I have an eight year old male maltese/toy poodle mix. He’s 19 lbs. Anyway, my poor boy is struggling with allergies. He’s actually on prednisone for a week. Otherwise, he’s perfectly healthy.
He cannot tolerate chicken, beef, and lamb. He’s been on Lotus Grain Free Duck for a year and his itching is still pretty bad, so the vet and I are thinking we need to add duck to the list of foods that don’t work for him. Plus, I just found out the glucosamine chews he’s been on are beef flavored. Ugh! Now, I just switched him to a veggie based hypo allergenic chew.
I feel so bad for him and want to find him some relief. I’ve been doing a lot more research and my options are switching him to Lotus Grain Free Fish. I’ve also been researching Nature’s Variety.
I’ve looked at NV Instinct Kibble Salmon formula, NV Instinct Raw Boost Kibble Venison formula, and of course NV Instinct Raw Venison formula. I have no idea what to choose.
Of course his vet is completely against raw.
Please, please help me decide. I have to find a food that will give him some relief.
He used to be on Natural Balance Venison for the longest time and did great on it, but after the recall I never went back. Then I learned they were bought out and the food hasn’t been the same.
I’m not sure if this would work for your dog, but I like Wellness Small Breed Simple Salmon and Potato.
Oh, and I also add probiotics/enzymes and a pumpkin/apple fiber supplement called Firm Up. I top with canned foods, as well. Wellness does have the complimentary canned food the their Simple line.
My dog with food intolerance issues is doing very well on Nature’s Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient foods currently. I’d probably look at the LID formulas for your pup rather than the regular products.
If you’re interested in raw, you should pursue it, regardless of what your vet says.
Have you or your vet considered that your dog can be reactind to any ingredient that has protein in it, not just meats? You need to pay attention to all the ingredients in the foods you are feeding or considering feeding.
Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw is a great choice for a dog with food intolerances. Along with the typical proteins, they have a Vennison, a Goat and a Rabbit formula that you could try. The ingredient list is very short and should do nicely for your dog. Go to their actual site and you can read the ingredients list for each of their raw foods. Good Luck. As “nut” said, it could also be a reaction to one of the many ingredients that most dog foods include. It’s one of the reasons I like feeding my girls raw. Not too many ingredients.
- This reply was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by Dori.
Thanks everyone for the replies. I hadn’t even considered Wellness. No, I hadn’t even thought about looking at other ingredients. I knew I was on the right path of grain free and then I’ve just only focused on the protein.
I have been reading a lot about NV Instinct Raw Venison and have not read or heard one negative thing about it. I had my heart set on switching him to that and my gut is telling me I have to at least try it before I shut it down. He had his annual exam on Sat and I mentioned it to his vet. She was visibly upset that I would even consider feeding him raw food and how so many raw foods have feces and other disgusting things in them. I love his vet and I was so shocked by her harsh response.
Plus, his staining is just terrible. He used to be so white and his whole face, feet, tummy, and bottom are stained.
They did all of his baseline bloodwork and he’s completely healthy and I want him to stay that way.
Dori, I see from your profile pic you have little dogs as well. How long have you been feeding them raw? They’re all doing well on it?
I have 2 Havanese. When I first got them, 1 from a puppy, 1 2 yrs old from a rescue, they had both been eating kibble and had terrible eye/mouth staining. I switched them both to a combo of raw and canned and no more stains! It takes a while to grow out though so you have to be patient. When I got the second dog, I tried introducing kibble to save money and the staining started right up again! I use Darwin’s and Nature’s Variety raw and they do wonderfully on it. I’ve discussed it with my vet and we agree to disagree about it. I think they are required to discourage raw feeding because of public health concerns. It’s the “official” AVMA position.
I have two vets. I pretty much get lectured when I’m NOT feeding raw. OK, well not really “lectured,” but they both prefer that I use it. If you are interested in the NV raw, give it a try.
And, I think that Wellness products are great. My Cavalier does amazingly well on Wellness Core products, but I think you’d probably prefer the Wellness Simple line for your pup with food intolerance issues.
Hi, have you ever tried an elimination cooked diet, its very rare for a dog to be allergic to that many proteins, Id be looking at the carbs the fillers in the kibbles that you have tried & it takes a good 3 weeks to see any results, the best way & I know it takes time is the elimation diet… start with a protein say turkey or duck with some pumkin mixed thru for one straight month, no treats nothing no other foods & with the carbs watch out for wheats, potatotes sweet potato any high carbs.. Brown or white rice are Ok, good as fillers when on elimination diets… I use pumkin as Patch get the runs from rice but not grounded rice is OK with him….any carbs that convert to sugars they make yeast thats what makes them stinky & itchy….Im going thru this with my dog at the moment, he normally doesnt itch in winter but he’s itchy this winter, so now Im looking at the food, before vet said it was grasses pollens etc but its winter & there’s no pollens at the moment, Like Betsy said Im trying the Wellness Simple limited ingredients range kibbles, Ive just bought Patch the Duck & Oatmeal Formula, it has no eggs, no gluten, no dairy, no corn, no by-products, no soy or No artificial preservarties, colours or flavours, its a good start, also can ur boy eat wet tin foods they dont have all the processed stuff that kibble have..Start all over again from scratch, thats what Ive been doing this week, Ive also been using human tin Salmon to replace Patches chicken mixed with pumkin he loves it, but I still havent started the Wellness Simple Duck kibble as the vet said 1 thing at a time, if Patch can handle the Salmon with his IBD then next week Im starting the Simple Duck but Ive given him a few simple Duck kibbles & he loved them so Im just using them as a treat for this week so far there’s been no diarrhea, the Wellness simple does have a Salmon & Potato kibble but Im trying the Oatmeal instead of too many potatos try & look at all the foods he has had & see what carb ingredient was in most of them then try a kibble that doesnt have the same Carb ingredients.. thats way Im trying the Oatmeal its something Ive never tried..keep us posted, Id like to know how he went & what food you choose..but Raw is the best if you can handle it.. http://www.wellnesspetfood.com/dog-wellness.aspx
So, I decided to go with the NV Raw Venison Bites. I started them on it this evening. The person who sold me the food also feeds her dog raw and she recommended I don’t mix the kibble and the raw together while transitioning the foods. She said I should start with dinner and give them less kibble and then an hour later feed them a bit of the raw bites. Slowly do that until their dinner is completely raw. Then work on transitioning breakfast.
I took her suggestion and someone is a little gassy. I think it’s my maltese/toy poodle boy (the one with the allergy issues).
This food smells, too. They loved it, but I found the smell awful.
My other concern is that little rescue baby (shih tzu/yorkie) likes to bring his kibble into the living room and eat off of the carpet. He’ll bring a mouthfull at a time and drop it on the carpet. Obviously, I can’t have him doing that if I’m feeding him raw.
I also don’t want to get too paranoid about cross contamination. Like if they eat and then go play with a toy. Do I need to religiously wash the toy daily?
In addition to food allergies/intoleranc he also definitely has environmental allergies, as well.
I’ve never tried the food elimination diet. I’m not even sure I’d know where to start.
I also didn’t realize how expensive this food is. I guess I’ll be eating Ramen noodles for a while. Just kidding…. Anything to keep my boys healthy.
Hi BRT. Sorry for the delay in my reply. I’ve been a bit under the weather the last few days but I’m coming around soon.
I have three toy dogs, a Maltese, a Yorkipoo and a Maltipoo. They’ve all been on commercial raw for approx. a year and a half. For treats I give them organic fruits and veggies. They love them and the raw food. With the raw fruits and veggies I don’t have to yet again go crazy reading ingredients to make sure that Katie (allergy girl) can tolerate them. She can’t as they all have some ingredient she is intolerant and/or allergic to.
By the way, on your vet’s comments on raw food. That’s pure ignorance speaking. Most raw feeders will tell you, and it is true, western vets know medicine. They DO NOT know nutrition. At best, maybe they had a couple of hours of schooling on nutrition when they were in school. I like my regular vet very much but she knows that the issue of what I feed my dogs is a closed issue. We have learned to agree to disagree. I take them to her for any medical reasons and their yearly blood work up and titers and that’s it. I’m not interested in what I feed MY dogs. They live with me, I know what they react to and what they don’t. I know the differences that raw has made in their lives. Do not put to much emphasis on what the vets tell you about nutrition cause they don’t know it. Just stay strong, make a decision and stick to it. Don’t let the vet put your dogs on antibiotics for staining, it will make matters worse for them and their immune system. And also, don’t let the vets talk you into feeding whatever foods they sell out of their offices that are not fit for any living breathing animal to eat. I read ingredients like crazy to make sure that if their are ingredients that I cannot pronounce, do not know what they are and I wouldn’t eat it, then I don’t feed it to my girls.
Thanks so much for your post. Yes, I’m learning certain things about his vet. She would have him on Prescription Hill’s Canned W/D forever if I would allow it, which is nothing but corn! I absolutely agree about the antibiotics for the staining. That’s why I’ve never done Angel Eyes.
Do you actually feed yours NV Raw? I just bought the 4 lb bag of the Venison bites and once I get them switched over completely I might move to the medallions. Just curious how long a bag lasts you with your three.
I’ve been one of those people who always thought the vet knew best because they are doctors. However, I am learning that’s not the case and I need to do what’s best for my boys. You’re right, I’m the one who takes care of them and knows them the best.
Thanks so much!
BRT. Yes I do feed NV Raw and the girls have been eating the Venison for a few days. It’s difficult for me to tell you how long the bag lasts us because I feed rotation constantly. I know some feed rotation diet after each bag or two of food then switch to something else. I feed the girls as I would feed my husband and myself. Something different pretty much every meal or every other day, etc. I usually have a few different raws in the freezer. The only reason I use the bites is that the defrost really pretty quickly maybe 10/15 minutes so this way the food stays in the freezer part of the kitchen fridge and I just scoop out their meals just before feeding them. Also, the bites are good if you’ve forgotten to defrost something else for them the night before I just scoop out the NV Raw. I also like the Primal Pronto for that reason also.
Do the transition from whatever he’s eating very slowly. Slower than you would do kibble to kibble because it’s a big difference to their systems. If he’s been on pretty much what I consider crap foods then his gut will take a little time to adjust and detox from all the other stuff as his gut heals. Let us know how it all goes.
Need help please….
I thought I was transitioning slow enough, but this morning both had diarrhea and then when I went home at lunch today my shih tzu/yorkie had a massive mucousy stool. I clearly need to tone it back. How long should the switch completely over take?
I called two pet food stores where I live who a totally for raw and got two different answers. One told me the switch can take up to a month. The other said go cold turkey and give them just raw for dinner tonight.
I’m so confused and am coming here for some definitive advice. I don’t want to give up this quickly, but I don’t want to cause them any additional tummy issues.
Just an update and a couple of questions:
The slow transition didn’t happen because once these two got a taste of the raw they didn’t even want to touch the kibble. So, for three days now it’s been just raw for their meals.
Dori, your dogs look about the same size as mine. Just curious how much you feed them per day.
Lastly, how long does it take to see if the food is working or not? My maltese/toy poodle boy is still itching like mad. I can’t believe it’s the new food since we just started, but I’m not sure.
Hi BRT. It will take a minimum of 2 to 4 weeks at least until the itching stops unless he’s allergic to something in the raw food you’re feeding. Katie can’t eat all raw foods, only some.
I feed all my girls twice a day. I feed them between 2.5 and 3% of their body weight daily divided into two meals. Hannah, 15 year old Maltese (9/9/14) weights 7.5 lbs. I feed her closer to the 3%. Senior dogs need higher protein and more calories. They don’t process or utilize nutrients because of aging and slowing down bodily functions. Katie 5 year old 6 lb. Maltipoo I feed 2% of her body weight. She’s my allergy girl and lives her life in one speed. SLOW MOTION. She’s not planning on exerting herself about anything anytime anywhere. She’s funny little girl. Would love to live her life in someones arms (not gonna happen, but in her ideal world I’d get a Bjorn pouch and put her in it), Lola my 5 year old Yorkipoo weighs 5 lbs. She I feed 2.5% of her body weight. She gets fed more than Katie because Lola is complete polar opposite. She is never still, has boundless energy and is always “ON”. She only stops go collapse at night for bed time. Hence she needs more food than her lazy slow motion sister Katie.
Three days is really not long enough to notice many changes. Don’t forget she has to get all other stuff out of his system then his gut has to start healing. His immune system has to normalize itself once he’s not eating any things he’s intolerant of. It doesn’t happen overnight even though we pray it would. Just be patient and give him a chance to heal. Which food are you feeding him?
For my dog with issues, I can tell within 3 days if he is getting better, but it takes up to 10 weeks for all symptoms to completely disappear and histamine levels to completely go down.
Hi BRT. I just read an earlier post of yours that I must have missed. Please don’t let your dogs bring their dog food and drop it on the carpet to eat it. Not just raw, there are way many more cases of salmonella with kibble then raw diets. The issue with Salmonella is not your dogs getting sick unless they already have a major underlying illness, it’s humans that get the salmonella. It is you who have to wash your hands after handling raw (as you would with any raw food for humans that you handle), also clean counter, etc. anything that touched the raw food. As I say, just as you would when you’re preparing your own dinner. What most people fail to realize is that you must also wash thoroughly kibble that carries way more issues than raw.
If any of them are still having gas, bad breath, etc. that is also part of detoxing. Perfectly normal so long as it doesn’t last too long.
I also missed that you’ve started with the Venison NV raw. That’s good. Oh, I just thought of what I read earlier on one of your posts. If you’re dog is allergic or intolerant to chicken then I would stay away from anything that has feathers. Chicken, Quail, Turkey, Duck, etc. etc. and once again any food you feed make sure there is no chicken fat, turkey meal, etc. somewhere on the ingredient list. It’s easier finding raw foods without quite so many ingredients. Venison, Bison, Buffalo. Those are good to try EVENTUALLY down the line once he’s all healed. Katie doesn’t do well with beef if I feed it more then two days in a row but she has no issues whatsoever with buffalo. Originally I had just assumed when I discovered the beef issue that it would be all red meat but that’s not the case. Good Luck and keep us posted. I’m feeling much better so I’ll try to keep up with your progress. Just be patient. Why are you smelling their food anyway, LOL. If you think Venison smells bad then you’ll pass out if you ever feed Tripe. Now that is just plain n-a-s-t-y!!!!!!!
Dori, thanks for all of the info. They are steadily gobbling down their food and their poop has gone from three times a day to one small stool a day. I didn’t realize from the picture how small your little ones are. I bet mine would look like monsters next to them.
Unfortunately, the kibble he’s been on for the last year has been duck (Lotus grain free).
Will continue to keep you all posted.
Yep! My three girls together probably make up one of yours. I’m so glad the poop situation is getting under control. Everything else will follow eventually. Your dogs are going to become so much healthier. Again, try to avoid any food that has any feathered friend in it. It takes a while to figure it all out. As I say, Katie came to me this way at 9 weeks old. She just turned 5 years old and something always needs a little tweaking with her. The other two girls can eat everything any anything with no problems. Do keep me posted. Glad things seem to be turning around. The one small poop a day is the way it’s suppose to be on a raw diet. The guts utilizing almost all the nutrients in the food and there really aren’t any fillers to mess with there systems.
The boys just inhaled their dinner and one of them goes into the bedroom (carpeted) and regurgitates his food and by the time I know it is eating it. Ugh! Anyway, now I’m worried about how to disinfect the carpeted area. I cleaned it with Nature’s Miracle, but is there anything else I can or should do?
Also, what would cause him to bring the food back up that quickly? Eating too fast?
Hi BRT, try & split their dinner up into about 3 serves & when they finish 1 serve make them sit, wait then put more in bowl but dont have bowl on ground as they will try & eat as u put food in bowl.. for the spew baking soda powder..
Yes, eating too fast. I use white vinegar and water. Dogs are so special.
I use Nature’s Miracle. I would suspect either eating too fast or more likely you’re feeding them too much. Don’t forget that when feeding raw they need much less food then on kibble or canned. Some dogs will stop eating when they are fully BUT most dogs, in my experience, will just continue to eat until they explode. Dogs??? Gotta love em. We’ve all at times had a fabulous meal and continue to eat even after we’re full and later we feel sooooo sick and wonder what we were thinking. But it was so good.
Again, the amount for raw feeding is much less than other foods. I know when I first started I didn’t take that into account either. When I started feeding less and less, those issues went away. I will admit that I would look at the bowl initially and think they were gonna starve with so little food. Two years later on raw and their all still here at perfect weights and thriving.
Thanks for the replies. Everyone has been so helpful and supportive here.
Almost two weeks in and stools are still soft. Plus, I’m feeling like I might not be able to afford this route. I’m going to stick it out as long as I can, though.
The 4 lb bag of instinct raw bites lasted a couple of days short of two weeks. I’m having the hardest time finding the venison in local stores, but was able to find a bag of medallions yesterday.
I used the food calculator on the NV website and put both dogs weight and activity level (not active and I want to maintain weight) and it said to feed 8 medallions/day each! There are only 48 medallions in a bag. That seemed like a lot so I went with 6 medallions each today (3 in the AM and 3 in the PM). My maltese/poodle acts like he’s starving. I know he’s not though.
Would I be a terrible mom if I had to add kibble back along with raw? Do people feed both? One meal kibble, one meal raw? Maybe it’s too soon to decide. I also think I need to definitely buy more than one bag when I go out. I’ve already spend $62 on food in less than two weeks and I’m really feeling it.
I have squeamish people in my family that have to feed sometimes, so I feed kibble and raw. My dogs don’t have any problem with both.
Heck no, you wouldn’t be an awful mom. You need to eat too! Those medallions are expensive! I feed kibble and use the Northwest Naturals frozen raw nuggets a couple meals a week. You are doing great!
Buy the large patties. Much less expensive. If you need to then once you figure out what kibble they are ok with you can feed kibble one meal and raw the other.
Thanks everyone. I researched everything except the cost!
I feel like I’m going to mess them up with going back and forth. What a learning process.
Was just on the NV website and was looking at the Venison Raw Boost kibble or the Salmon Grain Free Instinct kibble.
The issue with the raw boost is that it has very little of the raw part, so you are better off just using the plain kibble and giving a meaty bone a couple times a week.
Plan B: I went out last night and bought the NV Instinct Raw Boost Venison kibble. So, kibble for breakfast and raw for dinner. They gobbled up the kibble and you’re right it has very little of the freeze dried raw in it. I was going to go with NV’s regular kibble, but they didn’t have the venison formula. They had salmon, which will be my fall back if all else fails.
Hi BRT. The NV Instinct Raw Boost Venison has turkey meal as one of it’s ingredients, pretty high up on the list. I think it’s the second ingredient. So keep an eye on your dog incase his allergies flare up. The Salmon formula doesn’t have the turkey meal in it.
Also for the raw you can buy the NV Instinct Raw Venison in the large patties. It will come out cheaper that way. The patties are pretty large so you’ll just figure out, or the people at the store can help you out, how much of the large patty he would have to eat a day and just divide that for one of his meals.
- This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by Dori.
Thought I’d post an update. So, the NV Instinct Boost Venison kibble was a huge fail. My boy was itching like mad. He was only on it a few days. I don’t know what it was about the food because he used to to eat Natural Balance Venison without any problem years ago. Anyway, I went back to the pet store and under the recommendation of a salesperson I left with Zignature Trout and Salmon. I read some reviews on here about that food and got a little scared because some people were saying it caused diarrhea in their dogs. But, I took a chance and fed it to them and on top of that had to switch cold turkey.
So, now a week later, they are both doing great on it. My itchy boy isn’t itching. He doesn’t wake up in the morning and immediately start licking his bottom. At first the quantity of their stools were huge, but it’s gotten much better. I’m so happy and I hope this works for us for a while. Now, the plan is to get them acclimated to this food for a couple of months and then incorporate Vital Essentials Fish Entree as one meal. That was also recommended to me by the salesperson. I feel like I’m on a good path. I’m not sure if his tear staining will clear up, but I’ll take what I can get.
NV Instinct Boost Venison. Second ingredient is Turkey Meal. If your dog has issues with poultry then you need to avoid All Poultry (All Fowl).
Natural Balance Limited ingredient doesn’t include any poultry whatsoever that I could see. It does have an awful lot of Sweet Potato.
- This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by Dori.
Thanks Dori. You actually pointed that out a couple of posts prior and sure enough…
I stopped feeding them Natural Balance after the recalls and never went back because they got bought out and I heard the food was not the same. After that it’s been quite the struggle.
So far, so good on Zignature. 🙂
BRT. Glad to hear your dog is doing well on Zignature. I’ve never fed Natural Balance but I certainly would have stopped after the recalls as I’ve done with all foods that have had recalls not to my liking.
I had a feeling that you had overlooked the Turkey Meal in the NV Instinct Raw Boost. I’ve never fed it for that reason. I would love to find a kibble for emergencies but I’ve yet to find one that Katie doesn’t have a problem with. She has too many allergies to keep track of. I’ve got to get some index cards or start a Word document for her allergies and intolerances.
Are you feeding the Zignature dry or canned? Just curious.
They’re just getting the kibble. They usually needed a teaspoon of canned or some kind of topper before they would eat their others kibble, but they are just gobbling down this one by itself, which is great for me.
Well, one month into the Zignature and my maltese boy is starting his obsessive grass eating again. (I started a thread in Canine Health). I thought he was doing so well. My vet suggested giving him 4mg Pepcid every morning; she said I could do this for the rest of his life. But, on my new thread I’ve learned that’s not a smart way to go either.
So, I’m back online looking at foods. Someone suggested that the fat content in Zignature might be too high. Now, I’m looking at Wellness Simple Salmon and Peas.
I want this cycle to end. I’m trying to do everything I can because I know the next thing is going to be the vet’s prescription diet, which I’m trying to avoid going that route.
My dog with food intolerance issues sometimes will have a reaction to a food that slowly creeps us on us. It’s confusing and frustrating.
I still think I’d try another limited ingredient food, my two favorite bands of which are Wellness Simple and Nature’s Variety Instinct LID.
FWIW, one of mine reacts to fish; including fish meal and oil but he also doesn’t tolerate chickpeas, lentils or flax. NVI LID doesn’t contain any of those things out tomato pinnacle, another common problem ingredient. I would definitely consider that your pup’s problem ingredients could be another ingredient, like flax or something else.
If the Natural Balance worked previously, have you compared the ingredients of that to those foods you’ve tried? I just wonder if it could be a combination of problem ingredients beyond primary protein iin foods.
Coconut oil and diluted ACV might both help, but I think right now, I would eliminate supplements (non-prescription) and treats and just focus on finding one food that yours do well on.
One other thing, using kibble doesn’t make you a bad dog mom! I felt the same way, but when it came down to it, I just wanted to know my dog felt good.
Hi BRT. I don’t have much time for a long response right now. I’ve had a very busy week hunting and capturing a lost Maltese puppy that roamed our neighborhood so I’ve really got to catch up on my girls, laundry, groceries, all that. I had let everything go.
I don’t have time to go back through all the posts so my quick question to you is have you considered feeding Commercial Raw? It’s the only thing that worked for Katie (Maltipoo). She was a real mess from the age of 9 weeks. I put all the girls on raw about 2 1/2 years ago and she’s never had an allergy issue again. It’s much easier to control and source out the ingredients in commercial raw than it is in kibble. That’s my opinion anyway.
Hi BRT, I just looked up Natural Balance Venison & Sweet Potatos, the fat min was 10% fat the protein was 20% protein, maybe thats why he did good on the Natural balance, the protein & fat was low…Just make sure the fat% & protein% is low in the next kibble….High fat & high protein can cause acid reflux, I would try one of the Wellness Simple formulas, the lowest fat% was the Healthy Weight Salmon & peas, fat% min is 8% fat but the protein is min-26% & the one Im using on Patch the Duck & Oatmeal, Protein is 21% & fat% is min-11% max-11.98%… Oatmeal is suppost to soothe their stomach..Or if he did well on the Natural balance Venison maybe give it another go..I’ve been going thru this now since I rescued Patch 20months ago & its starting to do my head in, I hate feeling helpless & I hate seeing them suffer….
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