Dr. Karen Becker: How to Control Food Allergies

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Controlling dog food allergies can be a common problem for many pet parents. In this video, Dr. Karen Becker explains how to control and prevent these troublesome issues.

For more information, please be sure to visit our FAQ page about “Dog Food Allergies“.

  • Natalie Marie Alvarez Padilla

    I am currently feeding him Whole Earth Farms grain free with lamb & beef, mixed with Whole Earth Farms Red Meat Recipe canned food. He has had diarrhea every day since I got him 2 months ago on the same brand’s “puppy recipe” with chicken and rice. I realized this wasn’t normal after reading through this website. I switched him last night to the grain free lamb & beef and all his poop has been perfectly solid all day. It was a drastic change in such a short time. I’m happy I didn’t waste my time “weaning him off”.

  • Dori

    Which brand are you feeding? Kibbles, Canned or Raw? Just curious. I have a dog with many food issues.

  • Natalie Marie Alvarez Padilla

    I know this comment was a year ago, but my puppy started showing chicken allergy symtoms as well so I just switched him cold turkey, and he immediately started doing well. I switched him to grain free, beef & lamb, mixed with beef canned food. Maybe because I switched him to a line from the same brand, but I honestly think if your dog is generally healthy, switching cold turkey shouldn’t be an issue.

  • neezerfan

    I know she will do phone consultations (for a fee). I don’t know off the top of my head how to contact her, you’ll have to google it.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Whatever you are using in her raw diet still has some allergen in it or she has really bad environmental allergies or both. I would try a strict elimination diet.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy
  • InkedMarie

    Dr Becker isn’t on this site, as far as I know. I’d say to contact her on her fb page but Ive never seen her answer anything there. Maybe look on her website for a contact email.

  • Sandi Kuzyk

    I would like to address Dr Becker. I live in Edmoton Alberta Canada and have 13 dogs and 8 cats and 2 horses. All my dogs and cats are on a raw diet exclusively. I am using Mercola probiotics, spirugreens, and krill oil. All my animals are rescues except my horses. One of my 9year old white poodles was turned into the Vet Clinic( where I work) 2 years ago to be euthanized by her 88 year old owner as he could no longer care for his sick wife and his sick dog. I offered to take her to save her life. Our vet is NOT pro the raw diet, however suggested this may be the best thing for this poodle as she was almost bald and had severe allergies. She was also unable to move much, was extremely underweight, and her eyesight was extremely diminished. She was put on steroids, raw diet, and lots of love and care. She has transformed extremely well. She now weighs about 9 pounds. However she is still having skin issues, and I feel it is the steroids, however she worsens whenever I try to wean her off. Do you have any other suggestions for this beautiful little girl, named Ginger. Thanks Kindly, Sandi Kuzyk ([email protected])

  • Jim Bradley

    After a year on the same food, Jake started to show symptoms of possible food allergies. I did a bunch of research and found out that commercial food is probably the culprit. I also found out a bunch of other shocking information but this is about controlling Jake’s food allergies. I transitioned him over to homemade food and the symptoms stopped. It wasn’t necessary to start on an allergy elimination diet. I then branched out his diet by using different recipes from http://secretsofdogfood.net/ Homemade food is one of the best decisions I’ve made for Jake. He’s symptom free and I love not having to vacuum my house more than once a day due to massive shedding.

  • laurie

    i have a pitbull. he has a really bad rash all over under stomach and were he’s hind legs, it is driving him nuts. I think that it is the dog food we are feeding him he eats lamb and rice iams. I really would like to know.

  • Paula

    My puppy appears to be allergic to the chicken in her food. I know normally you would switch her slowly, but because of the allergy, do I switch her immediately?

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  • Shawna

    I agree with Marie, don’t give to him!!
    Depending on the kind of candy it could cause an allergy but it WILL lower his immune system which will open the door for allergies and other issues. Boxer’s are prone to cancer and candy is bad for cancer…

  • InkedMarie

    I don’t know if it would cause an allergy but don’t give your dog sweets! No one needs the sugar and stuff in sweets/candy, especially a dog

  • http://www.facebook.com/bessiefiander Bessie Mitchell

    I have a boxer and we are gulty of giving him sweets a lot of candy would this cause his foof algery

  • mcgus

    Thank you for your reply, and I have heard about the vaccines and allergy issues before too. The dog we have now has been undergoing her regular vaccine schedule, and has no allergy issues (our other dog by this time was licking her paws, and breathing was different). I will definitely heed the experience you have had, and not take any chances. I am still wondering though, that upper cervical problems could cause the dog to not be able to withstand the vaccines – upper cervical issues caused by collars (ours dog would run our of leash with a yank on her neck). She did get a med for it, but only for brief stints. The health of the dog would definitely explain why some dogs are not affected by the vaccine, while others are. Perhaps vaccinating an immune compromised dog is the issue at hand. Do you think compromise in the cervical area could be the issue leading to compromising the immune system, and in turn, the dog becoming allergic?

  • Mike P

    Hi DogLover,
    No more needless vacs for my dog.There is lots of info supporting my decission.Shawna and Toxi provided me with a ton of research on this and I had a chat with my own doctor about vacs and the immune system that I feel she is protected for life.Rabbies only every 3 years for us.The mercury free one.I will do a titer in April when she is due her annual and even if it comes back low I won’t vaccinate.My Doc say’s that the immune system “remembers” and will attack the enemy when needed.The titer will be for my own curiosity.My last 2 Boxers got yearly combo’s and we went through all the steroid meds for allergy’s and they both died of cancer 6 months apart at age 12.Poor baby’s as we did not know any better and took the vets advice because he was the professional.Vaccines and poor diet are a deadly combination.My dog does not live in a forrest and has low risk factors.As far as I know there are no coyotes crapping in our livingroom.

  • DogLover

     I’ve had multiple dogs over 30 years.  My experience was that over-vaccination caused my dogs to have immune system health problems, including severe allergies.  Search online and you’ll find lots of information on this and testimonies from people who will tell you about the nightmare their animals have endured because of over-vaccination and inappropriate pet food.  Dogs and cats are made to eat a raw meat diet; anything else is bad news.  If your allergy dog was on a steroid, that caused the cancer.  It happened to one of our Silkies who developed severe allergies after being vaccinated with a 5-in-1 combo vaccine and rabies all at once.  That’s way too much for the immune system to properly process and it damaged her for life.  She developed cancer from taking vetalog (steroid) to control her horrendous allergies and we had to have her put down at age 11 yrs.  Now that we properly vaccinate – 1 at a time, reduced dose for small dogs and titer test to prove they were properly vaccinated and don’t need it repeated over and over – and feed raw meaty bones to our dogs – they have NO health problems and have lived to be 20 years old +.

  • Mcgus

    Hi there,
    Am interested in knowing the connection between leash pressure on the neck vertebrae which house the nerves for the immune system and allergies.  My dog died at the age of 9 from cancer in her immune system, after having allergies for many years.  We think it’s because her collar disabled her from “shaking out” her spine as a healthy dog should do.  She also tugged alot at her leash which could have subluxated a vertebrae.  My new dog is now 3 and with no collar (harness for walks), she is just as spunky as the day we got her with NO ALLERGIES at all.  Coincidence?  

  • Pattyvaughn

    Good for you!

  • Jeff & Des

    Dr. Becker’s video was extremely helpful and informative. We are off to the Pet Suuply store to discuss a new diet plan and cycle.

  • debbie

     did the brothers work?

  • debbie

     my cocker is having major issues, ear infections, bumps on her back n neck, licking her feet, paws non stop, is on meds now, im looking at I guess older posts here now, so what has helped you?

  • debbie

     yes, I am new here, but my head has been spinning for yrs re dog foods:), and esp now with trying to help my dog.. so did you have luck with what you tryed? alot are saying brothers is good? have you tryed that?

  • debbie

     do you have cocker spaniels?

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    If you scroll through here a while back, there are suggestions:

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/canine-nutrition/hip-dysplasia-dogs/

  • BryanV21

    Neither does Thrive or Preference. Of course, Preference is a mixture that you need to add meat to, as it doesn’t come with any already in it like the others.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Honest Kitchen Zeal does not have white potato.

  • Bob K

     Dehartfamily – Look at the 4 and 5 star rated foods, many of the brands also have a large breed puppy formula.  Half of the 4 and 5 star rated foods may not even be available in your area.   Or you can visit a few petshops in your area, write down what they sell then go online here and check the rating.  It is not really that hard but might take 1 – 2 hrs of research t ofind a good solution. 

  • Dehartfamily

    I am currently looking for a good dry food for a large breed puppy.  Any ideas out there?

  • Dehartfamily

     Yes, good point.  We do use the Performance.  The only difficulty we have had with it finding it.  They have just begun a frequent buyers program.  Buy 12, get 1 free.

  • BryanV21

    The Grandma Lucy’s Pureformance foods use chickpeas instead of potatoes, but Grandma Lucy’s Artisan foods DO use potatoes.

    Honest Kitchen has potatoes or sweet potatoes.

  • Dehartfamily

     Lisa,
    We switched from Honest Kitchen to Grandma Lucy’s.  Same type of product but no potato.  They use chickpea instead.  We add Krill Oil with each feeding and our dog is doing better than she ever has.  No itching, no ear infections, no more yeast problems, no more diarrhea and NO, I don’t work for them.  We have been searching for a good product for 5 years and have tried lots of options and have done lots of research. 

  • Pommie49

    How is it going with the fish? I just started my dog on honest kitchen fish type…

  • Lisa

    Ok I made up my mind. Since my head is spinning in a million directions from looking at all these foods!! Lol I am going to get away from dry kibble for a while for her. Seems like all the processing could be a culprit. I am going to try Honest kitchen. I will give it 3 months as long as no major reaction. Use the enzymes and see how it goes. I will start with the fish. :) it is either that or can cause I am just not having luck with any dry. I want to try the Honest kitchen before can.

  • Lisa

    Thank you Melissa!! :) that was Taste of the wild. I used to call it her miracle. She used to have bad yeast between her toes before I found that. I was very careful in what treats I gave her. The vet says that. You would never know by looking at her. She only lost her hair once when she was a pup and I immediately found an allergy fish formula and her hair grew back. Her main thing is itch and bite her feet and lick her paws. She’s very soft for a beagle. Her coat is silky. No hot spots!! But I avoid all grains now and chicken. She does better on fish from my trial and error.

  • melissa

    Lisa-

    she is beautiful! She doesn’t look like an allergy dog to me in the pix-her paws etc don’t have that red/rusty “i have chewed them” appearance- great job!

  • Lisa

    This is my baby Bella. The most lovable dog I have ever had!! She loves everybody and all other animals, including cats. 

  • Lisa

    I will give the Brothers a try first, I am hopeful!! I can’t find where I can order the samples, so I had to email Richard again. I see the 5 pound bag. With her I usually know right away so I can start with a few kibbles. It has complete Probiotics so if it works, that would be all she needs. I want to try the fish as well in Brothers. Plus I have 2 beagles and the nice amount of probiotics I am sure would benefit my other beagle, especially with her anal gland issues, which I heard is common in beagles. If all else, I have a new quality food for my non allergy Beagle. :) I wish I knew about the food sooner, but I am just learning. The Brothers treats look WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!! I am definitly ordering some treats too!! Now she can have beef and I seen a grain free beef treat by bothers that I am really excited about. As far as Mileys treats, from now on I am only going to give her treats from Brothers. I just don’t feel comfortable anymore with all these recalls and I already have a major trust in Brothers. Plus they have all the treats she loves. I know she will be fine on the food. I will be hopeful for Bella. 

  • Lisa

    Of course this is all of which you mentioned!! And he does mention potatoes too of something I may need to avoid, but she made almost a miraculous recovery on taste of the Wild, NO yeast for 10 months in her paws or ears and the vet said she never looked better. I am really thinking peas now after reading that. 

  • Lisa

    In that link he mention glutamate. Foods to avoid, funny he said its more in lamb and rabbit, both showed as positive in her allergy test!! What a great link!! :) He said strive to use a Novel protein. He also mention chicken to avoid. He has wellness core on the list and I did try that, that one she vomited and itched, it had peas and potatoes. He is saying to avoid legumes, now that would be peas. The pet store gave me a sample of the California natural kangaroo and red lentil and that has peas, no potatoes, I gave her 2 pieces and she itched like mad. Great site Shawna!! Thank you. I may do a consult, all the info I can get the better. :)

  • Lisa

    Shawna, you are SO kind!!!!!!! You have helped me SO much!!!!! I am really interested in this and you are very smart. You also explain it in a way to help me understand. I found a product I am curious about. It is also by Nusentia. I just looked up seacure. That looks like a wonderful product!! I have the enzymes on the way, I ordered them. I was curious, I looked at California natural Salmon grain free and that food has no probiotics, the Natural Balance limited ingredients do not have probiotics but they are allergy formulas, wouldn’t probiotics be important in an allergy formula? Taste of the wild has probiotics and so does the new Avoderm trout and pea formula. A good way to test this pea allergy would be to try her on one of those without Potatoes. Avoderm does have more ingredients then California natural but they add the enzymes too so I wanted to test the pea allergy with something without potatoes. I was really curious why no enzymes are added to the allergy formulas since it is so important. I will check out that website now. And Thank you!! I really want to get to the root of her problem and help her as much as I can. I am really having a hard time thinking she is ok with Peas because of all this info and because she reacted to every single food I tried that contained peas and I remember when I tried natural Balance and they had just added pea protein to the formula and she itched and vomited. Like with Acana, most of the protein was coming from the fish, it did have potato but so does taste of the wild and the main ingredient that changed in these formulas is peas. Or it could be some potatoes and not all that she reacts to. I am just battling with what formula to try because California natural is less ingredients but no enzymes and the avoderm has the added enzymes. 

  • Lisa

    She went on Steroids for this episode. :( Her body was so hot, she smelled of yeast, needless to say I felt SO bad!!!!! When the Vet said the results are really not accurate and it just gives you a good baseline, like Corn they knew because it was a high positive. Turkey didn’t show. He said it will still be a lot of trial and error and I gave her 2 pieces. That was all it took and that was her worst reaction, thats why I am really scared to expose her to chicken or turkey. To my knowledge, chicken and turkey are both poultry, so if she reacts that badly, I need to be avoiding both. 

  • Marie

    No, you’re explaining it fine. But one thing I don’t quite understand is how sugars can be used up to the point were the lectins have nothing to bind to. Is that not supplied by diet? And what exactly, is IgA?

    I’m no stranger to gluten intolerance, that’s for sure, but I don’t know specifics. Thanks!

  • Shawna

    LOVE the article Lisa!!!

    I started a paragraph on SeaCure but deleted it..  SeaCure is healing (I used it on Gizmo) but because it is “hydrolyzed” it is a source of “free” glutamic acid—–which is the g in MSG..  I’m not sure how IgA and free glutamic acid interact???  And SeaCure is on the pricey side — so I deleted the info… :)  Spirulina is another excellent source of readily absorbable amino acids and, imo, would be a good option.

    I did a quick search of “IgA SeaCure” and pulled up info that says colostrum is a source of supplemental IgA (plus other good stuff).  Colostrum is combined with the hydrolyzed white fish in SeaCure in their product called SeaVive..  SeaVive might be a really good supplement for Bella (for short term use that is)!!?

    Since the Brothers samples are free —- would be worth it to try it…

    You seem interested in all this :)…  If you want some really really good info a vet called Dogtor J is an excellent source for lots of wonderful information.  http://dogtorj.com/

    Bella is a lucky girl !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Lisa

    Another important thing I forgot to mention!! Once I went grain free, all the gas and loose bowels stopped. When I was using wellness white fish and sweet potato and it had barley, her bowels were not normal. They were loose all the time. That was how grain free really helped. She has 2 bowel movements a day and it is always firm. Her main thing is itch, yeast and bite and lick her feet. No bowel issues since I went grain free. The only time she lost her hair was when she was a puppy. She went almost completely bald. Once switched to fish that went away and she always maintained a beautiful coat. No sores. Then once I went grain free we finally had normal bowels. That is probably important because her bowels are completely normal on Taste of the Wild. Always have been.

  • Lisa

    And this article is saying avoid chicken fat. http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/10_5/features/Dog_Skin_Problem_15932-1.html

  • Lisa

    I found the treats I gave her!! She was doing fairly well, we had just got the results of her allergy test and I went to the store and got these. This was her WORST reaction ever!!!!!! I had to take her to the emergency vet, her body was on fire. It was awful. http://www.bluebuffalo.com/dog-treats/wilderness-trail-treats-turkey
    It had turkey, chicken meal and chicken fat. She reacted horrible and I gave her 2 only. 

  • Lisa

    With me with gluten certain wheats will really bother me and some I am perfectly fine with. Kind of like milk and corn. So I thought maybe that was the issue with her and the potatoes. I am going to check out that link now. Thanks again!! :)

  • Lisa

    Thanks!! Yes turkey too. The treat I had given her was chicken and turkey and I can’t remember how I figured out her turkey allergy. I think I gave it to her one holiday and she had a bad reaction. That’s why I was scared to try the turkey and I told him about it and he said I should try the sample and just give her a few to start and see how she does. That’s what I didn’t understand. She thrived on Taste of the wild and it has potatoes but I think sweet potatoes first? Beside the anal issue her allergies were well controlled and I did tell him that. Could it be certain potatoes? Like the pinnacle was salmon first and then potatoes. He still seemed to think it was potatoes. Now sweet potatoes was in her food. When I gave her purée organic sweet potatoes made for pets she itched. That’s what I don’t understand with her. To me she seems to react to almost anything and she will Run to rub her face and rub along the furniture immediately after like the video mentioned. She has even done that with pumpkin but not all the time. The canned sweet potato definitely made her itch. I noticed it right after. I am going to try the brothers in the samples as he said. I know chicken for sure!! That’s when her whole body gets hot and Richard said that’s a bad reaction. Now when you mention the gluten with your friends, I can’t have corn chips. I actually feel like I get a fever from that. I can have fish but not Tuna fish. It makes me extremely sick. Corn chips make me feel like I have the flu. My doctor thought maybe I was a little gluten intolerant because some foods make me sick. Especially milk!! Even the lactose free but I seem to tolerate the organic a little better. Could that be the same for her? Just certain potatoes?

  • Shawna

    I agree with Richard and your nutritionist — potato is worse then peas.  However, you said Taste of the Wild was working right?  TotW has potato?  If I remember correctly you said only a little anal gland issues on TotW?

    Also, don’t discount a lectin containing food until you’ve ruled out that it is not problematic..  I have a friend who’s dog reacts to green beans (same family as peas).  Daisy, here on DFA, says her dog reacts to green beans too.  Peas is less likely yes BUT could be an issue..  If the next food you try (and Brothers is a good one to try) does not work try another pea free one.  For some reason I thought turkey was an issue too?  Or is it just chicken?

    I will say too — I have gluten intolerant friend (that are not Celiacs) that get fevers from gluten grains.  This website says fever is a symptom of gluten intolerance too…  If fever is a symptoms of gluten intolerance then it is likely a symptom of other lectin foods too.  It’s in the chart about half way down under “Reactions”  http://www.gfnaturals.com/allergies-intolerance.pdf

    Do keep in mind too — because of the leaky gut that lectins cause — lectins can cause “allergies” too.  And the merck vet manual, in the quote I posted, said GI (gastrointestinal) allergies are common…  Its still lectins though..  My Gizmo is reactive to lectins in chicken.  She gets SEVERE colitis (if given too often).

    I highly respect Richard..  We are actually friends :)..  And, as I stated earlier, it is best to have input from multiple sources —- one may think of something that another does not :)..

  • Lisa

    Shawna, you are correct. :) I spoke to Richard and I consulted a Pet Nutritionist in my area. Richard said it sounds like Potatoes is the Culprit not peas, he said Peas is highly unlikely. I didn’t tell him about the IgA but I will for sure!! I was telling him all the foods she reacted to. He said when her body gets hot, that is a true severe allergy and I want to stop the food. That happened with Chicken, and it also happened with a Chicken and turkey grain free treat I have her, so Turkey I don’t know. He has samples of the Allergy formula. I also found some without potatoes but they do have peas. I understand what you mean about the chicken fat. He could be right on the potatoes, since every one I used had peas and potatoes. What do you think? I will let him know about the IgA. :)

  • Shawna

    Lisa ~~ the guys (and gal) at Brothers are pretty darn sharp!!!  And I think it is ALWAYS a GREAT idea to get information from as many sources as able..

    When you talk with them (guessing it will be Richard or Pierre) tell them that lectins are suspected as the issue because she is a Beagle and Beagles are known to be IgA deficient.

    Do keep in mind that MANY foods have lectins and she is not likely to react to them all.  However IgA deficient people/pets are (per Merck) more reactive then those with sufficient IgA…

    THK may work for Bella even though it has eggs (eggs are less reactive then other foods)..  HK has trial sizes for $5.99, in my area at least, that you can purchase to sample before buying a large box..

  • Shawna

    No no Marie!!  You are ABSOLUTELY correct but there is a but :)..  How’s that for an answer :)

    I didn’t explain it well, I apologize…  I’m speaking about two very different kinds of protein. 

    The one is the protein in foods that breaks down to amino acids which the body utilizes for muscle, hair etc.

    The second kind of protein, a lectin, is actually a “glycoprotein” and is a defense mechanism.  Lectins are in foods as well as animals and humans naturally..  Gluten is an example of a lectin like protein.  It is not broken down into amino acids.  Rather it binds with sugars (examples of sugars would be lactose, mannose, glucosamine, mucin and IgA-which is not a sugar etc) and should be excreted causing no harm..  What happens is with repeated exposure the sugars and IgA get used up and there is nothing natural for the lectin to bind to.  When this happens it binds to the digestive tract wall causing damage….including leaky gut.

    Lectins can cause an allergy (like a peanut allergy) but from my understanding, most often it is an intolerance (like celiac or gluten intolerance).  Someone with a peanut allergy can’t use peanut oil as an example (from what I’ve read). 

    Chicken is a source of protein that breaks down to amino acids — if this is causing the reaction then the fat should be okay (but someone on here, Aimee possibly, said it can be slightly contaminated).  Chicken is also a source of lectin protein.  If the reaction is caused by the lectin it may be that the fat is not tolerated either (based on what the linked article says about vegetable oils from foods with problem lectins).

    I know people who react to strawberries and cucumbers — it is actually the lectins in these foods that are causing the reaction.  Interestingly, two people I know that can’t eat cucumbers CAN eat pickles.  So, the fermenting process must break down the lectins in cucumbers :)..

    Let me know if I’m still not explaining well…  I didn’t get much sleep last night.  Last time I looked at the clock was 3:30..

  • Marie

    I’ve always been under the impression that allergies are reactions to the proteins of the food, not the fat
    specifically…but I’m certainly not as knowledgable as you on this, Shawna. :)

    So fats aren’t as inert as I thought? At least, in the case of dogs, animal based fats?

  • Lisa

    Hi Shawna, and I completely agree with you on the Chicken fat. I was really curious why it is an allergy formula but yet it is turkey and has chicken fat. I hear poultry allergies are so common. Her 2 highest allergies along with Corn. Now this all makes sense as I think she reacts to peas as well. I was looking at the Honest Kitchen and that has eggs. He asked me if he could speak to me on the phone, he said he knows a lot about allergies and he thinks he can help. I said sure, so he emailed and said he will call me today. I will check out the vegetable article now. :) 

  • Shawna

    Hi Lisa ~~ That is very nice of you to say!!  Thank You :) 

    I’m not sure I agree with Brothers on the chicken fat??  They may be right but I am not convinced.  IF the reaction is due to the muscle protein (the protein that breaks down to amino acids) then they could be very right.. 

    However, I have read articles on lectin proteins that suggest the avoidance of the oils from lectin foods.  Because “chicken fat” is not a food eaten by humans I haven’t seen any data in these articles on it but they do say to avoid soy, canola, peanut and other “vegetable” oils from foods that have lectins.  SO, if the reaction is due to chicken lectins then the fat may be off limits too. 

    I also read that the lectins in muscle meat are the same as the lectins in liver so you may have to watch chicken liver too?

    Here’s the article that talks about vegetable oils  http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

    Sorry I’m so negative!!  I just think some of the info may help??  It’s not all going to be relevant to Bella but if you don’t know what COULD be an issue then you won’t know to watch for it :)…

  • Lisa

    Wow. I just read that. Dr. Beckers probiotic Bella can’t have because of her allergies they said. I gave them the list. The Nusentia (just the powder) doesn’t have her allergies. A lot of them add flavors and such and that one doesn’t. Your really smart!! I appreciate it. I think this could be why she is reacting to the peas? I am going to let her body settle before I even attempt another food. Brothers said as far as chicken fat. Just because she’s allergic to chicken doesn’t mean she can’t have chicken fat because the protein has been removed. He said she still could. So this all makes sense. I need to figure out what taste of the wild has in it that makes her do so well!! I mean no yeast at all on that food. Besides the anal issue, it was extremely well controlled. The vet even said you would never know she had allergies by looking at her. However that’s the only food so far that she did that well on. She never vomited and always had normal bowels. I am surprised after seeing that report of the plant that food came from but they did something right. Maybe since it don’t have peas. Thanks again for everything and then some!! :)

  • Shawna

    Lectins are in a lot of foods but some seem to be more problematic then others.  The ones we know to be problematic are — ALL grains (rice being the least problematic), all nightshade plants with potato being the biggest problem (other nightshades are tomato, sweet peppers, eggplant), all legumes (including green beans, soy and peas), corn and dairy.  Other foods with less problematic lectins are chicken and eggs..  Peanuts is another big one but not often in dog foods — can be in treats though..?  Do you feed treats? 

    HOWEVER, because your pup may be inadequate at making IgA — it may not be limited to just lectins or just one or two types of lectins in one or two types of foods????  Could be the pesticides or fungicides etc AS WELL AS food???..  

    As mentioned in the Brothers email —- adding a HIGH QUALITY probiotic could be very very helpful especially in your case.  The Merck Vet Manual states that Beagles have all the cells for making IgA but just don’t seem to make it…  Probiotics (I have not been able to find information on which one/s — there are at least 14 known in dogs) help the body produce IgA!!!!!

    I didn’t look at the probiotic you are purchasing but if it only has two or three strains of probiotics it may not have the one/s that stimulate IgA???  Dr. Becker, on her Mercola Healthy Pets website, sells a probiotic that has all 14 strains.  I would certainly get that one or use it as a guide to find another that is like it… :)

    You’re making me work my brain today :)…

  • Lisa

    She puked again and now she smells of yeast. :( I will google that now. How would I know if lectins is in the food? You don’t know how much I appreciate your help!!!!

  • Shawna

    Lisa ~~ I just had a DUH momment :)

    I often bring up an IgA deficiency when talking about German Shepherd Dogs…  BUT, Beagles can have an IgA deficiency too… 

    Here’s some info from the Merck Vet Manual on IgA deficiency in Beagles…  If it is an IgA deficiency then you really must get lectins out of the diet as they bind with IgA and can make pup even more deficient :(

    “IgA deficiencies have been described in Beagles, German Shepherds, and Shar-Peis…. Dogs with IgA deficiency, like their human counterparts, suffer mainly from chronic skin infections, chronic respiratory infections, and possibly allergies… Some German Shepherds seem to have lower IgA levels than other breeds and a higher incidence of GI allergies. IgA deficiency in Shar-Peis is highly variable; some have negligible serum and secretory levels, and some have normal serum levels and low or negligible secretory levels. Like the German Shepherds, affected Shar-Peis have more problems than expected with allergies.” http://www.merckvetmanual.com/

  • Lisa

    Thank you. I am at half the wean of Acana and she vomited 3 times. She also had her entire foot in her mouth and was biting it. She normally itches and doesn’t vomit. Now she’s doing both. This same thing happened on Pinnacle and I took her off and she was fine. I can try Aqualuk by Annamaet if not I don’t know what else to do but keep her on Taste of the wild again until her system calms down. This is such great info. Thank you. :)

  • Shawna

    The info that Brothers provided you is absolutely correct.  Probiotics help because they stimulate mucin (one of the sugars, I mentioned, that lectins bind to :)…

    I explained how allergies occur —- leaky gut..

    Enzymes break down the foods into substances that the body recognizes.  So instead of proteins getting through the leaky gut into the bloodstream —- amino acids get through.  Amino acids are supposed to get through so the body does not react.  This will not help with existing allergies but will help prevent new allergies from forming.  It will not help with intolerances however.  Lectins are not broken down well by enzymes.

    The probiotics and enzymes will help tremendously…  BUT, if you keep feeding the food/s causing leaky gut the enzyme and probiotics will improve symptoms but not prevent them.. :(

    Leaky gut can also be caused by antibiotics, NSAID’s like Metacam or Rimadyl, yeast overgrowth (in which case probiotics will help in the cure) and I beleive steroids too (as well as other causes)…  However, once off these the gut should heal on own..  My guess is it is probably lectins as I am assuming from your posts that this is an ongoing issue.

  • Shawna

    The immune system will continue to over react for about a year or so AFTER all allergic/intolerance causing foods are removed..

    Also, you are likely to see symptoms (even if the food is not causing them) for a few months..  The histamine is still in the body even after the problem foods are stopped.  The liver has to clear it and other allergic reaction by-products out of the body.  If the liver is not working optimally (and it won’t be in cases of allergies) then it will take time to clear all the “debris” away —- hence continuing symptoms…  However, you should see improvements as the offending foods are removed.

    If she is reacting to the ingredient then it won’t matter what food it is in — a protein is a protein..  HOWEVER, if she is reacting to something ON the food the Annamaet person is correct.  Example — some may react to CORN fed beef but not to grass fed beef — in this case it is not the beef but the corn.  Or another may react to potato in one food but not another..  Old, green or sprouted potatoes have a toxin called solanine.  Pup may be reacting to a food that uses a lower grade of “old” potato.  Again, it is the solanine that pup is reacting to not the potato..  Apples are one of the most chemically treated crops (on the Environmental Working Groups “dirty dozen” list).  Pup could even be reacting to a certain pesticide sprayed on the apple in the food….  Apples grown in a different part of the country may not be sprayed with that chemical that is causing pup problems….  So yes, in cases like those mentioned and similar — changing foods with the same ingredient could help..  BUT, if it is a reaction to the protein in the ingredient — then (from my understanding) no, it will not help. 

    Here’s an example from my own personal life — I have tried various brands of dairy and react to them all (just IN CASE my reaction was to something other then the protein).  I have tried different types too — organic, organic grass fed, organic raw.  I react to all of them..

  • Shawna

    Morning Lisa :)

    Grains (and other foods) have a protein in them called a lectin.  Lectins, in my opinion, are one of the reasons allergies happen in the first place….  Lectins bind to natural sugars in our bodies.  If too many lectins are eaten it can deplete the natural sugars.  When the sugars are no longer there for the lectin to bind to — they bind to the digestive tract wall.  This causes inflammation.  The inflammation then causes symptoms, however sometimes symptoms are not immediate.  The inflammation also causes little gaps in the digestive tract wall.  These gaps allow undigested foods to pass through into the bloodstream.

    The tough part is —- not ALL lectins in ALL foods will affect all people and pets.  I have a problem with dairy but two of my girlfriends are okay with dairy but can’t have gluten.  The other problem is that an offending food can take 6 months or longer to create symptoms — all the while doing damage and taxing the body and the immune system.

    Also, once leaky gut occurs the lectins get into the bloodstream and can bind with organs — causing thyroid, heart, kidney, liver, joint and other issues including autoimmune diseases (because of the inflammation).

    The other thing about grains — grains are higher in omega 6 (inflammatory) fatty acids then any other food…  Meaning more amounts of fish or krill oil will need to be taked to counter the higher omega 6.  Per nutrition data website, oats has a omega 6 to 3 ratio of 31:1.  Ideal should be between 3:1 and 5:1..  That’s a LOT of inflammation in an already inflammed little body..

    All grains have other issues too but this is already long enough :)… 

  • Lisa

    Someone from Brothers allergy emailed me. The email was very long and thorough all about allergies. He said it sounds like she has leaky gut and may benefit from pre and pro biotics but that can take 5 to 6 months or so to work. He said she will probably go through some healing crisis where she vomits and has diarrhea. He said regardless of what I do or chose not to do she will never get better if the gut is compromised which the evidence leads to. I am gonna start Nusentia pro biotic miracle and digestive enzyme.

  • Jim Wu

    Due to network reasons.I’m sorry for me now come to the message.You say is very good.Unfortunately, I no longer have pets, or I can join you.Busy with a foreign trade website http://www.mcwto.com hope you can give me a modified views. Good looking forward to a party.

  • Lisa

    Lol… Too funny. I think its more exciting for them. I had put just a few in with the duck, she was done in 2 seconds, so I put like 5 kibbles of the Wild Prairie in her bowl and she just swallowed it. That is the first time I ever seen her do that. Lol I am curious how she will like the Meadow Feast. Then I want to get the Acana lamb. I like the fact Glucosamine and Chondroitin is in her grain free Acana. I usually give her supplements which she responds really well too. 

  • Lisa

    Thats what the customer service at Annamaet was saying too. He said just because she reacts to an ingredient in one food, doesn’t mean she will react to the same ingredient in all foods, he said they have different grades and some foods use more fillers. Funny, I thought she would do better on a lower protein and she reacts to much to proteins but I think its the opposite. lol I think the more actual meat in the food, the better. 

  • Lisa

    Also, certain foods will cause her to get really red around her mouth, not the Acana yet. I would say her immune system is over reacting since the recall because I tried quite a few foods and she reacted. The Wellness Core, I gave her about 5 kibbles mixed in her food and she vomited so that was probably more an intolerance. Customer service at Annamaet told me just because she reacts to an ingredient in one food, doesn’t mean she will react to the same ingredient in another because it depends on the quality of the ingredients and they have different grades. Kind of like what Melissa said, sometimes they can tolerate other brands more then others. Like the Wellness grain free salmon limited ingredient, has less ingredients then Acana yet she didn’t tolerate it. 

  • Lisa

    Thanks Shawna, I am at half and half of the Acana Pacifica, no gas, no upset stomach, but after she finished her dinner, she did go roll around and rub her face into the couch, and then she was licking and biting her feet. It didn’t last long and I can’t be sure its the new food because she did this randomly before to, almost always after a few spoons of canned food. On the Earthborn she just itched non stop! Especially around her face and ears and she isn’t doing that on the Acana. She also itched like crazy on the Pinnacle. So she is definitely not doing any of that so far. With Earthborn she showed allergy signs right away and with Pinnacle it was when I got to half of the wean. In this video she says stay away from grains to prevent allergies, I have my other Beagle on the Duck and pear Acana and that has oats but she is doing really well. I want to try the lamb and that has oats too. Thank you again for being so helpful!! :) 

  • Lisa

    I remembered you saying that so when he said that I thought maybe they were feeding to much. I go by the less active for my small beagle. I notice the food gave her a lot more energy. Yesterday I really noticed it. I am used to her sleeping most of the day and she was playing with Bella all day and her toys and she just seems like a different dog to me and everyone is noticing it already. She has intervertebral disc disease, so to see her perky is a HUGE plus! I took her on 2 long walks and her increase in energy I think will make her lose weight to. Now I wish I would of got a bag of the lamb! lol Trying the Earthborn Meadow Feast tonight. 

  • Jim Wu

     Dog food the finished product is tested it?I am more convinced that the official explanation, if possible I want to do little to report in this regard.

  • Shawna

    Unfortunatley, with allergies and intolerances, even very very small amounts can cause a reaction :(

  • Shawna

    Acana or any other high end food being “too rich” for less active dogs is complete hooey :)..  My 29 pound foster Papillon lost 15 pounds on a raw diet — which is much higher in protein and fat then Acana or even Orijen.  For the record we were not able to exercise her because it was too hot AND our vet thought she could have a heart attack etc from even mild walking (in the 90 degree weather we were having at the time).

    Protein actually helps in weight loss..  However fat too high can definitley be a problem.  Weight loss foods should be high protein, moderate fat and low carb.

    Taste of the Wild was workinig — TotW has potato so you can assume that potato is likely okay.  Grandma Lucy makes a food with chick peas and one with potato.  I actually just bought some pork tonight — I use foods like that when I forget to thaw out their raw :)..  The pork has the highest protein of the ones I looked at.

    It is good that you haven’t fed the two foods in a year or so but if the immune system is still over reacting (symptoms) then I personally would still hold off introducing ANY foods that you know have caused symptoms in the past. 

    I’m really glad I have been helpful!!!  :)

  • melissa

     Ps-I have never had an issue with a dog gaining weight on Acana when fed the proper amount. My 5lb’er did as hubby thought I was not feeding him enough-he is now cut back to what I was originally feeding him : )

  • melissa

    LOl.. my guys go nuts for a new food, no matter what it seems to be. When I come in with a bag, they race over to check out whats new. Gave in and put a few scoops of the Meadow feast in the bin tonight and fed it. A few soft stools, but nothing major so far. Every one seemed to love the “newbie”

  • melissa

     Hi Lisa-

    I occasionally use the GL Chicken Pureperformance as a topper for the dry kibble. The dogs love it, but my concern is the overwhelming(and I do mean overwhelming) smell of garlic. Now I love garlic, but this is more powerful than when I am browning garlic in olive oil-

    Not sure about the other varieties-

    Try a few kibbles of the wild prairie or grassland with your itchy beagle. Sometimes they tolerate certain brands better than others.

  • Lisa

    Lol I’m new at this whole rotation thing. Miley went nuts over the wild prairie. She didn’t even chew it. She swallowed it whole. I gave her like 5 kibbles lol Now to find more things for Bella. :)

  • Lisa

    That’s good to know. I will try that next time. :) when she does it she immediately gets on my lap. Sometimes I can massage the area and she will stop too. I was thinking she was allergic to peas. Everything I was giving her had peas and she was itching from it all and that was one of the new things in all the foods that wasn’t in Taste of the wild. When I spoke to Acana they said the peas content was very low so hopefully I could get by with it.

  • Lisa

    Thanks!! Have you heard of Grandma Lucys? I think that’s the name. It’s freeze dried I believe? They have a venison and a bison. For my other beagle I picked up a bag of meadow feast from Earthborn. Now this guy working told me that a lot of people complain on Acana that dogs gain to much weight and he said it is for very active dogs. Everyone says something different. I can try her on the before grain buffalo in the can. I want to try her on Annamaet aqualuk next. Its also fish, not quite as high in fat and protein as the Acana. I haven’t given her chicken for a year now or lamb or turkey. She was on Taste of the wild pacific stream for 10 months. No yeast at all. Did really well besides the anal gland issues. Before that she was on the wellness whitefish and sweet potato. Do you think I am safe to try something now? Maybe a kibble of lamb? Or chicken? I tried the Acana duck and oats and she itched really bad. That could be the oats. Thanks again for all your info. I really appreciate all your help.

  • melissa

    LOl.. and I thought I rotated foods often!

  • Shawna

    Yeah, Dr. Becker is a FANATIC about rotation..  I rotate a lot — about every 3rd day.  But get this, Dr. Becker rotates in a new food with EVERY meal.  And as she states, she feeds 12 different protein sources before incorporating the original food back in.

    Her dogs/cats/critters are raw fed (she has a opposum named Clara (sp?) that was strayed as a baby :).  So in the am meal she may feed venison and the evening meal feed chicken.  Next morning buffalo and evening lamb and so on.  She, of course, balances the diet with organs and veggies/fruits and vitties.

    It really isn’t an option for kibble feeders to rotate as often as raw feeders do…  But, kibble feeders (of healthy non-allergic pets) can feed a new kibble with each new bag.  My foster dogs get a new type of kibble every time I open a new bag.  They last had Earthborn Holistic.  They are currently on Brothers Complete Fish.  Next bag I may give them Merrick Before Grain in Bison flavor etc…  This is much harder to do (when feeding kibble) if you have an extremely allergic pet..  :(

    Other foods to look at that may work in the interim might be Honest Kitchen Zeal (it is a dehydrated food versus a kibble but could provide a source of non-reactive protein/carb while healing).  It’s best though to find one food that works and stay on it for several months til all the histamine etc can clear the body.  Then you can introduce new foods and watch for a reaction.  Once you know all the foods that are problematic eliminate them for at least a year (I read) and then you can attempt to reintroduce them..  My Pom is intolerant of chicken — after I discovered the issue and removed from her diet she quit having colitis issues but would become symptomatic again with even a small treat size piece.  After a year I could then introduce chicken for a few days without causing symptoms — longer then three days and the symptoms begin to come back though.

  • daisy1999

    My oldest cocker, who doesn’t have allergies to anything else-goes into a mad fit of the “reverse sneezing” if she gets in the bathroom and I have sprayed hairspray or Bath & Body.  Yes-it scares the crap out of me.  I run her outside into the fresh air and it stops.  I would assume its basically a bronchospasm.  If you have ever had a child with croup, they go into fits that sound kind of the same, and taking them outside will help-into cool air.  I had a dog with heart/lung/kidney problems that would have these fits nightly.  I moved my bed by the window and just opened it up and we held our heads out till it stopped.

  • Lisa

    Oh no she wasn’t on steroids for the sneezing part. Sorry about that. She only goes on steroids when her whole body gets hot and she has a really bad reaction. Like she does with chicken and turkey. Thankfully she has not needed steroids in about a year now. I was trying my best to control her allergies with food and air purifiers and vacuuming and I get my vents cleaned and I don’t use any perfume and un scented laundry soap on everything she comes in contact with. These things have helped a lot inside.
    In the video when she says she rotates 12 times do you know what she means? Did she mean she uses 12 different foods? Thank you so much for all this info!!!!!! I really appreciate it. I am definitely going to try that.

  • Shawna

    Reverse sneezing sounds horrible but it really isn’t too bad..  I personally wouldn’t give steroids for it.

    In humans, FOOD allergies can cause asthma.  Makes me wonder if possibly food allergies could cause reverse sneezing in dogs???  Environmental allergies/irritants is a known cause of reverse sneezing — maybe food is too.

  • Shawna

    You are right about allergy tests — they can have false negatives and false positives.  Also, they don’t test for intolerances :(  I know plenty of people who can’t have gluten grains (like wheat, barley, rye and in some cases oatmeal) but do not test negative for the foods.  They have debilitating symptoms though..  Dogtor J (a vet) had this issue himself.

    I have been in your shoes before and what I did was go to a completely novel protein/carb source and fed that for 3 months.  My dogs are raw fed and a rotate A LOT of foods — I had to feed her ostrich..  So no, I wouldn’t try lamb again.  I would try a food like Nature’s Variety Instinct in Salmon flavor.  None of the foods you mentioned that you know are triggers and uses tapioca instead of traditional fillers…….or a similar food.  If that doesn’t work, I would switch to a home made (raw OR cooked) diet using venisor/buffalo etc..  You can use a website like Balance It to ensure proper balancing of the nutrients in the home made diet. 

    Once the immune system has calmed down (can be a year or longer) you can try introducing some of the foods you know to be a problem.  Often they can be eaten infrequently without symptoms.

    GOOD LUCK!!!!

  • Lisabart

    I think they call it reverse sneezing?

  • LisaBart

    Also I was trying to add some fiber to her diet and I had the organic purée sweet potatoes and that made her itch. Something in the Pinnacle when I got to half of the wean, she started this coughing thing she does and it’s almost like she can’t breath. I had to give her a Benadryl and I stopped the food and it stopped. It is almost like a cough that won’t stop. She did that often before taste of the wild and that had stopped thankfully because that scares me. I have emergency steroids on hand for her. her yeast in her ears also went away on Taste of the wild pacific stream. But the anal gland issues got really bad. :( I have another beagle an she even developed a lot of anal gland issues on that food too but not as bad as Bella.

  • LisaBart

    Thank you. :) On her allergy test it showed wheat, corn, yeast, pork, lamb, rabbit and on trial foods she really reacts to chicken and turkey and barley and rice. When she was a puppy I had her on a chicken formula and the vet said try lamb so I did and she lost her hair. If I give her chicken or turkey, then her whole body will get really hot. Corn came up as her high allergy. She doesn’t get sores or anything and she has a very soft coat but she will itch really bad and bite her feet and lick her paws. And in the video when she said they will go rub along something. She does that a lot. She will rub her head and face along the couch and roll around. The test didn’t check for peas and I know the blood test isn’t the most accurate anyway. I haven’t given her lamb since she was little. I do give her all beef treats. She recently reacted to Wellness core ocean, Earthborn fish grain free, pinnacle grain free salmon, wellness simple solution grain free salmon, and I put her on Acana because she was on Taste of the wild pacific stream and it was recalled. She had a lot of anal gland issues on that food but other then that she seemed to do ok. So you think I could try another brand of lamb? I know it is so hard for me to know what she is reacting to because they all have so many ingredients. Thank you for explaining that to me. I appreciate it.

  • Shawna

    Hi LisaBart ~~ a “true” allergy happens when undigested foods leak through the gut into the blood.  Undigested food is not supposed to be in the blood so the immune system takes care of it..  If this continues the immune system can start to over react and an allergy is born.  Repeated exposure of the undigested protein is needed for a true allergy.

    However, food intolerances are much more common and an intolerance can happen with the first exposure.  A food intolerance can be to the meat in the food or to any other food in the kibble (strawberries, grains, potato, peas etc).  Could also be to the corn and soy that was fed to the cow or chicken that became the food.  Or could be the pesticides and chemicals that were sprayed on the fruits and veggies.

    More often then not however, the intolerance seems to be with a specific meat, grains or potato.  Do all the foods you are trying have anything in common — barley or potato etc?

  • LisaBart

    This is a good video but I am lost as to all the exposing in the beginning, because my beagle who is 2, had these allergies in the first few weeks I had her home so how could I expose her. I started with Lamb, no improvement, and so on until I started fish, so she already had these allergies or developed them as a puppy when she was 4 months old. So I am going to assume she means for puppies who don’t have allergies and then you keep exposing them to foods to prevent allergies. Which would make sense. However upon trying to expose to her duck and venion, grain free, she vomited. So I guess now I could try a Venison, it is finding a reputable company that is grain free thats the issue. 

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  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Lisa… Regarding scientific proof of her statements, you’ll have to ask Dr. Becker.

  • Lisa Malloryu

    I thought there was some very interesting and informative information in this video. Can you point me to any science- based research articles that have been published to back up this information about rotating dog foods and a decreased frequency of food allergies in dogs?

  • Ron

    Hello Dave,
    I’m not sure you will get a response from Dr. Becker on this forum.
    Here is one of her sites, and they also have a forum you can join to discuss topics.
    http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/dr-karen-becker.aspx

  • Dave Hopper

    Hi Dr. Becker,

    Thank you for the very informative video, it reaffirms some things that I have beleived ( thought many disagree with me).

    I have a question about my own dog feeding habits, that I’d like to get your opinion on, if you would.

    I feed my dog 3 foods on a rotating basis, the foods are:

    1: Orijen six fish formula
    2: Orijen Regional Red ( red meat) formula
    3: Evo Turkey and chicken formula

    I feed these on a daily rotation (one feeding per day), with 2 cans of evangers thrown in each week for a little variety.

    I’ve been on this feeding routine for over a year, but I’ve begun wondering if maybe I should try roatating foods when I run out, rather than Just sticking with these three varieties.
    I choose them because they are all grain free, low carb and high protien.

    Do you think that this is enough of a variety to combat food allergies and overcome any possible nutritional deficiencies that may exist in one food or another? Or should I “Mix it up” a little more, just to be safe?

    Thanks

    Dave Hopper

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