Our German Shepherd is rounding the corner to 5 years old this year. He’s a rescue who we adopted at 1.5 years who, if we hadn’t adopted him, he surely would not be alive today. He is a fearful, anxious dog who dislikes people and other dogs.
He’s a behavioral nightmare so taking him to the vet for allergy tests is not in the cards. He can’t be left with other people. He leads a great, happy, well-lived life with us so please, no judgements.
From the get-go he had red scabby sores on his tummy so we fed him a good grain free food. The sores persisted so we eliminated chicken/turkey and that was the winner.
Things I’m not sure we have to avoid as I’ve never fed them to him:
Things we must avoid:
Any chicken whatsoever
Things I want to avoid because I’ve read and read and researched endlessly for him and our previous girl who we lost to bone cancer:
Crap fillers along those lines
There are only two foods I’ve found that he can eat, Pioneer Naturals and Sport Dog Food. Chewy is eternally, frustratingly out of stock constantly. Last month Sport sent around an email saying they’re soon adding chicken fat to all their foods and I was so destroyed.
I can’t stand cooking for the two humans in the house, I can’t imagine endlessly running to the grocery store, cooking for a 100 lb sweetheart no matter how much I love him. I just don’t have the space or budget to do so.
Any other food suggestions? I have spent countless hours label reading and am at wit’s end.
It’s not the food (IMO). Unfortunately many dogs are given up due to environmental allergies.
There is no cure, but there is effective treatment.
For best results go to a veterinary dermatologist.
The intradermal skin testing takes about 45 minutes and the dog is sedated so he will be comfortable.
If going to a veterinary dermatologist is not an option, continue to work closely with your veterinarian, there are newer treatments available.
There is no cheap way out of this……
Nutrisca and Zignature have grain free, no chicken formulas.
I have found they work best in conjunction with treatment prescribed for environmental allergies by a
I also found that as my dog responded to treatment she can now eat a variety of foods including chicken.
I have a Rottweiler who had horrible skin problems that left him scaly, smelly, and constantly itching. I tried a lot of things to no avail. I found a company Nzymes.com online and read through their website. They have a LOT of information which was helpful. I got a system of enzymes, probiotics, etc. that they sell together for a little over a $100. It arrived quickly and it has been fantastic. I also had switched him to a dogfood called Precise, sold through Chewy.com and recommended by this site that had good recommendations. My Rottweiler is now a spunky, healthy dog with hair that actually looks glossy and thick. Anyway, it is definitely worth checking into for any pet with skin problems.
Excerpt below, click on link for full article and comments
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I understand your frustration. Sport was the only food I found that fit the allergy parameters for our Goldendoodle. I’m not sure we can use Sport with the chicken broth added. We used the Venison which was the lowest score for Callie’s allergies and that is now on indefinite hold. Don’t know about Pioneer naturals. If I come across something in my research I’ll give you a holler.
Unfortunately, as I mentioned, unless our poor guy is knocked out beforehand, going to the vet for all sorts of tests is not in the cards.
He doesn’t have environmental allergies, it’s clearly things in his food. If I give him something like a piece of apple, he throws up the next day. Environmental he’d be itchy and scratchy which he is not; food he throws up and gets sores so it’s quite different.
Our last girl took probiotics and digestive enzymes; didn’t do a stitch to help her food allergies but I appreciate the thought. The digestive enzymes I take personally don’t do a thing for my food or airborne allergies.
Thanks for those two food suggestions. Unfortunately those both contain chickpeas and peas, both insufficient fillers, items I’m wanting to avoid. Nicely though, their poultry free foods are truly poultry free, a true rarity.
Is there no food comparable or similar to Pioneer Naturals?
Callie — thanks. I see you’re exactly in the same boat, I’m so sorry. I sent Sport an email expressing my utter dismay at added chicken fat which will serve no purpose but did not hear back. Pioneer Naturals is the exact same food, if you can find it, another in a long line of frustrations. Let’s keep each other posted then. Thanks!
Callie — I was in touch with Sport. They say they’re going to produce a buffalo version that is completely poultry-free, no chicken fat. Sounds like they’ll be in production sometime in April.
This is good news but afraid Buffalo might be about the same score as beef. Will contact the lab that did her tests to make sure. Lamb is the next lowest meat score for our girl. I think the only reason so many pet food manufactures use chicken, is it’s a lot cheaper. Our girl must have about the same allergies as your fur baby. Going to check the Precise out. Never heard of it but I had never heard of Sport either. Ha
- This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by Blkdoodle.
Are you positive chicken fat is a no go? Because 9/10 chicken fat is ok when the chicken meat is not. They are processed by the body differently then each other. And protein allergies tend to not expand into the fat of the animal.
What type of testing did you have done? If you did saliva test they are not accurate at all. A blood test would be more accurate but really an elimination would be best. I would just keep with the sport and after they add the fat see what happens if you haven’t done something similar yet.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by haleycookie.
TRuDog . Raw dehydrated beef, a bit more expensive but no added fillers.
Thanks, Judith, for the suggestion. I looked it up and it sounds great. Unfortunately my dog would eat one $22 14 oz bag per meal, heh. At that point I’d be better off cooking. Thanks for the suggestion though, it does sound great.
Haleycookie, deducing by elimination is how I determined it was the chicken fat. He’s highly sensitive to any poultry and who’s to know how the chicken fat is processed or handled.
He had been getting limited ingredient treats with chicken fat, he’d throw up. I stopped giving him the treats, eliminated all chicken fat from anything he eats, he wasn’t throwing up. Accidentally gave him a treat with chicken fat, threw up. His system is so tenuously delicate, I would prefer not to take the risk of feeding him something knowing it could potentially make him sick.
As I said, taking him for testing is a no go.
Thanks for your thoughts on this.
Callie, I looked at the presentation that Sport posted on their FB page again that shows what all their new formulas will potentially be. Turns out the Buffalo is going to have sweet and white potatoes in it, the latter of which is a no-go for us so back to the drawing board. Let me know if you find something! Thanks.
Callie, my bad, there are two versions of the buffalo, Dock and Tracking, that won’t have white potato but there will be sweet potato and oatmeal:
Either way, I’m not super excited with the changes they’re making.
Why are you scared of peas or potatoes? Is he sensitive to that? You are aware any kibble has to have a carb source right? Any any limited ingredient diet is sure to have some type of filler regardless to what you do. You may just have to cave and get foods with these fillers if you are in that much of a bind. I’m sure it will expand your choices.
Haleycookie, I am aware carbs are necessary. So far I haven’t had to cave and it’s my goal not to as I want to keep my dog healthy and thriving. Caving to a food that has ingredients that will make him sick is not an option. I may as well just give him back to the rescue.
This site shared an interesting article about carbs and dogs: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/canine-nutrition/dog-food-carbohydrates/
Potatoes are high on the glycemic index. Just as humans shouldn’t eat such high quantities of a starchy carb on a daily basis, neither should dogs. They can be eaten in moderation, but day in and day out as the second or third ingredient is not healthy. Further, potatoes have tested for more pesticides by weight than any other vegetable. Not all potatoes in dog food are non-GMO and they are likely highly processed. These are only a few reasons on potatoes.
Peas have lectins in them and over time can cause major health problems, especially considering the amount of peas, pea concentrates, pea flours, pea proteins, pea etc. tossed into foods. Vegetable based proteins are very un-useable for dogs. They’re used to fake-boost general protein levels in foods to make up for a lack of meat proteins, not complete in amino acids, and are low in biological value. They are also a phytoestrogen and used for “ingredient splitting.”
Essentially, they’re both cheap vegetable fillers while dogs need meat based proteins. I hope I’ve answered your questions.
I didn’t really need those types answers. I’m aware of the “down sides” I guess you can call them of potatoes and peas but they’re in most things and likely won’t make your dog sick if he isn’t sensitive to them. You just have to make sure you get a food that isn’t ingredients splitting and has meat as at least the first two ingredients. Then potatoes and peas shouldn’t be an issue. the 7 year old lab I live with has been on foods with peas potatoes and brown rice as the carb his whole life and he’s in immaculate shape. Never a health issue and people still ask me if he’s still a growing puppy. I hope you find something that works. It’s unlikely that you will seeing as you are turning down ingredients in 99% of dog foods. But good luck none the less.
You had asked what my aversions were to those ingredients so I explained.
I’ve never seen a dog food label announce they were ingredient splitting.
My dog had been doing fantastically on Pioneer Naturals/Sport Dog; I was seeking suggestions for foods that were specifically like those which do not contain potatoes or peas or any other filler. If you saw a previous comment of mine, Sport, even with a reformulation, will be making a food that fits my parameters. So in fact, it’s completely possible.
Like people, every dog is different. My dog surely can’t eat what yours does, and he shouldn’t have to if it will make him sick.
Our fur baby can have Lamb, it’s next to Venison. She was not checked for Buffalo so I need to find that out. Sweet potato, Pumpkin, squash, spinach, rice, are in the lower numbers. You are right not every dog is the same. There may be foods our dogs could have and yet be allergic to some of the same things but not to other. Our gal can not have Salmon, peanuts, Green beans, fish mix, banana, etc. Crazy! I know. Sometimes I think I work harder on her diet than my own.
Wow, you really have quite the list of “avoids,” boy that’s tough! I know I work harder on our boy’s food than our own — for sure, they 100% rely on us to keep them fed and healthy. I hope buffalo can work for you. Maybe there’s another on that list that can too in case. I feel your pain but where there’s a will, there’s a way. I’ll keep you posted should I find anything else.
PetKind Tripe Dry dog food has 3 poulty free recipes although they do have some legumes.
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