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GSDsForever
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Hi Nikki.

Two grain-inclusive foods I would recommend are (Eagle Pack) Holistic Select Adult Radiant Sardine, Anchovy, & Salmon, from Wellpet (Wellness brand), and Annamaet’s Option (Wild Salmon).

I would start with the Holistic Select, and see how your dog does first, as Annamaet also includes lamb. So it would be a step up, introducing 2nd protein, after seeing how your dog does with fish alone.

Farmina is another excellent European food, made in Italy but available here. But its grain inclusive line does include a cereal grain in the wheat family, a relative of common American wheat, along with oats. Wheat is one of the most common food allergens for dogs, almost as common as chicken. Therefore while I think what Farmina is using is wholesome, a dog allergic to wheat might still react to it.

I don’t like Taste of the Wild at all — but they do make a grain inclusive line (which I still would not recommend).

The most common food allergens in dogs are beef, dairy, chicken, wheat, eggs, soy, and corn. Beef is actually more common than chicken as an allergen; I think we just hear more about chicken from pet owners as more foods are chicken based.

But keep in mind that dogs with food allergies can often continue to react to new foods for quite some time, when they are not *actually* allergic to the new food ingredients. For this reason dogs need 8-12 weeks on a new food for pruritus (itching) and any other symptoms to resolve. Whatever your dog has had before, your dog may still react to, prior to getting symptoms under control — which can, but not always, require a full therapeutic trial on a novel protein (or, alternatively, hydrolyzed) first.

Has your dog had fish before? It is not a common allergen for dogs and would be a good place to start. If this change in diet doesn’t resolve things, I would recommend doing a formal diet elimination food trial w/a controlled novel protein.

The other thing to be aware of is that most commercial diets have issues with cross-contamination, which means that ingredients (like chicken or beef or wheat or corn, etc.) can be in the food without being listed on the label.

*Some* reputable good companies will take extra precautions to prevent that, knowing that a particular diet is being fed due to food allergies and intolerances — while others, despite being marketed as limited ingredient or alternative protein diets, do a pretty poor job at this, aren’t knowledgeable about it, or don’t care, and do nothing to prevent it.