Dog Food Allergies


The following items represent some of The Dog Food Advisor’s most frequently asked questions about dog food allergies.

What is a food allergy?

A food allergy occurs when a dog’s immune system mistakenly identifies a particular food ingredient as harmful. And then creates defensive antibodies to fight the invading enemy (the food).

Is it better to feed your dog the same food each meal? Or is it safer to change menus on a regular basis?

For the surprising answer to these and other questions about dog food allergies, be sure to visit this video by Dr. Karen Becker.

What are the signs and symptoms of a food allergy?

The symptoms of an allergy include skin rash, hives, itching, paw biting, obsessive licking and sometimes nausea or vomiting.

What is a food intolerance?

A food intolerance is a digestive problem rather than an immune response. An intolerance occurs when a dog’s digestive system is unable to digest a specific ingredient.

What are the signs and symptoms of a food intolerance?

The signs of food intolerance include mostly digestive distress… gas, bloating, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

If my dog is allergic to a specific dog food, does that mean there’s something wrong with the quality of the product?

Allergies are related to your pet’s own immune system and are not due to a problem with the product itself. So, if a dog is allergic to a particular ingredient, he will likely experience the same unfavorable reaction to that ingredient… no matter what brand you find it in.

If my dog shows signs of an allergy, should I immediately suspect it’s caused by the food?

Maybe not. Because food is only the third leading cause of canine allergies, the signs and symptoms you observe may not even be related to your pet’s diet in the first place.

What are the most common causes of dog food allergies?

Dog food ingredients most likely to provoke an allergic reaction1 include…

  • Beef
  • Dairy
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Fish
  • Corn
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Yeast2

What else could cause my dog to be allergic to his food?

Many times, it’s not even the ingredients themselves that are the problem. In some cases, a dog can also be allergic to contaminants in the food itself.

What should I feed my dog if I suspect his allergy symptoms are caused by his food?

Since certain recipes have been intentionally designed to help you control or isolate these problems, you may wish to read our recent post, “Suggested Hypoallergenic Dog Foods“.

You may also wish to consider a grain free dog food.

What should I do if I believe my dog might have allergies?

Allergies can have serious consequences for your pet. Remember, much of the advice offered by well-meaning dog owners throughout this site may not be appropriate for your dog. So, be sure to consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.


  1. Drs. Foster and Smith, Food Allergies and Food Intolerance
  2. Yeast added by the Dog Food Advisor
  • Dori

    So sorry Elaine for the delay in responding to you, I only just saw your reply to me. I feed commercial raw foods to all three of my girls. I’m not inclined to cook their foods or prepare them raw for them either. With cooking, I barely cook for myself and my husband. I don’t enjoy cooking. As to preparing raw foods myself, it just seems like a daunting task. I’m an advocate of rotating their foods also. I rotate proteins in the different brands that I feed and also rotate different brands. I obviously do not feed any that Katie, allergy girl, has issues with. She’s been doing phenomenally well for the last three years. She also has been med free for three years. She still is a little bit itchy in the Spring and Fall but no where near what it was and I don’t need to give her antihistamines for environmental issues either anymore. If I can answer any more questions, please ask.

  • Elaine Tucker

    I rescued my little Maltese Gracie over a year ago and have been through the mill with her skin problems. Vet did blood tests showing major “Mite” allergies so started on Allergy shots. Referred to a Vet/Dermatologist who changed the allergy shot mixture all after presenting me the $600 bill. So, my baby is eating TOTW Salmon canned with frozen kibble (Nature’s balance Grain free Duck/Potato), getting a weekly “Allergy injection”, Atopica nightly (added after her bout with pancreatitis due to use of Apoquel which intially was a life saver), bathing every 3-4 days with Medicated shampoo and creame rinse and washing all items with hypo-allergenic soap. I also use “Resicort for red areas on her back when she starts sctscratching. All of this with every 2-3 month visits to her regular vet for antibiotic shot when areas on her back look paticularly inflammed.
    So, I recently got the $80 Clacier Peak test and she is allergic to a lot!!!
    I love her so much and am ready to pull out my hair. Seriously thinking of cooking her meals and using the “Glazier Peak list” as a guide. I was also directed to Dr Harvery’s site so am using the vitamin/supplement in meals. I know this is a lot to send to you but I am really starting to think there is something to the “Commercial Dog Food issues” and am leaning that way. I know the Atopica is not good for her and not convinced the allergy shots are helping. Any thoughts or help you can give would be much appreciated!
    Sorry for the novel- Elaine

  • Dori

    First thing I would do is put her on a grain free diet. Eliminate any foods that contain corn, soy, white potatoes, rice, poultry of any kind in the ingredients. Try to avoid as much as possible any night shade plants as they are pro inflammatory and aggravate any and all allergies. Also eliminate any and all grains in any treats you may be giving her. Most of what are you are describing sounds like food intolerances and sensitivities. She may also have environmental issues but I suspect it food intolerances. I have a dog that had a ton of issues with food and it took me over two years to get everything under control. The above is how I started her out after all else failed. Her vet had her on prescription antihistamines and Atopica (horrible med…damages organs, etc.), I was also taking her to an allergist/dermatologist. Nothing worked until I decided to take things into my own hands and start researching. That’s actually what brought me to this site. She has not been on any meds in three years. She also has environmental issues in the Spring and Fall but they are not really too bad anymore. For treats I give my three dogs little pieces of fruits and veggies. They love them. I don’t feed commercial treats as most of them contain some sort of grain and there have been too many recalls for my liking. No onions, grapes or raisins please. No seeds or pits from the fruits either as they are toxic. With apples I don’t feed the peel either because it has a ton of bacteria on it plus they wax them so that they look pretty for us. They are also chock full of pesticides on the skins while they try to control apple worms. I also peel the cucumbers for the same reasons.

  • Bob K

    Find an ACVD certified Vet. After 3 visits you should be close to success. Ears can be ear mites or yeast infections. What are you currently feeding her? Perhaps a transition to a grain free diet. Make sure you keep close track on different dog foods brands and formulas and their ingredients as that is the only way you can try to find out the food allergen is there is one by closely tracking the ingredients in specific formulas. It is very tedious and time consuming. Do you bathe the dog? How often? With what? There are also special prescription dog shampoos. Seek the advice from a ACVD certified vet who specialize in allergies and dermatology.

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Kourtney:
    If a food intolerance is suspected I would look into a Vet supervised elimination diet. I would discuss this at her next appointment. Here’s some info on elimination diets:

    One other thing to consider is that it may be environmental too; or a combination of both. Household cleaners, laundry detergent, lawn fertilizer, and road salt if you live in a cold area just to name a few things that can affect your dogs health.

  • Kourtney Truesdell

    Hi, I adopted my Dachshund mix a couple months ago, and soon after she started biting at her paws, itching everywhere, shaking her head especially in the ears. 3 vet visits and 600$ later nothing has worked. Her vet treated for an inner ear infection and I’m beginning to suspect a food allergy. Where should I start? Her face has started to puff up, so as of right now I’m only feeding her rice and chicken. Where do I start? She doesn’t have a vet appointment until next week, and I just wish I knew how to help her. Any advice would be appreciated.

  • Joyce

    Try making your own . There are a dozen recipes online that are fully balanced and you can make it in bulk like meatloaf and freeze for a couple of weeks supply. Give a multivitamin if you feel it’s not covering the basics. My vet gave me a list of ingredients to avoid as being allergy triggers. Corn, wheat, soy, chicken and lamb. Most dogs can handle oatmeal, potatoes, barley, sweet potatoes and rice. I’ve seen trucks in my area labeled “for pet food only” with slop, drive to a processing plant and it would make you upchuck. I tend to think if I couldn’t eat it, my dog shouldn’t. Also check on harsh rug shampoos and herbicides and chemical fertilizers in parks and on your lawn.

  • Babslynne

    Walmart has it for $16 for a 30 day supply, or you can get it online but most drug stores have it. Walmart also has a grain free food called Pure Balance that might be a little more affordable for you to try.

  • theBCnut

    I know what you mean. I no longer blink twice at feeding $3-4 per pound foods, but I read the ingredient list 6 times to make sure it doesn’t have any of the ingredients my dog reacts to in it.

  • Joey David

    True, but I put him on every high grade food out there, looks like he’s doing well on Fresh Pet Fish formula. But it’s costly.

  • Joey David

    Where can I get that from?

  • theBCnut

    Yeast infections occur because of the constant irritation from food allergies. If you don’t treat the underlying cause then the yeast infection will keep coming back.

  • Babslynne

    If you give your dog a probiotic everyday that would take care of the yeast problem also. I give my dog probiotic pearls, 5 billion CFU.

  • Joey David

    Hello, I think I left some comments of this matter on another thread on this site or maybe it’s on this thread. However, I thought one of my dogs had an allergy issue but it wasn’t the case, well somewhat. After researching further I found out that he has a bacterial/yeast infection, and it was severe. I booked an expensive appointment with the vet dermatologist and he confirmed after doing skin scrapping or graphing that he indeed has it all over his body; in his ears, around his eyes, paws, and lower back. I had some sort of idea that it could of been that because he had a odor from his eyes and ears that resembles yeast. If your dog has this smell and you see black coloring (hopefully you can determine this if your dog is light skin colored, my dogs are both cream color) in their ears and on skin it could be the same thing.

    Now, before you waste $700 ( it was $700 but I saved myself $300 by eliminating most of the products the vet wanted to sell me, I only bought the ear drops and shampoo and conditioner) on a vet dermatologist, if your dog has the same symptoms (itching, scratching, and licking paws and skin discoloration) you can buy the shampoo and conditioner from 1800PetMeds. It’s called Hexadene (Shampoo with %2 w/w Chlorhexidine %2 P/P) and Demazole (%2 Miconzaole). Each one is about $24.99. The ear drops is hydrocortisone %1 Burrow’s Compounded #30.

    You use the shampoos 2x weekly for 4 weeks then 1x a week until gone. The ear drops is 2x a day for 14 days then 1x day til finished.

    The vet also wanted to sell me the solution for his paws and for under his eyes and Oatmeal Shampoo and Conditioner, which is not necessary. The shampoo’s is sufficient. The other stuff would of been $300 more.He also tried to sell hard allergy testing which I declined.

    There is medication for this and it’s called Ketoconazole as well (which is also available from 1800Petmeds) but you need dosage amount which varies on weight of dog). Which I have not given my dog because the vet wanted a blood test done to check my dogs liver to make sure it’s healthy, apparently it’s a strong medication that gets rid of the bacterial/yeast infection..

    I’ve provided this information to other dog owners who are going through this with their dogs who have the same symptoms. To save you the astronomical fees vets charge. Most are in it for money making business and to sell you everything under the moon and charge you a lot of money, including simple skin graphings. The vet could diagnosed by simply looking my dogs skin and the odor coming from his ears and eyes. It is in my opinion, that they do all these unnecessary tests to get the most out of you.

    Save yourself the money. At the end of the day, it’s about how much more money is saved in my bank account and less into theirs.

    If someone told me this information about the shampoo’s to use, I would just got the shampoos and I would of saved myself $400 minus the shampoos. I knew he had this condition from researching online and I was right. But I guess I wanted confirmation.

    When the vet came out while I was waiting in the waiting room to tell me after looking at the skin graphs that my dog does have that condition he was embarrassed because I told him in the beginning of the consultation as if I never needed to see him in the first place.

    If your dog has allergies and not the same symptoms as my dog, then your dog may have a different condition.

  • sandy

    Check out Zignature, California Natural, LiveFree by Dogswell, Nutrisca by Dogswell, Acana Singles Lamb and Apple, Grandma Lucy’s Pureformance foods, and ZiwiPeak.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Nature’s Variety Instinct Salmon and some of their other formulae would work, too.

  • Storm’s Mom

    How old is your dog? If an adult, Horizon’s Legacy Fish or Pulsar fish have none of those ingredients…I can’t think of any others off the top of my head, but hopefully others will pipe in with other ideas. If your dog is still a puppy, she has some unique nutritional needs that only certain foods meet ..there’s a list of appropriate large-breed puppy foods over on the Forums section of this site

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Tracker:
    I don’t know of any foods off hand that meet all of your needs. This is something that will take time to research on your part; be prepared to spend time reading labels.

    One place to start is You can choose what type of protein and other diet considerations to narrow down your search.

    Here is a tool a DFA poster developed that may help with your search:

    And here is a thread that has a list of GF and white potato free foods that might give you a starting place as well:

    Good luck with your search!

  • Tracker

    My dog is a Labrador Retriever. And a house dog. She sheds accessively and she’s very touchy to her skin when we figured out that she was allergic to some of the ingredients in dog food. She is highly allergic to chicken, along with Brewers Yeast, Soybean, Barley, Sweet Potato and White Potato, Turkey and Poultry Mix. I am trying to find something that she can eat. Is there something out there that will have good protein and nutrients.

  • Angeliette Hernandez

    I have the same issues with my Catahoula..even with the prescribed medicated food…IS THE CHICKEN TURKEY DUCK . she was allergic to CHICKEN and here I am giving her boiled chicken breast until she ended in the hospital. MOST OF THE ALLERGIES ARE RELATED TO the SOURCE of PROTEIN.. most treats cookies all have CHICKEN.. change him to SALMON Blue Buffalo LIMITED ingridients NO GRAIN.

  • Emzy Turmaine

    I have done very careful food trialing with my girl and have found she is allergic/intolerant to meat (a blooming lurcher who can’t eat when bred to hunt originally lol). I have only recently found meat free stopped her symptoms, but going to trial specific meats to hopefully find she can eat at least one type. The worry I have is that having feed her raw (all kinds of meats) and dried foods that used various meats (all hypoallergenic to the usual wheat, gluten, dairy etc due to my boys allergies to the normal stuff) I am beginning to think she might be affected by all meat products….I know chicken is a definite no as have used chicken for weeks on raw diet, but had same symptoms on lamb, beef and pork….and also had salmon dried food again with no change in symptoms.
    Would I need to see a vet if I do find she can’t cope with all meats? I am not keen on feeding dogs a meat free diet, and currently making my own vegetable slop (vege dried foods had so many vegetable based allergens that I don’t entirely think they understand dog nutrition!!!).
    The vegi diet has improved her physically, mentally and went from almost incontinent to completely clean instantly after change, but still think long term no animal proteins isn’t safe….sorry for the essay but you seem to have a great knowledge on the subject and personally knowing about nutrition for dogs has actually made me aware that most vegetarian dog foods, recipes etc on the net just aren’t sufficient, but even making my own recipes and calculating the nutritional values, I still want to find someone feeding this way (for health reasons not ethical reasons!!) or at least knowledgable about the situation to give some more advice! Would really appreciate some advice :)

  • Connie Ornelas

    Thank you Ford Ranger Atlanta, my recipe is working on her doggy acne (nearly gone) and the chronic diarrhea but she has lost 5 pounds. Do you think I should try adding the bone meal? I’m so afraid I will have to start over again. How can I put the weight back on her? This is a very expensive diet for a large dog. She eats better than we do :)

  • theBCnut

    Possibly, yes, but not necessarily. Some dogs are allergic to chicken, but not to chicken eggs. Some are allergic to the meat, but not the bone. A regular calcium supplement can supply her calcium needs and shouldn’t have protein in it.

  • Connie Ornelas

    My dog is allergic to so many things, that I have to prepare her food from raw products. No food on the market is free of all of her allergens. The vet says I need to add bone meal to my recipe. If she is allergic to beef, pork, Turkey, and chicken wouldn’t she be allergic to that as well

  • katiegoesmew

    My apologies. Up until yesterday, no veterinarian (including the one who suggested the blood test) has ever told me that blood tests don’t accurately diagnose allergies. Apparently I just got lucky with my dog, as she’s had no further problems if I eliminate the food ingredients suggested by the blood test she had. I’m sorry for misleading anybody.

  • Susan

    Hi Davis, my boy gets the 1 red paw, if he eats something with wheat in it,1 of his paws will swell up & go real red
    normally one of his back paws he will lick & lick real mad,I have to put an ice pack in a tea towel to get the swelling down then I soak his paws in Antiseptic lotion (Detol) its like Betadine this stops the redness & itch, also his front 2 paws gets a red
    rash just after the big pad on the fur bit & inbetween his toe pads.. I walk him alot & Ive found if he walks on the wet grass of a morning he comes home & will start licking his front
    I tried the elmination diet I found potatoes sweet potatoes & wheat make him itch & has hive like lumps all over his body & itchy ears, with the front 2 paws I think its enviornment allergies, from the grass…
    Have you tried Malaseb medicated shampoo this is the only shampoo that has helped Patches paws I leave on his paws for 5mins then rinse, the Malaseb clears the redness & itch within 1/2 hour.. the Detol helps but it drys out his pads so I only use if they are swollen red & itchy, Ive tried the shoes he wont walk in them & the cat just stared at him you could see my cat laughing at him LOL…

  • theBCnut

    My vet suggests mixing either 1 cup or vinegar or 1 cup of bleach in a gallon of water to wash with. I personally strongly prefer the vinegar water. And it helps against any possible yeast.

  • n_davis

    Thanks Bobby dog, I’m going to bring it up with my vet and see what he suggests. He’s not the type to do unnecessary tests and procedures, so I trust that he’ll steer me the right way.

  • n_davis

    Bob K, unfortunately a specialist is not in my budget right now (as I said above, my dog has a genetic disease that’s costing $100+ every month to treat), but I’m going to bring it up with my vet at our next appointment (my dog gets a monthly injection for his Addison’s disease, so it won’t be long). Hopefully with his help I can get to the root of the problem.

    As for your other questions, he’s a really easygoing dog and never seems to be nervous or anxious (not even when we go to the vet!). We play with him and walk him every day, so I think he’s getting enough exercise for his size/energy level (he’s a mini poodle mix).

  • n_davis

    theBCnut, I’m thinking it might be environmental for the same reason. I don’t see any signs of a yeast infection, but I’m going to have my vet check it out at our next appointment (my dog gets a monthly injection for his Addison’s disease, so it won’t be long). In the meantime I’m going to try washing that foot every time he goes out in case it is an environmental allergy.

  • Bobby dog

    Very well stated Ford Ranger Atlanta!

  • Bobby dog

    Here’s some info from Texas A&M; the fourth paragraph is of particular interest on the subject of food allergy testing in dogs:

  • Bob K

    n_davis, rather than trial and error, please seek out a dog dermatologist/allergist, a specialist. Have you had a skin scrape? There are special prescription shampoos. Target offers generic medications for $4.00/mo. Most pharmacies will fill your medications for less than a vet charges. You must keep a log of what dog foods your pet is eating, what are the specific ingredients are in the food and then start the elimination process. Yes its lots of paperwork. Could it be nervousness or anxiety? Do you exercise your dog enough?

  • Ford Ranger Atlanta

    From a veterinarian. Blood tests for food allergies are highly inaccurate and no dermatology specialist in their right mind would consider using the data from such a test. The rate of false positives is as high as 60% and false negatives is 40%. There is no substitute for food trialing. Yes, unfortunately, prescription food trial diets are expensive, they are not easy to conduct, and they are fraught with interpretive peril; this is why you need a veterinarian to help you. They are the only method of food allergy diagnosis that is consistently accurate. (BTW The first phase of a well conducted food trial should last no more than a maximum of ten to twelve weeks). Yes, we all know someone who switched from Brand X to Brand y and their pets problems miraculously resolved; these are rare cases. Most people who try this uncontrolled, unsupervised method get disappointing results and the pets go on to suffer weeks to months to years more with terrible skin disease. Bite the bullet and get your vet to help you; if he doesn’t or can’t, then get another opinion, especially from a dermatology specialist.

  • theBCnut

    If it’s just one foot, it may be environmental, or it may be a reaction to stress. Something I just thought of… Take a look at his nail beds on that foot. Is there a line of brown stuff along the base of any of those toe nails? That would be a yeast infection and they do make some dogs chew their feet.

  • n_davis

    Thanks for the advice. I’ve already tried eliminating all of the usual offenders from his diet, but haven’t noticed any improvement. The reason I suspect an allergy is because my dog has started chewing one of his feet to the point that now the hair is stained and shorter than the surrounding hair. I’ve tried medicated shampoo and anti-itch spray, and still he keeps chewing. I’m not sure what he might be allergic to that would make just the one foot itch, which is why I was thinking the blood allergy panel might be the best way to get to the bottom of it.

  • Susan

    Hi n_davis, the best results is an food trial (elimination diet) its the only true way, as these allergy test have been shown to give false positive…if you click on the Dr Foster & Smith link under Footnotes, he explains the only way to accurately diagnose food allergies is with a food trial (Elimintion diet) either home cooked or vet prescription diet..

  • katiegoesmew

    The cost was mainly because it’s a test that has to be sent off to a place with more specialized equipment. Those places usually want you to do allergy shots, but, again, you’re not bound to do shots after you get the results.

  • n_davis

    Thanks, for some reason I thought it had to be done by a specialist, so I was expecting a much higher price than that! I’m going to check with my regular vet to see if they can do the testing. I hope so, because my vet’s prices are extremely reasonable.

  • katiegoesmew

    I think it was around $100 dollars for me, but it will depend on your veterinarian.

  • n_davis

    Katie, would you mind sharing how much it cost to have your dog tested for allergies? I’m considering getting one of my dogs tested. He also has a genetic disease that costs $100+ a month to treat, so I’d like to have a ballpark idea of how much extra I would need to save up for the allergy testing. Thanks!

  • katiegoesmew

    No, I was saying she doesn’t get shots. Before we knew she had food allergies, we thought she just had severe environmental allergies. That’s why she was tested – so she could start shots. When I found out she had food allergies from that test, I declined shots.

  • Bob K

    katie – There are lots of kibbles that do not contain lamb, milk, soy or wheat. It is easy to slowly transition to a new kibble. Why the shots? If I knew what my dog was allergic to, I would find a food that does not contain the allergen and avoid the expense, pain and time for shots.

  • Susan

    Hi Sandy try a potato free kibble,alot of grainfree kibbles have potaoes & sweet potaoes.. I found potatos & sweet potato gave my boy hive like lumps, itching & scratching & the sweet potato gave him itchy ears & shaking his head all the time, the only real way to know what foods are causing her problems is an elimination diet, that way you’ll see what food causes the red bumps & itchy, my boy also cant have foods with wheat, alot of the doggy biscuits will have wheat so I found gluten free doggy biscuits made by Isle of Dogs,… also when doing the elimination diet within 1-2 days my boy would have his reaction to the food I added, so it didnt take that long trying the foods I wanted to try, I also tried foods that are in kibbles & now I know what kibbles he can eat..

  • katiegoesmew

    My dog was allergy tested in preparation for allergy shots. We found out that she is allergic to lamb, milk, soy, and wheat, so just switched her food instead of starting shots. That was four or five years ago, and she hasn’t needed shots! She takes Zyrtec for her numerous environmental allergies, though. I recommend asking a vet for a blood allergy test, even if you don’t want to do shots. You aren’t bound by a contract to do shots, and you don’t have to do food trials to try to find the ingredient(s) that are causing the problem. A little more expensive at first, but in the long run, cheaper than food trials and you find out exactly what the problem is.

  • Bob K

    What exactly is a licensed dog behaviorist? There are many 3.5 – 5 star rated grain free kibbles you can transition too. Try to find one that has meat similar to the one you currently feed your dog.

  • Sandy

    It was recently suggested to me by a licensed dog behaviorist to switch my 1year old dog to grain free dog food. I did so by mixing her normal food for a week gradually with the grain free. In just a few days she started breaking out in little red bumps, she did not seem to be suffering or itching so I continued with the switch & the amount of bumps got worse. I’m assuming she is allergic to the grain free, it was the only change introduced and have since switched her back w/ a immediate disappearance of the red bumps. The dog food was the same brand, one was just grain free and the other is not. I know that grain free is the healthier option and switched because of excess build up in her ears which I control by extra hygiene practices but its always a battle & she hates it. I would love any other suggestions to overcome this problem & keep my baby girl at her healthiest.

  • Buster Brown

    Because the lindyloo has not ruled out that their dog is allergic to fish…my dog is allergic to Salmon and fish mix.

  • sue66b

    How is ur boy going? did you find a food that agrees with him yet…

  • LabsRawesome

    Why would someone else need to be careful with a food that your dog is allergic to? That makes no sense.

  • carol hall

    be carefull with fish..and fish oil my dog is allergic to them

  • AngryPatriot5

    Could be anything but dogs aren’t meant to eat grains. We have 2 rescue
    dogs who both have allergies. It’s commonly caused by vaccines which
    is why we stopped giving those, too. We feed a raw meat and bones diet;
    it’s worked great for both dogs who now do very little scratching.
    Skip the rice and other grains. We definitely recommend the raw meaty
    bones diet; they are super healthy from it and people ask us all the
    time what we feed our dogs just from the look of them. has excellent info.

  • sharron

    hi and thanks for your reply – if it was the rice it certainly has caused her grief – she is getting better – went to the pet store tonight, told the fella (to me he is knowledgeable ) the situation, and he suggested the natural balance limited ingredients, so i got the duck and potato and some canned food as well – so far so good

  • somebodysme

    my dog cannot eat rice at all, she is EXTREMELY allergic, I would first suspect the rice. Her reaction to rice is pretty much immediate. I’d say if I fed her rice, she was begin scratching excessively within a few hours.

  • sharron

    hi – this so called home made food that i made consisting of cooked chicken breast, white rice, and broccoli is making lexee lick excessively since i started feeding it to her yesterday. would it be the chicken or the canisource that mix with it?

  • Tamra Beckly

    Ouch!!! Mebenz, I think I almost suffered a mental breakdown attempting to remedy our dog’s allergies, and after reading the recommendations below I’m having flash backs . Our vet did the ELISA blood test, after several failed treatments he attempted an expensive hypoallergenic prescription
    diet, this helped somewhat. However the last straw was the recommendation of a steroid regimen I would be visiting his office 2 a month. I had that feeling when your buying a car, everyone seems professional and says they want to solve your problem but you always have the feeling its all about them getting money from you. Good news is our dog is allergy free for the past 3 years and healthier than ever. I’m from Canada and we visit a large outdoor market in Mesa, AZ popular among us tourist (so you may know of it) there is company with a small booth selling canine oral care and an digestive aid called VitaHound Daily Supplement. The rep was so knowledgeable about what our dog was experiencing, I gave their product a try, within 2 months our dog’s allergies disappeared. A couple times minor scratching has reappeared, I simply changed her dog food to something recommended here and continue with the VitaHound and all is well.

  • pangie

    I know this is an old thread but Walmart sells tablets you give to the OTHER dogs, and it’s supposed to make the poo unappetizing to the poop eater. My dog does it to- she won’t eat her own but anyone elses. Blech.

  • sue66b

    I forgot you are better off getting a ‘Interdermal test’ its where they injected the allergens just under the skin, then in 2 days you go back & the vet can see what allergen irritated their skin, blood test are not 100% a waste of money, thats why the elmination diet is the best test & its free..

  • sue66b

    The best test is an elmination diet, for 1 month you give either chicken or lamb & rice only, no treats nothing after 1 month & things are going good add say pumkin, if everything is fine after 1-2 weeks add say egg, etc.. I know its slow but its the only way you’ll know what his intolerances are….there are too many ingredients in a kibble & you’ll be going around in circles..also Ive found out that my boy has enviornment allergies & not food allergies like I thought…also keep a dairy then after 1 year u’ll start to see a pattern if it’s seasonal allergies..

  • Rebecca Ann Weeks

    Any veggies or fruit need to be raw &I masticated with acid. Ie, in the am I put two RAW fruits & RAW veggies in a little bowl. Frozen food is ok. Add acouple caps of unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Mash with fork &I knife. Imagine your dog is eating the stomach of an animal he just killed. That’s what they do in nature. I add th
    walk pumpkin is a terrible idea. Yes it will bind bowels, but wolves do not kill animals who eat canned pumpkin. A better route is a constant diet, at constant times, that mimics eating in nature. Two fruits, 2 veggies they could tear out of a bird’s tummy is better to for your dog. I serve that with beef marrow stock, a multi vitamin, glucosimine. Q& condroitin, one fish oil capsule — every one thinks my 13dog year old large dog is a puppy. Not that much work cheaper than dog food, but I keep some high quality one around encase i get sick. But my Boogie, who did not like to eat, gobbles every meal.

  • mebenz

    I’ve been wanting to use the Nutriscan Food Sensitivity swab test for my dog since he has so many intolerances it’s hard to pinpoint what the source is, but being in Canada, I need something here. Is there tests like this that can test a lot of sources at once in Canada so I’m not continually doing trial and errors with so many different brands?

  • dchassett

    Just transition very very slowly and expect that, initially at least, he may have a few digestive issues while his system heals and returns to normal. The Honest Kitchen makes a fabulous product called The Perfect Form. Initially when I used to switch foods on my dogs I would add The Perfect Form into each of their meals twice a day for a few days (dosing is on the packaging). It made a world of difference. I don’t have to use it any more but always keep it on hand “just in case”. Great product. You can order it on line or find it at your local small pet stores not the large stores, they don’t carry any THK products.

  • Nicole Kramer-Knight

    Thanks for all the advice, I will start adding some hard dog food back into his diet by next week and will try one of the suggested brands, hopefully this will work…

  • Crazy4cats

    I have to drive a little distance for the Victor as well. But, at least they sell a 50 lb bag in they kind I use. You can also order online at Amazon or Rocket Petz. I’m glad you have had the stool checked and it’s negative. I’m not sure which flavor of Blue or Merrick you have tried. Maybe there is an intolerance of some sort. Take a look at the ingredients and try to find something that has totally different ingredients. Or, since the chicken and rice is working so well for you, maybe you could take a look at Nutrisource chicken and rice. Many have recommended this food as a great transitional food. Good luck to you.

  • Nicole Kramer-Knight

    The closest place to me that sells victor is over an hour away. I don’t think it’s a parasite issue because he has had a negative stool sample. Vet has said the food may have been to rich for him… Maybe a slightly lower quality product?

  • Crazy4cats

    Yes, Labs is correct. My lab mix pups have had digestive issues since puppies due to parasite issues. They have done the best by far on Victor grain free kibble. Give it a try!

  • dchassett

    Cute. So Da Baby it is.

  • DaPittieW/Wings

    the shelter named her Angel, but i call her Da Baby. ha!

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    I just started Victor, as well. I’ve been rotating Annamaet, Dr. Tim’s, Fromm and now Victor. My dogs seem to like the flavor of Victor more than the Annamaet they just were eating. I tend to use fish formulas (for allergies). I’m using the Victor Yukon Salmon (grain free), atm, and also have some Ocean (grain inclusive) on hand. It’s too soon to tell how they’re going to do on it, but so far so good.

  • LabsRawesome


    Nicole Kramer-Knight, take a look at Victor it’s rated 5 stars on this site. I feed this, and my dogs love it. Crazy4 cats, (one of the regulars on this site) feeds it to her Lab mixes and she has had it firm up her dogs “output”. Here’s their site.

  • Nicole Kramer-Knight

    So my dogs issue I believe might be food intolerance, he is a one year old black lab and has not had hard stools ever and I believe it’s causing him to have anal gland problems as well. We immediately started him on blue buffalo puppy when we adopted him, adding boiled chicken and sweet potatoes at night feeding and occasionally pumpkin. After researching I thought maybe to switch him to merrick grain free, and he still has the runny stools… He has been on that for a couple months now. Vet told me to feed him only boiled chicken and rice for two weeks to see if his stools harden to determine if it’s the food causing the diarrhea, after a full week of that diet his stools are finally solid. Can anyone out there that may have had this problem recommend a dog food for me that is geared towards dogs with sensitive stomach or food intolerance???

  • theBCnut

    How cute, she really does have wings!

  • Bobby dog

    She is absolutely georgous!

  • DaPittieW/Wings

    Crap I didn’t read far enough on the bison food list…sounds like meadow feast it is. The biggest environmental culprit…Im sure is the carpet. I don’t think my landlord will be changing that anytime soon.

  • Betsy Greer

    Did I over look this… did you mention her name yet?

  • Betsy Greer

    No way! So sweet!

  • Betsy Greer

    It could definitely be an environmental allergen, but since you did see an improvement with dietary changes I’d be inclined to think that the primary culprit is food related. I tend to think that those dogs with sensitivities to things have more delicate systems than those that do not. My dog with a fish intolerance is far more easily set off by various things than my dog with no intolerances (if that makes sense). So, it might not be a bad idea to eliminate all potential environmental allergens as well (candles, Febreze, air fresheners, etc.).

    I thought about Coastal Catch, but the reason I was leaning toward Meadow Feast is because the Primitive Natural you’re currently using contains whitefish meal and the Coastal Catch contains herring and those two are really similar and possibly the same. At least if you went with the Meadow Feast, and the reaction subsided, you wouldn’t have to wonder about the rest of the ingredients in the formula as well. Even the Great Plains Feast contains multiple proteins with bison as the primary ingredient, but also lamb meal down on the ingredient list.

    Edit: As much as I really do like Earthborn, I wish they didn’t use non-descript “natural flavors.” For my dog with an intolerance, “natural flavors” can be a deal-breaker, because it could be virtually anything.

  • DaPittieW/Wings

    I just snapped this while responding to your comments

  • DaPittieW/Wings

    Haha…For sure!!!!

  • DaPittieW/Wings

    Yeah I noticed it has multiple sources so I am wondering if the single source would help me pinpoint it. Its possible that its not the food and something in my house. But the food is my next step. I was thinking the bison formula Great Plains or even the Coastal Catch. I don’t know what food she was on unfortunately. I had her on the EB when I brought her home, but two days later she wasn’t eating. After the squeaker fiasco…I was making her food…boiled chicken and sweet potatoes. Her diarrhea cleared up and I then put her back on the EB. And now I have become a poop expert. :-/ haha

  • Betsy Greer

    Well!? Take a picture and post it. We wanna see too! : )

  • DaPittieW/Wings

    Thank you Freeholdhound! She has angel wings on her back. She is so purrty!

  • DaPittieW/Wings

    Thank you! I fall more in love with her everyday!

  • DaPittieW/Wings

    I don’t know the food unfortunately. When she was recovering…I fed her only boiled chicken and sweet potatoes to get rid of the diarrhea and no scratching at all. But I’ve realized that they can have allergies to different types of chicken proteins. So we shall see what the next food does. I have oldest carpet on the planet…I am wondering if there is something in it as well. I read a lot of your comments on previous posts. You always have great insight!

  • DaPittieW/Wings

    Thank you USA!!! She is my little princess. My first dog after I had to send my last pittie to the rainbow bridge after 12 years. But yes I didn’t hesitate to take her to the vet, but the xrays didn’t show anything because its plastic. And the last squeaker in her belly she pooped out. The reason I haven’t taken her yet is because the vet is gonna ask me a host of questions that I cannot answer. So Im using the process of elimination first…then trip the doctor. I took away old blankets, no more peanut butter, and next step is food. I also have psoriasis and my first trip to the dermatologist was a series of unknowns and she didn’t diagnose it…I later did. But I agree with you about the prescriptions…I know they will say prednisone and I just hate that steroid. I already have her on omegas. I used to poke them on her food…but she is a good baby and now just gobbles em up. And I just read on here last night about coconut. oil…so she received her first teaspoon last night.
    The only soap I use now is raw black soap from ghana…it does NOT aggravate the plaques on my skin…so she got a bath with that and her skin looks a bit calmer today. Thank you for the tips! The book is on my list and as well as anchovies! Thank you Thank you!!!!

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi DaPittieW/Wings,

    I kept trying to respond to you last night, but the darn browser on my Kindle kept stopping ~ that thing is so frustrating.

    Anyway, what I was trying to say was the I thought James gave you some excellent advice. One thing I’d add would be that I’d make sure to have a can of plain pureed pumpkin on hand. A spoonful mixed into a meal helps clear up loose stools like magic.

    I wondered if this (EB Primitive Natural) is what she was eating when you brought her home or if she was eating something else, do you know what it was? Was she having any reactions previously that you were told about?

    When I read you said you were going to switch to a different Earthborn food, my first thought was to say I’d probably switch to something altogether different.

    But, if you do switch to another Earthborn variety that might give you some answers in the event the allergen is the primary protein in the food. Earthborn’s recipes include lots of fruits and veggies and that tends to be fairly consistent between varieties.

    Some also contain multiple meat proteins, like the Primitive Natural contains both turkey, chicken and whitefish meal. I think if I were going to switch within the Earthborn family, I’d try Meadow Feast and see how that works. It’s just lamb and no other meat proteins.

  • Freeholdhound

    She is just Gorgeous!!

  • InkedMarie

    Beautiful pit, love her markings.

  • theBCnut

    USA Dog Treats is right, it could be a few different things, and a trip to the vet is in order. And he’s also right about avoiding the use of antibiotics and prescription diets.
    There is no harm in trying a different food, if you think it may be food related. The EB you are using has a lot of chicken it in and chicken is a common culprit in food issues. However, starch sources that contain proteins can also cause symtoms. I’ve got a dog that even reacts to tomato. It’s easier to eliminate possible foods on a homemade diet. Do you know what she was eating before all this started?

  • USA Dog Treats

    Welcome DaPittieW/Wings

    You have yourself a beautiful pit there!

    Allergies are a difficult subject. Scratching the armpits can be a yeast overgrowth but the scratching could have caused the yeast overgrowth in the first place.

    The belly could be a contact dermatitis or…

    I would find a vet I could trust and have them look at her belly and armpits. A good vet has one thing that a pet guardian will never have and that is the experience of seeing thousands of dogs through their careers. I would NOT buy a prescription food or jump on the antibiotic train too quickly though. The more you educate yourself on natural pet care the better you will be able to advocate for her!

    The good news is there are things you can do to help out your little girl no matter what the reason for her scratching is!

    Coconut oil – a teaspoon added to her food once a day. You can go up to two teaspoons a day if everything goes well. In my opinion coconut oil is the best natural anti-fungal there is. The scratching IS damaging the skin and whether the scratching or the fungal overgrowth came first the coconut oil should help.

    Fish or Algae oil – omega 3’s added to her food are a great tonic for the skin and coat and they help with inflammation and they keep the brain working well. These types of oils go rancid pretty quickly so I would recommend large gel caps that have vit E added as an antioxidant. Squeeze the contents onto her food. Anchovies are small and don’t build up toxins like larger fish so I would get anchovy oil if possible. Algae oil is very high in DHA which is the Omega 3 that is good for the brain. You could alternate between the two.

    I would start the coconut oil first and see how that goes then I would add the fish or algae oil.

    Homemade food is the way to go. Kibble is the most processed and the least natural of the commercial dog foods. Cans and dehydrated foods are much better and Homemade is the best.

    Homemade guarantees you the highest quality for your girl. It takes more effort to prepare and balance her meals but it is well worth it!!!

    I would recommend the book See Spot Live Longer by Steve Brown as a good place to start for preparing homemade meals.

    Good Luck!!!

    PS $324 is a very good price for removing things from your dog’s stomach

  • DaPittieW/Wings

    Ok folks…first time commenting, but I have just spent a hour reading over comments. I feel like I can trust asking advice here. I just rescued a beautiful pit…about a year and 2 months. Two days later after bringing her home she started vomiting. Turns out she had about 8 squeakers from toys in her belly along with plastic and a little rope. Well…324 $ later, the vet couldn’t tell us nothing but she did get a fluid bubble. They said bland diet of beef n rice…WRONG. She vomited that up and then had the worse diarrhea. So of course she was dehydrated again. I fed her 2 tablespoons of water every 15 minutes to rehydrate her and then put her on boiled chicken and sweet potatoes. Got my baby back…healthy…strong…and HUNGRY. So i put her back on kibble of Earthborn Grainfree primitive…she loves it…the world is right again…wrong. A few weeks later she developed itching under her arms…I put raw shea butter…it relieves the itch but now its down her belly into groin area. I thought it was grass…but after further investigation she seems to not itch at all when she is outside or when she is sleeping. Soo many variables. I am thinking that the extreme cleansing she went through in February could have set her system back to 0…but crap I dunno. I eventually want to put her on a raw diet, but for now…thinking I’ll move to a different version of Earthborn. Sorry for the novel. I’d appreciate any advice.

  • Jonathan Greyhour

    Mr Sagman, I would like to share one of our in-house stats based on several hundred veterinarian organizations practicing under various licenses (general and specialist). During the past 8 years the leading cause a Doctor’s patient number decreased was competition, over the past 12 to 16 months the leading cause is not only shifting but almost changed completely to pet owners seeking advice via web forums. (eg. The large commercial dog food companies are abandoning their efforts of brand exposure via vet partnerships and developing online campaigns). Our services provide the veterinarian profession an assessment to the barriers of growing their business. We advise the profession on thriving with the online world not dismissing it. In this day and age you would think there would be little resistance, however the pharma industry still wields a large amount of influence on doctors and advises them to absolutely refuse discussions based on web based info. My original comment was based on my confusion, I had printed comments I was reviewing from an unbelievably irresponsible site and associated them with this thread, however after I discovered my error, I edit my comment. Dog Food Allergies has exploded into the number one concern of dog owners and my initial review of the advice on food formulations, dog supplements, and various diet modifications shared here has my attention.

  • InkedMarie

    The only thing that works for me is picking it up as soon as they go. I have three & it’s challenging, especially first potty of the day because at least two of them go. I can say NO to Ginger & Boone, Gemma’s mostly deaf so she can’t hear.

    I have a fenced in yard but we use a kennel for pottying. Sometimes one will go in the yard before I can pick it up as I can’t run fast but it’s the best I can do!

  • JaketheMutt

    I too have poo-eaters(5 to be exact!),its disgusting to say the least,my dogs are relentless so absolutely nothing has worked for them,its to the point where It doesn’t matter how fast I am with the pooper-scooper they still grab it up before I do.We tried the vinegar trick several years ago and it worked(for a week) after that it seemed as though all I was doing was making their poo even more appetizing to them,LOL,Ive had my dogs for 7 years now and I still haven’t found anything to stop them from doing this.

  • Steve

    FWIW, we had a large puppy some years ago that would chew on any and everything. The vet suggested I could keep the pup at bay with Cayenne pepper sauce and made the point not to use Tabasco because dogs will get used to it and even like it. BTW, IDK the effectiveness of any of that advice as I didn’t try it.

  • aimee

    I’d imagine that either he is painful or anticipates pain during cleaning. If painful than he may need sedation as outlined in the article until the infection is under control. If anticipatory pain than behavior training can help.

  • Denise L. Schaefer

    Thank you Aimee, the article was problem still is he won’t let anyone touch is ears here at home, so we can’t get a good cleaning.

  • aimee

    Hi Denise,

    You can find good information about ear infections at this link.

    Open the article “Otitis with out the Drama”

  • Denise L. Schaefer

    My 7 year old Shepard mix is on 4th ear infection in 2 months…. the vet is really no help.. so what does every body thinks?

  • dchassett

    It figures. Smart little rascals aren’t they. I tried the vinegar way back when. Yep! My girl liked it too.

  • Roni Martindale

    Good luck and I hope this works for you! If that doesn’t work they say vinegar but my dog liked the taste of vinegar.

  • dchassett

    Thx. I think that’s the only thing I haven’t tried. Gonna buy some really hot tobacco sauce. Wish me luck. I don’t usually advocate doing things like that to your animals but after 4 years of this, it would be so nice to let the dogs out in he yard and not have to follow them trying to catch the poop before Katie gets to it.

  • Roni Martindale

    I was able to stop using the Tabasco sauce. It only took one time using it for my dog to break her habit. Try to find a really hot Tabasco sauce!

  • dchassett

    Were you eventually able to stop putting Tabasco sauce on the poops? Did that break the habit? I so, do you remember how long it took? I think at this point it’s just a habit of hers. Disgusting!

  • Roni Martindale

    My dog use to eat poop too! Try going out and pouring Tabasco sauce on each pile of poop. Worked wonders for my dog.

  • dchassett

    Nonsense! I have a 4 1/2 year old Maltipoo that has been eating poop since I got her at 9 weeks old. Trust me, I have tried everything organically, commercial, whatever that anyone and everyone has suggested. The only thing I can do to prevent her eating poop is going out with all three dogs every single time and pick up all of their poops as they go each and every time. I would be delighted to hear if you have any success with any product you find. I’ve been battling this for a very long time. It’s exhausting. In all my years this is the first time I have ever had a dog that eats poop.

  • susan

    Ive heard adding Pineapple to dogs feed this stops the poo eating,

  • Christe Foles

    Hello Keith, I was browsing for info on Natures Variety dog food and its success with dog allergy relief, and read your post. I have been struggling with dog allergies or maybe I should say our 2 labs have, nevertheless the poop thing was big deal to me, no matter the commonality in dogs it bothered me. After a few different vets, I finally found a canine nutritionist with answers. The allergies and poop eating are common symptoms of a dog struggling to digest the nutrients in their food. He recommended the VitaHound dog supplement and dog foods that contain a similar ingredient profile. The supplement contains ingredients that first help the dog fully digest the nutrients in their food + ingredients that help remove the moister from the digested food in their large intestine. Our dog’

  • dchassett

    Speaking from experience the answer is a definite yes. I have three dogs, one of which is highly allergic and intolerant to many things including poultry (all), grains, soy, rice, white potatoes, tomato pomace. Originally I started trying to find a food she could eat without her problems flaring up and getting her under control. I didn’t want to put the other two through all the transitions until I figured out what to feed Katie. At that time I was only switching her foods and couldn’t figure out why after months and months of this, she was not getting any better. Well of course Katie, my allergy dog, is also the poop eater. Has been since I adopted her at 9 weeks of age and is now 4 1/2 years old. Long story short I switched them all to the same foods that she eats and low and behold, she is doing fantastic. She will have seasonal itchiness. She has environmental issues also. She is still a poop eater and believe me I have tried everything to stop this but alas to no avail. Anyway, no more allergy reactions in her so long as I read everything that I switch them to. I feed mostly raw and The Honest Kitchen Zeal formula (only one Katie can eat). As far as the raw goes I feed many different brands and proteins and have gotten to the point with all of them that I can rotate now from one meal to the next. I feed twice a day. As for treats I give them (not too many) fresh organic fruits and veggies. All my dogs are now happy campers. Gotta love this site for learning from the experience of others.

  • Keith

    I have 3 dogs and I believe one of the dogs is allergic to his food. I have switched the one dogs food something more natural, however the other two dogs are eating the same food. If my one dog that has allergies eats the poop of the other two dogs will his allergic symptoms reoccure?

  • Mike Sagman

    For the record (and before you edited your original comment), this is what you actually posted:

    “I rarely comment on informal forums, however I’m taken aback by the unprofessional diagnoses and shocked people are offering advice to treatment utilizing 2 paragraphs of differential diagnosis. I have 30 years experience and consult current practices, their patients advocating a wide variety of home remedies lead our organization to investigate various blogs. I have intended to review only and publish the findings via trade journals, however the 522 comments here absent the credential of a single physician warranted a response, additionally someone advocating medical opinion on an ongoing bases utilizing the same forum is practicing without a license.”

    And when I read those remarks, I (too) was “taken aback” and “shocked” to realize there might actually be some organization out there whose stated mission it was to “investigate various blogs” for the purpose of suppressing the public’s right to free speech.

    Since when does suggesting a possible solution for a health problem to a fellow human being or another pet owner become “practicing without a license”? Does one need a license to make suggestions to others in a public forum to help them solve their problems?

    As I read the many helpful comments posted throughout this blog, the only thing I see as “unprofessional” here is your original post.

  • Shawna

    Thanks!!! :)

  • Pattyvaughn

    Careful Shawna, he might change it again and who knows what you’ll be agreeing to.

  • Shawna


  • Jonathan Greyhour

    I rarely comment on informal forums, however I’m taken aback by the unprofessional diagnoses and shocked people are offering advice to treatment utilizing 2 paragraphs of differential diagnosis. I have 30 years experience and consult current practices, their patients advocating a wide variety of home remedies lead our organization to investigate various blogs. I have intended to review only and publish the findings via trade journals, however the 522 comments here absent the credential of a single physician warranted a response, additionally someone advocating medical opinion on an ongoing bases utilizing the same forum is practicing without a license.

  • NJ Cliff

    Im going to try this for my dog!

  • Bethany B

    Bathing your dog that many times can definitely aggravate the symptoms. Just the drying effects of the water really irritate my dogs so rge oils help. Try adding vit e oil and or jojoba oil to the bath and massage onto skin while shampooing and after rinsing. You can buy dust mite killing and neutralizing spray from allergy aire and more. My dogs and myself are severely allergic so this helps alot. I feed the Merrick grain free which helps too. Hope this helps. I have olde english bulldogges and they have sensitive skin and immune systems.

  • Charles

    Shawwnna better staus quiet with her high protein diet

  • Fdxc

    They lie and cheat dont sleep

  • Vfcc

    They mock around the clock and block

  • Fdxc

    Are you anther sheeppp dont sleep

  • Vbcv

    Shhaawwnas high pprrotein diet is proven wrong I could sing a song

  • Charles

    Pattyyy does not have the training she os claiming

  • dchassett

    Hi Andrea. I agree with Patty about the Perfect Form from Honest Kitchen. Whenever I would transition from one protein/brand food for my dogs I would add the proper amount for each feeding (I feed twice a day) for about a week and no stool problems whatsoever. It’s a great product to have on hand for just that problem. I can now change their food from meal to meal with no problems and no Perfect Form. Once in a blue moon if I see even the start of a loose stool I add it to the food. My dogs are all doing incredibly well. This is probably a silly question, but when you transition your dogs from one food to another (as you should be doing) I’m hoping you’re doing it even slower than the manufacturer suggests.You may be transitioning too quickly. Does your dog have any food intolerances or allergies? Please also do what Patty suggests and bring some of the poop, regardless of running it is, to your vet as soon as possible.

  • Timidfr

    Shannaass high protein diet is proven wrong I could sing a song

  • Pattyvaughn

    Take a fresh sample of the diarrhea to the vet and request that they send it to the lab for evaluation. There are bacteria and parasites that are cyclical, that a change in food could affect, that are difficult for the vet to detect on a normal fecal exam. Then if you haven’t tried adding pure canned pumpkin to his food, I would try that. The Honest Kitchen makes an excellent supplement called Perfect Form that has several really good ingredients for this type of problem.

  • Andrea

    I have a 6 month old goldendoodle who tolerates food for a bag or two then develops profound diarrhea until I switch him to a different food. This has happened with both grocery store brands (holistic blend) as well as grain free foods like Now. Always the same pattern. As soon as he starts the diarrhea I feed him chicken and rice for a few days and then introduce the new food and he goes back to having normal poop. If I try the original food again he immediately starts to have diarrhea. Running out of food options unless I start preparing it myself. Any suggestions?

  • Stella

    Hi, our 6yr old Shih Tzu is constantly itching and obsessively licking, causing sores, scabs, and overall seborrhea symptoms, which eventually lead to infections. We have never had a vet that could identify a way to remedy this, only medicate which isn’t working! It had once been called seasonal allergies, but is year round. She is being bathed 3 times a week with prescribed antiseborrheic shampoo which isn’t supposed too dry her skin. It helps, but short of bathing her twice a day, it’s not enough. She had been prescribed cyclosporine which helped slightly, but seemed to very hard on her body (vomiting bile frequently), so we are giving her as much Benadryl that a dog her size can safely have. We do believe she is allergic to dust/dander etc…, but it does appear to be multiple things, most likely food, since nothing is working. What are the best steps to take from here? Is it necessary to do a 12 week trial of consuming only expensive kangaroo meat to identify what she can and can’t have?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    There are so many ingredients in Dog Chow that are common triggers of food intolerance that it’s difficult to say – there’s also a chance that the issues are unrelated to the food. My suggestion would be to upgrade to a higher quality food (one without by-products, corn, wheat, soy or colorings) and see if the issue subsides. If the issues continue I personally would first try eliminating grains entirely and if that didn’t work I would then try eliminating chicken. It would also be a good idea to get him on a high quality probiotic supplement. Another user here (Shawna) posted this article on another thread recently concerning the relationship between intestinal microflora and food intolerances:

  • Red

    I have a 3 year old Saint Bernard and two other dogs and he seems to have these symptoms and he eats puppy chow what would be good for him

  • Pattyvaughn

    I hate to say that I assumed that’s what the xrays were about, CHF, but you know what they say about assuming.

  • Karma_Grant

    imho – in my humble opinion.

  • Betsy Greer

    I hate to say that’s what I was thinking also.

  • Melissaandcrew

    Have her see a cardiologist. Enapril is for heart failure and it could be relatef.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I would consider having her scoped. The vet needs to get a good look around in there.

  • bkgirl

    Hi i have a 12 year old doxie that eats freeze dried raw and veggies.she loves beef.she has a heart murmor for 7 months and is on enapril.she was doing great but 3 weeks ago she started sneezing and sounds like she has a head cold.had xrays and all good.she has been on antibiotics 3 different ones already and 2 kinds of antihistimines.nothing helped i am worried what to do she sounds so congested.anyone have any suggestions

  • molly

    Avoid tuna as it is laced with mercury. I’d try canned salmon with the bones for added calcium. The bones are fairly soft and crumble easily.

  • Suzanndy

    YEP! Funny you mention this; we also recently took him off of it once again as there seemed to be an issue before, but couldn’t pinpoint it exactly – I also suspect Potatoes, and the “Natural Flavoring” – found out that some use PORK for flavor but don’t mention it unless you ask.

    We then tried Natural Balance I.D. Sweet Potato again. Still…something is in this that really irritates him as well. We just switched back to GO! Sensitivity+Shine Duck recipe..and he’s doing Great!

  • Pattyvaughn
    Can I give my dog zinc? NO. Zinc, a heavy metal, is the 9th most common cause of dog poisonings in 2008. Zinc is necessary for a normal immune system, and the formation of red blood cells. Zinc helps maintain normal blood sugar levels in diabetic dogs, is used to treat skin conditions and to aid wound healing. Excess zinc levels can lead to pancreatitis, or toxicity. Zinc toxicity is usually seen in puppies that are known for eating everything in sight. Especially dangerous are pennies minted after 1982; zinc toxicity can result from the ingestion of only three pennies. When the copper coating of the penny is broken, the zinc core is rapidly absorbed into the dog’s system. Transport crates can have high zinc levels, and you should try to prevent your dog from licking or chewing on the wires. Signs of zinc toxicity are decreased appetite, diarrhea and vomiting, and weakness that can progress to kidney failure. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any natural or herbal supplements.

    It’s not poisonous. It is absolutely necessary for life. But it is important to not overdose.

  • Kristina

    Did you know that Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream lists potatoes as the fourth ingredient? I just took my dogs off of this for that reason.

  • Kristina

    Calamine lotion contains Zinc, which is poisonous to dogs!

  • MadMonkey

    I have a 3 year old lab with food allergies. I actually decided to pay for the blood test to determine what she was allergic to. This was expensive, $500. However it saved a ton of time in experimentation and my dogs comfort. We had spent a year doing the same thing as you with less than clear cut results.
    Also what the test told us is that she is allergic to different plant pollens and a few other things. This was important because the time of year, regardless of food change, would effect her rashes. Making it almost impossible to diagnose.
    You may be fine now due the time of year, but come the spring time be unable to test for food due to reacting to other environmental factors. Or may think it is food, but it may not be. It is rare that a pet just have allergic reaction to just food items and not other things.
    I have done a ton of reading and found my vet was less knowledgeable than I was after a certain point on the allergies and particularly making a diet that she was not allergic to.
    Like Pattyvaughn says, you will need to educate yourself to find the appropriate diet for your dogs needs.
    We make all our own dog food now. Oats, carrots, beef, liver, chicken, eggs, yogurt. We also use a vitamin supplement and give raw meaty bones.
    Our dog is allergic to rice, potatoes (of all types), lamb, duck, turkey, peas… it is quite a list.

    One thing that helps when she gets itchy in the spring due to pollen is Cyclosporine. Do not use prednisone, vets often prescribe this. Okay now and again, but not frequent use.

    Best of luck to you!!

  • Lindyloo

    I will look for low salt, thanks!

  • Lindyloo

    Thank you Storm’s Mom. You have made up my mind. I will go to the grocery store tomorrow and look for either canned salmon or sardines for round three! What is (imho)?

  • Pattyvaughn

    If you can find them without all the salt added.

  • Heather

    You’re welcome.
    Good news is since you’ve only tried the chicken and beef you still have a lot of options available.

    I think doing home cooked food is a great thing and my thinking is (although I could be wrong) that a nutritionist or maybe the holistic vet will be able to help you create a diet that is balanced and not likely to cause an allergic reaction. Then you can add the different proteins till you find at least one that works for him.

    If that all goes well you should be able to start adding different grains, veggies, fruit and such to have an even more varied diet and all that is great for your dog.

    Also as Patty stated, doing some reading and learning all you can will only help and then you should be able to do things on your own and have a happy, healthy dog. :)

  • Heather


  • Storm’s Mom

    Canned sardines or canned salmon are infinitely better choices than tuna, imho.

  • Lindyloo

    As I stated, the only proteins I have tried so far are beef and chicken, to which he reacted to both. I am getting ready to start round 3 with fish.

  • lindyloo

    Thank you so much for the feedback, because I am getting frustrated. I did contact a wholistic vet and am waiting to hear back. I will start fish this weekend. Do you think canned sardines or canned salmon are better choices than tuna?

  • Pattyvaughn

    There are several premixes on the market that you add meat to to make a complete diet. That might be the way to go for you. See Spot Live Longer is one. Grandma Lucy’s has another. The Honest Kitchen has Preference.
    Or you can get some books and learn how to balance your own meals. Steve Brown’s “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet” and Dr Karen Becker’s “Real Foods for Healthy Dogs and Cats” are a couple of great ones.

  • Heather

    Have you tried venison, rabbit, lamb, or bison? Maybe even salmon? I personally would not start with tuna. You should contact a nutritionist and have them help you create a diet appropriate for your dog. Homemade is great, but it’s very important to have a balanced and complete diet and that’s not easy to do without some help and lots of research.