Bailey, our big boy, is going to be 7 tomorrow. He has developed a licking problem, which we originally thought was caused by grass. He stopped when we gave him pills but since we’re now under 4 feet of snow and haven’t seen a blade for a bout a month we’re thinking maybe it’s food related, because he’s started licking again.
I did a little research about ground corn and gluten, we’re feeding him Royal Canin Labrador Retreiver 30 which seems to contain. Should we switch to Kirkland or some other brand.
Anyone had this problem. We’d love to have some input.
Hi Paul –
If you think the issues are food related I would say step one would be to eliminate corn, soy and gluten containing grains (wheat, barley, oats, rye). Give it a few weeks, if that doesn’t work I’d try a grain-free food. If you still don’t have any success you may want to consider a limited ingredient diet with a novel protein source that doesn’t contain grains or white potato. Hope that helps.
My dog developed licking when she was quite young. I switched to a salmon and potato dog food for her and it solved the problem. It took a few weeks though, so try the new diet for a period of time to see the true results.
There are certain treats that trigger this reaction as well, so it is a matter of checking those ingredients. Although I don’t know the specific trigger, it seems to be chicken, pork, etc. The fish/salmon diets don’t trigger the itching.
Hope that helps.
Sorry, one other note. The salmon and potato diet was not a commercial one. I buy it at a Vet – mine is/was (after many years I have since switched her due to kidney issues) a D/D formula). From what I have read there aren’t a lot of regulations on the ingredients in dog food, but I trust a Vet’s office more than anything I would buy at a regular store.
I wouldn’t feed D/D to a dog with allergies. The D/D salmon is only 18% protein (the minimum a dog needs to survive) and the first two ingredients are potatoes. There are too many high quality limited ingredient diets available for anyone to need to go with a food like this. Many companies out there are very trustworthy as far as ingredients (many even utilize human grade ingredients) on the label matching what’s in the bag. If ingredients being accurate truly is a concern homemade would be a much better option. I think in some extreme cases prescription foods may be necessary to get a condition under control but they aren’t a long term solution, they’re low quality and over priced. There are commercial foods out there that will help dogs with most conditions and I believe a homemade diet can be formulated to help most any condition.
Hi panda, Go for grain free food. Some good ones I use, that are pretty budget friendly are Hi-tek Naturals Grain free. Earthborn grain free. Kirkland Nature’s Domain grain free(Costco). And Costco’s canned grain free is Kirkland cuts in gravy. My 2 do great on these foods. All are 4 or 5 star foods. 🙂
Thank you all for your support – LabsRawesome our Bailey looks like an identical twin of yours.
After considering all your responses and with the with help of Isobel at Global in Hudson we bought some Nat Bal potato/fish.
The other thing is we like to feed him carrots and apple quarters after his meal. Do you think we could continue giving him carrots and apples during the changeover from Royal Canin to Nat Bal or should we just wait a while.
We cannot thank you all enough.
It looks like this food contains white potato. Give it some time, but if the problem isn’t resolved with your new choice, you might want to refer back to Hound Dog Mom’s suggestion to choose another food that doesn’t contain white potato and possibly a novel protein.
Here are the ingredients for your new food:
Ingredient Listing/Guaranteed Analysis
Sweet Potatoes, Salmon, Salmon Meal, Canola Oil, Potato Fiber, Natural Flavor, Sodium Chloride, Salmon Oil (a source of DHA), Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, DL-methionine, Choline Chloride, Natural Mixed Tocopherols, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Folic Acid.
Thank you for your concern and advice. And to you also HDM.
Sorry, I’m not familiar with the term D/D. From what I gather taking out grain and corn seems to stop a lot of allergies. Will keep you posted.
The sweet potatoes we are familiar with are like an orange color – like a cross between carrots and potatoes. I would be interested to know if they are considered ‘white’ as far as dog food is concerned. If they are I did not know that.
Sweet potatoes are different from white potatoes. Sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index and are preferable to white potato. However, Natural Balance has snuk some white potato into your food. The fifth ingredient is potato fiber, and I would surmise that’s white potato fiber to which they’re referring. Just be aware of it and if it doesn’t work, move on to something else. : )
D/D is prescription food intended to assist digestive discomfort due to food sensitivity or intolerance. You’re much better off finding your own quality, limited ingredient diet if necessary.
You are amazing. I knew there was something I was missing. We are going to keep a very close eye on Bailey.
Thank you ever so much.
In the 2 weeks since we have changed to Nat Bal, he stopped licking, but Bailey developed severe diarrhea, and his stool is soft, when he doesn’t have the diarrhea. We put him on cooked rice, then mixed with his Nat Bal, which seemed to help but I have to take him out every 2-3 hours, including in the middle of the night, and he takes forever to poop, and when he does its liquidy. Anyone have a similar problem? Help.
My 8 year old lab used to lick her feet ALL. THE. TIME. We switched to a grain free with no potatoes and it helped, but the miracle was Grizzly Salmon Oil. Within two weeks she had completely stopped licking her feet and her coat became super-silky over the next couple of months. It was like magic. We feed her according to the package…3 pumps squirted directly on her evening meal.
Also, I have a 3 1/2 year old lab, Major, who has suffered from bloat and other intestinal issues since he was 6 months old. One of the issues is diarrhea…in fact, he has had 2 bouts of HGE where he came close to dying. In the past few months, Major has started eating Nature’s Variety Instinct and taking probiotics…but he still had daily diarrhea and often times it was like brown water. I added 2 T pumpkin puree to each of his three meals daily. The pumpkin was the key to ending the watery stools…but he still had frequent diarrhea. I purchased a can of Perfect From from The Honest Kitchen…and HOLY COW! No more diarrhea…it’s been two weeks and his stools are perfect. (Yes, I spend way to much time looking at doggie stools…but when you have a pup with issues, I guess it becomes “normal”…lol) I add 1 1/4t (mixed with just enough water to make a paste) and put it on top of his food. Because the paste looks and tastes like dirt…I put the pumpkin on top of the paste…Major heartily eats it with no problem. I wish I would have discovered Perfect Form 3 years ago.
I also have a yellow lab puppy that hubby and I rescued couple months ago….talk about major diarrhea!! Keep in mind that he had Parvo and survived. Found out that the puppy food I was feeding him at the time contained, potatoes, sweet potatoes, barley, rye flour so that being said….I switched to Earthborn and I also give him pumpkin as well. I also give him nzymes antioxidant treats as well and his stool is almost back to normal. It will take couple more weeks since I just switched last week! He is much happier puppy! Tina…I had to chuckled at your comment about spending too much time looking at stool…..I did the same thing!!
I’am so glad to see so many people standing up for our fur babies and not for the dog food companies who only look to fill their wallets. This web sight does such a great job in showing the 5 star holistic, grain free foods that cost just about the same unless a dog eats the walmart junk,and if its because people cant afford anything better, a dog will be better off with a better grade food and end up eating less because all the nutritional needs are met. I wish some of the top dog food companies, Earth Born, and alike get together and put out a basic grain free,high quilitybrown bag dog food that if that is all someone could afford,it wouldnt cause their dog that they may love,become ill and cause heartach to the owners.
Mydogisme…I agree 100%. I know so many wonderful dog owners who just can’t afford high-priced dog food.
I want to thank everyone for their kind advice. It has been a month since my last post. Bailey is doing nicely, his paw licking has stopped, his d is gone, he is totally normal. A side effect is that his coat has improved.
He’s on Nat Bal sweet potato and fish kibble and treats. We give him 1/3 of a carrot 3 times a day and 6 to nine small treats per day. Last Saturday he had salmon skins. That’s been it.
Thank you all very much,
Mydogisme and KC-Cajun,
Grainfree foods are bound to cost more than grain inclusive foods. Not always but most of the time. Grains are cheaper so foods with grains will be cheaper. You get what you pay for could be said here.
If someone has a dog with issues that require a grainfree food, you can end up paying more with more vet bills if you don’t get a handle on the issue at the start. If someone has a dog that needs grain free and they think that Earthborn is too costly, there aren’t a whole lot of options left. I’m not even sure what grainfrees are cheaper than EB. Taste of the Wild possibly, maybe IF Hi Tek or Victor make a grain free.
Paul, glad Bailey is doing better!
The new 4Health grain-free is probably the cheapest grain-free option – $36.99 for 30 lbs. (made by Diamond though 🙁 ). Hi-Tek and Victor have grain-free options, I believe they’re around the same price as Earthborn (Victor may be slightly cheaper).
Licking is a sign of allergies. You should consult your Vet and can do allergy testing to see what your dog is having issues with.
veggienut, which poster are you directing your comment to? Bailey, the originator of this thread has resolved his issues by eating a limited ingredient, grain free diet. Yay, glad you’re doing better, Bailey! Allergy testing can be quite expensive and sometimes not all that accurate (as I’ve read and understand it) and an elimination diet might prove to be the best route to go in determining allergies/intolerance in the diet.
Dear Wonderful Dog Lovers,
Bailey is improving. I tried Kirkland grain free Salmon, he immediately started licking his paws on the first bowlful. (1/2 cup Kirkland 1 1/2 Nat Bal). I didn’t believe the change would be so sudden. I took it back. After a week I tried a sample bag of Canine Caviar Wild Ocean, Grain Free, no potatoes. Same thing, he started licking again. I’m beginning to think it’s not the food, it’s the change of flavor (herring as opposed to salmon). I can’t figure it out. So he’s back on 100% Nat Bal. His coat is getting really nice, (my wife only has to vacuum once a day), not quite, but his shedding has gotten a lot better.
I’m going to look for the Grizzly Salmon Oil.
I’ll report back.
Thank you all so much for you support.
hi, I had the same thing with dixie and she has been so sick i watch every sneeze. I had her on Earthborn then switched her to Instints. I gave her only a lttle dry with her wet food and the licking started so I know for sure there is something in the dry Earthborn.I bought the dry Instints to mix with the can Instints and she was still licking! so I took her off of all dry and she is eating 1 full can of eather chicken or beef Instints and she has stopped all licking. There is something in the dry foods,even the hosistic,grain free,the top of the best she cant eat. Somaybe its best to stay with a wet food.
I love the Grizzly Salmon Oil. We recently adopted Chance, an 8 year old diabetic dog (who came from a not-so-nice environment). Since we had so much luck with the oil with out paw licker, and the side benefit was her improved coat…we didn’t hesitate to add it to give it to Chance.
Wow! Tremendous improvement! Of course, he was put on a good low glycemic diet and his insulin regulated, so I must give some credit for his new coat to those factors, too. But his overall appearance….MUCH IMPROVED.
We buy the oil from vitacost dot com in the 64 oz jug for less than $50….be sure to keep it refrigerated.
Looking forward to hearing about your results…Tina
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