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!!John MParticipant
Fish ingredients cause that rust colored tear stain on small white dogs?Regina AParticipant
I can’t say for another dog but I will say that many dogs have rust colored stains and almost every dog food contains Fish meal, fish oil or byproduct for Omega-3s. The only way to know if the fish ingredient is affecting them is to try a food without it.
I didn’t realize it was the culprit in my dogs until I finally found a dog food without it. If you look at ingredient labels it is extremely hard to find a food with out it. Once I switched the food gradually as to not upset their tummies and they have been consistently on this food it’s been incredible to see what a difference it made. Not only no more rust tear stains but far less eye discharge as well. My first dog was a Maltese and now I wish I had her on this food but it probably wasn’t available when I had her. If you end up trying the food and see positive results I’d love to hear! I had seen a post from years ago where many dog owners were also looking for a fish free dog food like I was so I wanted to post this in case it would help others who were on the search.
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