I rescued a 1 year old Rottie. My vet recommend I put him on Medi-Cal Hypoallergenic. It seems to be helping as well as the antibiotics but I do not want to keep him on this food and people have suggested a few different foods. Merrick grain free, blue wilderness, acana. Im just wondering if anyone has a dog with skin issues and feeds them any of these foods or if anyone has any opinions or suggestions on these foods. Thanks.BryanV21Participant
I don’t remember you saying anything about skin issues in your original post that I responded to. If I missed it, my apologies.
Hearing that I wanted to say that if you continue to see any skin or coat issues after switching foods, then try adding some fish oil to your pup’s food. I’d recommend buying it in capsules, which you can break open and pour onto the food (as opposed to pumps, which allow air to get to the oil and can make it go rancid quicker).LindseyPatersonParticipant
For the fish oil. How much to use and how often do you recommend doing this?
Hi LindseyPaterson –
Dr. Becker recommends the following daily dosages for fish oil:
-250 mg. daily for toy breeds and cats (1 – 14 lbs.)
-500 mg. daily for small dogs (15 – 29 lbs.)
-1,000 mg. daily for medium dogs (30 – 49 lbs.)
-1,500 mg. daily for large dogs (50 – 79 lbs.)
-2,000 mg. daily for dogs 80+ lbs.
If you’re using capsules they generally come in 500 mg. and 1,000 mg. and if you’re using liquid 1 tsp. = approx. 4,500 mg. Whether you go with capsules or liquid make sure you refrigerate the oil to prevent it from going rancid and only buy as much as you will use in 2 months. I personally prefer liquid as I find it’s easier to mix into the food and I don’t have to bother with piercing the capsules – I don’t use pump dispensers though. Also, I’d stick with oil from small fish (such as sardines or anchovies), krill oil or squid oil as oil from larger fish can be high in contaminants. Coconut oil may be something else to consider for skin issues – it’s high in medium chain triglycerides which are good for the skin and coat.
I bought some Mercola krill oil in the most incredibly convenient air-less pump bottle: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/krill-oil-for-pets.aspx.
You use one pump per ten pounds of body weight. No pills to poke open and no fingers to slice open while doing so. That said, I also really like Toxed’s idea to poke open a fish oil capsule with a thumb tack.
Betsy, I always use a thumb tack lol! I don’t use fish oil that often, though, because the dogs don’t much care for it in their food, ugh! I use coconut oil more often because they gobble that up lol. I keep trying different kinds/brands, though, hoping to hit on one they’ll accept. I haven’t tried Mercola’s krill yet, but think I will.
Unfortunately, my Bella doesn’t like the krill and I got it specifically wanting to add Omega 3’s to her diet since she her coat was looking a little dry. Sam, my Golden pup, will of course eat anything I set in front of him and I regularly use fish oil for him due to his pano. For Bella, all I used was two squirts and it’s pretty concentrated so the fish oil equivalent wouldn’t been far greater ~ she obviously has a very good nose.
I swear it never occurred to me to use a thumb tack until I mentioned to Toxed once how I had literally sliced open my thumb trying to poke a fish oil capsule open. A thumb tack would definitely be much safer. My hands were a little wet and my knives are super sharp, but unfortunately have smooth handles and I slipped a bit and split my thumb wide open. : (
Edit: You just reminded me that I have organic coconut oil at home and maybe I’ll get that back out tonight for Bella. Is coconut oil a source of linoleic acid?
Oooh..I’m sorry about your thumb! I guess I might not order the krill oil because they sure don’t like regular fish oils in their food. I don’t know about the coconut oil, but maybe HDM or someone will chime in later. 🙂
Betsy – Coconut oil is more than 90% healthy saturated fats – with small amounts of monounsaturated fats in the form of oleic acid (~6%) and polyunsaturated fats in the form of linoleic acid (~2%). The saturated fat in coconut oil is in the form of medium chain triglycerides (“MCT’s”). The main component of the MCT’s found in coconut oil is lauric acid. The lauric acid is what gives coconut oil it’s anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. I give my dogs at least a teaspoon per day (although doses of up to 1 tsp. per 10 lbs. are acceptable). I’m currently using Jarrow Formulas organic extra virgin coconut oil.
Jan – If your dogs don’t like “fishy” tasting oils maybe try squid oil. I haven’t tried it for my dogs yet, but I’ve been reading about it and I think I’m going to order some after they use up their current bottle of sardine/anchovy oil. It’s low in contaminants because squid have such a short lifespan and very high in DHA (higher than fish oil and krill oil). Supposedly it’s not as “fishy” but I haven’t tried it yet so I can’t say for sure. Another option to get some bio-available omega 3’s and DHA into their diet without fish oil would be eggs. Cage-free omega 3 eggs generally have a little over 100 mg. DHA per yolk – not quite as rich of a source as fish oil, but better than nothing. You could lightly fry the egg in the coconut oil.
Thanks, HDM! I’ll check into those suggestions. 🙂
OK, so HDM, it sounds as though while coconut oil contains some linoleic acid, it’s not necessarily a good source of linoleic acid. Is that right? It obviously has a lot of great health benefits aside from that so, I’m definitely going to start giving it to my dogs again. I like to melt it and mix it into their food and recently, I’ve gotten lazy so I have been skipping that step altogether. So, rather than the krill for Bella, she’s going to get an egg lightly friend in coconut oil several times weekly. Sometimes a raw egg in her food seems to make it too sloppy for her preference.
When speaking of coconut oil for humans, ‘memba how it always used to get a bad rap? Would it be better to use coconut oil in cooking ~ better say than, vegetable oil? My dear old mom flipped when I told her I was giving the dogs coconut oil and I was trying to tell her (in layman’s terms) why it’s good for them. She was sure I was going to kill them.
Squid oil, huh? Sounds… interesting. : )
Hi Betsy –
No, coconut oil wouldn’t be considered a significant source of linoleic acid. The best sources of linoleic acid would be: safflower oil, evening primrose oil, sunflower oil, hemp oil, wheat germ oil and walnut oil (all >50% LA).
Coconut oil did indeed used to have a very bad reputation. This was partially due to the fact that most of the studies done involving coconut oil’s effect on the body were done using partially hydrogenated coconut oil which is loaded with trans fatty acids, unlike virgin and extra virgin coconut oil. It also wasn’t recognized that not all saturated fats have a negative effect on health, so because coconut oil is comprised primarily of saturated fats many condemned it. Coconut oil is far superior to common vegetable oils (such as corn, soy, safflower, sunflower and canola oil). These vegetable oils are high in omega 6 fatty acids and the omega 6 to omega 3 ratios in the diet of most individuals is already skewed – so adding more omega 6’s merely raises the total amount of omega 6’s consumed further skewing the ratio. In addition, coconut oil is preferable for cooking because it’s highly stable under heat – most other oils oxidize when heated and oxidized fats cause a myriad of health issues.
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