Subject: Dog allergies
Please tell us what dog food you would recommend for a dog that exhibits all of the conditions listed in the article on your website! We live in Medina, New York, and have a 3 year old english cocker spaniel that has severe skin problems.She is currently eating Science Diet light. Any information would be greatly helpful! Gary,
Patricia and Lase Suzanne
These folks had already consulted with their veterinarian, which should always be your first step with a problematic pooch as there could be other health issues involved which are causing the problem.
It's tough recommending a product without knowing a bit more about the dog so let's start there.
Has the dog always had the skin condition?
If this is a recent occurrence it can often be associated with a change in the dog's environment, i.e. new carpet, new food, a new bed, etc.
Is the dog taking any medication which might be causing the problem?
Does the dog have or has had fleas? Many dogs are very allergic to flea bites.
If the condition seems chronic and not associated with anything environmental then a good place to begin is food.
There are several premium foods on the market (personally I don't count Science Diet as one of them).
My first choice for you to try would be Solid Gold Holistique Blendz
Feed this alone for a two month period and if you then feel that the dog requires more protein or fat you can add some of Solid Gold's canned food. Since you are currently feeding Lite I assume that you are trying to address a weight issue and the Holistique Blendz will help there also.
Give the food 2 months, monitor your dog's coat and skin condition and if you don't see significant changes then we move on to the next food.
Canidae - Again, feed for two months and watch for changes.
I wish there were a simple, quick fix for this, but so often with animals it becomes trial and error to find the source of the problem. We've seen great results with both of these foods on other dogs with problem skin as well as other health conditions.
Some things to keep in mind.
1. When you switch foods do it over a period of a week to ten days.
Start out with 70% current food 30% new food for 2-3 days, then go to 50%/50% for the next 2-3, then 70%new food 30% old food for 2-3, finally going to 100%. Switching slowly helps the dog to adjust to the change and lessens the chance of stomach upsets.
2. Don't allow the dog to have anything other than the dog food. No treats or table scraps (unless you give the Solid Gold or Canidae treats).
3. If the dog is currently getting Cortisone shots or some other allergy related medication ask your Veterinarian if it is ok to stop the medication while you try the food.
The cocker in question, Lase, began the switch to Solid Gold dog food on Tuesday, July 20th. My parents were quite skeptical, since they had previously tried a prescription brand from their vet as well as another food they purchased at a natural food store. The results are amazing!!! Lase's skin has completely cleared up, and she has stopped chewing her self for the most part! My parents are convinced that she must be allergic to some component in the other dog foods. They are grateful to you for your recommendation also! Just to let know, my husband and I have switched our 2 older dogs to Solid Gold, too! We have a 12 year old female Shepard that has seasonal hot spots, and this summer went quite well for her. Our other dog is a 9 1/2 year old yellow lab, Emma, who happily eats whatever brand is purchased. She really enjoys the new food, and seems more satisfied when finished. We have recently purchased a black lab puppy, Onyx. Since our Shepard has not been well with arthritic legs and hips, (she had knee surgery last fall), we chose to get the puppy now in hopes that a bit of Tera's manners would rub off on Onyx. Would you recommend a Solid Gold product for her also, or something different. We purchased a different product from the store in Rochester that we purchased the Solid Gold from, and have had good results thus far. I don't remember the name of it, and since we keep the food in a large sealable tote, the bag has been tossed. Onyx appears to be doing well. Our only concern is that she is 5 months old as already weighs 58 pounds. She is not the least bit heavy, just very tall and long. We have heard that many times when a dog grows quickly, they need supplements to protect their joints... any input would be welcomed. Thank-you once again for your superb advice! Keith, Tamera, Griffin, Tegan, Emma, Tera and Onyx Wright and Gary, Patricia and Lase Suzanne.