For Your Boston Terrier

Our user-friendly nutrition guide will help your Boston maintain optimum health through better nutrition.

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The high percentage of grains in kibbled diets can add fuel to the fire of another little problem in Bostons: flatulence. They are gaseous little creatures to begin with, and you don't want to give them anything that will make it worse, says Dr. Graves. Corn and soy are the two top offenders listed by Boston fanciers.

Does your Boston suffer from itchy skin, red feet from constant licking, recurrent ear infections, vomiting or diarrhea? Dietary allergies, the bodys inflammatory reaction to certain proteins in food, could be to blame. Any protein, from meat or grains, can potentially trigger problems. Food allergies are confirmed by dietary trials in which the dog is fed novel (foods the dog has not previously been fed) sources of protein and carbohydrates for a period of eight to 12 weeks, during which abatement of symptoms should occur. Examples of novel meat ingredients include rabbit, kangaroo and fish, and novel carbohydrates include potato, barley, amaranth and quinoa.

Epilepsy and seizures plague the Boston Terrier breed, according to the Boston Terrier Club of America. In some cases, avoiding dietary allergens, preservatives and environmental chemicals, and high levels of proteins in the diet can help manage seizures, according to Rachel Stoyanov, a registered veterinary technician, third generation Boston Terrier breeder, and proprietor of Rivermist Boston Terriers in Preston, Maryland, who feeds naturally preserved (with vitamin E) foods to her Bostons.

Do Bostons need a smaller kibble size? As a brachycephalic (short-faced) breed with underbites and dental crowding, prehension (picking up food), chewing and swallowing may be more difficult. Small bites are a wise choice for itty-bitty Boston puppies, smaller adult dogs, and dogs with elongated soft palates (an anatomic problem that interferes with breathing and swallowing), says Dr. Graves, who also notes that Bostons are prone to choking when they try to ingest large pieces of food. Bostons with poor dental health may also need smaller kibbles, says Stoyanov. Observe your dog at the food bowl; if it seems to have trouble gnoshing regular-sized kibbles, downsize!

What about canned food? As a breed, Bostons are normally chow hounds, says Anne Sunday, proprietor of Sunglo Boston Terriers in Grants Pass, Oregon, who has owned Bostons for over 50 years, including Intl. Ch. Oranjelust Royal Showman, a Champion in eight countries during the 1970s. But some (genetic) lines are non-eaters, Sunday says. I feed a couple spoonfuls of chicken-flavored canned food to give the (dry) food a little pizzazz. With the higher potential for dental problems in the breed, all-canned regimens aren't recommended.

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janet   Bethlehem, PA

4/18/2012 4:13:22 AM

good article, thanks

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