I have a lab that has had chronic ear infections since we rescued him at 1 year old. We have all our kids on 4health right now. I don’t mind it but it seems they all shed more and his ear infections are coming back more frequently. Has any one else had a similar issue and found relief by switching food? I would like something maybe grain free and holistic that’s made in the US and NOT by Diamond. We’ve done Pro Plan, Blue Buffalo and Halo (which I liked but we had to have it shipped to us) as well. Just struggling with finding a great food that doesn’t cost and arm and a leg since we have 4 large dogs.
You may need to feed the dog with the ear infections a different food. What type of set infections does he get? I have a dog who’s had his share of ear infections. He doesn’t eat dog food now but when he did, he did best with a fish or turkey food with no grains & no potato.SusanMember
Hi Lori, I also rescued a dog that suffers from skin allergies & ear problems, (Canine Atopy).. I started an elimination diet & found he can’t eat Potatos, Sweet Potatos & wheat, I also stopped his chicken & I’m feeding him Wellness Simple Lamb & Oatmeal limited ingredients as he cant have potatoes but Wellness Simple has 3 different grainfree kibbles Wellness also has their Complete Health range & their Grainfree Core…I prefer to feed a kibble with grounded rice as most of the grainfree kibble have potatos or lentals & are high in carbs causing dogs to itch more…
A few ladies from the do park have dogs with skin & ear problems, their vets put their dogs on vet diets & they didnt help with the itch so now they are feeding their dogs “Holistic Select” Anchovy, Sardines & Salmon meal also made by Wellpet & their dogs are itch free & no more itchy ears & looking real shinney & healthy, also we bath our dogs in Malaseb medicated shampoo it kills any bacteria on their skin but doesnt strip their good oils also bath weekly, the Malaseb seems to relieve any itch & helps with their itchy stinky ears..sardines in spring water are good as treats.
here’s 2 links one is the Wellness range & the other link is the Holistic Select range
Akari posted a list of Wellness food carb values on a dry matter and as fed basis for anyone interested:
He’s reacting to something and until you figure out what that is, simply changing foods won’t help – assuming you end up switch to something that also happens to contain his triggers.
It takes a lot of work and diligence to figure out what those triggers are. What you need to do right now is start keeping a detailed list of everything you feed him and the ingredients of those foods (save the labels if you can as ingredients change often). Make a note of how he reacts to each and every food you feed and remember that treats and supplements contain triggers also.
Figuring things out will be a bit easier if you feed him a simpler diet of foods that contain single proteins and binders.
It’s very frustrating, I’ve been there too! Had I simply fed my dog one of Wellpet foods listed above, my dog would be a mess, since he has a fish intolerance. Don’t get me wrong, I love Wellness foods in particular, I use them all the time for one of my dogs and wish I could for the other. My pup hasn’t had an ear infection in many months since I’ve identified his intolerance issues.
Thanks everyone for your help. I’m not sure the “type” of infection, I thought it was just a regular ear infection. My pit bull girls both have allergies and have gotten yeast infections between their toes once or twice. I think we are going to switch to something without potato. We were doing salmon and potato and may go to lamb and rice. I prefer not to go with chicken. Thinking about Wellness or Fromm.
You’re best to go grainfree, rice is a higher allergen. If you want grain inclusive, look for one without rice. Farmina low grain and Natures Logic are two I like.
You should try grain, corn, white potato, brewers yeast and rice free. Also avoid foods containing tomatoes, soy, probably all forms of poultry also. Night shade plants, some of which are tomatoes and potatoes, are high histamine foods. I agree with Marie and the Natures Logic food. Natures Logic has a sardine kibble that may work for you. Just go on the review side and check out grain free foods and then check out the four and five star reviewed foods. Anyway, hope your dogs get relief. Until I eliminated the ingredients I mentioned my dogs ears (all three) were always yeasty and smelled. I was constantly cleaning gunk out of their ears.
My Sam is so very intolerant of fish, so it always seems counter-intuitive to me when people recommend fish based foods for food intolerance / allergy dogs. My dog has reacted to numerous types of fish and even fish oils. I can’t give him any fish in any form. He would have a gunky right ear within days of eating fish. Fish shows up in so many different kibbles that it’s actually tricky to find one without it.
It’s why I always “preach” keeping track of ingredients and figuring out what your pup’s individual triggers are. Until you figure out his triggers, you’re just going ’round and ’round. Triggers can be obvious, like Sam’s fish, or more obscure, like his flax and garlic.
Hi 4FF. I keep forgetting that there are a few of you that have fish intolerant pups. It’s one of the few things that Katie, who is allergic to almost everything in life in general, can eat with no issues. So sorry, I didn’t mean to leave the fish intolerant dogs out.
I have also always preached that if your dogs continually have issues you need to do an elimination diet. Most people want an easier fix. I know that’s how I was with Katie 5 years ago. I would never have believed back then that that was exactly what I had to do and it took forever. Still after all this time she continues to have new intolerances crop up.
So what are you able to feed Sam?
I hope I didn’t come across as rude, that was definitely not my intent!
My point was that I frequently hear, from lots of folks, that allergy / intolerance, yeast or skin issues can be helped by fish based foods. I think that for many dogs that don’t have an intolerance for fish, that may well be true. Heck, if you search limited ingredient foods on any of the pet food shopping sites, you’ll find lots of them are fish based or have fish meals or fish oils added for the omega 3’s, and its often stated that it’s for skin and coat health. I wish Sam could eat fish, because he could surely benefit from the omegas. I think fish intolerance / allergy isn’t terribly uncommon, as far as those issues go.
I’m trying to find some kibbles Sam does well on before I start adding an algae oil to his food. He is not a fan of raw and I’m having trouble with canned foods as a result of his sensitive tummy. He does like raw, green tripe, so that’s one of the few toppers I use. In addition to fish, he can’t have garlic, flax, chickpeas or lentils. He also gets fresh eggs at least a couple times per week.
He does great on Nature’s Variety Instinct LID Duck – he likes it OK. He did fine on California Natural Lamb and Rice, but he didn’t really seem to care for it. And, while I hate to even admit that I tried it, he did well on, and liked, Canidae Pure Sky; although his anal glands started smelling a little strong near the end of the bag, his ears started clear. Right now, we’re in the process of trying Go! GF Turkey, and I’m really hoping this works. In the past, he hasn’t done well on foods with lots of fruits and veggies and this food has them. And, the Go! contains lentils, but they’re pretty far down the list of ingredients and the fiber is within a good range for him; so I’ll see pretty quickly if it gives him gas. I have big bags of NVI LID Turkey and Duck on deck to use next, or in case we have to make a quick departure from the Go!
I’m constantly searching for foods for him. I get a little frustrated at the lack of options for him. I wish that limited ingredient foods contained only one animal protein.
Thanks for asking, Dori! Sorry for the hijack, Lori!
No worries 4ff! Were going to switch to a ltd ingredient diet and do so.e testing to try and narrow it down. I appreciate all the advice and recommendations.
I just read your initial post again. I noticed you said you liked Halo, but had to have it shipped. Were you ordering it from the Halo site? I love (too much) to order dog food online. My favorite is chewy.com. Compare their price on Halo. They have great prices and service and shipping is free after you reach $49.
Also, you just mentioned you were planning to do some testing. What kind of testing?
Oh my goodness Betsy. You have never come off as rude to me. Absolutely not. Your concerned about Sam and I know what you’re going through. As I mentioned, Katie has so many issues and thank goodness fish is not one of them. It has literally taken me years to find foods she’s ok with for the moment. Have you tried Vital Essentials. They have a raw and a freeze dried. The reason I mention it to you is, yes, they are a little costly depending on what part of the country you live, but they make a raw and a freeze dried and they are more the prey raw dog food model. From time to time I feed the freeze dried version and the raw because they have absolutely no other ingredients other than the limited ingredients listed on the bag which is basically the protein and variations on that particular protein. Nothing else. Go to their web site and check it out, there may be something that you can find for Sam. I periodically have my local dog food store order in for me. They don’t carry it but if one of their distributors carries it than they are able to order the food for me.
I have looked at Vital Essential, but not recently, so I’ll look again. I’m actually using their tripe treats right now, because as you said, it’s just tripe and nothing else! I’ve all but given up on raw for Sam. He likes the tripe I order from MPC, but other than that, he often won’t touch it. He’s big too, so it’s expensive to feed him raw or freeze dried. Raw and freeze dried are hard on my budget!
I’m always open to suggestions!
Thanks again. : )
I want to try Dr. E’s Grain and Potato Free Limited Ingredient Buffalo, but I’m hesitant. As I read through the long list of ingredients, I was getting excited because it contains none of his trigger foods, until I get to the very least ingredient, and I see salmon oil. I might still try it. Maybe.
I picked up a bag of Vital Essentials raw for Ginger. One reason I got it is because there’s no fruit or veggies. I am to the point of not wanting to pay for them in my raw. If I want to add them, I can. I’d rather pay for an all meat product.
I got a bunch of raw grinds recently from My Pet Carnivore. The only one Sam will eat is the Beef Tripe Supermix. I ordered them specifically for the same reason, no fruits or veggies. He’s picky. He’s a bit of a squeamish wimp actually.
I stay away from foods that have long lists of ingredients. I want their food to be foods and with Katie and all her issues I need foods to be simple with short list of ingredients that I no she can eat. I’m sick to death at this point of doing any more elimination with her. I’ve got a pretty long list of foods now that she can easily deal with and as for my picky husband who is grossed out with dealing with raw foods The Honest Kitchen finally came out with the Zeal without alfalfa. It’s fish, so not for Sam. She tolerates Nature’s Logic Sardine (also not for Sam) very well for some reason. Didn’t think she would. Oh, I should mention that Katie’s good with Vital Essentials freeze dried (I’m not thrilled with the price of freeze dried but jeesh, I’ve got to be out of the house sometimes). Jim’s ok with feeding that as he thinks it’s a sort of kibble and I haven’t told him otherwise. So anyway, it’s at least three foods that he’s ok feeding the dogs and I no longer have to go crazy speed racing trying to be home for their dinner time if I’m running late. Husbands grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!! Gotta love em but sometimes………….
- This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by Dori.
Thank God every dog I’ve ever had has eaten anything, except a past dog with a NV medallion.
Oh Marie, I am so jealous. Though I must admit that until Katie I’d never had a dog that had any issues whatsoever. She’s a real challenge and keeps me on my toes all the time. I’m thinking she was sent to me to keep senior citizen dementia at bay. Lol! She’s got my brain thinking 24/7. Love her like crazy. And honest to God, she has got to be the sweetest dog I have ever come across. You’d think all she’s been through in her life that she’d be a cranky B.tch. She’s quite the opposite. She’s a mushy gushy little happy go lucky little girl. Just loves everything and everyone. So sweet.
- This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by Dori.
I meant all my dogs *would* eat anything, not that they could! Boone is my problem child lol.
I knew what you meant. All of my dogs would eat the foods along with the packages that they food comes in. They are so tiny but really really like to eat and they pretty much don’t care what it is. Of course Hannah and Lola would be perfectly fine eating everything and anything. Katie is my food challenged girl. She has gotten a hold of the occasional scrap of paper and tissues and God knows what eats whatever it is and, of course, is perfectly fine. But lots of different good for her foods? Not so much!samlabMember
I am taking back a bag of Purina Sport 28/18! I just started my Lab on this crap. He shows this weekend and he’s now got to two infected ears. Ear goop as I call it is food allergy and so is paw licking. I am going back to the Euk Performance 30/20 today…that’s what I get for listening to others. So I gave Purina a try again and they failed as usual. Every single show Lab I have owned has this problem with their food. Watch the high protein level in big dogs it “burns” them…Also for dogs with sensitive stomach and allergy problems. The Blue Buffalo limited ingredient/grain free Duck and Potato is fantastic! If you have a sensitive eater this is the food. My retired Champion is on this and he takes sweepstakes 12 and older every time he looks superb on this food. Good luck.
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