Dog Nutrition

Snoop answers all of your dogs health concerns

Handsome, intelligent, selectively deaf. Snoop the Beagle has been studying at Scratch HQ and is here to answer all of your wellness concerns.

My hair isn’t as shiny as some of the dogs down at the park. How can I get a glorious shiny coat?

Having a shimmering coat gives you the confidence you need to get your strut on. It is also an important sign that you are healthy – so it isn’t all vanity. Make sure you are getting enough good fats, as well as omega-3 and zinc for reduced inflammation and itchiness. You should also put up with a good brush at least once a week. And, don’t have too many baths. They can strip all the oil in your coat and leave your skin dry and flaky.

I can’t stop farting & my owners are fed up with it. How can I settle my stomach?

Sometimes it can be good to clear the room so you can nab the best spot on the couch. Fibre is really important to keep you regular and stop things going rotten on the inside. Sadly there is no fibre in meat. Grains have some, and so do the sticks that I love chewing on. The best source really is veggies that have not been refined into proteins and starches. Also, make sure mum or dad are not blaming you when it is really them! By the way, are you a Frenchie?

My poos are usually watery & loose. What does a healthy stool look like and how do I get it?

If you are concerned with your poop for more than 24-48hrs then you should check with your vet as it could be serious. You can take some photos with you to make their day! Usually, it is something you ate. The human food/rubbish/possum poop you ate might be it. If it happens all the time it might also be that your food is not agreeing with you. It might be poor quality or a single ingredient that doesn’t do it for you.

The old joints aren’t what they used to be. What can I do to make movement easier?

The most important thing is to be honest about your weight. 50% of us are overweight or obese and this puts excess stress on our joints. The next step is to reduce inflammation. Omega-3 and turmeric are the go to here. Also might be worth checking if you really do feel great eating lots of grain or it just makes you feel blah. Stay active and warm. Take lots of walks. Swims are great too as they are low impact. A nice memory foam mattress in a warm spot in winter (or with a human as a heater). Keen to check out the supplement aisle? Glucosamine and chondroitin might help. The only thing with proof is Green Lipped Muscles from NZ. Get the freeze dried type.

The folks feed me well, but I just pick at it over the day. Is there something wrong with me?

I do find this hard to relate to but have heard of others like you before. I would eat the entire box of Scratch in one go if only I could get it off the bench. There are two things that could be going on here. Some dogs (like me, every beagle and lab ever) want to eat everything. Instantly. It’s OK, not everyone is like that. The 2nd thing is maybe your food is just not doing it for you. You might not want to eat mostly grains and cereals, or you can taste that it was actually made many months ago. A hunger strike just might get you something better!

I’m a 3-year-old pug with anal gland issues that need to be expressed by the vet (not fun for either of us). Can diet help?

All that scooting on the carpet must not be fun or dignifying either. You should think about increasing the fibre in your diet. Having some good bulk and firmness to your poops helps here as it makes the glands naturally express. Give that a go and hopefully you can start looking your vet in the eye again.

What does ‘dinner’ and ‘luncheon’ mean on my dog food label?

Well spotted. Sometimes the print on these is very small. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the food is designed to be the best thing to eat for dinner. What it actually means is there is only a very small amount of meat in your food – as low as 5%. So “winner winner chicken dinner” is not something to celebrate. Look for something better. The meat you like should be the first thing on the ingredient list at a minimum.

Should I ask my food brand to explain vague ingredients I’m not sure about? Like what does poultry mean? Is that chicken? What part of the chicken? Mum wouldn’t eat generic poultry from the supermarket, so why should I?

This really means that your pet food company does not know exactly what is in your food… Poultry is generally going to be mostly chicken but might also have some turkey, duck, quail, etc. and the mix could change each time. The reason all these are all lumped together is that they are just seen as waste from processing that meat for humans. Likewise, if you see Chicken/Lamb/Pork/Beef on a label it means that any or all of these may be in there and the mix will change based on time of year or what costs least.

I always say variety is the spice of life! Is it OK to be mix raw and dry dog food?

Go for it. I love a good raw bone to gnaw on, frozen chicken necks, carrots, and anything I have seen my human eat. Word at the park is that lots of pups are now getting a mix of raw with their Scratch dry food. There is one important thing to remember though, while Scratch has everything in it at the right ratios you need, if you choose to mix you should try to make sure the raw you eat also has a great mix of protein, good fats and oils as well as vitamins and minerals.

How long does my dog food sit on shelves & in warehouses before it hits my bowl?

Let me smell you the story of your giant bag. You might have noticed that most dog food brands have many, many different varieties. What that means is that they don’t sell large amounts of each type each day. So, they only make each variety every couple of months. If your food is not made in Aus, then it sits in a boat for about a month to get here. Then it goes to a warehouse and waits for a retailer’s warehouse to place an order. Then it sits around in their warehouse until one of their stores need some more to keep the shelves full. It can easily be six months old before you even bring it home. Then, if you are a little dog and the bag is big it might take you 3-6 months to get through it. Scratch do smaller boxes and only one variety as they are not in a war for shelf space. They know exactly when each pup will need a new box. They often ship out food within a week of it being made. Now that smells good!

More nutrition posts so you end up as well read as Snoop.

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Written by Doug Spiegelhauer
Doug never had a dog growing up but as soon as he stopped moving around knew he needed a dog in his life. Enter Snoop the Beagle. Doug worked for 7 years designing and making dog treats and food for some of Australia's best brands. Now a Co-Founder of Scratch Pet Food.