Topic: Dog Food Recommendations
I have a cocker spaniel with beef, dairy, wheat and flaxseed allergies. I have a golden retriever with anal gland issues. I would like to find a dog food both can it. I want to stay away from GRAIN FREE! Right now they are on Royal Canin weight dog food.
Hi all! Hoping someone out there can help me out.
My service dog has had extreme food and environmental allergies since 2017. Back then, the vet felt he could eat a non-prescription diet as long as we avoided the proteins that he was allergic to. For anyone that has done allergy tests at the vet, they’ll know a 300 for each allergen is severe. My boys tested anywhere from 300 to 2000+, mostly on the upper end of that scale. However, there were still enough types of food that he was not allergic to thankfully which meant I could just avoid what we knew he was allergic to and feed what we knew he wasn’t allergic to. I just had to carefully read labels if I gave him new treats and we kept to the same food formula.
I recently noticed changes in his symptoms to the environmental allergies during/after he was going outside, so we redid his allergy tests again since it’s been a long time. To my surprise (because I don’t see any obvious symptoms after I feed him any food/treats), we learned that he’s now allergic to so many types of food and environmental allergens that he’s practically allergic to himself! Some allergens go as high as 2800 — it’s dairy, some plant based foods/oils, and all proteins they can test for (they can’t test every type of food out there obviously), Amazingly, there are no issues with wheat, corn, etc.
Anyway, the vet initially suggested Ultamino from Royal Canin. Problem number one is that I’m bothered by the main protein is chicken by-product (aka junk) rather than chicken or chicken meal. This is a service dog that needs the best possible nutrition, and the service dog organization told us to stay away from anything listing byproducts on the label. It’s a bit shocking that a prescription diet could theoretically contain who knows what in it. I am also concerned why corn starch is listed as the first ingredient — and I see a similar trend of some weird ingredients being listed as the first ingredient when I looked at some other hydrolyzed brands like Science Diet. Doesn’t seem very nutritious to have weird things like corn starch as the first ingredient.
The second problem is the price. There’s no way I can afford these prescription options. My boy has been eating Science Diet Chicken and Barley formula for a very long time now. A 35 lbs bag is usually $55-$60 and lasts and 6-8 weeks. Ultamino, as an example, is only sold in 19 lbs for $99 each. That means I’d have to spend WAY more on Ultamino for the equivalent amount of pounds (ie, two 19 lbs bags for $200) than what I’m spending now on SD. I don’t mean to put a price on my priceless boy, but I sadly just don’t have that kind of money given my financial circumstances.
That being said, I’m looking for alternatives that may cost less and have the maximum nutrition value possible. The vet told me that any brand/formula I feel is suitable (he knows I’m knowledgeable about canine nutrition and labels) so long as it’s a hydrolyzed formula. I’d prefer a non-prescription option because I have more of a chance of being able to catch sales, apply coupon codes, and not have to constantly request refills — however, I am also open to less costly prescription options that are healthier without byproducts and weird ingredients than Ultamino. It also must be kibble to abide by rules set by the service dog school due to the way they are trained. He cannot eat wet food.
I would also like to understand why the diets I’ve looked at have weird ingredients as the first ingredient. I’m guess it has something to do with the hydrolyzing process, but why would the amount exceed the amount of protein and most of the actual food in the ingredients? It’s concerning to me, and I’d love more information about this if anyone has it.
There is an old topic that is closed to posts where a someone there recommended a specific formula from WholeHearted that is hydrolyzed and sold without a prescription. https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/nonprescription-hydrolyzed-protein-dog-food/
I am hoping there might be more options being that the above post is from 2018. This WholeHearted formula is a pea-based, grain-free formula that can lead to DCM in dogs. Being that my boy isn’t allergic to grains, I’d prefer a food option “with” grains that so I won’t have to start supplementing taurine and monitoring him for potential DCM issues.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and respond! I’m very passionate about my boy’s health and well-being. He’s perfectly healthy thankfully other than the allergies he developed shortly after I brought him home from service dog school at age 2.5. Any input would be deeply appreciated.
I have an 11 year old Yorkie who has food allergies or intolerances (causing itching, skin lesions),it’s also likely that she has outdoor allergies since in the spring/summer she will easily develop eye/ear infections. After trying beef, pork alternatives with no luck, the fish based food I started her on cleared up her skin within the first 2 weeks of her being on it .A year and a half later she developed a bladder infection that showed 2 types of crystals in her urine. Supposedly caused b y the dog food . Her vet put her on Royal Canin SO to clear the crystals and it worked ,yet within 3-4 months of being on this food (chicken based which I knew yet my vet said the crystals was much more of a concern than the itchy skin issue ) she has again broken out with lessons and is all over itchy. Her yearly bloodwork (a few weeks ago) showed a crazy liver #,thyroid was checked and all normal so she goes for liver ultrasound Monday .I’m assuming the liver is completely separate form anything else she’s dealing with . From everything I’ve read allergy testing is inconclusive . Im looking for advice on how to help her be comfortable and not itch the rest of her life yet not have bladder issues . Im not sure what to feed her or if I should stay on the SO diet to control the crystals and then pursue allergy meds once we resolve the liver issue . I’m honestly at a loss and I’m against medication if I possible.
Thank you for any help /advice
Topic: Ongoing diarrhea nightmare
Okay, so for starters this is my first self-owned dog ever. He’s a retired racing Greyhound, and I’m a pre-veterinary college student who overthinks like everything and worries constantly about my dog.
My hound came home in January, and I first started feeding him ProPlan Sensitive Skin and Stomach salmon & oatmeal… he had loose stool & pretty bad dandruff, which the vet chalked up to being due to stress. I switched him to ProPlan beef & rice, and he continued to have loose stool but the dandruff became literally horrific like it looked like it was snowing on him. NOT allergies, and he weirdly wasn’t itchy? He just had ridiculously dry skin.
Then, I switched him to Taste of the Wild Ancient Grains (the lamb one) in hopes of trying to curb his dandruff (omega-3 supplements weren’t helping), and he had HORRIFIC diarrhea, I mean like straight up he had the runs. I took him to the vet the next morning and we did a course of metronidazole & probiotic paste. The probiotic paste gave him some temporary relief.
Because of his reaction to TOTW, I switched him to Canidae beef & oatmeal. And honestly? he was doing really well for awhile. I was also supplementing fiber through Olewo Carrots for awhile, but we ran out and have been issues ordering another bag until yesterday. We were still having 50/50 loose stool and good poops, my only qualm was that he seems to have a duller coat. And now we are here…. Aaaand he is having liquid shoot-out-the-butt poops again- I bought him Fortiflora, but I don’t think it’s doing much to help. I made him an appointment to see the vet again but they couldn’t squeeze us in until Thursday. I’m kind of at a loss lol… I feel like total garbage and I don’t know what to do 🙁
He doesn’t have any other symptoms than the diarrhea either! It’s not parasites (I’ve had him tested twice), he’s not lethargic, he isn’t in pain, he’s not itchy, he’s not vomiting, he’s eating & drinking like normal, there’s no blood. He’s totally normal other than having horrific diarrhea!
Hi, I have a GSD and she is having her second episode with belly hot spots which she licks and bits and which also cause crusty side lips and has her licking her lips all the time and at same time she is lethargic. Vet says allergies. But to what? We have fed her home made chicken and Zignature High Protein Kibble her entire 5 years of life so far with no problems. And once you start down the road of Allergies and food it gets crazy and you get crazy reading about it all. Our breeder says it is the NexGard Flea and tick pills. She forbids them and says they are killing our dog. Pesticide that never leaves the system and just builds up.
So what am I to think.
I did notice Zignature Kibble size change recently. And I wonder if it has coincided. I contacted them and they said no change to formula, that it is just a machine change. Then I read on your forum about Zignature problems and someone mentioned they don’t make food themselves….. oh boy.
Any advice on my dogs situation and how to solve?
I have a Shih Tzu I adopted years ago and he scratched 24/7, licked/chewed at his paws and was rust colored anywhere he licked and around his eyes from his tear stains. When I adopted him the person caring for him mentioned be was being fed a salmon dog food. My vet put him on steroids to provide relief but we knew it wasn’t a long term solution. I tried so many foods and finally landed on Merrick grain free chicken. He was a completely different dog. His coat almost started like a wired coat and became so soft. He stopped itching and he no longer had any rust colored saliva which was evident where he licked or tears. Everything went well for years. Then about a few years ago I noticed that the he wasn’t itching but all of a sudden all his paws were reddish again from where he licked his paws. I noticed my other shih Tzu who never had food allergies started getting rust colored tear stains. That’s when I found out Merrick updated their formula and added more fish meal. I tried to find other foods with less fish product but it was so hard to know since they almost all contain them. I eventually just kept him on Merrick and continued checking from time to time to find something without fish. It wasn’t until just a couple months ago I noticed that Dr. Pol from the TV show has different products. I scoured all the different dog foods and discovered that Dr. Pol’s Healthy Balance Chicken has NO FISH INGREDIENTS. I was so excited to try it out. As soon as I got it I slowly started adding it to the current food to make sure the food change wouldn’t upset their tummies. Both dogs are on the food for over a month now and the results have been AMAZING! Neither one has rust colored paws and another huge benefit is that I realized not only are their tear stains clear but they have FAR less eye discharge/boogers. I hardly have to clean their eyes. This worked wonders for my allergy prone male shih tzu bit it made me realize that even for the dogs who aren’t seemingly as affected like my little female, they actually still are. I hope Dr. Pol never changes his Healthy Balance Chicken formula!!
Topic: Jiminys dog food
Hi guys. I couldn’t find anything about this dog food here so I thought I’d ask what anyone may know about it?
Currently my dog who as what feels like every allergy in the world is eating their Good Grub version.. I’ve never seen her so fluffy and good looking. Previously she was in a cone for 12 months! It’s the only food with none of her allergies except for salt.
I’ve had good luck with it but I still want to hear others opinions!
Hi everyone. I have a soon to be 17 year old female chihuahua.
Her vet advised she should go on a limited ingredient diet because of allergies and age.
She has the fresh pet refrigerated food now but what similar food would be good for her?
She prefers the refrigerated fresh food over kibble and has some teeth missing so she likes softer foods best. Thanks for any suggestions you can give.
Having a heck of a time trying to find a food for my dog that has allergies. Can’t find anything without chicken, sunflower oil, rosemary, no grains, sweet potato, yeast, garbonzo beans, etc. These were the main ones that I am finding in all of them. Does anyone know of anything that dose not have all this?
Topic: K9 CKD, Allergies and Diet
Greetings, my 14-year-old dog has recently been diagnosed with stage 3 kidney disease. The vets have suggested a prescription renal diet but I am reluctant to put him on any prescription diets, not only due to the poor ingredients but because he did very poorly on one in the past. He has allergies to chicken and the biggest roadblock that I am having is that he has allergies to all grains. This includes rice, pasta, oats, barley, quinoa, yeast, tapioca, couscous, wheat germ. Many of the recipes out there call for some form of grains for the carbs.
I live in Canada and picked up a book from my vet called Hilary’s Renal Diet Cookbook. The recipes are to be used with the supplements to make for a complete diet. Unfortunately, there is only one recipe out of the entire book that will accommodate his allergies. I have communicated with the author of the book and was told that I cannot make substitutions in the recipes with the carbs and proteins. I live in Canada and unfortunately, we just do not have the resources here like in the States where there is a multitude of companies who have high-quality, K9 KD products.
Just wondering if any forum users have any of the same obstacles I’m facing and any suggestions on where to find something that I can feed my dog outside of pork and potatoes.
Our large breed dog is continuously chewing, licking her paws and I suspect it might be food allergies. She currently is on ProPlan Savor for Large Breeds. Rather than jump in with allergy tests I was hoping for some suggestions on a food change. I understand chicken is a potential problem but then also grains. Any suggestions on something to try that is good for dogs with allergies? We do like to feed high quality food. Thank you!
I’ve always had my dogs on grain free/rarer protein foods due to skin allergies. However, she is almost 12 and her last bloodwork showed some signs of early kidney disease. The dr said we would recheck in 6 mos and if it is any higher, she will need a diet change. I am looking to start know (which he said was ok). However, I can’t seem to find any dog foods that are good for both. I did find Royal Canin multifunction renal and hydrolyzed protein, which is perfect, but it has been out of stock forever). Does anyone have any suggestions? The low phosphorus, lower protein, and added omegas seem to be the main things. Thanks!
Topic: help with allergic reaction
First time poster. We have 3 huskies, in the past 4 days 2 of them have had allergic reactions (muzzle swelling, itching, biting paws, hives, nausea). For the life of us we can’t figure out WHAT is causing it. The only thing we can think of, is that we opened a new bag of dog food (Purina One Chicken and Rice). It is the same food they’ve eaten since puppies, but a new bag…is there a way to check if the formula has changed, or any other advice as to what it could be? Only 2 of the dogs are affected, they all eat the same thing. If it was just one dog we would have thought it was something he got in to, but then 2 days later, a different dog, same symptoms. We live in the North East…so no bees, spiders, grasses to cause allergies. They have not eaten the christmas tree, not gotten into trash, the ground is covered in snow….we’re at a loss….Thanks
hoping someone here can provide some advice guidance/recommendations. I have a 13 yr old Shiba whom we just adore, who started having major vomiting /eating grass issues last April. We had him do rounds of tests at a bad vet with no resolution. I suspected he might have food allergies and got him on a protein he had not eaten and food that was grain free. He did GREAT ont his new food majority of the covid summer (had him on Just food for dogs DIY Venison and Squash).
He recently had a very bad episode of vomiting, loose stool and no appetite in November. We got him to the emergency vet and their team there recommended we put him on Ultamino by royal canin for IBD. He eats the kibble but itches and itches/licks his paws 45mins after feeding, and he’ll do this for quite some time (1-2hours sometimes more). I think something in the food is irritating him, but I don’t know what.
I called the vet and she just said to try a different food. However all the Royal canin Hydrolyzed brands seem to have the same ingredients… I can try a different brand… Does any one know of any Limited ingredient Hydrolyzed protein foods? He’s allergic to grains , chicken and beef (those are the ones I know of)
Blue Buffalo makes one (Hydrolyzed Salmon, grain fee, preservative free) , but the vet said there is no science or verified results on that brand that is proven effective for IBD and that the ingredients I think I am getting might not actually be the ingredients I am getting… I heard allergy tests are not reliable. Any advise would be much appreciated! I feel like I am running out of time to get him better since he’s a senior pup
Topic: Changing dog food
Hello all….I have a 5 year old terrier beagle mix and Id like to change his food. A year ago, he curiously developed acute hemorrhagic gastroenteritis….he pulled though very well thank god!, but after the ordeal and time my vet told me to feed him The dog food my older lab is on for severe allergies( shes 14), …Hill’s z/d. ..that the hydrolyzed protein would be better suited for him…well he has been thriving on it but I want him off of this…simply because it’s certainly not the best and I worry about it being deficient for the long haul….Any thoughts? Before this happened he was on Purina pro plan grain free for small breeds…Also, my vet has since retired and my new vet suggested Royal Canin , and Ive read that this is pretty inferior also….I need some help! Thanks in advance
Hello, my dog is a maltese, 10 years old and lately she has allergies. I’ve been feeding her from day 1 with Orijen (red, but now Senior). I am looking information for Acana Lamb & Apple, and if it is suitable for a 10 years old dog.
I have a 2 year old Beagle who has had issues with paw chewing, itching, ear infections, anal gland issues and occasional diarrhea. I am pretty sure he is allergic to chicken amongst other things.
My vet suggested a food trial using Purina HA and then trying a novel protein. It has been 10 weeks since switching to the HA and all the symptoms are greatly reduced. However, he is gaining weight, his energy seems lower and his coat is not as soft and shiny. I contacted my vet’s office today to see when I should start the novel protein and asked about Royal Canin Select Protein. The assistant emailed me back and said we should stay on the HA if it is working. I asked again if I could try a novel protein because I would prefer something other than soy and this was not what we originally discussed. They responded with these suggestions:
“Hill’s Science Diet makes a hydrolyzed diet with chicken liver protein — z/d (Skin/Food Sensitivities)
Hill’s Science Diet also makes d/d – which can be purchased in venison and potato, or duck and potato.
If you would like to try one of the animal protein diets, Dr. would recommend trying Hill’s z/d diet first, since this chicken protein is hydrolyzed. The d/d may have ingredients that don’t agree with Maverick, and this may cause us to take steps in the wrong direction.”
I was wondering if anyone has any experience with these they could share or any suggestions. Maybe I am overthinking all of this.
Topic: Dog Allergies Must Read
I have a shepherd mix I have struggled for 7 years with finding the right food for him. He had allergy symptoms itching, paw biting, hot spots, and skin irritation. I’ve used every kind of food including homemade food. I finally found a site called 5 Strands Affordable Testing, that does allergy testing for dogs and humans. I did the test by sending in a specimen of his fur. I received pages of things he has sensitivity to in varying degrees. His most allergic foods were what I had been giving him ie salmon, chicken , turkey and the list goes on. I have him on lamb and or beef foods only now which he is not allergic to ,and his itching and hot spots are gone! The 5 strands test was the best money I have ever spent! He is a much happier dog and more comfortable obviously! And I’m so glad to finally know what to feed him! I joined this site to post this to help other owners with dogs with allergy symptoms, because I know how frustrating it is to deal with!
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