Hill’s Prescription Diet Z/D Canine (Dry)


Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Hill’s Prescription Diet Z/D Canine Dog Food is not rated due to its intentional therapeutic design.

The Hill’s Prescription Diet Z/D Canine product line includes two dry dog foods, each designed to help with the support of pets with skin or food sensitivities.

Hill's Prescription Diet Z/D Canine

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 19% | Fat = 15% | Carbs = 58%

Ingredients: Corn starch, hydrolyzed chicken liver, powdered cellulose, soybean oil, calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate, lactic acid, potassium chloride, glyceryl monostearate, choline chloride, iodized salt, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), niacin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement), dl-methionine, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), taurine, mixed tocopherols for freshness, natural flavors, beta-carotene

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.3%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis19%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis19%15%58%
Calorie Weighted Basis17%31%52%
Protein = 17% | Fat = 31% | Carbs = 52%

The first ingredient in this dog food is corn starch, a starchy powder extracted from the endosperm found at the heart of a kernel of corn. Corn starch is most likely used here to thicken the broth into a gravy.

Corn starch isn’t a true red flag item. Yet we’ve highlighted here for those wishing to avoid corn-based ingredients.

The second ingredient is hydrolyzed chicken liver, organ meat that’s been chemically broken-down into its component amino acids. Hydrolyzed proteins are considered hypoallergenic.

The third ingredient is powdered cellulose, a non-digestible plant fiber usually made from the by-products of vegetable processing. Except for the usual benefits of fiber, powdered cellulose provides no nutritional value to a dog.

The fourth ingredient is soybean oil is red flagged here only due to its rumored (yet unlikely) link to canine food allergies.

However, since soybean oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids and contains no omega-3’s, it’s considered less nutritious than flaxseed oil or a named animal fat.

The fifth ingredient is calcium carbonate, likely used here as a dietary mineral supplement.

The sixth ingredient is dicalcium phosphate, likely used here as a dietary calcium supplement.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With two notable exceptions

First, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

And lastly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

Hill’s Prescription Diet Z/D Canine Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Although this is a prescription product, our review has nothing to do with the accuracy of claims made by the manufacturer as to the product’s ability to treat or cure a specific health condition.

So, to find out whether or not this dog food is appropriate for your particular pet, you must consult your veterinarian.

With that understanding…

Judging by its ingredients alone, Hill’s Prescription Diet Z/D Canine Ultra looks like an average dry product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still prefer to estimate the product’s meat content before concluding our report.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 19%, a fat level of 15% and estimated carbohydrates of about 58%.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 76%.

Below-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a limited amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Hill’s Prescription Diet Z/D Canine is a plant-based dry dog food using a limited amount of hydrolyzed chicken liver as its main source of animal protein.

However, due to its intentional therapeutic design, this dog food is not rated.

Hill’s Prescription Diet Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

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Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

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Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

11/07/2016 Last Update

  • Susan

    Disqus_SB17sCuYS7, I’m pretty sure I have the right person, you post on DFA “Forums” section under the name “Anon101, a few years back you first posted as Red, LM, Anonymous but Lynne is your proper name, I can post your last name if you want. You live Scotland not America & DO NOT have a Medical degree like you boost about in some of your post….you’re a nasty stalker that follows other people’s post & condemn what they post cause it differs from your beliefs, its not scientific enough like Sketchy Vet, Dr Brennen Mckenize (Skeptvet) believes that pet parents should see a vet & not have the choice in how they choose to heal their pets anything Holistic & Natural is wrong, fake, crap, no scientific evidence, you post & post trying to change the poor poster mind how to treat their poor dog & even thought the poster says they have seen a vet but want some help, you still insist they see a vet….Take yourself & Skept Vet & find some other site to preach your crap…..

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    You must have me confused with someone else who has opinions that differ from yours.
    I will no longer respond to these negative off topic remarks.
    I hope you all have a nice day.

  • Amateria

    Wow you really keep up on here, I didn’t even realise that disqus was another person, I just know I don’t like her haha.
    I’ve got a few people on ignore here which I’m very happy about, that way I can go about my helping people out without getting angry, frustrated and all that unecessary stuff.

    Did you not have a choice with the Royal Canin food? Is there really nothing else Patch can have but that, your making all these great choices and then you still feed RC 🙁

    (To Lynne)
    Besides its me who knows my dog best not the vet after all I am with my dog 24/7 and the vet is not, what a load of baloney.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    The above post is against commenting policies at Disqus. Personal attack.
    I will place this poster on ignore.

  • Susan

    Hi Dianna, just ignore disqus_SB17sCuY (Lynne)post, she always sticks her nose in when other people answer someone’s post, & write’s the poster should see a vet, she has no consideration how the dog owners are feeling & stressing about their sick dog when they are asking for HELP…that’s why Mike Sagman set up Dog Food Advisor it was cause of his poor rescue dog called Penny her Story is under “About” up the top, I was lucky 4 yrs ago when I asked for help there were a few nice ladies, that helped & put Patch & I on the right track but since disqus_SB17sCu joined a few years ago these nice ladies all left they couldn’t handle the arguing with Disqus_SB17 (Lynne) she has changed her name about 5 times now but I know who she is after she changes her name you know straight away….
    How is your poor boy doing is he feeling better? did you order the R/C wet tin or the dry Hypoallergenic food? I tried the R/C Wet Hypoallergenic tin Saturday & Patch had no acid reflux, no grinding his teeth, no pancreas/stomach pain like he had when he ate the Z/d wet & dry formula but this morning his poos were sloppy, he’ll have to get use to the new R/C HP wet food, but so far he has had no bad side effects while eating the Wet HP formula, with his stomach or Pancreas….

  • Diana Pinheiro

    Of course I understand. My dog’s vet was the one who told me to buy either Z/D or Royal Canin. He told me to buy the one I find, due to my country’s situation he can’t go for one or the other because he knows how difficult it is to bring that food from the US. Thats why I’m asking for your opinion (from people who knows the products).

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    I would put a call in to your vets office and leave a message for him to call you back when he has a minute. Have a list of questions ready to discuss your options regarding food, meds, treatment.
    After all, he knows your dog best and your situation, so I would take his advice.
    No one is here in a professional capacity. We are all just expressing our opinions.

  • Susan

    Hi Dianna, Please do not SOAK any kibble, water mixed with the kibble can cause bloat, water mixed with kibble makes the Helicobactor & acid reflux worse, if you can get an ant acid medicine PLEASE email me on
    [email protected] tell me which one you can buy?? & if you can get some Flagyl (Metronidazole) the Flagyl kills the Helicobacter within 4 days & brings relief to the dog but you still need to give the ant acid medication to relieve the bad acid that the Helicobactor makes, I can email you everything (Meds, doses, food/diet) my Gastrointestinal vet wrote to do with Patch for his Helicobacter, Helicobacter is very painful & uncomfortable when it takes over the good bacteria in the stomach…Can you get medications if they’re posted to you or not? Please email me..

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    I would choose Royal Canin . As far as over the counter medications, I would refrain from dispensing anything unless a veterinarian that has examined the dog has instructed you do do so.
    Not all meds are benign and you could make this fragile dog worse with side effects.
    With senior dogs I find they do better if you presoak the kibble in water prior to serving, often they just don’t drink enough water.
    Also, 3 or 4 small meals and a bedtime snack
    I would focus on care and comfort rather than aggressive treatment at this stage of his life.

  • Susan

    Hi make sure the TOTW is either the Sierra Mountain, Roasted Lamb or the Pacific Stream, Smoked Salmon which protein does he do better on Lamb or Fish? even if you can’t find the Losec look for Zantac (Ranitidine) the normal Zantac not the 12hour Zantac or look for Pepcid (Famotidine) they’re not as strong as the Losec (Omeprazole) but they will help reduce the acid reflux, or Liquid Mylanta is excellent give him 5ml (1 teaspoon) when he seems unwell with mouth licking, swallowing eating grass, the Helicobacter causes bad acid reflux & you need the Metronidazole 200mg twice a day with a meal & the ant acid medication 30mins before food the Losec (Omeprazole) 20mg is only given once a day in the morning is best.. I’ve had the Helicobacter-Pylori twice & it’s awful, you always feel real hungry & have a norring pain in stomach as soon as you eat you feel better but then 20-30mins later you’re in pain again, that’s why its better to feed 5 smaller meals thru the day,…Good Luck..

  • Pitlove

    Hi Diana-

    As far as Z/D or Royal Canin HP go, HP out performed Z/D in clinical trials in terms of effectiveness.

  • Diana Pinheiro

    OMG!!!! Thank you very much for replying! He’s not taking any medication yet, and it’ll be a problem because we (venezuelans) dont have that many medications or antibiotics here, I mean, it is VERY DIFFICULT to find them (thanks to the government), but I’ll do my best to find that acid reducer you mentioned! I have read a lot about “Taste Of The Wild” so I think I’m going to buy one pack of RC and one of TOTW so I can figure out which one is better for him! And thnks for the advice, i’ll send an email to RC!!! I’m very grateful.

  • Susan

    Hi I feel for your poor dog my boy has IBD & has the Helicobacter -Pylori, & gets all the Pancreatitis symptoms vet said yesterday it’s just his IBD playing up again this is what happens with IBD cause Patch has his pain right right again & we are trying wet tin foods & feeding less kibble when I cook its worse this pain he gets I tried the Hills I/d Digestive Care but poos are sloppy, I should of tried the Royal Canin Low fat intestinal wet cause the protein is Pork, Patch does better on pork & not chicken, Hills vet diets have Chicken & beet pulp & he has stomach pain acid reflux stay away from foods with Beet Pulp it makes the Helicobacter worse..for 3 yrs I’ve been trying & trying to find that magic food, he does real well on & has NO PAIN, I finally found “Taste Of The Wild” Sierra Mountain, Roasted Lamb can you get TOTW Dry kibble..?? is your dog taking Losec?? an ant acid medication?? also when Patch gets bad again he gets put on Metronidazole 200mg a day cause the Helicobacter takes over the stomach again but your dog needs a strong ant acid reducer like Losec, for 1 yr I tried to kill this helicobacter & you cant feed high carb diets, & gluten free is best, we tried the Hills Z/d wet & dry last yr after Hills changed Z/d formula but it made Patches acid reflux worst, I got a wet tin yesterday of the Royal Canine Hypoallergenic wet tin food, I’m trying today you have to buy a few tins & you have to see which vet diet works best for ur boy I rotate foods & feed 5 smaller meals a day 7am 9am 5pm he has a dry kibble & at 12pm & 8pm he has wet tin food that I’m trialing to see which one works the best Patch also has skin allergies & certain foods make him itch.. I would try the Royal Canine HP wet tin the fat is lower 13.7% I contacted Royal Canin the other day they are really good & do help & there’s no soybean oil in the Royal Canin vet diets…R/C also have their PR, PV & PS Potato & Rabbit, Potato & Venison & Potato & Salmon these vet diets have some hydrolyzed meats as well & the fat is lower in the dry kibble formulas 10% send R/C an email & a vet nutritionist will get back to you & help you..

  • Diana Pinheiro

    Wow I have read so many comments that I think I’m more confused now than before. My name is Diana, I’m from Venezuela, idk if you know but a lot of things are happening here, or been happening for the last 15 years.. The thing is I don’t have any options for my dog’s food here. He (my dog) is very sick, he is a poodle, 13 years old, and we’ve been battleling with pancreatitis, helicibater pylori, and now food intolerance. He has a lot of problems digesting his food, so he’s now down all the time. He also has incontinence problems (due to a surgery). The big thing here is that his vet recommended Z/D or royal canin hypoallergenic HP. Is very, VERY expensive for me to bring that food from the States to Venezuela, but I’m going to do it anyway because he means the world to me.

    I really need a recommendation, because I dont want to waste my money, which one is better, Z/D or Royal Canin? Please help me!

  • Susan

    Hi, NO google about Raw Hide how BAD they’re made, awful cheap dog treats, very bad… are you starting an Elimination food Diet now your dog is stable??
    With Vet Diets like Z/d for skin & stomach/bowel once your dog is stable after 4-6months you start adding 1 new fresh cooked food for 6 weeks to see if he’s sensitive to that food, then if he’s all good you add another fresh food to his diet say boiled potato, again wait 6 weeks, if he’s fine, you stop the new ingredient your adding, then add another new ingredient say a protein, salmon is the best to try first, unless you know he can’t eat fish, salmon is easy cause you can buy in the tins, I tried all the ingredients in dog foods & found my boy can’t eat chicken, he got red itchy paws, itchy body, carrots itchy ears, shaking his head, turkey very sloppy poo’s, beef starts scratching body, within 20mins of eating the beef, chicken or carrots, as soon as he has a reaction either sloppy poo’s, itchy skin red paws etc stop adding the new food… I have a diary for Patch you will start to see a pattern with the Environment allergies, his vet said Patch has seasonal environment allergies really bad Spring/Summer months cause I was always at the vets March the beginning of Autumn, Patch has his IBD flare every single March, we saw vet Tuesday & she thinks his immune system goes into over drive from the allergies making his IBD play up, he has a rest thru the cooler months then its starts all over again but since finding out what he can & can’t eat he’s IBD has been going really well now, then once you find out what your dog can & can’t eat he’ll be able top eat certain kibbles treats etc.. Hills do make certain treats but I don’t know if they’re Hydrolyzed like the Z/d is I think Purina Pro Plan vet diets have Hydrolyzed treats.
    I started giving some apple, you cut 1/4 of the apple, then wrap the rest of the apple in cling wrap & put in fridge to the next day, you peel the 1/4 piece of apple & NO seed, cut 3 little kibble size piece of the apple & give same time every day for 5 days & see how does he do, if he’s Ok then you can increase after 1 week to a few more small pieces of apple, start adding fresh foods as a treat but has to be the same food don’t give say apple for 2 days then the 3rd day you give something else when you do it too quick or add more then 1new thing in his diet if he reacts you will not know what caused the reaction.. Good Luck hopefully in 1 yr your dog will be able to eat certain foods, it’s very sad when they are limited with foods, but my boy can eat so many foods now after 4 yrs of trying this & that… vet just wanted to keep him on a vet diet I’m so glad I did the elimination food trial..

  • InkedMarie

    If you choose rawhide chews, the only safe ones are from Wholesome Hide and ones from Raw Feeding Miami (maybe other raw food companies)

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    No. Not if the goal is to do an elimination diet.

  • Deborah Lora

    my dog is on Hills z/d for food/skin sensitivity. I’m wondering if he can have rawhide chews.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    I would take her to the vet, vomiting daily for 4 months indicates something is wrong. It may have nothing to do with her diet. Only further diagnostic testing and an exam by a veterinarian can answer your questions.
    Also, make sure the dog is drinking enough water, I would add a splash to her kibble. It is important to keep the bladder flushed (struvite/bladder stones).
    Frequent vomiting can lead to nausea and dehydration.

  • Susan

    Hi, take the z/d back to vets & get refund & have vet run some test maybe Pancreatitis & try another brand of kibble/wet tin food with limited ingredients…
    My Patch can’t eat the Hills vet diet formulas, he suffers with IBD, mainly his stomach with bad acid reflux, vomiting & pain, the Soybean oil or something in the Hills vet diet formulas give Patch bad acid reflux, or maybe the carbs are way too high being nilly 60% carbs making him get his acid reflux, something doesn’t agree with him ??
    Can you cook & make enough food for 1-2 weeks & freeze the meals in sections & see if the vomiting stops?? buy 2lb of lean grounded mince like turkey 99% fat free mince or lean pork mince, don’t buy any fatty mince cause maybe the fat % was way to high in the c/d & z/d formulas???.. whisk 1 egg mix with the lean mince all & make 1 cup or 1/2 cup size rissoles balls & bake on a foil lined baking tray in oven & boil some sweet potatoes, peel & cut the sweet potato around the same size & when you freeze them don’t let sweet potatoes touch each other as they will stick… or have a look at “California Natural” Lamb Meal & Rice small bites, it has just 3 ingredients Lamb meal, Rice & Sunflower oil if your feeding a kibble.. http://www.californianaturalpet.com/products

  • Terracino Ginny

    Annie has has food sensativity ..Vet gave me CD for crystles in November..we switched to zd a week ago cause she was throwing up every day… Guess what?? Still throwing up.. what is going on here?

  • sonya

    Thank you.

  • Susan

    Have a look at “Canidae” Pure Sea kibble or “Taste Of The Wild” (TOTW) formulas … make sure you give weekly baths in Malaseb medicated shampoo, the Malaseb kills any bacteria on their skin, washes off any pollens, allergens dirt that may be irritating the skin & leaves their skin nice & soft….

  • sharron

    not Susan – TOTW is Taste of the Wild

  • sonya

    Sorry what is TOTW , I have a black lad/ Golden ret. and she is always itching.

  • bojangles


  • Susan

    Hi Debra, I wouldn’t feed a raw diet,
    Lola is 10yrs old & may have a compromised immune system, a cooked diet will be better or a good quality wet tin food with the fat around 3%… I buy lean pork mince add 1 grated small carrot, some cut up broccoli, a whisked egg, some cut up parsley & make 1 cup size rissoles & bake in the oven & the fat comes from the rissoles I drain when they are 1/2 cooked, then I boil sweet potato cut into pieces, I cool then freeze the sweet potato pieces & the rissoles, I add 1 sweet potato piece & 1 rissole all cut up for breakfast, Lola will probably eat 2 cup size rissoles & 2 small pieces of sweet potato…

  • Amateria

    A food with green lipped mussel works well, I found that freeze dried or canned foods worked heaps better than dry-ish ones.

    Kibble with lots of fish proteins or added flaxseed, salmon oil and/or sunflower, olive oil are very powerful when it comes to joint health.
    Fish however is not very good to feed all the time a rotation of kibbles is the best way to prevent problems that may arise from too much fish.

    I gave Rusty Ziwipeak, K9 natural and Ivory Coat and his leg problem is gone, so I firmly believe in fish oils and green lipped mussels as cures for painful joint issues, I also believe you could use them as a preventative of future issues to at least some degree, as all dogs are different and sometimes things just don’t work.

  • Debra

    I did do the major “no-no”, dumping the old for the new, grain free, no more gas and, although not as firm, it’s no longer liquid. Dang, didn’t know about the older the dog gets, wet food is better. Thank you! Question…you said cooked food, some say raw, others cooked. Any opinion on that? Would like to hear your thoughts. I can tell Lola is already feeling better and I feel horrible knowing she has put up with this for quite some time.

  • Debra

    I know vets are not schooled on nutrition, yet, it’s been 26 years since my first pup in my adult life, and I still forget that. Not too much preventative. Lola is still solid, bright-eyed and full of energy – I would like to hear more about what I could add to her diet to keep her this way as long as possible. I’ve had 6 dogs since that first pup, some rescued. Like you, I think about the next dog, but don’t think of about the loss, they give so much and enrich our lives. The benefits far out weigh the loss. They keep me active and sane! Please let me know about the things that would help with her joints. I am absolutely open to the things that will keep my Lola the way she is as long as I can.

  • Susan

    Hi Debra, you might be better of feeding cooked meal or wet tin food for 1 of your girls meal & a kibble for the other meal…. Wet foods are better then a dry kibble when they have UTI problems & when they get older wet food is better…If her poos don’t firm up then have a look at “Taste Of The Wild” Sierra Mountain, Roasted Lamb, it’s easy to digest & my boy does nice firm poos when he eats TOTW Lamb kibble, he has IBD, TOTW also make wet tin food formulas make sure you read the fat % on any wet tin food if it says 5% fat when converted to dry matter (Kibble) 5 % in wet tin food is around 20% fat so try & find wet tin foods that are 4% & under in fat, keep us posted how your girl is doing….

  • Amateria

    Was a therapeutic dose of glucosamine, chondroitin or green lipped mussel or even shark cartlidge not mentioned for the arthritis?

    I’ve read a lot of comments over the years of dogs getting put down due to these problems, but no one ever mentioned if they actually tried to cure it first before making the decision to put down.

    I would always try to cure first to be honest as the pain of loss gets me very badly, I always talk of future dogs after the ones I currently have, but really I wonder how much loss I can really take and if I really will have many dogs in my later years or not.

    Also adding certain food items and oils to the foods you give can greatly help together with the supplements, I mean they help my back problem and Rusty’s knee is completed fixed.

  • Debra

    Wow, thank you to all that wrote what happened to your babies. Lola is my 10 year old GSD who had been on ZD for about 3 years, everything was kind of okay, buy her stools sere always dark and loose. About a 18 months ago she developed a UTI – chronic, also incontinence. We’ve been battling it ever since. I recently moved, thought it got worse because of change of water source, but it got even worse when I got the last bag of food. She’s waking me up at 3 am to take her out and that’s never happened. Her brother (same parents, but the litters were a year apart) was allergic to trees and grass also, we put them both on the ZD – it helped, kind of, with his skin, but his stools were never solid after we put him on that food. He was a taller GSD and, sadly, the arthritis became too painful and I recently had to make that hard decision.
    However, thanks to all of you – I am going to the store and changing out her food. Lola does not have any allergies and her hips are solid. I want to keep it that way. I know we are not supposed to do a quick change in diet, but at this point, I don’t think it can get any worse. Maybe the UTI and incontinence will also be addressed.

  • crystal perry

    Thank you for your reply. We actually went to our dog store and bought Dr.E Great life Performance food (limited ingredient dog food). We told them we wanted TOTW but they were telling us that since our dog has allergies we should try the limited ingredient food (although they gave us a bunch of sample bags for TOTW to try). The girls stool was back to normal poops instantly!!!! I was so shocked!!!! we are still on day 3 of their food transition 50%ZD and 50% Great Life. but the progress and change in their stool is unbelievable!!! I see a little itching and licking but no hives and break outs. I have also been walking them more so maybe I need to amp up the showers that I give them. I would like to try TOTW but for now I’m just so happy they aren’t having black runny poop so I am not going to push it 🙂 If anyone is concerned and wants to see pictures of how bad it got I have that too. I know it is a bit much but when it happened to me I was so scared and I didn’t know if it was something that should be rushed to the ER Vet. I was just so scared and I had nothing to compare it to. So i just want to be helpful if anyone wants to know what “BAD” looks like.

  • Susan

    Hi Crystal, yes my Patch was put on Hills Z/d & it did the same runny water poos its the fiber % Z/d has only 0.1% soluble fiber, Hills have changed their Z/d formula & added more soluble fiber & it says on their bag new improved but I still wouldn’t feed it…Give the TOTW a try ingredients are better, start with the TOTW formulas with the least ingredients & have single proteins like the TOTW Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb or their Pacific Stream Smoked Salmon…
    My boy does perfect poos on TOTW the only kibble his poos are perfect & skin doesn’t itch but I do bath him weekly in Malaseb Medicated Shampoo in the hot months, Spring & Summer, he has seasonal environment allergies & food sensitives….

  • crystal perry

    We have 2 shitzu/silkie female dogs both 4 years old. They have always been healthy but this past year we noticed hives,itching , and biting of feet constantly after eating or being outside. We took them to the vet and they said to wipe feet after every walk and try switching over to ZD. We did this and noticed that itching and hives stopped but poop was now runny and has mucus and sometimes blood in it. It got to a point where one dog was only having liquid blood come out. We brought them back to vet and prescribed meds and told me to feed them a bland diet (chicken and white rice or tuna in water and white rice) I did this and the blood immediately stopped. They said to continue on ZD so we have done that but I’m concerned over their poop consistency. Sometimes they don’t poop all day and then when they do its 1/3 the size of what I’m used to seeing and it’s very dark and runny with mucous. They have been very gassy. I think this has to do strictly with ZD????!!!!! I’m tired of bringing them to the vet every week and seeing them sick and filling all their meals w “meds that might help”. We are going to try “taste of the wild” after reading these reviews it’s sad but comforting knowing I’m not the only one who has experienced similar symptoms. I’ll update you after a few days to see if anything has changed due to the food switch.

  • Susan

    Hi Kristen, what does the vet say? also email Hills asking can their Nutritionist Vet call you back about the problem… I think she needs an ultra scan on her bladder to see if she has crystals or another problem with her bladder, all Z/d done to my boy was made him smell real yeasty & itch & wouldn’t firm his poos..

  • Kirsten

    Has anyone had problems with a lack of bladder control after switching to z/d? My female pit bull was vomiting a lot so my vet put her on z/d to see if it helps. The vomiting has stopped but now she is urinating seemingly unknowingly, while she is laying down or sleeping. She is almost 3 and trained to go to the door so I am wondering if this is related to the food changes?

  • Susan

    Hi my boy suffers with food & skin allergies & has IBD finally after 3 yrs trying most vet diets & premium kibbles, I tried Taste Of The Wild first like you I tried Pacific Stream & then I started introducing the Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb so Patch doesn’t start reacting to the Pacific Stream & I rotate the 2 kibble, Patches favourite is the Sierra Mountain & Patch is doing perfect poo’s its taken 3 yrs & finally I have found a food that works….. Taste Of The Wild…

  • Simone Ve

    My American staffordshire has a number of food allergies (not food intolerance). He was on ZD for about four years with no problems. About a year ago he developed chronic colitis. Because he had been on ZD for so long, the vet did not think it was the source of his issues. We strictly cut out all other foods to no avail. The bloody diarrhoea and lots of gas continued. After a lot of tests (stool samples, blood works, colonoscopy, endoscopy), I was at the end of my tether. Against the vets advice, I bought a bag of Taste of the wild pacific stream dry food with smoked salmon. Within 24 hours he did the first formed poo I have seen in over six months. Yayyy!!! So far we are 4days in and every poo has been perfect – well formed, no visible blood or mucus. It may seem weird that I would get so excited about a well formed poo, but if you’d spent a year wiping your dog’s butt and hosing black diarrhoea off your pavers you’d understand!. Fingers crossed this is not a short lived miracle. ZD worked well for us for a long time so I’m not going to say it’s rubbish. However, I don’t think it was agreeing with our dog in the end. Hope this helps someone out there going through what we’ve been through. Best of luck!

  • James Holloway

    Yes, mine had the same skin problem and he is now on allergy shots and his skin is cleared up. However, th dermatologist had him on antibiotics as well to clear up his skin. It takes a while for the allergy shots to work, we’ll see.

  • James Holloway

    Yes, my golden had the same problem with his poop. We took him to a dermatologist and they figured out he was alergic to grass and trees and started him on the shots and now his ears and skin is much better. We then change his diet to the R/D because he gained too much weight. Also his poop cleared up.

  • ThePubliusValerius


  • ThePubliusValerius

    Thanks for the response. I will check it out

  • Susan

    Start adding a couple of sardines in spring water a day to his diet, Sardines are high in omega fatty acids & vitamin/mineral everything that’s probably lacking in his diet he’s eating at the moment… if the poos firmed up on this food then look for foods higher in fiber cause the Z/d is higher in insoluble fiber & has less soluble fiber contact Hills & get the percentages & try & find another tin food that has nilly the same percentages as the Z/d diet has…

  • Susan

    I can help with this, my boy also ate the Hills Z/d Ultra the problem is the FIBER the Soluble fiber is 0.1% the insoluble fiber is 3.7% it has more insoluble fiber then soluble fiber, this kibble went thru my boy also…Try the Royal Canine vet diet brands Hypoallergenic HP or have you tried “Taste Of The Wild Pacific” Stream Smoked Salmon or “Holistic Select” Anchovy,Sardine & Salmon meal Adult it has rice & is excellent for itchy skin smelly ears etc or there’s their grain free Salmon Anchovy & Sardine Puppy/Adult, but I prefer the one with rice a lot of grain free kibble are high in starchy carbs like potatoes peas, also I try not to feed much kibble as they need carbs to bind the kibble so for breakfast I feed a cooked meal or feed a raw premade diet & give the kibble for dinner also Raw will help ur dogs yeasty ears cause a raw diet doesn’t have many carbs its mainly meat what the dogs need..

  • Amateria

    It would appear he may be allergic to something in this formula, its great when stuff helps with something but really sad when new things suddenly start to appear.

    Maybe like some people have suggested you could work with your vet to find a suitable food for him, by doing test runs of specific ingredients and such.
    Once you have the perfect ingredients list than you go shopping for that perfect food.

    Sorry if I was of no help at all D: I’m still learning.

  • ThePubliusValerius

    Our dog had terrible allergies for years, that resulted in smelly ,gooey, nasty ears. We tried all sorts of medicines, natural cures, food changes, environment changes and nothing worked. The vet finally recommended trying the Hill’s dry dog food. It worked. Within a few days, his ears had completely cleared up. We were ecstatic. However, that’s when new problems began. Now, he has horrible gas, and runny poop. It’s a nightmare. I imagine it’s not too comfortable for him either. Does anyone have any advice?

  • Terri

    Thank you so much to Pitlove and Susan! I’m looking into your suggestions. I want to get Teddy on the best food for him and I haven’t been impressed by the Science Diet Z/D. Thanks, again!!

  • Pitlove

    I agree with Susan. I would switch to Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein. My vet told me that RC beat out Science Diet Z/D in all the feeding trials for effectiveness. My pitbull is on it right now for another month and he’s doing very well on it. They no longer can call it hypoallergenic though, so make sure you ask for the “Hydrolyzed Protein HP” as it’s called now.

  • Susan

    Royal Canine has their vet diet Hypoallergenic HP, it may work better for the skin then the Hills, Patch has never done well on Hills…

  • Susan

    YES when Patch was eating the Hills Z/d Ultra Kibble he started to smell real yeasty & itch & scratch like mad, its probably the corn starch, I looked for a kibble with limited ingredients just Fish & Rice & I cook chicken breast, potato, broccoli & zucchini & poos are beautiful, or look for a limited ingredient wet tin food with the same amount of fat% as the Z/d can food has, Hills has already convert fat % to dry matter (kibble) 14.1% Fat that’s about 3% fat in a normal wet tin food can… I’ve been looking at the Wellness the flavours that are 4% fat no higher just incase the higher fat is causing the diarrhea…. I’m going to try the Beef Stew with carrots & potatoes, Have you tried Taste Of the Wild Smoked salmon kibble a lot of people with German Shepherd on the EPI F/B group recommended taste of the Wild, they also have wet tin food a few flavours are 3% in fat ….also look for a good shampoo for dry flaky skin…. http://www.tasteofthewildpetfood.com/#dog-formulas

  • Terri

    I’ve been feeding the dry and canned versions of this to my long-haired, German shepherd mix for about 4 weeks. The vet prescribed it because he had a bout of diarrhea and some itchiness. The diarrhea is gone, but I just noticed that his skin is flaky, like really bad dandruff; he’s never had this before. And he’s scratching a lot more, probably because of the dry skin. The vet wants him to stay on the food but go to a dermatologist. I’m inclined to think the food is causing the dry skin. Has anyone else experienced this with this food?

  • Susan

    Yes I understand, you don’t want to rock the boat, its not worth all the stress. I’ve been buying the K-9 Natural Green Lipped Mussel snacks for Patches joints, skin & coat, he gets 1 mussel for morning tea.. http://www.chewy.com/dog/k9-natural-green-lipped-mussel/dp/118456

  • Shute Ranch

    I have thought about trying other foods, but this dog is so sensitive to everything!! I started her (and my other senior heeler) on Cosequin, and within a week she was in the hospital for 3 days for a strange condition they never diagnosed. I took her off Cosequin and it hasn’t happened since. I wonder if she has an allergy to fish?? Anyway, she is so happy now that I would hate to upset her stomach/bowels by trying new foods. I understand the physiology of the hydrolyzed diet, so I am reluctant to reintroduce her to proteins that are not hydrolyzed. I will look into the ones you mentioned, however possibly for my other dogs.

  • Susan

    Hi Shute Ranch gee another teeth Grinder, my boy grinds his teeth, finally I worked it out its when he has acid reflux, he has IBD & skin Allergies, I tried the Hills Z/d ultra & it has too much insoluble fiber & goes thru Patch, water poos, I have a full bag siting in the cupboard, he does better on the Royal Canine Intestinal Low Fat….at the moment he’s doing really well on the “Earthborn Holistic” Ocean Fusion, it has the least ingredients, he does really good on kibbles with fish….you know you can start & try another kibble, just make sure it’s an limited ingredient kibble with just 1 protein & it has the same amount as fat % around 12% fat as the Z/d Ultra & real slowly introduce the new kibble over 3 weeks……they don’t have to stay on a vet diet once they’re better, you can start introducing new foods & see what they react too, like an elimination diet….

  • Shute Ranch

    I have a border collie terrier mix that all of a sudden began grinding her teeth. For years we thought it was anxiety, because she did very well on anxiety medication for a while, but eventually the grinding returned. Ironically it wasn’t until she had to have emergency surgery to remove an obstruction (she swallowed a 6″ corn cob whole–much to my surprise!!), that we discovered the cause of her grinding. The vet took some biopsies of intestinal tissue that looked inflamed. Results showed she has an allergy to protein (irritable bowel syndrome). The vet recommended Hills Science Z/D Rx diet. I was never a fan of Hills, until now!! It has cured her grinding completely!!! She hasn’t ground her teeth since.

    She is happier, eats her food without having to coerce her, has a shinier coat, will actually eat treats now (she would always turn her nose up to treats before), and doesn’t have a nasty smell to her like she did before.

    For my dog, this food has been amazing!!

  • Janice

    So Ive been looking around everywhere, and been calling my vet (they rarely answer x.x) I have an -almost- 2 pound dog who is (as of today) On this food. I want to slowly (over the course of a week) change the food, to do that accurately I need to know how much food I should feed my Chihuahua, but the feeding chart says 5lbs = 2/3 Cup. Is it “Up to 5lbs”? Because she definitely does not eat 2/3 cup a day : I want to to the whole 75/25 (x2), 50/50 (x2), 25/75 (x2), 0/100~ So she doesn’t have any ill effects.

  • Chip Bridges

    Purina is NOT a great food. Just look it up on this website!

  • jackc

    It’s been a month and the food switching to Origen Sr has been going well. She is getting about 80% Origen at this point and we have seen no adverse effects. My feeling is he will probably get her weaned from ZD in a couple of weeks. I have to assume that her problem may have been grain oriented since ZD and Origen both contain no wheat or corn products. Her weight is down a little and she looks more trim at this point, Being a Golden Retriever/Beagle mix we noticed that her frame is larger than his other dog of the same size that is Britney Spaniel/Beagle.

    I talked to the folks at Origen earlier about putting or the senior food even though she was a year and a half old. They assured me that the protein content was very adequate for a dog her age and once we got her weight down, we could increase her intake based on her activity.


  • jackc

    Well it has been just over a month and my son is now feeding the ratio of about 80% Origen Senior and 20% ZD. No sign of the food allergy previously seen by the foster family. We don’t know what they were feeding her prior to them going to ZD, but Origen seems to not include what was triggering her problems. I have a feeling it may have been a grain issue.


  • InkedMarie

    Put the kibble on a cookie sheet.

  • sue66

    Yes I’ve tried the muffin tray, I order the a bowl on E-bay & there’s 6 rounded plastic things that stick up, 3 are small & 3 are big, 3 of the big plastic things that are sticking up seem to be too to high & too close, his nose is too big & cant get the kibbles, so he gulps more air licking & trying to get his kibble, Whats the cookie sheet???

  • InkedMarie

    If he’s eating too fast, you can buy a Brake-fast bowl, use a toy designed for food, use a muffin tin or use a cookie sheet.

  • aimee

    It is unreliable in my opinion. If the mechanisms of Adverse Food Reactions are unknown than how can there be a test developed to accurately test for them?

    To add to that I recently learned that a vet sent tap water in and it tested positive for a variety of foods. Has the test been “fixed” since then?? Who knows! But it sure makes you wonder.

    I think people of possible AFR dogs are better off spending their money on a well done food trial than on a test.

  • aimee

    Hi madeinmiami,

    I’m not sure if you are looking for data to support the statement by Dr Hnilica or for my statement on Nutriscan. I’ll address both options.

    There aren’t any third party peer reviewed papers published on the reliability of Nutriscan. At least I can’t find any. I didn’t come across anything on salivary testing in regards to AFR in dogs either but it may well be out there.

    Do you know of any data showing the test is accurate?

    Practically speaking though, since the mechanism/s of Adverse Food Reactions in the dog are not well understood I don’t see how there can possibly be a method by which to test for them.

    I did learn of some data generated in regards to Nutriscan. It is unpublished and at the time the tests were run Nutriscan did not fair well.

    If you are looking for data regarding food testing in general you can find summaries of three data based studies here: http://dermvettacoma.com/pitfalls_otc_blood_allergy.pdf

    Or if you want to read original peer reviewed data based studies here are some to get you started: Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd 2005, Jackson et al 2003, Mueller Tsohalis 2002, Foster et al 2002, 2003, Jeffers 1991, Halliwell et al 2004, Bethleham et al 2012

    r you can simply look at what the companies that run such tests say about their own tests: “Heska, in agreement with the American College of Veterinary Dermatology, does not recommend IgE testing for foods. A compliant exclusionary diet trial, followed by provocative re-challenge, is recommended for animals
    suspected of suffering from adverse reaction to foods.”


    P.S. I have never said “Purina is a great food.”

  • theBCnut

    I wouldn’t use the capsule for acid reflux anyways, since you want the acid delivered to the top of the stomach, however they would be great for all the other benefits of ACV.

  • theBCnut

    My dentist has the same complaint!! He makes up for it with my husband though, but my kids inheritted my teeth. TeeHee.

  • theBCnut

    I’m not sure if it would matter other than the vinegar might not be enough to work if the Zantac acts to neutralize it.

  • theBCnut

    I do clean with vinegar, but not the same vinegar I drink!!

  • I take the capsules but am thinking about ordering the 200 mg ones for the dogs when needed since they take capsules well and for when I don’t use the liquid from the bottle. Tonight I’m making dehydrated food so I’m adding in the liquid.

  • Bobby dog

    Thank you so much for the link! I am trying to convince my mom to start taking ACV for some health issues she has and she makes a “yucky” face when I mention it. This will be perfect for her because she is interested in trying ACV.

  • sue66

    I just looked at the books that I borrowed yesterday from the library & I’ve borrowed “Bragg” Apple Cider Vingegar Miracle health system.. I must of seen it somewhere on the net & have borrowed it, I just dont like the fact that u can clean with it then drink it..YUK

  • Bobby dog

    Thanks for the info! Luckily when I take ACV I am at home so I will change my routine. My dentist always jokes with me that he doesn’t make money from my visits. I have only used ACV for indegestion for a few years, and not too often. But thanks again for passing your knowledge my way!

  • Betsy Greer

    Should she also stop giving him the Zantac when she starts the ACV?

  • theBCnut

    It doesn’t matter if you give it after his meal in a syringe. You want to give 2 1/2ml of ACV and 2 1/2ml of water, mixed together for every cup of food. You can mix it up ahead of time and keep it in a jar, just do half ACV and half water.

  • Bobby dog

    That’s funny, I remember those commercials, and maybe they still show them? There’s always a caveat with everything isn’t there!

  • sue66

    Do u give the capsules to ur dog or is it for urself??

  • sue66

    I cant ad to Patches kibble as I hand feed to slow him down & to make sure he chews all his kibbles, If I put in a bowl he will just gulp & swollow 1 cup of his kibble in 4-6sec.all un chewed, at the moment he’s doing his swollowing & swollowing & licking, he ate over 1/2 cup of his new & old kibble at 9am then about 1 hour later the licking & swollowing starts he just ate some grass,the acid went away since he been on Zantac but since starting this new kibble 1 & half weeks ago the swollowing has started as I increase the new kibble with the old..I think this new kibble has something in it that irritates his tummy what ashame, his poos were excellent & there was no farting… I’d like to make up some apple cider vinegar & give him about 1 teaspoon to releave his acid but do I do half apple cider & water or 1/3 apple cider & water how much would I mix to give him 5mls worth like when we take Mylanta {Pepto} I often just take 5mls, I was giving him 5mls of mylanta but one nite he ended up having diarrhea after taken the Mylanta, so I’ve never given it to him again..

  • theBCnut

    I wonder how toxic those enamel restoring mouthwashes are.

  • theBCnut

    Don’t do this!! It takes 30 minutes after exposure to acids for your tooth enamel to reharden and brushing can damage your tooth enamel during this time. Dilute the ACV with equal parts water, then as soon as the heartburn starts to subside rinse and swallow more water if you like, but wait 30 minutes or more before brushing or eating hard or crunchy foods.

  • Betsy Greer

    That reminds me of those Sensodyne toothpaste commercials where the dentist talks about acid erosion caused by brushing too soon after eating / drinking acidic foods. I bet the extra water chaser is a good idea though.

    I bet Dr. Mike could tell us about this!

  • Bobby dog

    I believe it, I am very careful. I chase it with a glass of H2O then I brush my teeth. Luckily I don’t eat hot wings often! I suppose the same consideration should be taken if drinking Braggs’ ACV drinks too; you never know!

  • InkedMarie

    Betsy, check your email.

  • theBCnut

    I can chug down pickle juice, but drinking ACV is right out. I’m going to have to look for those capsules too. My dad drinks his ACV in lemonade, but I’m not sure if that defeats the purpose.

  • Betsy Greer

    Just be careful! I got a bottle of Bragg’s for my elderly father. He got into the daily habit of drinking a bit diluted in a glass of water. At his next dentist appointment, he had a bunch of very strange little tiny cavities on the surface of his teeth. That was an extremely expensive trip to the dentist. I felt horrible. : (

  • Bobby dog

    I did not know there were capsules! Bragg is the brand I use and I did not know they made ACV drinks, I am going to check it out. I actually like the taste of ACV so a small teaspoon is no big deal for me. I just need to learn when to stop eating hot wings!

  • Betsy Greer

    Try a teaspoon diluted with at least that much water added to his food at mealtime.

    ACV stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid and tells the spinchter to close and therefore, not send more acid than required for digestion into the stomach. I know I’ve heard some folks here say that the use of proton pump inhibitors can actually be counterproductive.

    Try it! You might see a difference pretty quickly.

    Here are some good WDJ articles about raw, unfiltered ACV with the “mother.”



  • I buy ACV capsules! I tried making a drink out of the ACV but couldn’t get it down. Although I actually like Bragg ACV drinks.

  • theBCnut

    Acid reflux is not usually due to too much acid production, actually just the opposite. The sphincter muscle at the top of the stomach closes because it detects acidity. Older dogs and older people sometimes produce less acid, so this muscle doesn’t close as tightly as you would wish. When I have issues I take a swig of dill pickle juice and it clears it up immediately. My dog that has this issue get ACV in his food, 1/2 teaspoon per cup of food. No more problems in well over 1 1/2 years. Adding water helps too because protein and water combined tell the stomach to release more stomach acids.

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Sue66:
    I give ACV to my dog at every meal to help with his intermittent indigestion. It is important to dilute the ACV with water so the enamel on his teeth is not damaged. I also take a small spoonful of ACV when I have indigestion (from eating too many hot wings).

  • sue66

    Just Google ACV Apple Cider Vinger I looked into this but was a bit worried it being a acidaty product maybe making his reflux worse… instead of putting with food how else can I give it to him & how much do u give him hes 17kilos, he gets a third of a Zantac half a hour before his 9am feed & at 8pm at night but I think I need something stronger, last yr I tried Losec 20mg but I think the 20mg was too strong as he was acting weird, flinching, just starring at things on the second day, so I stopped the Losec, I was going to ask the vet for 10 mg losec & see if he still has a reaction, I dont know what else they give dogs with stomach acid, does anyone know..

  • sue66

    What is ACV??? my last rescue dog never had any problems only the last 2 yrs of her life ..this last yr, I seem to live at the vets with this new rescue.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Sue66,

    Have you ever tried adding diluted ACV to your pup’s food?

  • madeinmiami

    Your article has no data to support the statement –

    “3. Food allergy testing (intradermal, serologic): not recommended because test results are unreliable. Some dogs will have positive reactions to storage mite antigens, which may be clinically relevant, or they may exhibit cross-reactivity with other insects. Storage mites are ubiquitous, and their clinical significance is currently unknown.”

    Id lump your comment in with some of your other questionable opinions like Purina is a great dog food.

  • sue66

    They’re called Furuncles, I have a English Staffy u can see boof head in photo, he too gets those blood fillled sores inbetween manly back toes, he’s got 1 at the momnet, I put Detol Antiseptic cream & it starts to heal quicker within 1-3days, the vets gave me Apex Antibiotic lotion with Hydrocortisone & Lignocaine, but this cream seems to take longer to heal, they’re a Bacterial infection sometimes I’ll sook Patches feet in Detol Antiseptic in cold water if I start to see him lick them also Malaseb medicated shampoo is excellent for skin & feet.. Im starting to feed my boy Nutro Chicken & rice but Im in Australia different ingredients its like the American LID it only has Chicken, grounded rice & dried pulp beet, chicken fat, But Patch was put on the Eukanuba Intestinal for his tummy last August this has worked excellent, this is his first Furuncle & summer is over, last year we were getting a new Furuncle as soon as one healed so the Eukanuba Intestinal must be fixing something Im only starting to change his kibble cause he has Acid reflux I thought maybe the food but he’s been getting it a bit worse since slowely changing to the Nutro maybe the Rosemary extract in the kibble..Google Interdigital Furunculosis.. Good Luck with ur boy

  • Amy

    Why is the nutriscan test unreliable?

  • aimee

    I’d lump the nutriscan test in with the rest as being totally unreliable.

  • Shawna

    Hi Chrissy,

    I agree with dchassett that allergy testing is not very accurate — false positives and false negatives. Actually, allergy testing is not even that accurate in humans. My M.D., who is also a Certified Clinical Nutritionist, had me do an elimination diet to determine the food I was reacting to — (dairy for me).

    Like USA said, food intolerances (or sensitivities) are far more common and would not show on an allergy test even if they were accurate.

    Symptoms of intolerances can manifest in MANY different ways — diarrhea, anal gland issues, itching, colitis/IBD, arthritis, aggression, ear problems, eye discharge/staining, coughing and more.

    It’s best to put him on an elimination diet. Feed him a food (protein and carb source) he hasn’t had before. If you can feed a balanced home cooked or commercial product (like dehydrated or freeze dried) you might have a better chance. It is important to change both the protein AND the carb as the carb is often the problem — potatoes, legumes, peas, grains etc. Sorry if this has already been mentioned.

  • dchassett

    I have a dog with many food intolerances and allergies and even her Allergist will not do the test because he told me it’s truly a waste of money because allergy testing in dogs is not accurate as testing in humans. He said that having a dog with allergies and intolerances is costly enough without taking money from clients who are trying to help their animals when he knows the tests are inaccurate. The only real way to deal with these issues is process of illumination. In my case, I switched her to a grain, soy, white potato, white rice, poultry (all types of poultry) free food. She is by no means completely free of problems but that is also because she has environmental allergies. She does best on commercial raw foods. Katie came to me in this condition at the age of 9 weeks old. She is now 4 1/2 years old and it took me years to slowly figure out and eliminate different things from her diet. Oh, she also cannot tolerate synthetic vitamins, or any type of unnecessary additives in foods including flavorings, dyes, etc. If any vet tells you that food allergy testing for animals is accurate they are just taking your money. Also my traditional vet will not do food allergy testing for the same reason that the allergist won’t. They are expensive and inaccurate.

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi Chrissy,

    This is from


    “Do you often hear or say “allergies”? More than likely, you are referring to a food intolerance or sensitivity, which is actually quite common. An actual food allergy is rare. In fact, food intolerance is the third most common sensitivity condition in dogs and cats, and often was remedied with a change in diet. For years, though, the difficulty lay in figuring out what foods were problematic – until now.”

  • dchassett

    Hi Chrissy. What food is your guy eating presently? Let’s start there and see if we can figure things out? Also you says he suffers from allergies for the better part of his life, what are the things you know and/or suspect he’s allergic to?

  • Beth Knuth

    what about raw, Darwin’s especially, delivered right to your door, frozen and well made. Visit their web site and call them, they help you all the way through. I was feeding my Butch, pit bull, one meal a day, but I am going to go full time, he just doesn’t do well with kibble. He vomits it up once in a while, the kibble, not the raw. Good luck to you and your beloved pup.

  • aimee

    Hi Chrissy,
    Food Allergy tests are completely unreliable in determining what it is a dog is reacting to.


  • Chrissy

    Also none of the prior comments that I read talked about any symptoms like my guy suffers from at all. With the pimples in between the toes and face some times. They were GI related…I think that is something else for me to really be aware of and check into.

  • Chrissy

    jweejwee…thanks for your story..so glad it ended well cause I was holding my breath. I have to say, there was so much I got from what you wrote, one of them being get ‘Pet Insurance’. After reading yours and some other comments it seems that the ‘food allergy’ can raise its ugly head in so many different symptoms. And what I am gathering is that the best route is to have the blood panel done now and hope to pin point exactly what ingredient he is allergic to. Now I have had dogs my entire life and have never had to deal with an allergy problem. If I spend the money to do the test, how accurate can they get as far as telling me exactly what he can not have in his diet….?

  • Betsy Greer

    Thanks for sharing, Joanne. I kept thinking, 29o

  • jweejwee


    Sorry this is so lengthy, but I just want to share some things that may help others care for their “best friend”…..Keep in mind, this is strictly based on our personal experience…..

    3 yrs ago, after 4 years of working with Vets finding the source of our Golden-doodles’ GI problems; uncontrolled explosive diarrhea, excessive gas, bloating, projectile regurgitation and spitting up water; we tried Z/D Ultra diet and medications. His symptoms flared up only intermittently….for a while anyway…Until finally turned critically ill…one evening, we found him in a pool of bright red blood and clots he had vomited up… He was admitted to ICU for 3 nights and unbeknownst to us, in a lot of pain..…besides the vomiting, he had little change, he was still vibrant, happy, loving self…..except more needy and a change in appetite….sadly, we missed the signs of a “very sick dog”……..After 3 nights in ICU, extensive testing, blood work, an ultrasound, he had a diagnosis: “Acute Pancreatitis, Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome and Severe Dehydration.”

    In hindsight, his appetite decreased over 2 days, then stopped, nosing his food, (unusual for our voracious eater); he was smacking his lips, very anxious and pacing; we knew he was not feeling well but attributed this to being “very needy”, “separation anxiety” and very “high strung”; a diagnosis given to him as a puppy….none of which were correct….I suspected Allergies….(you know, stomach aches in people…)

    He was sent home on numerous medications including Prednisone and Z/D Ultra; put on 20 lb. (normally 58 lb. ), could barely walk 1 block….although no vomiting or diarrhea, the medication side effects were taking a toll on him…if in 30 days he wasn’t better, they would do an upper and lower GI “Scope”, look at his GI tract and do biopsies. They were thinking allergies, but weren’t really sure…so we were going to wait out 30 days. When we tried to wean him off Prednisone, his GI problems returned…they wanted to add a Cancer medication to his treatments….OR…..do the scopes. We chose the scope….

    The vet couldn’t believe it…his stomach and large intestines were perfect, but his small bowel was so inflamed that when the scope was passing down, brushing the side walls, it would bleed…by just touching it, no biopsy!!! His entire small bowel-extremely inflamed and chronically bleeding….!! Biopsies confirmed IBD! Acute Pancreatitis was the result of his IBD, not the other way around! Treatment….”Prednisone, anti-Cancer medication…etc….etc….”

    We stayed on this for a while but would have to keep him on the Prednisone….so I began looking elsewhere, for any and all options….I found a Holistic Veterinarian, (the only one in Colorado’s Front Range) who agree to take on the challenge….our goal: get him off Prednisone, while keeping his IBD under control and balance his health.

    He follows an Eastern Medicine philosophy, (Acupuncture, Hydrotherapy, Massage Therapy, Medication-Free Dental Cleanings…[which we tried and it really worked!!] We changed his diet from Z/D Ultra to “Natures Recipe, Vegetarian diet” (soy based), weaned him off Prednisone, added 3 powders to his diet to help heal and protect his gut and probiotics for digestion.

    This was a slow process and would take about 1 1/2 years….but he is FINALLY off Prednisone!! The new food gave him pretty bad gas but also developed itchy bumps on his skin, smelly ears-(yeast infection) and sometimes weepy eyes.

    Although his GI problems diminished (thankfully) the newer issues caused the Vet to suspect food allergies….so he drew blood, temporarily switched to food to “BalanceIT Catfish and Sweet Potato” diet until we got the results….($87.00 for 15lbs wasn’t going to work for a 60lb dog….or my budget..)

    Well….Drum Roll please…..2 weeks later….the golden ticket…..!

    Our precious baby is allergic to everything and I mean EVERYTHING….except, Beef, Lamb and Rice and a few veggies!!! Ever read a label on food??? Right! Got our answer but now had other challenges..

    We bought 25 lbs. of raw beef (cooked at home, fat drained off) and made white rice….result…..BAD explosive DIARRHEA in the house!!

    I forgot to add the probiotics (GNC Superfood Complex-Pet Smart)….ugh!!! Okay, added Probiotics, was better…..not totally….

    Also made “Rice Cream” (1 cup in 4 cups H20); Boil rice in water until cooked, strain off milky liquid and give with and between meals to coat GI tract and give added nourishment.

    Recently my husband found “Pure Balance Lamb and Brown Rice”…. at Pet Smart….the most basic food we’ve found…and he’s not allergic to the main ingredients!!!

    He now is a healthy 58 pounds, has a voracious appetite, is very happy and healthy with bright eyes!! He watches me cook his rice, drooling for his turn!! We’re still tweaking his diet and are extremely vigilant of any changes, especially his behaviors….

    This has been quite a journey, (emotionally, physically and financially, over $8500…thank goodness for pet insurance)…Based on what I know now, I would have tested him for food allergies FIRST….rather than last….my instincts and training (Nurse) suggested possibly GI allergies…but…I’m a people Nurse, not an animal Nurse…..and I am so thankful for all the professionals that take care of our “family members without voices” because they truly saved his life and taught us how to “speak dog language”…

    Best of luck to everyone and my hope is that experience helps others avoid or at least “think outside of the box” when faced with similar challenges…

    Wag more, Bark less….:)



  • Chrissty

    I am the person with the 9 year old English Bull Terrier with pimples between his toes. I just changed my profile picture. thanks

  • Chrissy

    If anyone has ever experienced this type of allergy and has found a solution I would be very grateful to hear about it. Thank you.