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5 Signs You Need to Change Your Dog’s Pet Food

by Burns Team Writer

As a nation of pet lovers and doting pet parents, it is safe to say we would do anything to make sure our dogs are living happy, healthy lives. However, one recent survey (2019) of more than 2000 UK pet parents commissioned by Burns Pet Nutrition, revealed that we may actually be unwittingly doing more harm than good to our pooches, as many issues considered normal in dogs could actually be linked to a poor diet. So, what are the five most common symptoms indicating the need to change your pet’s diet (that are mistakenly dismissed as normal)?


The recent pet parent survey by Burns revealed over half (58%) of pet owners believe it’s normal for their pooch to moult all year round, with nearly a quarter believing central heating systems are the cause of constant fur shedding. However, moulting should only occur once or twice a year as we change seasons. Continuous moulting can be a sign of excess waste in a dog’s system, which can be caused by poor-quality dog food, or overfeeding.

Bad smell

40% of dog owners believe it’s normal for a dog to have smelly breath and 30% agree with the statement ‘all dogs are smelly.’ Interestingly, men were far more complacent about their dog’s bad smell, with 45% of male respondents stating, ‘my dog’s breath smells, but that’s normal for a dog’, compared to 33% of female owners.

However, just like humans, if a dog is healthy and has good hygiene, there shouldn’t be a problem with bad odour. Smelly breath can be a result of plaque and bacteria build up, caused by excessive toxic waste. Owners can combat this by feeding wholesome, natural foods containing a high amount of complex carbohydrates, rather than excessive protein and fat.

Tear staining

Tear staining, often found in small and toy breeds, as well as older dogs, is a result of runny eyes, staining the hair on the dog’s face. Many owners think it’s a problem associated with particular breeds and is nothing to worry about. However, the reality is it’s often another example of toxic waste build-up or a food intolerance. To help combat this, owners should opt for a hypoallergenic diet with high-quality ingredients. Ensuring you feed your dog correct amounts is also particularly important.

Itchy skin

In the survey, 68% of respondents selected fleas, and 58% selected dust allergies, as the cause of itchy skin in their dogs. While these are of course possibilities, they are not the only potential causes. If your pet is constantly scratching, licking and chewing itself, it could actually be a sign of internal issues. It’s possible itchiness is a reaction to a dog’s diet. Overfeeding may result in itchy skin and it can also be caused by an allergy or intolerance to ingredients. If you’re concerned about this, consider cutting out beef, wheat and dairy as these account for 70+% of food intolerance in dogs, and seek advice from your vet.

Digestive issues

It won’t come as a surprise that digestive issues can be related to diet. During his time spent practicing as a Veterinary Surgeon, John Burns, founder of Burns Pet Nutrition, found that feeding a homecooked diet often improved digestive issues. If the dog’s digestive system settled down and the owner reintroduced the food, the problem often returned.

Of course, for many people, cooking for your dog isn’t convenient so choose a dog food, like Burns, that is made up of healthy, natural ingredients, bringing the same benefits of simple, homecooked recipes.

Feeding amounts are also particularly important for dogs with digestive problems. Often, they are struggling to cope with the amount of food they are being given. When feeding a high-quality food, feeding amounts will be lower, putting less strain on the dog’s digestive system.

Burns Pet Nutrition has been combatting these issues for over 25 years using high-quality ingredients and diets designed to meet dogs’ needs, avoiding the use of artificial colours and flavours. All of Burns’ foods are made to support pet health through natural, healthy eating, informed by John Burns’ veterinary expertise.

 To browse Burns Pet Nutrition’s natural, healthy food products, visit: