Cockapoos are known for having issues when it comes to food and eating in general, whether that’s down to allergies or something else, the difficult thing can be trying to figure out what is causing the problem.
We have had lots of issues with Lottie’s eating for the majority of the 2 years we have had her, but more recently more than ever. Through lots of trial and error and advice from vets we have found out some really great information that we’d like to share in the hope that it may help somebody else too!
We haven’t quite conquered Lottie’s issues with sickness but we’re trying different things that seem to be helping.
When Lottie was a really young puppy we would feed her 3 times a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. The reason that we did this is because we had read information from various different sources to say that when puppies are young it’s best to feed them ‘little and often’ through the day. Then, when Lottie got older we questioned whether this was the right thing to do, so we started to feed her only twice a day, breakfast and in the evening for dinner (again, based upon things that we had read online.)
We can’t remember if this was exactly the time when we started to have problems with Lottie and sickness but I would say this definitely contributed.
We would find most mornings we would go downstairs to let her out and she would have been sick, a yellow bile. Not lots of it, but this was happening quite often, always in the morning. This would then put her off eating her food and she wouldn’t eat until lunch time, maybe even dinner time some days.
We questioned whether it could be her food, but she was eating a hypoallergenic food that had been recommended by the vets. We went to the vets for the first time with this problem and they checked her over and couldn’t find anything wrong as she was absolutely fine in herself otherwise, so they gave her a sickness injection and some medication to take for a few days.
This worked for a while and the sickness stopped, but then started back up again eventually.
We thought there could be a lot of different things contributing, maybe the heat if it was a hot day, her season as she had not long had one, had she eaten something she shouldn’t have etc etc, because it was only happening now and again and always in the morning, we were not too worried as she was fine in herself and still running around, playing, eating, drinking and toileting as normal.
Then, not so long ago, her sickness began to get a lot worse. She was being sick much much more, bringing up lots more vomit than just bile.
Again, this was during a spell of hot weather so we were not sure if this could be the cause of the problem as Lottie doesn’t deal too well anyway when the weather is warm. It was becoming quite frustrating not knowing exactly what the cause could be.
This continued for a few days and we were starting to become really concerned so we took her to the vets, this time speaking to a different vet.
The vet took her into the room, we were not able to go in with him due to COVID but he took her in to observe her and check her over. This vet gave us some fantastic advice which as soon as he said it made us realise straight away what the problem was!
He advised us that it’s quite common with small dogs that if there is too much of a long gap between when they eat their dinner in the evening and when they eat their breakfast the next morning, their stomach can become irritated with a sort of ‘stomach acid’ which builds up and causes the bile sickness.
He suggested the best thing to do would be to go back to feeding Lottie ‘little and often’ rather than a larger meal in the morning and a larger meal in the evening, and he also suggested feeding Lottie a small meal at night time before she went to sleep so that the gap between then and breakfast was not too long.
He also gave us some medication for stomach acid which we had to give to Lottie twice a day for a few days, 30 minutes before food, and also gave her a sickness injection.
As soon as he suggested that it would be better feeding Lottie little and often we suddenly realised that of course it was! and that she had been much better when we used to feed her the 3 times a day rather than twice.
Lottie is only a small cockapoo, meaning her stomach is only small, and it just makes so much sense that little and often would work better for small dogs and would be much more sensitive on their stomachs than big meals.
The combination of all of these things helped massively and although there have still been odd occasions where Lottie has still been sick, it has reduced a lot and we seem to be getting on much better.
We now split Lottie’s daily intake of food into 4 servings, she eats first thing in the morning, lunch time, dinner time and then a small serving before bed time and although we haven’t been doing this routine for too long, it seems to be working so far.
We have found chicken and white rice to be a big help for Lottie through times when her sickness has been particularly bad too, which is quite a common suggestion for dogs to eat when they have stomach problems.
So to summarise, if you are having similar problems with your cockapoo and regular sickness –
- Try splitting their daily intake of food into more regular, smaller meals
- Try feeding a small bit of food later at night to reduce the time between the evening meal and breakfast
- Try some bland food like chicken and white rice until you start to see improvement and then slowly start to introduce some of their own food
We hope this has been helpful to you in some way if you are having similar issues with your cockapoo!