-- Food and Nutrition
You will have to make decisions about
your dog’s food. We always recommend that you do some research into this
The poor quality of many commercial
dog foods is surprising. Many dog foods can not be digested properly, do
not provide nutritional value and are missing essential elements. The
result of a poor diet is often evidenced by skin and coat problems,
allergic-like reactions or a compromised autoimmune system.
We suggest you feed your dog food that is of a high quality
containing USDA approved human grade ingredients. BUT be sure you are giving
your dog at least a premium quality pet store food, if
not better. We generally recommend a lamb and rice based kibble.
This will make your dog healthier overall and will
make a huge difference in preventing the skin problems often experienced by
- Read the Ingredients Label
- Please read the list of ingredients
to ensure the food does NOT contain wheat, soy or corn.
- Additionally, AVOID foods or
treats that list any of these ingredients on the label:
(chicken by-products, beef by-products, etc.)
or proteins named generically, i.e., animal fat, poultry
fat, meat meal; instead look fats or proteins named
specifically, i.e., beef fat, chicken fat or
fragments, i.e., brewer's rice, corn gluten
sweeteners, i.e., corn syrup, sucrose, and ammoniated glycyrrhizin
(added to attract dogs to unappealing food)
preservatives (BHT, BHA and Ethoxyquin)
Look for a commercial dog food
to contain as few grains as possible. A whole-meat source should be
one of the first two ingredients, preferably two of the top three.
- Feeding Your New Westie
rescue dogs may be reluctant to eat during the first day or two in their new
adoptive homes. This will resolve when the dog becomes comfortable with
his new surroundings and new family. To ease your dog's adjustment, it is often
helpful to add warm water or warm broth (chicken or beef) to the dry kibble or
mix a spoonful of canned food or chicken baby food with the kibble.
leave your dog's food out longer than 30 minutes. If your dog has walked
away from the bowl, he/she has probably had enough to eat. Discard the
remaining food, since exposed food is unsanitary.
Please remember that sudden
changes in your dog's diet can cause stomach upset and loose stools. New
foods should be introduced gradually over a period of 7-10 days. Make
sure you have enough of the old food to last during this
DAY... Feed 3/4 of the old food and 1/4 of the new food at each meal.
DAY THEREAFTER...Gradually increase the amount of new food and decrease the
old food at a rate of 10% per day.
dogs adjust quickly. Others may take longer. Be patient.
sure the treats and snacks you give your Westie are healthy,
too. Fruits and vegetables are healthy choices. Whole
raw carrots are great treats for your Westie -- crunchy, tasty and healthy.
- Food Safety
give a Westie turkey, chicken or rib bones as treats. They can splinter
and cause serious injury.
- And chocolate is not a treat for dogs.
Chocolate contains theobromine, a powerful stimulant that is toxic to
pets. Onions can be toxic to dog causing anemia. Also, sweets, cakes and cookies can upset a dog's gastrointestinal
tract and lead to diarrhea and vomiting.
- Home Cooked Food
you decide to home cook your dog's food, please ask your veterinarian to consult with
the Nutrition staff at UC Davis Small Animal Clinic:
- (Telephone: 530-752-1393).
Nutritionists will provide consultations and will
calculate, via their computer program, the optimal balanced diet for
- This is just one of the wonderful services offered by an extraordinary Bay
Area resource dedicated to providing the highest quality of veterinary care possible for
Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and Small Animal Clinic