So I rescued a dog 2 months ago. He, Zeus, is about 38-40 lbs and about 1 year old and DNA says mutt (1/4 Amstaff, 1/8 boxer, 1/8 bulldog, 1/8 keeshound, 3/8 mutt). Zeus was a stray and came in the shelter at 18 lbs and gained about 10 lbs in the 2 weeks he was there. When we rescued him he was being fed Science Diet and we continued for a bag and did 1 small bag of Rachael Ray Nutrish 6. He checked out as being healthy, no shedding or itching at all but some dandruff. There was a vet visit where he had dropped a few lbs so vet told us to double food but when I switched to 100% Wellness Super5Mix for puppy it was clear I had to cut back (soft poops and farting). Now I am finishing Wellness and I just bought a bag of Blue Buffalo Adult fish and sweet potato. We have had Zeus for about 2 months and now he is scratching and shedding like crazy but no dandruff. So how can I tell if the food is causing the scratching and shedding or whether it is environmental? Unfortunately, I can’t place the exact timeline of when the shedding started and dog food changes were. We were feeding too much for several weeks I would say so could that cause these problems? It seems that as I’ve improved the quality of the food, his shedding and itching have worsened. Also, how concerned do I need to be to transition dog foods as it seems to be what is recommended? I had read that quite a few dogs have difficulties with chicken? Is that really a concern because it is the easiest protein to find. I have to say that I am not interested in raw food but would consider a canned and dry combo. I would love any advice/suggestions you have.
Yes, chicken could be the problem. If it were just shedding with a little itchiness, I would say it might be the time of year. Dogs usually shed twice a year in Spring and Fall. If it is a lot of itching, I would switch to a grain free/chicken free food. The fact that each time you switch you go to a higher quality food and he gets worse, makes me think chicken because higher quality usually means more meat. If chicken is the problem, more chicken would be a worse problem.
Rotating foods is important for gut health, but first you need to get the other thing straightened out. Unfortunately, a lot of foods have chicken in them that don’t have chicken in the name of the food, so you are going to have to carefully read ingredient lists to make sure the food you choose has no chicken in it. If going chicken free for a while solves the problem then you can start rotating again, just stay away from chicken. If it doesn’t then you will have to try to eliminate other things. I have one that can’t handle most grains and chicken. Good luck.
Any thoughts as to how long I can expect it to take to reduce the shedding and itching if we remove chicken from the diet? Of course assuming that is the case.
It took my dog 2 weeks for me to see a marked improvement and 2 months later, you couldn’t tell he had a problem at all.
- This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by theBCnut.
Might I ask Patty, what food you feed your “allergy dog”? I know you’ve said but I’ve read so much that I cannot remember who said what? 🙂
I feed a variety. For kibble I feed all of Brothers Complete’s flavors except the chicken(but so you know they have chicken liver in them, mine doesn’t have a problem with chicken liver), Any Nature’s Variety Instinct that doesn’t have chicken, Earthborn Great Plains Feast and Coastal Catch, and when they get the new Orijen here I’ll give the chickenless ones of them a try too. Mine does fine on duck and turkey, it’s just chicken meat that he can’t handle.
I use any of the 95% or 96% canned food from Merrick and I can’t think of the other one now, that aren’t chicken. I don’t use them much anymore because I’m using raw instead.
For raw, I use Darwin’s. I also order from Hare Today and My Pet Carnivore and I make my own raw food. We just had a goat butchered, so I’m feeding a good bit of that right now, until I have room to move stuff around in the freezer.
Thanks. I am hoping that it is indeed chicken. I looked back and the Science Diet may have had some chicken depending on which kind it was (not 100% sure what shelter used or I bought) but the Wellness would certainly be much more chicken especially if I fed too much. The Rachael Ray was Lamb for sure. Would adding a daily amount of yogurt or something help with this? I am thinking going ‘cold turkey’ off the Wellness which is all chicken.
For a cold turkey switch, if your dog isn’t used to it, canned pure pumkin, digestive enzymes, and probiotics are REALLY helpful. Yogurt is OK as long as your dog doesn’t have a problem with it and you use plain yogurt. Kefir is even better if your store has it. It will be in the dairy case.
Thanks from me too for the answer! I am currently feeding Coastal Catch so we’ll see…it is too soon to tell yet.
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