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Friday, 2 September 2011

Will home cooking help my dog's acid reflux?

Can anyone help me with home cooking for dogs (as opposed to providing a raw diet)? I am anxious to try this with a poorly Keeshond with acid reflux. I am having difficulty on finding guidance on the best balance of food and supplements to feed.

My Keeshond's reflux problem was identified after an endoscopy with a camera which showed the problem in the oesophagus.

I'd be very grateful for any information on home cooking, and also to know if anyone has any experience with treating acid reflux in their dog.

Thank you,
Dennis, by email

Isuru Gajanayake BVSc CertSAM DipACVIM MRCVS

American Specialist in Small Animal Internal Medicine

Small Animal Clinical Nutritionist

Willows Referral Service

Solihull, West Midlands


Dear Dennis,

I am sorry to hear about your unwell Keeshond.

I hope I can answer your questions about home-cooking for dogs. This is not as straight-forward as it may initially seem but it is possible. The difficulty in cooking a balanced home-cooked diet for dogs lies in that dogs have different nutrient requirements (compared to people) and for this reason making a diet using human supplements invariably results in a dietary imbalances. To provide a balanced home-cooked diet for dogs, you will need dietary supplements specifically designed for dogs and a veterinary nutritionist to balance the diet.

Not knowing the details of your dog and his/her problem it is difficult to speculate, but your dog may have a medical condition that may be the underlying cause for the acid reflux. We typically investigate a problem like this with an ultrasound scan of the abdomen and by taking biopsies from the stomach and intestine (using a scope). Some of the underlying conditions (such as inflammatory bowel disease) are treated with modified diet and medical treatment, whereas other conditions may require surgery. I appreciate that this may raise more questions than answer them but I hope this is nonetheless useful to you.


  1. As a vet I used to recommend home cooked food to the clients in my practice. Basically this was a combination of a third each of meat (or fish/chicken/lamb), vegetables and brown rice all cooked together as a type of risotto. This was highly successful for various health problems This includes dogs which were prone to recurring vomiting (although we didn't call it oesophageal reflux which may be slightly different). I agree with the comment about this being nutritionally incomplete in theory but it wasn't a problem even though I didn't recommend adding supplements.
    John Burns BVMS MRCVS
    Burns Pet Nutrition.

  2. Hello, my dog has what my vet has concluded to be acid reflux. he has cronic reverse sneezing, then vomits stomach bile. i had a scope done of his sinus, then an ultra sound done of his abdomen. with all the tests and biopsys, results are coming back negitive.his throat and sinis are symetrically swollen from being irritated. my dog is on prilosec, pepcid, a digestive enzyme, probiotic, and i have drops to nutrilize his water. i have been feeding him his dog cibble (natural balance) mixed with ground turkey and brown rice. he is still having strong symptoms, and sometimes vomits multiple times a day. i have also tried aloe vera juice, and he takes a holistic vitamin from his dr. i have been doing research online for holisitc remedys for acid reflux i need any help or advise i can get. ill try anything to make my dog happy, otherwise i have to put him to sleep. he has been to 3 vets, and non have seen this before.

    1. Jessica,
      My Shiba has a similar problem - stay away from protein and dairy products - you will see the difference.