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Hi Everyone!

I am a fairly new 'small dog' owner. I've had pets at different stages of my life, the longest being an outside housed 'chowlee' (Chow and Collie- the most beautiful and intelligent dog ever) who had a stomach of steel. He could eat anything -- any dog food, table scraps, the dead squirrel he found, etc. NEVER had any problems with him, never went to the vet for anything besides his annual shots and neutering. He lived to be 16 years old before dying in a farming accident.

Now I have an 18 mo old Hava-poo (Havanese and Poodle) and a 5 mo old Malti-poo (Maltese & Poodle), I am learning what all the fuss is about dog food for small dogs! One doesnt want to eat anything but table food and gets constipated all the time, the other one eats only his kibble (Merrick) and has diarreha all the time. I've spent hours and days trying to figure out what to feed the two of them that they will both like.

I found this forum while searching for the 'best tasting' dog food. That, along with several other questions, is why I decided to join. I'm not used to these small adorable but high maintenance dogs! LOL
 

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Hello and welcome! :)

I have two small Schnauzer/Poodles and they are close to the same way you describe your two dogs. One has anal gland issues that cause skin infections and the other one is seemingly allergy prone. After five and a half years I think I have it down to a science for mine.

I use TOTW ( Taste Of The Wild ) Pacific Stream grain-free dog food for them. There are other flavors also. It is a great food! It seems a little pricey but not really ... as you do not have to feed as much as some other cheaper foods.

I also buy organ meats and cook them, freeze them and take them out as needed. I add just enough to mix around in their kibble to make them think it is all meat! Lol! Too much organ meat is not good. I use chicken liver, chicken gizzards, and beef livers.

I also add pumpkin, the PLAIN canned kind ( not pie mix with the spices in it ) a tablespoon or so to their made- up kibble mixture a couple times a week as a topper. They will not touch it if I mix it all together! :/ This corrects the runs and constipation. It is great for these issues as well as vitamins and fiber :) I also use plain yogurt every now and then as a topper.

I too have never seen such high maintenance dogs in my life. I have had nothing but larger than life dogs who never got sick for over 41 years! Lol! :) And yes, these little ones ARE adorable ................ I didn't know what I was missing! Lol! :)

Please be sure to post pics! :)
 

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Thank you so much for the suggestions! I have been giving them a spoon full of yogurt here or there. I'll save a couple of spoonfuls while I'm eating it and then give them each a little bit. They think they're getting a treat! :) I had just read about the pumpkin and got some of the BB pumpkin cookies, which the little one will eat but the older one wont touch.

The older one went through a really tough time in November. He suffers from Separation Anxiety but has improved a LOT in the last two months! He is my daughter's dog and got him as a puppy when she was going through her own depression and anxiety. She was with him 24/7 for several weeks. When she went back to work, he was 'ok' while I was still with him, but if she was gone for the weekend, he would work himself up until he vomited. :( Usually it was about twice, he is such a good dog, he knew to even run to his paper to throw up! In October we moved to a new house and also got the new puppy because we were told it would help the first one with his separation anxiety. My daughter was gone for a couple of days and the vomiting went from the normal couple of times to 5-6 times until he had irritated his esophogus so badly he was vomiting straight blood. Took him to the pet hospital (of course it had to be a Sunday!) and got stomach meds and fluid injections. That same week, he started pooping straight blood (after he had devoured almost a full dental chew, which came out w/ the blood so I think it upset his tummy even more). We ended up spending almost $1000 in that month running back and forth to the vet, getting I.V.'s, blood tests, etc. He got severely dehydrated to where I was feeding him water with a syringe every hour because we just couldnt afford the extra hospital bills any longer. :( It was a mess!

Now we have him pretty much back on track except for him getting uncomfortable just before pooping. He will circle several times and then yipe as it comes out. Is that possibly from the anal glands? We had the vet check them and he said the one had some hard matter in it and that they shouldnt need cleaned more than once a year, but I dont know why he yipes. My daughter said if he goes at night when he's with her, he doesnt cry, but when she is gone or getting ready to leave, he will go and yipe, so maybe he's just tensing up still. The vet said everything looks fine. For awhile, he would bleed a little bit too, so something isnt quite right. I feel helpless. :(

I will post some photos if I can figure out how! LOL
 

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Poor guy! I hope you find the source of his problems besides the what seems to be separation anxiety. He sure has had a tough road so far. :(

I really cannot say much about the anal glands except my vet told me that mine should come in once every six weeks for an anal expression to keep him healthy. He had a bad bacterial infection of his skin two weeks ago from his glands being blocked. That needed antibiotics. :(
 

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Just wanted to add some experience and advice with the tummy troubles here.

I have one that has a 'worry tummy". That is the best way I can describe it, but it gets kicked off when he gets too excited, or there are too many changes, and especially from separation anxiety issues.

He never destroys anything or barks etc. . . . so not that type of separation anxiety. He just pouts and worries when I'm gone for a long time. When I leave for a few days he usually goes into starvation mode after 24 hours and I can count on bloody stools and full blown colitis with him when I get back.

One thing I do daily for him is use a probiotic to try to keep his digestive and intestinal bacteria in balance. That seems to keep him on balance usually, whereas without it we were having bouts with tummy problems, vomit, and loose stool at least monthly. The one I have had the greatest success with is Holistic Solution by Eaglepack. It comes in a spice size jar.

Secondly, we have leaving routines. There is one special chew treat he gets ONLY when I leave and he cannot come along. He has come to count on that and now gets excited for that treat and when he see me getting ready to go out he will set himself up in his bed waiting for it. This has also seemed to help him not to worry as much and get his stomach upset.

Lastly, keopectate has become our best friend for times we can anticipate a problem that we can't get around with him. It was one very wonderful vet who recommended this for home use for our dog with some stipulations. If you have had your dog into the vet about tummy troubles repeatedly please speak to your vet about its use for your dog.

I would like to add that we investigated everything with this boy, as my vet just wouldn't settle on the idea that worry could be such a problem with him, but indeed that is the eventual conclusion we came to. It makes sense to me as well because I know sooo many with anxiety issues and vomitting and stomach upset are common signs of that in humans, so I don't quite understand why there is such reluctance to accept that our dogs can be experiencing the same thing.

SOB
 

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Eli NEVER destroys anything either. He never has. He's always been a super dog since we got him. If he gets into something and I tell him 'no', he just stops, never bothers it again. Ok... I take that back. There is still something about paper that he loves, so I have to be careful not to leave kleenex's or a stack of papers out when I am gone. LOL. But he's never been one to chew or destroy things while we are gone. Both dogs are paper trained and Eli has been great about always using his paper if we have to be gone for several hours at a time. Cutler still is put into a playpen and so far, he is content with a few toys and usually lays down as soon as I put him in there. he knows that to be his 'nap time' place. lol

I've started giving them both a treat when I leave and a treat when I come home. We hadn't done that before but I picked it up when I was reading about separating anxiety. Cutler is a piglet, he will eat anything. Eli on the other hand is just as picky with his treats as he is with his food, so its usually a table scrap for him. I'll check into the Eaglepack stuff. Thank you for the suggestion!

The vet said as he gets older, he will mature more and not get as bad when we leave. I hope so! Even in the car, if we get out of the car, he will pace all over the place! My daughter can run into the store and I stay in the car with him and he will be in the back window, in the front seat, in the back seat, etc just back and forth, whimpering until she comes back. If we both run in, he poops on the seat. The vet said when they get anxious they will poop out of being anxious. For awhile, when my daughter would start getting ready for work, as soon as he sensed it, he was going to the bathroom, now he will climb on my bed or jump on the couch by me or sit at my feet.
 

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Poor guy! I hope you find the source of his problems besides the what seems to be separation anxiety. He sure has had a tough road so far. :(

I really cannot say much about the anal glands except my vet told me that mine should come in once every six weeks for an anal expression to keep him healthy. He had a bad bacterial infection of his skin two weeks ago from his glands being blocked. That needed antibiotics. :(

I'll have to check more into the anal gland thing. I wish they could actually talk to us and tell us where it hurts!
 

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I'm sorry you're experiencing all of these troubles with your little guys; little dogs do seem to be "high maintenance" compared to larger dogs, or least mine sure seem to be.

I have Poms and a toy poodle, and they all thrive on Taste of the Wild; the kibble is small enough that they don't have a problem chewing, and it produces a nice, firm stool. I've had problems with food allergies with one of my older girls, so I'm thrilled to find something that everyone can eat. I'm paranoid about table scraps, I've only given small pieces of cheese as vehicle for medicine.

One thing that I've found helpful in keeping their anxiety levels down is crating them when I leave; I had resisted crate-training because they were not destructive, although they seemed to get agitated when I got ready to leave, and I liked the idea of them having the run of the house. Then the poodle broke his leg and had to be crated; to my surprise, the others also started to run into the crate whenever it was time for me to leave. It's a large wire crate with good visibility and enough room for all of them. I suppose the small place gives them a sense of security, like a den; I feel bad I had looked at crating from my perspective, not theirs. They literally trained themselves.
 
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