Dog with Irritable Bowel Disease
Health Diets

Best Homemade Diet for Dog With LBD, IBS and Colitis – 2 Recipes

Dog with Irritable Bowel Disease

Dogs have a reputation for having ironclad stomachs. These animals will not hesitate to eat garbage, feces, and any other strong-smelling substance they stumble upon.

For the most part, canines can handle a lot. Their guts are highly acidic, allowing them to digest things humans could never process.

However, there are always exceptions to the rule. Like humans, dogs can suffer from allergies, intolerances, and a wide range of digestive troubles. Usually, those digestive problems are temporary and go away after a few days. But what if they don't?

Bowel Problems

Bowel problems are more common than most dog owners think. They can be debilitating, causing pain anytime your dog eats. In some cases, they impact nutrient absorption and result in other complications.

Irritable Bowl syndrome (IBS), Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), and Colitis are three conditions you can't ignore.

Symptoms can vary, and the exact cause of these issues isn't precisely known. But one thing is for sure: You must take action to ensure your dog is comfortable and healthy. Fortunately, these digestive conditions are manageable with the proper diet.

What Are IBD, IBS, and Colitis?

These digestive complications are unique but have similar symptoms and often connect in some way.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a common functional disorder that humans can experience. Biologically, the digestive system looks relatively normal. However, IBS causes diarrhea, constipation, and intense abdominal pain.

The symptoms arise from psychological factors rather than physical changes to the digestive tract. Typically, it occurs when dogs experience mental distress. Many canines will suffer when dealing with anxiety or extreme stress.

Irritable Bowel Disease has many of the same symptoms as IBS. But they're more severe and can cause irreparable harm to your dog's system. In addition to stomach pain and diarrhea, IBD can cause a bloody discharge, excruciating cramps, fever, and more.

With IBD, there are physical abnormalities in the digestive tract. Swelling and mucus buildup are common. Because those abnormalities exist, veterinarians usually take biopsies, collect stool samples, and perform many tests to diagnose the condition.

The potential causes of IBD can vary. There's no exact underlying factor, but veterinary experts believe that parasites, allergies, bacteria, and a weak immune system are to blame.

Finally, there's Colitis. 

Colitis occurs when the large intestines become inflamed. Inflammatory cells will line the intestine, impacting nutrient absorption and changing how food flows through the digestive system.

It can cause a wide range of issues, but the most common symptom is persistent diarrhea. Colitis can accompany IBD; both can be chronic or affect a dog intermittently.

If you suspect your dog has any of these conditions, see a vet as soon as possible. Proper diagnosis is the first step in addressing the issue and taking steps to avoid problems in the future.

Related: Dog Has Diarrhea But Acts Fine

Young dog on a diet to control bowel problems

Why Your Dog's Diet Matters

There are many ways to treat IBD, IBS, and Colitis. Veterinarians may recommend a cycle of antibiotics. However, those medications only tackle current issues.

The intermittent nature of symptoms requires you to make long-term changes. Vets often work with dog owners to develop a healthy diet that keeps flare-ups at bay.

IBD, IBS, and Colitis all relate to food sensitivities and allergies.

Certain dog food ingredients can exacerbate the problem, causing symptoms far more often than they should. Adjusting your dog's diet can help you manage these conditions and provide the much-needed relief your pup needs.

Many owners of dogs with digestive complications go the homemade route. It's a fantastic alternative to processed commercial foods that gives you more control over what your dog puts into their system.

Sticking with homemade recipes that utilize whole ingredients can be a life-saver that mitigates painful symptoms and puts your dog in good health.

As always, consult your vet before making drastic changes. Their knowledge of your dog's unique case allows them to make recommendations that suit your dog's needs.

What Foods Should You Include in a Homemade Diet for IBD, IBS, and Colitis?

There are a few goals when making your dog's meals. You want to focus on whole ingredients and avoid any food known to cause adverse reactions in your pup's digestive tract. That's where working with your vet comes in handy.

They can help you narrow down those triggers and determine what foods to avoid.

Beyond that, you also need to ensure that you're fulfilling your dog's nutritional needs while providing them with healthy vitamins and minerals that combat the effects of IBD, IBS, and Colitis.

Here are some staples you'll use when creating homemade meals.

Wholesome Protein

Protein is the most critical thing in a dog's diet. That doesn't change with a digestive condition. Real animal meat should make up most of the meals you create.

The problem with commercial foods is that they often use fillers that cause allergic reactions. By going homemade, you can avoid those and stick to high-quality proteins like chicken, beef, fish, and more.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables serve as valuable sources of vitamins and minerals. They help to boost your dog's immune system, helping their bodies fight the effects of IBD, IBD, and Colitis. Antioxidant-rich fruits can also provide antioxidants that support the body in other ways.

Fiber

Vets often guide dog owners to add a source of fiber. Fortunately, you can do that with fruits and vegetables. Ingredients like pumpkin, sweet potatoes, apples, carrots, and more do double duty.

In addition to providing nutrients, the cellulose in those fruits absorbs liquids and helps promote stool regularity.

Related: 5 Best High-Fiber Dog Foods

Probiotics

Probiotics can maintain the delicate microbiome in your dog's gut. Healthy bacteria help fight the effects of dangerous pathogens and strengthen their system's ability to process foods effectively.

Probiotic supplements can also improve immunity and minimize allergic reactions.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega fatty acids from ingredients like fish oil do wonders. They improve cardiovascular health, keep the coat smooth, and more. However, for dogs with IBD, IBS, and Colitis, the fatty acids are anti-inflammatory agents to keep swelling under control.

2 Homemade Food Recipes for Dogs with IBD, IBS, and Colitis

Every dog responds to foods differently, so it's wise to work with your vet when developing recipes. But we have two easy-to-adjust recipes to get you started.

Recipe #1 - Chicken, Brocolli, and Sweet Potato Bowl

Here's a simple recipe that uses whole ingredients and no unnecessary additives. It's easy to make, and you can easily prepare a few days of meals in advance.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of boneless and skinless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 1 pounds of sweet potatoes
  • 3 ounces of chicken liver
  • Half a pound of broccoli stalks
  • Half a can of unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon of iodized salt
  • 2 empty eggshells

In addition to those ingredients, your vet might request that you add drops of vitamin oil or probiotics. Adjust accordingly to meet your dog's needs.

Preparation

Preparing this meal is a breeze. Start by cooking the chicken in a skillet over medium heat. Leave out any extra oil or butter you would typically use.

As the chicken cooks, boil or microwave the sweet potatoes and allow them to cool. To cook the broccoli stalks, steam or boil them until they are soft to the touch.

After your sweet potatoes and chicken cool down, cut them into bite-sized chunks. You can leave the skin on the potatoes as an added source of fiber.

Now, mix all the ingredients. Crush the eggshells and ensure that all components are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

Recipe #2 - Chicken, Rice, and Bean Mash

This recipe is also very adaptable. It's easy to make, and you can fine-tune the formula with any supplements your vet recommends. You can also adjust the amount of rice and beans to create portions that work for your dog.

This is a great recipe to make in advance. It holds well in the fridge, allowing you to make big weekly batches.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces of boneless and skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 and a half cups of rice
  • 2 cups of drained red kidney beans
  • 1 teaspoon of iodized salt
  • 2 and a half teaspoons of bone meal powder
  • 2 tablespoons of fish, flaxseed, or canola oil

Preparation

Start by cooking your chicken. You can cook it in a skillet or boil it in a large pot. Either way, don't use seasoning or oil. As your chicken cooks, prepare your rice in a standalone cooker or on your stove.

Both white and brown rice works well. Drain your kidney beans and give them a good wash to remove any salty broth. When everything cools down, you're ready to assemble.

Shred the chicken breasts before adding everything to a bowl. Mix the larger ingredients before adding salt, bone meal, and oil. Once everything is mixed well, it's ready to eat.

Final Thoughts

IBD, IBS, and Colitis don't have to control your dog's life. These recipes can help you manage these digestive conditions and restore your dog's health.

You'll notice improvements quickly, and your dog should have fewer stomach upsets.

While creating homemade meals is a significant time investment, giving your dog nutritional and delicious meals that cater to its unique health needs is worth it.

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Dog with bladder stones
Health Diets

Best Diet for Dogs with Calcium Oxalate Bladder Stones

Dog with bladder stones

If you've ever had the misfortune of dealing with bladder stones, you know how painful they can be. When these calcified stones form, they can physically obstruct the bladder, causing swelling, inflammation, and tons of pain. It's a nightmare scenario that no one wants to go through.

Now imagine your precious dog experiencing it.

Most dog owners don't realize it, but dogs can develop bladder stones, too. Some breeds are genetically predisposed to these issues.

The most commonly affected are Shih Tzus, Bichon Frise dogs, Yorkshire Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers, Lhasa Apsos, and Miniature Poodles. 

However, any dog can get them when biological conditions are right.

A few different types of bladder stones can form in your dog's body, but the most prevalent are calcium oxalate bladder stones.

If your dog is prone to getting bladder stones, you must take steps to manage the issue. One of the best ways to do that is by adopting a healthier diet that addresses this specific concern.

What are Calcium Oxalate Bladder Stones, and How Do They Form?

This type of bladder stone forms when calcium and oxalic acid bind together. When that happens, you get a hard mineral called calcium oxalate. These two chemicals already exist in your dog's urine.

In most cases, they coexist without any issues. But when conditions change, they can hold onto each other, creating a stone that gets bigger with time.

So what triggers the binding?

There are many ways the two chemicals suddenly gravitate toward one another. It can occur when a dog's diet is high in calcium and oxalic acid. The high level of chemicals increases the chances of binding.

Stones also form when urine pH levels are too acidic.

A healthy dog has urine pH levels between 6.5 to 7.5. The 7.0 mark is neutral, so healthy urine is usually not too far off from that.

Trouble can begin when the urine becomes acidic, falling between 5.0 and 6.5 on the pH scale.

The Best Diet for Managing Calcium Oxalate Bladder Stones

Nutritional management is the best way to decrease the likelihood of bladder stones forming. Every dog is different, so it's wise to consult your vet. They can work closely with you to help you hone in on the foods your dog should and shouldn't eat.

That said, here are a few tips that can make a difference.

Cut the Oxalates

One of the most straightforward fixes you can make is reducing the amount of oxalates your dog gets into their system.

With less oxalic acid in your pup's diet, there's a decreased chance of calcium binding. Oxalates include foods like spinach, brown rice, organs, and sweet potatoes.

These ingredients are common in commercial kibbles, so make sure to read ingredient lists. Instead of those foods, try looking for formulas with lower oxalate levels.

Good options include apples, meat, and fish.

Ask Your Vet About Calcium Restriction

You might assume that cutting calcium is your next step. However, it would be best if you only reduced calcium under your vet's supervision and approval.

Dogs need calcium to stay healthy. It supports the bones and many biological functions. Cutting it out can lead to even worse health problems if you're not careful.

Low-calcium diets do exist, but you must be strategic and provide the right amount to avoid bladder stones. Work with your vet and see if this is a diet change you should make.

Switch to a High-Carb Diet

Upping carbohydrates could provide good results. Every dog metabolizes food differently, but carbohydrates are a great way to neutralize urine.

If your dog's urine is on the acidic side, carb-heavy meals could create safer pH levels.

Increase Fiber Intake

Fiber is always an excellent addition to your dog's diet. Fiber helps to improve digestion and promote more regularity.

When it comes to avoiding calcium oxalate bladder stones, fiber works to absorb excess minerals. It pushes the minerals out of the system, decreasing the chances of binding.

Related: 5 Best High-Fiber Dog Foods for Anal Gland Problems

Iodine

Iodine can help to flush the bladder.

Introducing sea vegetables such as seaweed into your dog's diet can be an easy way to increase their iodine intake. Just be aware of the fact that seaweed can potentially cause intestinal blockage in dogs.

Provide Vitamin B

Vitamin B is water-soluble and inhibits oxalate stone formation.

A good supplement can introduce the vitamin into your dog's diet and help prevent issues.

Add Omega Fatty Acids

Omega fatty acids from fish or flaxseed oil have many benefits. In addition to making your dog's coat nice and shiny, it helps with inflammation.

Omega fatty acids can help reduce the inflammation caused by existing stones.

Reduce Sodium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D

When battling bladder stones, you must cut sodium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D.

High sodium and Vitamin D levels cause excessive calcium secretion into the urine. Meanwhile, Vitamin C produces oxalate when broken down in the body.

Related: Best Low Sodium Dog Foods

Encourage More Hydration

Here's a universal tip that can make a significant difference. Encourage your dog to drink as much water as possible. Consider placing many bowls around your home and replacing the water frequently to keep it fresh. 

More hydration equals more diluted urine. Dilution decreases the amount of calcium and oxalic acid in the urine, lowering the odds of binding.

Common Symptoms of Calcium Oxalate Bladder Stones

Bladder stones are an internal issue. In most cases, dog owners are completely unaware of the problem. It's only once the stones are fully formed and causing issues that symptoms occur.

Calcium oxalate bladder stones are physical, tangible objects. The bladder is only meant to hold and store urine until it leaves the body through your dog's urethra. The presence of a physical stone can cause many problems.

Stone sizes vary, but even the tiniest nugget can obstruct the bladder and cause injury. Here are some of the most common symptoms your dog might experience.

Extreme Pain

We can't stress enough how painful bladder stones can be.

Whether you've experienced them yourself or not, there's no denying that a physical stone moving through what's supposed to be a liquid-only bladder hurts! 

Your poor dog will likely make their pain known, despite the canine instincts of hiding it.

You might see your pup yelping in pain when they try to urinate. But the nature of the bladder will result in extreme discomfort when they're not.

They might suddenly start whining or yelping as a response. That's bound to result in some noticeable behavior changes, too. Your dog might become withdrawn and even exhibit signs of depression or anxiety.

Dysuria

Dysuria is the medical term for difficulty urinating.

The stone obstructs the bladder's function. The only way it can move is forward, but the solid nature of the stone prevents urine from passing through the urethra.

Some might get out, but large stones can cause complete obstructions.

To make matters worse, the bladder can inflame due to the constant scraping and cutting of the stone; more on that later. Dysuria is a serious problem that could result in severe illness or even death.

Haematuria

Haematuria is the presence of blood in the urine.

If your dog manages to squeeze some urine out, it may be darker than usual or tinged with a splash of pink or red. This happens because the stone is slowly moving through your dog's system. 

As it does, it scrapes along the bladder wall, resulting in friction, irritation, and bleeding.

The bladder stone movement often causes the most pain, so don't ignore the blood when you see it.

Related: Yellow Dog Poop.  What it Means

Asymptomatic Bladder Stones

Interestingly enough, not all bladder stones cause these symptoms. That's what makes them so challenging to manage.

Some stones are asymptomatic and have no symptoms at all! Even still, it's crucial to observe your dog's behavior, check on their urine, and pay attention to any signs that your dog is struggling or in pain.

Related: Best Non Prescription Dog Food For Urinary Health

Treatment Options

Calcium oxalate bladder stones are an issue you cannot ignore. Left untreated, it could eventually kill a dog, causing immense pain every moment until it does. So how do vets treat it?

Unfortunately, calcium oxalate stones do not dissolve on their own. They rarely get excreted, either. As a result, surgery is often the go-to option.

Surgical intervention is necessary when stones are large. Vets also perform surgery when there are many stones in your dog's system or when the issue poses a clear danger of obstruction and damage.

Vets will sedate dogs and go in to remove the stone physically. Then, they'll flush the bladder to remove any remaining traces.

Cystoscopy.

Another option is to use cystoscopy.

This method involves passing small tools through the urethra and the bladder to break stones apart. The goal is to fragment the stone so your dog can pass them naturally.

Vets will examine your pup and determine the best action based on their needs.

Do Bladder Stones Come Back?

Dealing with calcium oxalate bladder stones can be a nightmare. But once you remove them, you're dog is okay, right?

Unfortunately, that's not always the case. No matter how well your surgical vet works or how much flushing they do, it can be impossible to remove all traces of the stone.

Small bonded compounds can remain, resulting in more problems down the line.

It's common for calcium oxalate stones to form again. That's true with humans, too. Once you get a bladder stone, your chances of getting more in the future increase.

It's a sad reality, but it also cements the importance of managing this issue instead of avoiding it.

Don't rest on your laurels. If your dog has experienced calcium oxalate bladder stones in the past, or they're genetically predisposed to get them at all, you must do your part to help avoid them in the future.

Managing the Threat of Calcium Oxalate Bladder Stones

No one wants to see their canine companion go through the absolute torture of a bladder stone. If your dog is prone to getting them, you must do what you can to help.

Dogs have no control over what they eat. If they did, they wouldn't know how to prevent bladder stones anyways!

It's up to you to modify your dog's diet. Use these tips to create a healthy diet that lowers the risks. Don't forget to work with your vet! They can provide more personalized advice that addresses your dog's specific needs.

Also read: How to Care for a Dog After a Tooth Extraction

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Well fed Maltese puppy
By Breed

Top 11 Best Dog Foods for Maltese [2022]

Well fed Maltese puppy

Maltese pups are the quintessential lap dog. Take one look at these beauties, and it's not hard to see why dog owners love them so much.

Youngsters look like miniature teddy bears, while coifed and groomed adults look like they came straight out of a textbook about royal antiquity! Maltese are some of the most spoiled of all the pint-sized toy breeds.

But don't let their somewhat posh looks fool you. Maltese dogs are wonderful companions. They're full of life and spunk, wanting nothing more than play and show you affection.

The dogs are docile around the people they love, fiercely loyal, and always ready to get active!

For a beloved breed like this, most dog owners want to provide nothing but the best. That mentality should also extend to your pup's food.

The quality of food you offer any dog is essential. But for a tiny breed like the Maltese, it's paramount. Everything your pooch eats has a direct impact on their overall health. Every morsel matters, so cheap foods with inferior ingredients won't cut it.

Need help finding the best dog foods for your Maltese? Check out our top picks below!

11 of the Best Dog Food For Maltese

1.  Blue Buffalo Freedom Small Breed Adult Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food - Best for Adults

Blue Buffalo Freedom Small Breed Adult Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

The small-breed grain-free formula from Blue Buffalo is a fantastic all-around choice for Maltese dogs. It checks off all the boxes: You have a good amount of protein, high-quality ingredients, and plenty of extras to support your furry friend's health.

The protein comes primarily from chicken. There's also a healthy dose of complex carbohydrates, flaxseed for omega fatty acids, and tons of great plant-based ingredients for vitamins and minerals.

Like many of Blue Buffalo's other formulas, your dog gets the antioxidant-rich LifeSource bits!

Overal score for Adult Maltese


2. Merrick Lil' Plates Grain-Free Chicken-Free Real Beef & Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food - Best for Adults

Merrick Lil' Plates Grain-Free Chicken-Free Real Beef & Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food

If your pooch prefers the taste of red meat, this option from Merrick has you covered. It's another universally good choice for Maltese dogs. But this one uses deboned beef and lamb meal instead of the standard chicken as a primary protein.

It's a grain-free recipe that leans heavily on protein. In total, the formula is about 30 percent protein, which is more than enough for an active Maltese.

Pair all that with probiotics and joint-supporting minerals, and it fits the bill for your Maltese.

Overal score for Adult Maltese


3. Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Puppy Turkey, Oatmeal & Salmon Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food - Best for Maltese Puppies

Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Puppy Turkey, Oatmeal & Salmon Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food, 4-lb bag

Give your Maltese puppy the fuel it needs to grow with this recipe from Wellness. Puppies need more protein, high caloric density, and just enough calcium and phosphorous. 

This product covers those necessities. But that's not all. It also contains ingredients that help support the development process. 

There are omega fatty acids for coat health, antioxidants for boosted immunity, and DHA for brain development. Overall, this product has the makings of a healthy Maltese puppy.

Overal score for Maltese puppies


4. Now Fresh Grain-Free Small Breed Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food - Best for Maltese Puppies

Now Fresh Grain-Free Small Breed Adult Recipe Dry Dog Food

The Now Fresh puppy food is packed with protein. It contains about 28 percent protein, most of which comes from the deboned chicken. 

A healthy balance between protein and fat content gives your pup what it needs to grow up strong. Of course, there's also a good amount of calcium and phosphorous for strong bones.

This formula is specifically made for small breeds, so it's perfect for the Maltese. Additionally, the product contains omega fatty acids like DHA and EPA. There are also prebiotics and fiber to put your pup's gut in a good place.

Overal score for Maltese puppies


5.  Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe - Best Food for Sensitive Maltese

Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Small & Mini Breed Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food

Feeding a Maltese with a sensitive stomach isn't easy. But this formula from Hills Science might be the solution your dog needs. 

It's exclusively for small breeds and has all the hallmarks of a stomach-friendly product. The first giveaway is the relatively small ingredients list. It covers your pup's nutritional needs and nothing more. 

With fewer risky ingredients, there's a lower chance your dog will have a bad reaction. The formula also contains prebiotic fiber. It supports gut health and keeps dogs regular.

Overal score for sensitive stomach Maltese


6.  Purina Pro Plan Weight Management Chicken Small Breed Formula - Best Weight Management Food for Maltese

Purina Pro Plan Weight Management Chicken Adult Small Breed Formula Dry Dog Food

Don't let your Maltese's health suffer because of a bit of weight gain. The weight management formula from Purina Pro Plan can help get your pup back down to a healthier size. 

It's a high-protein formula at about 30 percent. But, it has roughly 15 percent less fat than a standard recipe.

That lower fat content can make all the difference. There are also many metabolism-supporting ingredients. They make it easy for your dog to work off the excess fat without sacrificing muscle mass.

Overal score for weight management


7.  Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small Breed Turkey & Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food - Best Premium Options

Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food Small Breed

If spoiling your pooch is a top priority, this food from Wellness Core will get the job done. It's a premium recipe with many great ingredients Maltese dogs can't resist. 

The protein content is significantly high at 36 percent. It contains flavorful ingredients like chicken, turkey, salmon oil, and more.

Of course, the product isn't about indulging. It has many great extras. For example, the omega fatty acids keep that luscious coat in good shape. Meanwhile, glucosamine and chondroitin can stave off joint pain.

Overal score for Adult Maltese


8.  Hill's Science Diet Adult 11+ Small Paws Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe - Best for Senior Maltese

Hill's Science Diet Adult 11+ Small Paws Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Support those aging bones and joints with the Small Paws formula from Hill's Science. Not only is it made for small breeds like the Maltese, but it has everything a dog 11 and older needs to age gracefully.

A blend of antioxidants keeps your dog's immune system in good shape. There are also healthy omega fatty acids, digestible proteins, and a host of joint-supporting extras.

The protein content is around 18 percent, but the digestible nature of the formula helps your dog stay lean as they age.

Overal score for Senior Maltese


9. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe - Best for Senior Maltese

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo's Life Protection formula for seniors is a fantastic choice for older Maltese dogs. It has all the usual high-quality ingredients you would expect from Blue Buffalo. 

There are also digestible carbs, omega fatty acids, and immunity-supporting extras.

The formula contains the antioxidant-rich LifeSource Bits. They ensure that your dog continues to get all the vitamins and nutrients they need. The dry kibble has a good amount of glucosamine and chondroitin, keeping those joints comfortable for better mobility.

Overal score for senior Maltese


Best Wet Canned Food For Maltese

10.  Instinct Original Small Breed Grain-Free Real Chicken Recipe Wet Canned Dog Food - Best Wet Food

Instinct Original Small Breed Grain-Free Real Chicken Recipe Wet Canned Dog Food

From Instinct is this tasty canned food. It's a recipe for small breeds, and the small can size makes it easy to portion for Maltese dogs. The food comes in a mashable loaf form. It's packed with flavor and uses chicken as the predominant protein source. 

There's even some liver and organs thrown into the mix for vitamins.

Overall, the canned meal is free of all unwanted additives. There are no fillers, and every ingredient will support your dog's health.

Overal score for Adult Maltese

11.  Blue Buffalo True Solutions Small & Mighty Small Breed Formula Adult Wet Dog Food - Best Wet Food

Blue Buffalo True Solutions Small & Mighty Small Breed Formula Adult Wet Dog Food

The Small & Mighty canned food from Blue Buffalo is a fantastic choice for the Maltese. Not only is it tasty enough to please picky eaters, but it has a top-notch formula that can meet your dog's needs.

It has a good amount of protein, delivering a healthy dose of energy. Probiotic fiber supports gut health, while the omega fatty acids keep that signature coat nice and shiny.

This recipe also contains Blue Buffalo's TruMune nutrient blend, ensuring your pooch gets all the necessary micronutrients.

Overal score for Adult Maltese


About the Maltese

Mathese dog walking outside

Maltese dogs are the epitome of pampered, and that reputation is nothing new. Believe it or not, this dog's history dates back several thousand years. They are frequently referenced in ancient Greek and Roman literature, and early depictions of the dog appear on old Italian containers.

The modern Maltese likely has a lineage going back to ancient times, but experts believe the dogs we know today emerged sometime around the Victorian era.

The dog breed was prevalent among royalty and noble families. There are several examples of the posh dog's importance in centuries past. They appear in everything from family portraits to simple single-subject paintings.

It wasn't until 1888 that the American Kennel Club officially recognized the Maltese as a breed; the rest is history! These dogs are everywhere. Because they're so petite and easy to care for, families love them.

They do well with dog owners of any skill level. Thanks to their intelligence and trainability, you can often see them at dog shows dominating the toy breed category!

The dog's looks certainly set it apart. They have crisp white fur, resembling other popular small breeds like the Bichon Frise. But the Maltese coat is special because it's considered by many to be hypoallergenic.

While there's no such thing as an actual allergen-free dog, Maltese coats shed minimally. They don't produce a ton of dander that goes airborne, and their fur is easier to manage.

As a result, Maltese is a fantastic choice for allergy sufferers.

Now, that coat does require a lot of upkeep. But you have many options on how you can present your dog.

Most owners keep the fur relatively short, giving the dog a more teddy bear-like appearance. But if you want to show off what the Maltese breed is all about, let it grow long. A well-maintained Maltese is a thing of beauty and fits right in with the royal lineage they're known for!

How to Choose the Best Maltese Dog Food

Choosing the right food for your Maltese is paramount.

Most dogs will only weigh between two and eight pounds fully grown. They don't eat much, so every morsel they consume makes a difference. 

High-quality food will fulfill their dietary needs, support their health moving forward, and give these active dogs all the energy they need to keep going.

Pay attention to the following factors when choosing the best Maltese dog food.

Premium Whole Proteins

Whole protein is an absolute necessity for any dog breed. Dogs rely on protein to build and maintain muscle mass. At the very least, your dog's food should have a crude protein analysis of 18 percent. A higher figure is always better.

A good dog food product will include whole meat sources that are easily identifiable. We're talking about ingredients like chicken, turkey, salmon, beef, and more.

Meat meals are fine, too, but the proteins should be at the top of the ingredient list to indicate their prevalence in the formula.

Healthy Carbohydrates

Dog food has no specific regulations about carbohydrates, but your furry friends need them for energy. Carbohydrates give your pup's body glucose to stay active and support every biological function.

Look for foods that contain complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, legumes, squash, oats, barley, and more.

Complex carbs absorb into the body slowly, providing a steady supply of energy throughout the day instead of a sudden spike and subsequent crash.

Skin-Supporting Fats

Dogs need diets with about 10 percent fat. But the quality of the fat source is crucial.

The most defining feature of the Maltese breed is that signature coat of fur. The best fats will support the skin to keep the fur soft and healthy.

Good examples include fish oil and flaxseed oil. They contain omega-3 fatty acids that keep the skin in good shape, improve cardiovascular health, and combat cell oxidation.

Nutrient-Dense Formulas

Nutritionally dense food is a must for Maltese.

Because of their small stature, these dogs don't eat much. The volume of food they consume is dramatically smaller than their larger canine counterparts. Foods packed with fillers will not provide the nutrients the dog needs to stay healthy.

Crucial Micronutrients

Of course, vitamins and minerals are important to a Maltese's diet, too. Look for formulas that contain a healthy mix of fruits, vegetables, greens, and other plant-based ingredients.

Added supplements are a good choice as well.

What Food Ingredients to Avoid

Don't assume that every high-priced dog food product you see on the market is a good choice. Quality can vary dramatically, and price point isn't always indicative of what's good and what's not!

In addition to looking for the must-haves above, steer clear of these dog food no-nos.

Mystery Meats and Byproducts

Earlier, we said that identifiable wholesome protein sources are crucial. You might encounter some dog food products that contain mystery meats. That means that the animal it comes from is not well-defined. Avoid them at all costs!

They could come from questionable sources. The same goes for byproducts. You never know where that meat comes from, and you shouldn't take the risk with your dog.

Fillers

Fillers like corn, wheat, and soy are widespread in the dog food industry. Those ingredients beef up the kibble, making dogs feel full quickly. But, they offer nothing in terms of nutritional content. Every component should contribute to your dog's health.

Artificial Additives

There's no need for artificial colors, preservatives, flavors, or additives. Natural alternatives are available, and high-quality foods use them. Ditch the fake stuff! It could contain chemicals that trigger allergies and cause health issues.

Health Considerations

Mathese pup laying in the yard

No one wants to think about their canine companion getting sick, but it's a reality you must face at some point. Maltese dogs are usually pretty healthy. But like any other breed, they can run into some problems.

These dogs have many genetic predispositions you must be wary of.

Fortunately, many problems are avoidable or alleviated with high-quality dog food.

Obesity

It doesn't take much food to keep Maltese healthy, but that doesn't mean that these dogs don't have healthy appetites! Maltese pups are prone to weight gain and obesity.

Nutritionally dense food is always welcome, but avoid free-feeding. Portion meals out strategically and maintain a healthy exercise routine to keep your Maltese in tip-top physical shape.

Allergies and Sensitivities

Some dogs can eat the grossest stuff without missing a beat. But others will experience allergies and sensitivities. Maltese dogs can develop sensitivities to certain ingredients.

If you suspect they don't respond well to specific foods, consider doing an allergy test with your vet. You may find that your pup is allergic to principal protein sources. If that's the case, stick to limited ingredients formulas and those using novel ingredients.

In some cases, your dog might have a sensitive stomach. In that case, find a formula with probiotics. Probiotics help the gut bacteria flourish, making your dog's system better at processing foods without discomfort.

Joint Issues

Unfortunately, some pups can develop joint issues. Arthritis is common in the Maltese breed, and its symptoms can appear as your dog ages.

Consider providing foods with glucosamine and chondroitin. The minerals support the joints and relieve pain.

Dental Problems

Small breeds like the Maltese are notorious for getting periodontal disease and experiencing other dental issues. Oral care is paramount.

In addition to regular brushing and dental treats, you can use your dog's foods to scrub those teeth clean!

Dry kibble usually does a better job of cleaning teeth than wet food. That doesn't mean you can't provide canned meals. But if dental issues are a concern, you'll want to incorporate some crunch.

A Word About Pickiness

This issue isn't a medical problem. If anything, it's a significant source of frustration for Maltese owners!

These dogs live up to their posh looks when it comes to pickiness. The breed has a reputation for turning their noses up at foods they don't enjoy. Keep that in mind. You may want to keep a record of the ingredients your dog likes and what they don't.

If Maltese don't enjoy the smell or flavor of a product, they will not eat it!

You'll have to do some experimentation to find something palatable. That might include incorporating canned meals into the mix, using toppers, and more.

How Much Should a Maltese Eat?

Generally, healthy adult Maltese dogs need about 45 calories per pound of body weight. For an average five-pound pup, that's only 225 calories a day! It's not much, but it's all these dogs need.

Puppies usually need a little more, pushing the calorie count up to 55 per pound of body weight. Meanwhile, seniors might need less depending on their activity levels.

Consult your vet for more guidance if you're unsure how much food to provide.

All daily caloric requirements should be split into two or three meals. Because of the risk of weight gain, avoid free-feeding.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the perfect Maltese food can be a little tricky. These breeds can be picky and have some unique health risks to consider in your search.

Give one of our top picks a try. They're sure to keep your Maltese healthy and happy for years to come.

Also Read: Best High-Fiber Dog Food to Support Regular Digestion

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Food & Treats

Why Do Dogs Hide Treats and Food?

Dog hiding treats or food

You give your dog a tasty treat expecting them to gobble it down in seconds. But instead of doing that, they stare out it for a moment before grabbing, running off, and hiding it!

As a dog owner, you're probably used to seeing your canine companion exhibit a bunch of oddball behaviors. But this? This is something different. What gives?

This behavior is more common than you think. It might come out of the blue for your dog, but many owners have to deal with it. There are many different reasons why dogs hide treats and food.

Some reasons are innocent enough, but others could indicate more significant behavioral and mental issues you need to address.

7 Possible Reasons Why Your Dog Hides Treats and Food

This isn't an issue you want to ignore. Keep an eye on your dog's behavior. Understanding the potential reasoning behind their actions could help you address it.

#1.  An Instinctive Urge

One reason why your dog might be hiding things is because of their ancestors!

The modern domesticated dog has it easy. They're spoiled pups that don't have to use their hunting skills to survive. It's a far cry from their ancestors and current wild dogs.

Despite years of domestication, dogs still hold onto those natural instincts. It's why they seem to know how to swim even if they've never been around water, or how they always find dead animals and prey.

Most house dogs never have to use their survival instincts, but they're there just in case.

Sometimes, instincts come out when you least expect them to. Hiding treats and food is the perfect example.

Wild dogs never know when they're going to get their next meal. So when food is abundant, they often store some away for later. Think of it as stashing away leftovers! Canines typically bury the food in a safe spot for later.

Your dog might do the same thing from time to time. It's normal and usually not a cause for concern. But it can be a little annoying if you don't know where your dog's stash is.

#2.  Air Burying

Dog digging in the dirt to hide something

Air burying is a unique behavior that often stems from illness.

Don't worry! That doesn't necessarily mean that you need to take a trip to the vet. But it doesn't mean you should watch your dog closely.

When dogs get sick, they sometimes feel nauseous. You know the feeling: It's that sensation that you're about to start hurling everywhere.

Think of all those times you felt the same way. 

Foods you usually love suddenly make you want to blow chunks!

That's what happens with dogs, too. They will often get repulsed by treats and foods.

Most dogs will push their bowls away or start "air burying." That means that they're trying to get rid of the smell.

You might see your dog grab the food, rush it to somewhere far away, and bury it under some dirt. That effectively masks the scent, providing the nausea relief they need.

There's a good chance that your dog isn't feeling well when this happens. Monitor their condition, and provide support if vomiting occurs.

Usually, symptoms go away within a day. If not, you can go to your vet for guidance and treatment.

Related:  Smells that Repel Dogs

#3.  You're Providing Too Much

Some dogs will eat until they can't anymore! But others are more in-tune with their bodies. Many breeds will eat what they need and nothing more.

It's how they avoid extraneous weight gain and stay fit.

If you provide too much food, your dog might start burying it. There are a few reasons why. It might go back to instinctive behavior, as we discussed earlier.

Your dog is satiated and doesn't need the extra food. So, they hide it for later!

Another reason they stash it away is to get rid of the evidence.

Maybe you had previously scolded your pup for not eating its full bowl, or it doesn't want to offend you or seem unappreciative. So, your pup might hide the extra so that you think it cleaned the bowl.

#4.  An Anxious Response

Unfortunately, hiding treats and food might be a response to stress and anxiety.

Dogs can do many weird things in the face of confusing emotions like anxiety. They get fearful and try anything they can to get relief.

In this case, the hiding of resources might stem from negative past experiences. 

You're most likely to encounter this with a rescue dog or one that lived with many other animals.

Maybe they lost food because they didn't eat it right away, or they were in a situation where they had to fight to get meals and survive.

Whatever the case might be, the act of hiding food and treats is their way of coping.

Your dog is feeling a little dark, and they're resorting to old experiences. This concerning behavior will most likely stop once the dog gets comfortable.

Once they know they don't have to be so protective and proactive about survival, they can rest easy and not act so strangely.

Related:  Signs of a Happy Content Dog

#5.  A Call for Attention

Have you ever responded strongly to seeing your dog hide foods and treats?

That might create an unfortunate connection with your canine companion. Dogs love attention, and they'll get pretty creative to get it when bored.

Once your dog realizes that hiding food and treats makes you pay attention to them, they will keep doing it! It's like a game to them.

They don't realize that it's annoying or troublesome. All they know is that hiding things causes you to get up and interact with them. That's all your dog truly wants!

Be careful. If this is the reason why your dog is hiding foods and treats, it can quickly graduate to other items.

For example, your dog might start hiding TV remotes, shoes, jewelry, and anything else they can get their paws on!

Related: How Much attention Do Dogs Need?

#6.  Inadvertent Rewards

This reasoning is similar to the last one but is more common.

What was your response the last time your dog hid away its treats? Unless you already realized it was a regular occurrence, you might have gone back to get another one.

That's a standard gut reaction most dog owners would have.

You might feel confused about what just happened, not realizing that your dog quickly stashed it away. So, you get another treat to ensure they still get the reward they were promised.

Here's the thing: Doing that only reinforces the habit! You essentially rewarded your dog for something they shouldn't have done.

Your pup is more intelligent than you realize. They learned that hiding a treat nets them an additional one. Why wouldn't they try it again?

#7.  Possessive Behavior

We saved possessiveness as the last reason to talk about, but it's one of the most concerning.

Possessive behavior is not something that you can ignore. When this happens, dogs get borderline aggressive about what they believe is rightfully theirs.

You might notice this behavior occurring if you live in a multi-pet household.

The dog that starts hiding food and treats believes that the others will steal them. So, they will tuck those items out of site.

It could be in the cushions of your couch, underneath a piece of furniture, buried in the backyard, and more. The thought process is that the dog protects the item they hold dear.

The issue here is that resource guarding births aggression quickly.

Before you know it, your dog might start growling anytime you get close to its food. They might even resort to biting people! Eventually, that resource guarding extends to toys, beds, and more.

What You Can Do

The solution depends entirely on why your dog hides their food and treats.

You can make your dog feel comfortable if it's an anxiety issue. Remind it that there's no reason to hide resources because they'll always have access to what they need.

If the problem is providing too much food, consider rethinking your mealtime strategy. Your dog shouldn't have any leftovers or open access to food.

Portion meals accordingly, and this problem should stop.

For resource guarding and possessive behavior, we recommend seeking help from a trainer or behavioralist. Resource guarding can be a serious problem, so don't hesitate to get professional help.

Final Thoughts

It can seem weird to watch your dog hide food and treats.

 Most canines will gobble up anything edible you put in front of them, so seeing them "save it for later" can be a headscratcher. But as you can see from above, there are many reasons why dogs do this.

Watch your pup closely and put on your detective hat! Once you understand the "why," you can take steps to address the issue.

Also Read:  How Big Will My Dog Get?

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By Breed

Best Dog Food for Dachshunds in 2022

dachshund with a hungry look in his eyes

Dachshunds are one of the most recognizable dog breeds around. With their long bodies, stubby legs, and overall small stature, they're lovingly referred to as a "Weiner Dog."

These small and lovable pups have an energetic personality to match their goofy looks. They can spend hours running and playing, making them the perfect addition to the family.

dachshund with a hungry look in his eyes

While these pooches are often highly sought-after because of their unique builds, the thing that sets them apart can prove to be a hindrance if you're not careful. Their distinct body shape makes Dachshunds susceptible to a host of health issues that could affect their quality of life.

One way that owners can combat these problems is to provide them with high-quality foods. A great diet can help to minimize health concerns and give them the fuel they need to thrive.

Here's a quick overview of the recommended / best dog food for Dachshunds

  • Wellness Core® Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food - More info
  • Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Chicken & Rice Formula  - More info
  • Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Dachshund Adult Dry Dog Food  - More info
  • Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Puppy Dry & Canned Food  - More info
  • Nutro Ultra Senior Dry Dog Food  - More info

11 of the Best Dog Foods for Dachshunds

1. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small Breed Turkey & Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food - Best Overall Dog Food for Dachshunds