Changing thanks to communication!

Nowadays, in almost all organisations there are two words which are used very often: change and communication. This is also true in the FCI.

Change is a natural evolution process and should always be kept in mind, any time! Otherwise the organisation is not working on a quality and stable future…

A few examples of what we should do:

  • interfere more and more in healthy and welfare issues for our dogs, which are part of our society, and especially cooperate with welfare organisations;
  • always keep the quality of our dogs at high level

Read more

Gerard Jipping
FCI Treasurer
Fussy eating

‘’Some dogs are naturally picky eaters who won't eat on a schedule’’
“If weight is not an issue and if he’s not dehydrated, your dog will eat eventually.
Don’t worry about him starving”

Reasons for appetite loss in dogs?

  1. Age
    Puppies or older pets that are new to you need a bit of time to adjust and settle into consistent eating patterns. The metabolism of an older dog can slow and eating habits may change over time. A geriatric dog will often stop eating near the end of life.
  2. Illness
    Dental problems (gingivitis-gum disease, fractured teeth, tooth-root infection or abscesses), toxicity, viral and bacterial infections, intestinal parasitic infestations and diseases such as cancer, colitis and pancreatitis, kidney disease.
  3. Behavioural Concerns
    Environmental change can trigger appetite loss in sensitive pets. Fear can alter eating habits. A great example of this comes from dogs that are sensitive to thunder storms. Also, we need to be aware that the dog owner can create the problem of fussy eating (spoiling the dog, hand feeding, incorrect training,…).
  4. Stress
    A change in environment, such as a move or the death of a family member, can cause a dog to stop eating and lose weight.
  5. Gastrointestinal Disorders
    Causes of gastrointestinal disorders include parasites, parvovirus, coronavirus, bacterial or fungal infections, gastric ulcers, food allergies and certain cancers.
  6. Metabolic Disorders
    Diabetes mellitus and Addison's disease (hypoadrenocorticism), hypothyroidism.
  7. Liver Disorders
    Liver disorders that can cause anorexia and weight loss in dogs include chronic hepatitis, severe scarring of the liver and a portosystemic shunt.

So, poor nutrition in dogs will lead to many health issues. We suggest providing your pet with dog supplements.

Risks and tips

When a dog is not eating well every day, there is a risk that he/she becomes anorectic. A lack of appetite is something that dog breeders are confronted with day in day out. There are a lot of different reasons for this problem but a stress factor is certainly one of them in kennels. Anorexia is defined as the lack or loss of appetite for food. In veterinary medicine, it is one of the most important and most common complaints indicating a myriad of diseases with greatly varying pathogeneses. It might be more appropriate to talk about hyporexia here. Hyporexia means a reduction in appetite rather than a complete loss. Dogs that are completely unwilling to eat can rarely be forced to eat a sufficient quantity to meet their daily energy intake requirement and need assisted feeding (nutrition provided parentally or by tube feeding). After appropriate medical therapy, the most common initial strategy to get a patient to eat is to enhance the palatability of the pet food.
What techniques are currently used and how efficient are they?

  1. Increase moisture
    Switching from dry food to canned or pouched food may prove effective. The reason is the higher moisture level, but canned or pouched food also typically contains more fat and protein. Care should be taken that these increased fat and protein levels do not cause any adverse effects. One should also be aware of the fact that canned or pouched food is not always exactly the same as dry food. An alternative for switching to canned or pouched food is to simply soak the dry kibble (2.5 parts of water + 1 part of kibble).
  2. Increase fat
    This is mostly done in therapeutic food to increase the energy uptake so that less food has to be consumed. Note that increasing the fat content is not without danger, so we do not advise to increase palatability by increasing the fat level of the diet.
  3. Increase protein
    Care should be taken when increasing dietary protein in certain disease processes, such as hepatic failure with hepatic encephalopathy and renal failure with acute uremia.
  4. Sweet and salty
    Adding a sweet flavour by using sugar or syrup as a top dressing may increase the palatability of the food for dogs. Artificial sweeteners should be avoided because they have little or no nutritive value and a common artificial sweetener, xylitol, can cause a hypoglycemic crisis in dogs. Prudence is in order when treating diabetic patients. Salty foods can be effective in getting some dogs to eat but be careful with patients with hypertension, edema, ascites or renal disease. We don’t find this strategy very effective because the preference we saw for some salty foods (potato chips, salted nuts, peanut butter) may in fact be a preference for fat or treats in general that is somewhat independent of the food’s salt level.
  5. Freshness, aroma and food temperature
    Warming food (not higher than body temperature to prevent burning the patient’s mouth) can be helpful because of the additional release of aromas. This is of course important in patients with a reduced sense of smell such as older dogs and renal patients. Keeping the food fresh during storage is very important.
  6. Rarity
    Rare food may be more enticing than common food, but types of food that are completely novel may not be the best choice.
  7. Variety
    This may be an effective approach but there are several cautionary points.
  8. Polypharmacy avoidance
    Common pain medications, antibiotics, antifungals, diuretics, anti-inflammatories, immunosuppressives and chemotherapeutics can reduce appetite. Try alternative ways of administration that might mitigate some medications’ adverse effects on appetite.
  9. Eliminate physical barriers to eating
    Examples of such physical barriers are Elizabethan collars, poor bowl location and dental or oral pain.
  10. Appetite stimulating drugs
    Diazepam, cyproheptadine and low-dose propofol are not recommended because their effects seem to be unpredictable, intermittent and of short duration.

After careful consideration of the 10 techniques described above, it is clear that no effective treatment was available, until today. Viyo Recuperation, a liquid formulation, increases the palatability of the food for dogs in a safe and healthy way without any negative interference with daily meals. It also will supplement all essential nutrients through a ‘liquid’ formulation (vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and amino acids) to prevent the risk of health issues induced by poor eating.

Dr Wim Van Kerkhoven
Viyo International nv
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