What should I feed my dog with IBS?


Question

My Cocker Spaniel, Prince, 13 years old has IBS. He will no longer eat the Hills Prescription Diet WD formula even when adding white rice and boiled chicken to it. What other dog food do you recommend? Thank you.
MaryKay

Answer

Hi MaryKay,

IBS is typically something our dogs can recover from, depending on the cause. If it’s due to a food sensitivity, simply changing diets can help (although some dogs are sensitive to so many ingredients that regular changes are needed). Many dogs experience IBS due to stress and see it fade as stress reduces. IBD, on the other hand, is a medical condition that requires veterinary care and, while aided by diet, typically requires medication. If your dog had IBS and has since recovered, a special diet may not be needed. Moving forward can be a bit of a guessing game. In general, dogs who have had IBS can be more prone to future attacks so sticking with a high fiber, highly digestible food is typically best. Raw (frozen/thawed or dehydrated/rehydrated) is quite possibly the most digestible form commercial dog food comes in. Tucker’s brand raw adds pumpkin to all of their formulas and The Honest Kitchen has excellent fiber in their foods as well. Raw Bistro, Primal, Nature’s Variety, Stella & Chewy’s, Sojo’s and Northwest Naturals would all be good options for a raw diet. Second to raw would be a baked kibble as the lower cooking temperature typically means a softer, more digestible food. Lotus and Wellness Tru Food would be the brands to look at for baked. Now Fresh is also highly digestible due to low cooking temps and amazing ingredients.

If you elect to try switching to any of the above (or any other) option, the one thing that seems to hold true across IBS/IBD patients is that adding a good probiotic and digestive enzyme can help. Probiotics are most successful with a good fiber source, so combining these two things can sometimes be all the help a pup needs to get their GI tract all sorted out. Stop by your local Chuck & Don’s and we’ll be happy to go through our probiotic options and discuss high fiber, easily digestible foods with you.