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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On walks Lily gets a small piece of cheese for recall, dropping or leaving rubbish, if on leash bits every now and then for walking nicely or not reacting to a reactive dog or something potentially scary etc. I asked the trainer in class about how much treats its ok to give her on her walks without worrying about bloat but she just blew it off as nothing to worry about so thought I'd ask here.

Although Lily's not a big dog I believe mini poodles are one of the smallest breeds that can suffer from bloat but because she's a small dog that means its quite easy with even tiny treats to get to 10% of her daily intake in treats.

She always has a puzzle toy to slow down her meals and we wait an hour either side of eating to do vigorous exercise, so I'm not too worried about the mealtimes and bloat. I just use kibble for training in the house so all her high value treats are on walks.

Would 5-10% of a dogs daily intake whilst exercising be a low enough amount to not worry about bloat?

Thanks
 

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To my understanding, bloat is caused when a dog (big or small) eats too fast at mealtimes. I don't think giving your dog treats on walks is going to cause bloat, my dog is five years old and I still give him treats on walks for not running after a truck, bicycle, etc. He eats super fast and I have to watch him there, but I think personally you're fine. If you're really worried though, you can ask your vet.
 

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I'm not an expert on bloat, and I agree with the advice that it may be best to consult with your vet if you're concerned.

That said, I think you have to consider what defines "vigorous".

Bloat usually comes about as a combination of gulping an entire meal all at one time, and along with it, large amounts of air. At least that's my understanding. I wouldn't worry about giving the odd treat while walking, even if there's a little excitement or leash pulling going on. I'd be more worried if for example there was all-out, rip roaring zoomies for extended periods of time, high jumping, high energy wrestling, and the like. Even then I wouldn't fret much if it's only a relatively small amount of treats being given intermittently as rewards for good behaviour.

Just remember that 'high value' treats can contain high levels of fat sometimes, depending upon a dog's preferences and what constitutes high value to them. Not to cause panic, but be aware that pancreatitis can also be a potential issue if there is any over-indulgence in that regard. A few treats of any kind, given here and there and thoughtfully, shouldn't be a problem though.
 

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I agree if you are concerned, ask your vet.

I've always fed dogs treats while or after or before exercising. Anywhere from long distance recall to recalling off of distractions and on leash walks. I have 2 large dogs, one is 2 and the other is 6.

Stress can also cause bloat in dogs and often kill them.
 

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Currently Ginger generally gets 1/2 stick of cheese in pea sized bits for behaving herself during walks and has been just fine. Since she is a small dog at 15" and 14 pounds it is counted as part of her daily ration. She is extremely deep chested with a wasp waist. She seems to have an iron stomach and I haven't been concerned about bloat or pancreatitits at all. On agility class days she got her usual 4 ounces of raw food plus at least the same amount of calories in cheese, meat and whatever else I could scrounge up. High excitement, short bursts of activity and no tummy aches ever.

Pancreatitis is treated by feeding low fat and often an attack is caused by a high fat meal but fat doesn't cause the condition. My dogs have always eaten high fat treats and foods without getting anything more than sloppy poop that was corrected by feeding chicken breast and rice for a week or so. Definitely watch the poop and her comfort level though, the condition can kill or damage health permanently.

Try other treats as well. Cooked chicken breast shreds almost as well as string cheese, isn't greasy and dogs usually love it. In fact I can give smaller bits if feeding from my hand than I can with string cheese. I bet it is cheaper as well. Costco cheese is 25 cents a stick or about $4 a pound and chicken breast is about half that raw at least.

Nervous dogs are more apt to get GVD, skinny dogs more apt as well. Max was deep chested but never skinny and extremely nervous. He got gassy tummy aches on occasion and I sure kept a close eye on those attacks but never got worse. His tummy aches were never after walks and I never leave home without treats rather after meals that disagreed with him.
 

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I've always wondered this myself.. because I've basically fed my dog her an entire meal on a walk because her reactiveness used to be that bad. I use her regular kibble as treats, and sometimes throw in small amounts of chicken or cheese. Despite that, and despite zooming around after meals.. she has always been fine. I don't think bloat is very common in her breed though.
 

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Bloat is weird to me because I've never seen a case in person, and me and like half the people I know have always had large dogs. I don't disbelieve the stats, but it's just odd.
 

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I'm not a vet, so take my words with a grain of salt, but I believe the issue with food in regards to bloat has more to do with swallowed air than the food itself. When a dog eats from a bowl, especially if they eat quickly, they can swallow a lot of air. The air in the tummy + rigorous exercise can lead to bloat. BUT, the actual cause of bloating is hotly debated. We know that body shape plays into it (deep-chested dogs, bigger dogs are more prone), and that there's a genetic component on top of that (certain lines are more prone to bloating than others, regardless of body shape). But beyond that you'll see a lot of disagreement. Heck, I've seen bloat blamed on ice cubes.

For a mini poodle, getting a couple treats at a time on a walk, I wouldn't worry. Samwise gets easily 25% of his food on walks - I do training walks where we work on leash manners and commands, and he's a chow hound so he gets his own kibble as rewards. I never worry, though of course I know the symptoms of bloat and where the nearest emergency vet is, just in case. I might if he were getting a full bowl of chow and then being let loose for a vigorous romping session. If you're really concerned and your girl hasn't been spayed yet, you could talk to your vet about maybe doing a stomach tack when/if she's in for surgery anyway. It doesn't stop bloat, but it reduces the chance the stomach will twist, and gives you more time to get treatment. It's probably overkill on a mini, but sometimes the peace of mind is worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone. I guess I just worry a bit too much :) Lily's never shown any discomfort and only has not great poops after a bully stick so she only gets them once in a while
 

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Thanks everyone. I guess I just worry a bit too much :) Lily's never shown any discomfort and only has not great poops after a bully stick so she only gets them once in a while
It helps to give them the bully stick after a meal. My dogs get the runs if I give it to them during the day (they get fed at night), but do fine with no stomach troubles if fed after their meal.
 

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I am like "Parus", I have been around big dogs all my life, raised Greyhounds, had Rhodesian Ridgebacks, and have never seen a case of bloat. I have fed raw food, cooked food, canned and kibble and I am sure have fed and then exercised my dogs as have people around me. I know "bloat" is possible but have never seen it.
 
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