meat based diet, that includes minimal amounts of grain and carbohydrate. (less than 25% carbohydrate) If you own a dog that has previously bloated I would recommend completely eliminating grains and carbohydrates from its diet.

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