Prescription Dog Foods


The following items represent some of The Dog Food Advisor’s most frequently asked questions about prescription dog foods.

Why don’t you give ratings to prescription dog foods?

Due to their intentional therapeutic designs, we are unable to rate prescription dog foods.

That’s because to treat certain health conditions — like kidney or liver disease — some veterinary products have been intentionally designed to reduce the meat content of a specific recipe.

Since we tend to favor dog foods rich in meat, it would be inappropriate for us to assign a star rating to such meat-restricted prescription food products.

What about the claims of efficacy made by the manufacturer or a prescribing veterinarian?

Our reports have nothing to do with the ability of any dog food to effectively treat or cure a specific health condition.

Shouldn’t prescription dog foods be exempt from scrutiny?

Although we respect the right of every veterinary professional to prescribe what would be in the best interest of each patient, we still believe every consumer has the right to question the quality and content of these products.

Can you recommend a dog food I can get from a pet food store that’s designed to treat a specific health problem?

Unfortunately, since no one on our staff is a veterinarian and due to the biological uniqueness of each animal, it would be inappropriate for us to make specific recommendations.

In addition, due to the serious nature of many medical conditions, readers are encouraged to consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

  • hank

    Is that a “respectful comment” to someone’s question?

  • Susan LaFountaine

    Thanks for the suggestions! I got a few cans of the Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein food and mixed it with his dry food and he ate it right up! The canned stuff has the consistency of rubber, ha ha ha! So I took a few scoops of it and put it into a bowl with some hot water and stirred it into something that resembled lumpy gravy. I poured that onto the dry and mixed it up. He wasn’t super eager to eat it, but he ate it none the less. I called the vet and right now he is to have absolutely nothing besides the food. Maybe later we can try other things. Quite honestly, after witnessing what he has gone thru, I am terrified to try anything else. He is really content at the moment and feeling good. A few months down the road we might try one of their novel proteins to see if it will work, or, I may just keep him on this food. He certainly seems to be doing well on it. Just wish they could make it in different flavors so that they had a variety and not get tired of it. Its too bad there wasn’t some kind of beef or chicken flavor out there that wasn’t actually made of chicken or beef, that I could sprinkle on the food and not cause an allergic reaction!

  • aimee

    No free food for my dog’s vets… I asked. They pay for it just like you and me. It may be that certain practices offer it for free as an employee perk but it isn’t coming free from Hill’s, not that Hill’s wouldn’t offer a free bag or two but as on ongoing thing .. I’ve never been able to confirm it.

    One of the vets said when in school they could buy Hill’s at a reduced price and she did. But it didn’t bond her to Hill’s in fact it is her least liked food as she said her dog’s coat was dull/dry on it. Didn’t work for her dog.

    One of the tech’s at the vet practice also continued to work at PetSmart after becoming a tech solely for the discounted food. No food perks at the vet hospital, to get those she had to continue employment at a Big Box Store.

    I’ve done a lot of science based research… it led me to companies like Hill’s Royal Canin and Purina.

  • Pitlove

    Hi Haley-

    I don’t think you’ve been around this forum for too long, but those that have have seen me post before know that I used to work for Petco and I now work for an independent pet store that is family owned. Big box stores are not offered employee feeding programs but at my current job we are. In fact I’m on one right now and have been on Fromm and NutriSource in the past. I was also offered free food from Merrick for 6 months to promote their product. My point was that a lot of companies besides Hills and RC offer free food to employees of places that sell their product. There is nothing wrong with that. Also I would never use a food I didn’t believe was good just because it is free. I’m also doing an externship in a vet clinic at the moment and I can tell you for certain everyone that works there feels Hills and RC are quality products.

    Also I assumed you were asking why the prescription foods were so expensive since that is what we were talking about.

    Personally I’d pay 70$ for a OTC bag of Royal Canin before spending a similar amount on a food like Orijen any day, but maybe that’s just me. I value the research, clinical trials, testing, quality control practices, etc RC does. I value that more than an ingredient list.

  • haleycookie

    I never said it was pet store employees that get free food? I sure don’t get free food and a friend of mine that works for petsmart doesn’t get free food and another friend who works atpetvalu doesn’t get free food? Where can I work to get free food aside from a vet? Must be nice. The vet across the street has vet techs and veterinarians that all recieve free science diet dog and cat food every month and I doubt it has much else to do with anything other than it’s free. And that’s what they’re taught in school is the best dog food out there. And I don’t care how much research goes into it it’s completely rediculous to charge people over 70$ for not a lot of food when it’s the same exact quality as dog chow. There are many options to look into that would work instead of buying insanely overpriced foods, people just don’t bother with it the majority of the time. But whatever. Nothing’s going to stop Royal canin and science diet from charging an arm and a leg for corn, corn, and more corn and some soy and wheat. But I guess since it’s “researched corn, soy and wheat” it’s apparently worth it. I will never support royal canin. Science diet isn’t as terrible in my opinion but the otc royal canin is a complete joke.

  • anon101

    What is wrong with responding to an old post if you feel you have something to offer?
    Thousands of people read these forums everyday, even if they never comment.
    Maybe someone other than the original poster will benefit from the shared information.

  • Geena Vah

    This JAMS fellow is replying to OLD OLD posts. I recv’d an email notification and though,, “huh? WTF!”

  • Geena Vah

    Wolves also don’t routinely receive veterinary care. What a poor argument.

  • Geena Vah

    I’ve found a number of vets “push” Royal Canine, because these vets sell it in-house and receive a handsome profit from pushing the “oh your dog has allergies”.
    A red flag immediately goes up as soon as they mention “allergies” AND are unable to give me tangible reasons why they even think my dogs have allergies.
    I do NOT shop around for vets. I have relocated several times in the past 3 yrs. It’s odd that when I find a vet I trust and like and notice they don’t peddle RC in-house, “allergies” are never mentioned with my two dogs.

  • Bobby dog

    Hello Haleycookie:
    Do you receive an employee discount for pet food purchases at your store?

  • Pitlove

    Hi haleycookie-

    A lot of companies offer programs to pet store employees where they can get a free bag of food a month, not just Royal Canin and Hills. Fromm, NutriSource and Zignature do as well just to name a few. The idea is that if you’ve tried the product yourself and your pet does well on the product, you are more likely to recommend it.

    As far as the prices go with prescription diets, there is a reason for this. These diets are back by heaps of research and research costs money. Not to mention in some cases like that of Royal Canin Select Protein diets, RC shuts their plant down for 8 hours to sterilize the machines that process the food after each run to prevent cross contamination of proteins. This is time consuming and costly for RC to do, but they have a commitment to producing a truly pure product for food sensitive dogs. OTC foods don’t receive this kind of treatment. When more than 25 different brands of LID commercial diets were tested all tested positive for other proteins not listed on the bag of food.

    Also, lets not forget that the ingredient list tells us nothing about the quality of the food. Prescription diets appear as though they are exactly like their commercial counterparts only to the novice pet owner. For example, Hills K/D probably looks like many foods you sell where you work, but it is very different because it does not have to comply with AAFCO nutrient profiles since it is intended to manage kidney disease. The protein is lower than the AAFCO min and so are other mineral levels like phosphorus. All things vital for managing KD.

    All of these diets are based on the science based research you encourage owners to seek.

  • anon101

    Hi, JAMS
    I appreciate your posts. A lot of folks just don’t get it. They think Dr Google is research.
    All you can do is continue to try to enlighten people, maybe someone and their pet will be helped.

  • sharron

    i don’t consider myself dumb, i feed RC to my dog because she does really well on it, i have fed her other brands of dog food that she either doesn’t like or they didn’t agree with her. Right now she’s on RC Mobility Support due to her chronic arthritis

  • haleycookie

    You seem really convinced everyone gets their prescription dog food online lol. While that method has raised in popularity it’s only been that way for 5-8 years maybe at the most. And the majority of people I talk to everyday still buy their insanely over priced bags of corn from their vet. Not only that whenever I’m in for check ups on my animals I see people come in and out in and out to pick up their dog’s food. Also I’ve had vet techs and vets come into my store quite upset and visibility angry that their “free dog and cat food wasn’t sent to them on time” from hills or royal canin so they have to come into the store and purchase a bag themselves lol. believe me the majority of vets get very nice kick backs from company’s like hills and royal. Royal canin is by far one of the most over priced dog foods I’ve ever seen. I absolutely refuse to recommend it to anyone because it is at the quality of dog chow but for some reason is 73$ for a 30 lbs bag or 20$ for a 2lbs bag, that’s amazing to me 10$ a pound lol and for something that starts with by pruducts, corn gluten, and wheat as the first ingredients with no actually meat in it. It’s interesting how these companies and vets will push these absolutely garbage food that cost an arm and a leg onto dumb people who think they have to spend that much money when there are much healthier (and much much cheaper) alternatives if they just took the time to get a second opinion or do some science based research themselves.

  • JAMS

    You “believe.” They study. Therein lies the difference. You’re “bluntly” suggesting that a dog with a Dx of CHF be switched from a vet-prescribed food to something unspecified, because you feel it’s a racket. And by the way, most clients buy Rx food via third-party sites, and thus the vet sees no profit.

  • JAMS

    Seriously, you’re dishing out dangerous advice. You seem to feel that common sense has dictated that high-protein diets are best for critters with renal failure, when anyone who’s taken college-level Physiology — not to mention someone who’s gone through med/vet school — would know otherwise. Don’t tell people to ignore their vets’ advice — especially when it comes to something as serious as renal failure.

  • JAMS

    Most vets make no profit off these food because their clients purchase them from third-party vendors who offer the same food at a cheaper price, with free shipping, autorenewal, greater flavor variety, etc.

    “People,” including veterinary professionals, believe in this food ’cause the health outcomes are supported by research, research, and more research, as opposed to the feelings of disgruntled pet-parents who read somewhere that grain is bad.

  • JAMS

    Because, assuming you have a trustworthy/competent vet, s/he put your dog on an Rx food for a reason… e.g., renal disease, IBD. Your feelings about the main ingredient is inconsequential so long as it fixes the disease.

    These days tons of clients buy their Rx food from third-party online retailers (e.g.,, so most vets have no financial motive in recommending an Rx food.

  • JAMS

    Hydrolyzed food — whether meat or grain or anything else — is broken down into oligo/di/monopeptides, and as such your pet’s GI tract won’t have an adverse reaction to the ingredients. That’s the basis of the hydrolyzed diet — it’s easily digested by the small bowel and thus prevents inflammation/allergy in sensitive patients.

  • JAMS

    Then her dog didn’t need hydrolyzed. But if your dog/cat does (I have one of each), these Rx foods can be lifesaving. I tried “limited ingredient” and “novel protein” foods before switching them to hydrolyzed, but over time my dog became allergic to each new meat source, and my kitty had the runs every day of her life till we got her on Hills z/d.

  • JAMS

    So you’re picking a fight about vet nutrition, with someone you presume to be a veterinarian, based on your feelings? Do you suggest kids forgo vaccines and cancer patients substitute chemo for accupuncture? You’re giving pet-parents dangerous advice based on your feelings and your web-browsing of alternative pet-food pushers.

  • JAMS

    They lived longer because the “breed standards” did not call for the inbred, sickly pedigrees we have today. Dogs who’re fed a balanced, regulated diet live longer, and Rx diets can cure a slew of health problems… Table scraps may be fine, since canine nutrition is similar to human requirements, but they will promote neither longevity nor healing of medical conditions like IBD, pancreatitis, etc. And garlic, onion, seasoning — not to mention bones, of course — can cause problems for dogs.

    Sometimes progress is progress, and sometimes it’s legitimate. I get that there’s a strong distrust when it comes to veterinary medicine and nutrition and commercial food, and it’s good to keep informed (especially since foods are often subject to recall, which’s scary), but I recommend reading the recommendations of board-certified vet nutritionists, as opposed to the ramblings of people whose guts tell them their knowledge is superior when it comes to pet food.

  • JAMS

    Point is reiterated.

  • JAMS

    So glad your guy’s doing well… These Rx foods are incredible. Do you do a wet and dry combo? If not, maybe he’d be interested in whichever type he’s not getting regularly — e.g., a sprinkle of dry in his wet food or a spoonful of wet in his kibble. I have a kitty on hydrolyzed so I’ll sometimes coax my pup into eating her RoyalCanin HP kibble by adding a dollop of apparently-irresistible cat food… Ask your vet, of course — for his/her opinion as well as an Rx or a few sample-cans of kitty food. If you think there’s a good chance the sensitivity was meat-related (most are), maybe try mixing in some low-cal/fat/sodium cheese, like a bit of parmesan. A suggestion that I’d thought sounded good but my pup didn’t go for was to buy a bag of bonito (AKA tuna) flakes and sprinkle some in with the meal… She doesn’t like the taste of fish and thus it had the opposite affect, but fish is usually pretty benign on dogs’ tummies, and thus a pinch of bonito flakes — a brand with no added salt, etc. — could be something to try (and if you do, order a bag online or find one at Whole Foods, an Asian grocery, etc., ’cause the stuff that’s part of Japanese cuisine is the same as what you’ll find at pet stores but about one-quarter of the price)…

  • Susan LaFountaine

    I completely and totally agree!! I tried so many different “High Quality” foods on my Rottie pup with severe GI issues in an attempt to avoid the vet prescription food. Oh boy did he suffer! Finally, I decided to go with the hydrolyzed protein Royal Canin, and in just over a week I have seen such a difference! He has visibly gained weight, has not had any vomiting or diarrhea, and is so much happier. He is starting to show a dis-interest in the food however, and that is worrying me because he is out of options. I am hoping that this will pass because he is doing so well on this food. All I can say is thank goodness there is companies out there that make these prescription foods! They saved my pups life!

  • JAMS

    Do you realize you’ve got too much time on your hands?

    I was replying to a 4-month-old post that was a reply directly to me.

  • JAMS

    My baby-girl’s picky too :-/
    Unfortunately the only way to get ’em to eat stuff they don’t wanna eat is to wrap it in the stuff they can’t eat 🙁

  • Linda Larose

    Thank you so much for the reply. We’ve been making their food for about two months and buying vitamin supplements to ensure it is balanced, but I’m still not sure that it is. Plus, standing in the kitchen for two hours a weekend in the same position is killing my back. I’ve got an appointment with my vet on Monday. I will ask about Royal Canin prescriptions then. Unfortunately, I could be seeing seasonal allergies and incorrectly associating then with when he’s had beef. I’m pretty sure it is the beef though.

    Thanks again for the reply. And if you have any thoughts on getting a dog to eat something they’re not totally happy with, feel free to share that too. 🙂

  • InkedMarie

    Do you realize you are responding to a 5 year old post?

  • JAMS

    They need a meat-based diet but they may need tweaking to the diet — e.g., hydrolyzed for GI issues, acidic for urinary crystals. Prescription food saves lives… If us humans could get lab-made prescription food to suit our uniquely-fucked-up bodies we’d be much better off.

  • JAMS

    Actually that’s what we’re taught in VETERINARY (i.e., DVM) school as well, and that’s absolutely correct. Companion animals’ GI issues are most often caused by meat proteins, and the grain-free stuff is analogous to the gluten-free fad. Wolves live, on average, to be 6 years old. Like how cavemen lived to be — what, 35? — and were tiny in stature compared to 21st-Century humans. There’s science and scientific studies and then there’s what your gut tells you sounds right… I’d go with the former.

  • JAMS

    You’re basing this on Google — listen to your vet and don’t waste time with silliness about grain and soy, ’cause it’s meat that causes the most GI problems in cats/dogs. Dogs are not wolves, and — guess what? — wolves’ average age at death is SIX. Raw meat is not only lacking in nutrients but can be dangerous — really, really dangerous — for babies, the elderly, and immunocompromised adults who’re unfortunate enough to be exposed to their Salmonella-infested saliva/stool.

  • JAMS

    Sadly, you can never know what’s in your dog’s food — even so-called “limited ingredient” formulas by high-end companies (e.g., Blue Buffalo) — unless it’s prescription. A lot of people will tell you to go with raw, which is not “complete and balanced (i.e., your pup won’t get the right nutrients), or grain-free, which is a big fad in the pet-food industry and is analogous to our society’s current obsession with gluten-free foods. Meat and meat byproducts — particularly those proteins, like chicken and beef, that find their way into all/most store-brand recipes — cause tons of GI and dermatologic issues in cats and dogs, which’s why many (my pets included) do well on prescription diets. My dog is sensitive (diarrhea at worst, red/inflamed sphincter at best) to all meat, and has thrived on RoyalCanin’s “HP” (hydrolyzed protein) kibble. My female kitty had chronic runs (always in the box, praise the Lawd) till she went on Hills’ “i/d” formula; we tried “z/d,” a step up for a highly-sensitive tummy, but it made no difference and was pricier, so we went back to “i/d.” Male kitty’s got FLUTD — Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease — which means he can get life-threatening urethral blockages; he’s on Hills’ “c/d” (for urinary disease) and hasn’t had a blockage since he switched to this formula. Don’t let people dissuade you from going with these highly-processed commercial foods — these prescription formulas can and do save lives. If your guy’s still suffering, I highly recommend a hydrolyzed kibble… Despite the vet bill for the script and the (slightly) higher cost, it’s totally worth it to get their bowels under control.

  • Veronika

    That’s like saying we can’t judge our own food and we need a specialist to tell us what to eat lol, I’m pretty sure we don’t, unless we have certain ailments that require careful diet planning and even then you can get that info for free on the internet haha

  • Susan

    Hi Al you don’t have to be a vet nutritionist to read an ingredient list & rate wet & dry pet foods…
    A good quality food should have at least 2 to 5 meat proteins as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th ingredient then a carbohydrate….Here’s an example, Chicken, Chicken meal, turkey meal, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, peas, potato, chicken fat, natural flavor….
    Now when you read a vet diet Purina EN for Intestinal stress the first ingredient is Brewers rice, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, chicken meal, animal fat, (doesn’t say what type of animal the fat came from) coconut oil… other brand vet diets are starting to improve their vet diet formula’s cause their profit margin has dropped…. The internet & people like Rodney Habib & Dr Karen Becker are exposing these big companies & saying “hey we want better quality foods for our sick pets, they’re sick why put crappy ingredients in vet diets…you would think sick pets would get really good quality foods but no that’s when these big companies know we have a sick pet & we believe our vet would know best but it’s sad most vets don’t even know what is in some of these vet diets that they recommend….
    If you feed a vet diet do your research, does your dog have to stay on the vet diet, can he eat a home cooked balanced diet or a premium pet food…
    some vet diets are a bit better then other brand vet diets, try & feed wet tin food or feed both wet & dry formula’s, the wet tin formula’s seem to have better ingredients….

  • Al

    Since no one in your staff is a vet, how can you judge different foods?

  • Susan

    Hi there’s also “Sport Dog Elite Series” Whitefish, it’s potato free, gluten free, no beef, no chicken, no eggs, no corn, no wheat, no peas, soy or rice, no canola oil & no beet pulp or pomace…

  • Linda Larose

    Thank you for your quick reply! I’m currently feeding my dog with allergies Zignature dry dog food with raw food topper. I think it is beef that he is allergic to because his symptoms (itchy red spots, red paws, etc) were the worst when I was feeding him a raw beef diet. I went to a prescription diet after that that he did well on, but I really want to feed him something with more natural ingredients, so Zignature is currently an experiment. He seems to be doing okay, but his face has been itchy. I can’t tell if it is related. I did try some limited ingredient foods that he wouldn’t touch, but I will take a look at the ones you suggested. I will also email the companies I’m looking at because although I have created a pretty extensive list of foods and ingredients in the foods, I don’t know if maybe there is beef hidden in any of the listed ingredients.

  • Susan

    Hi Linda, email the kibble company & ask them any question you have & if the kibble or wet tin food has preservatives, it will say it on the ingredient list…. What food are you feeding at the moment?.. If your dog has food sensitivities the best to feed is an elimination diet that’s either cooked or raw elimination diet, this way you work out what foods your dog is sensitive too, if you don’t want to cook or do raw diet then try a vet diet like the “Royal Canin” line, Potato & Salmon PS or Potato & Venison PV or Potato & Rabbit PR or the R/C Hydrolysed HP, then when dog is stable on vet diet & has no diarrhea, sloppy poos, gas/farts, vomiting, itchy skin, red paws, yeasty smelly skin etc you can add 1 new ingredient to it’s diet, you only add 1 new ingredient for 6 weeks…. it can take from 1 day to 6 weeks to show symptoms to food sensitivities….. if you don’t want to feed a vet diet then look at kibbles with limited ingredients the less ingredients the better.. Fish kibble are best to start with. Salmon or Whitefish etc
    There’s “California Natural” they have kibbes with just 3 ingredients.
    There’s “Canidae” pure formulas.
    There’s “Taste Of The Wild”

  • Linda Larose

    I’m struggling with what to feed my dog right now because of the ingredients. I think my dog is allergic to beef. I’m trying out another food now that I think my dog might be allergic to, but I don’t see any beef in the ingredients. How do you tell if the preservatives are made with those types of things?

  • Juno DiVentura

    I would change vets, too. My dog’s paw licking and skin issues cleared up in four days with a change in diet. If nothing is changing, change treatment or change vets.

  • JAMS

    Vets get almost no training in nutrition, so it’s always good (money-permitting) to seek the advice of a vet nutritionist–i.e., a DVM who’s done a residency in and is board-certified in Nutrition (NOT a holistic shopkeeper… I know raw is all the rage but, seriously, your critter can spread the bacteria to humans, and anyone immunocompromised, including babies and older adults, is susceptible).

    Other thing about the Rx diets is that they’re (often) HYDROLYZED–chemically broken down with water molecules to make short-chain oligopeptides from long-chain polypeptides, which will not create an inflammatory response in the critter’s intestines.

    I too struggle with the creepy ingredients, but I’ve seen such a change in my baby-girl since she’s been on z/d over the last week. Cleared up her diarrhea, stopped her butt-munching, and, for the first time in her 2 years, she seems to enjoy eating DOG (as opposed to cat and/or human) food. (Downside: I’ll now have to monitor my previously-intuitive-eater!) But, as someone else mentioned on this thread, only Rx-diets are guaranteed to have truly limited-ingredients; I was horrified to learn that the limited-ingredient kangaroo I’ve been feeding her likely has preservatives made from chicken and beef–her nemeses.

    Point: Between the hydrolysis and the truly-limited-ingredients, don’t ignore the vet’s advice just ’cause the ingredients look scary. But keep in mind that an average DVM’s knowledge of nutrition is limited, and Vet Nutritionists will often do Skype/phone consultations.

  • Mayra Moreno

    Hello, my Min Pin had gallbladder mucocele and had to had an emergency surgery to remove it. However, he got complicated with pancreatitis and was hospitalized for three days. He was five when this happened and now, he is ten. The specialist prescribed Royal Canine Gastrointestinal low fat and that is what he has been eating ever since. So far, so good. We don’t give him anything outside of his food and has to take a medicine called Ursodiol due to the absence of the gallbladder, since this medication decreases the amount of cholesterol in bile and bile stones and reduces the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed from food. My little Snoopy is a happy dog, that’s why I follow to the letter the doctor’s indications.

  • Kricket

    I am so glad that you posted this. My Little Shih tzu is prone to crystal stones and UTI’s and I had no choice to put her on Hill’s Prescription SD and then CD she has been on it for a year now and the ingredients are just terrible and I have tried and tried to find a dog food to substitute her prescription food. I have also been using distilled water for over a year. I have also rotated using Bragg’s Apple cider vinegar and recently I have tried Amber Colloidal Silver and have also had great results with these for helping me keep the UTI’s and Crystal stones at bay. But I also give her probiotics to help replace the good bacteria because the Colloidal silver does not know the difference in good bacteria and bad it gets rid of it all. So I have managed to keep her out of surgeries and healthy rotating my all natural remedies, lol. But I am still so very concerned with getting her off of this Prescription diet. Ash percentage isn’t on the dog foods, so I have to call and ask. Most that answer the phone for the Company have no clue what Ash is, lol. With my own studies, I think I have come up with, that fish dog food tends to be higher in Ash and Lamb seems to be lower in Ash. do you know, How much Ash percentage is in the Kirkland Natures Domain Turkey and Pea Stew? The softer foods are easier for her, she was a a rescue abused and neglected, so she is missing some teeth. Thank you for any info, that you can share Nancy!

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    Add water to every meal, take out for frequent bathroom breaks, opportunities to urinate. I would comply with the prescription food recommended by the veterinarian that has examined and is treating the dog.
    If you are feeding kibble, you can pre-soak with water overnight in the fridg…keep the bladder flushed. I just use tap water and this method worked.

  • Nancy Allred

    Just a note from my experience ….. I have a miniature Schnauzer who had constant UTIs and crystals in her bladder. She was on the prescribed Hills diet-can’t even remember the name-maybe the CD…for a few years but she still had crystals. After a very expensive surgery to have an extremely large one removed, I decided the Hills was clearly not working for her. Another disadvantage to this food is that it is high in fat…not good for Schnauzer’s who are more prone to pancreatitis. Long story short…..I did a lot of research and questioning. I read how distilled water is given to cats who develop crystals. I asked my vet, whom I love, about this. She said there hadn’t been studies in dogs with distilled water but it might be worth a try. I have been giving her nothing but distilled water for two years now…..not a single infection or crystal in that time. She had blood work done last month as a follow up to be certain she was okay after a minor bout of pancreatitis (she got into some puppy food which is high in fat)and the vet said she didn’t know what I was feeding but to keep it up, as her blood work was perfect! I’ve been happy with Kirkland Healthy Weight dry, canned Kirkland Natures Domain Turkey and Pea Stew, and distilled water!
    Check it out maybe.

  • Susan

    Hi Morgan, my boy suffers with IBD (Colitis) with Colitis your dog is sensitive to certain foods & you have to work out which foods they’re…..My boy can’t eat chicken, corn, barley, corn gluten meal & maize most ingredients in vet diets, after 2-3 yrs I finally try Taste Of The Wild, Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb & finally he’s doing firm poos & no more food sensitivities. Have a look at “Californian Natural” Lamb Meal & Rice it has just 3 ingredients, dogs with IBD do well on the California Natural limited ingredient kibbles & the Taste Of The Wild, Pacific Stream Smoked Salmon & the Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb, these kibbles just have the 1 protein & are chicken free & have limited ingredients…always slowly introduce a new kibble I use to take 2 weeks..

  • dgjenkins

    I’m having allergy issues myself with my girl right now. My girl wasn’t confirmed to have chicken and beef allergies but suspected. I am currently working with a holistic vet who told me unless it’s Rx food, it could have chicken in it. Even the rabbit I have been feeding. Which explains why I’ve gotten about 75% improvement but not totally resolved the itchy toes and mouth issue. This vet says the reason for this is the manufacturer does not clean the machines between different proteins. So, if they ran chicken food thru then followed with rabbit there would still be some bit of chicken that could be in the rabbit. She said there are no regulations on this and the ONLY way you can assure you are getting a single protein is to feed a RX diet or make their food yourself. She said the rx food is specific to that single protein. It’s regulated. So, your vet probably doesn’t mean for your dog to ever be off that diet for that reason.

    Now, you could do what I did and just get a single protein food like rabbit, venison or fish from a high quality manufacturer and try that. I did and have had 75% improvement. I am in the process of researching this Royal Canin Allergy Food in Rabbit which is the protein I currently feed. I would like to get more relief for my girls allergies so I was considering trying it.

    My holistic vet said she has worked with the University of TN vet school and they tested many commercial brands that were limited protein and found chicken and beef in every single one of them!! So there you go. It makes sense that in manufacturing you would not have a single machine for chicken, a single machine for rabbit, etc. she also said that you will not get 100% improvement if you give ANY bites of chicken or beef. She said even a little bite of chicken off your plate at dinner is enough to cause itching. So there you go. We are left with only Rx food or making their food ourselves. And I don’t know about you but I won’t be out hunting rabbits, deer or kangaroo anytime soon! I, personally, an at a crossroads. I will either stay the course I’m on and continue with the Wild Callings Rabbit and realize she’s still going to itch a bit and only be 75% improved or I will try the Royal Canin Limited Protein Rabbit. I’m not sure what I will do yet.

  • dgjenkins

    My girl has chronic colitis. She was tests at UT Vet School and found to have a genetic predisposition for it. I was feeding Natures Variety canned chicken until I discovered my girl was allergic to chicken. Then I switched to Wild Callings Rabbit canned and mixed in a few kibbles of Acana Duck and Bartlett Pear. I tried to feed raw but she wouldn’t eat it. She prefers kibble but I wanted her as close to a raw diet as I could get and this was it. The rabbit has a high fat content so I’m investigating another protein like venison or buffalo or kangaroo now. Her colitis and the allergies make her a bit of a special case. But I will tell you this…

    On this diet my girl had not had a single colitis attack in nearly a year and a half! Then, my dog food store was it of the Acana Duck and I thought I’d just get a small bag of chicken. After all, she had never been confirmed to be allergic to chicken and I was just giving her a few kibbles at each meal. As soon as I did that she had a colitis attack! First one in a year and a half. So it was either due to her allergy to chicken or the fact that I didn’t switch her slowly. I know, especially with colitis, you MUST switch slowly. But I thought since I used the same brand and was only doing a few kibbles, Id be fine. Not so! So, my advice would be to try to switch over to a different protein, VERY SLOWLY! There are many high quality foods you can find on here and if you baby isn’t allergy sensitive like mine then you will have lots of other proteins to try. I would just avoid chicken and beef and see what happens.

    Now, for the BEST part of this whole thing!!! About two years ago I think I found the CURE to my girls colitis! Since I had adopted her she had soft poo daily!!! Every day!!! She was difficult to get to eat because her tummy hurt. And there would be about four full blown colitis attacks per year where the poo would be totally runny and Id have to go to the vet. Theyd do metronidazole and probiotic powder and shed eventually get to the point where she was over the runny poo and back to just soft poo. But NEVER normal poo.

    So, after one particular attack I said ENOUGH! I researched online and found someone who gave their colitis dog slippery elm gravy. They gave the recipe. So I decided to try it. Within two days my girl had normal, formed poo for the first time I had her!!! Probably ever!!! Needless to say, I was thrilled. I gave her two teaspoons (she’s 22 lbs) twice a day with her food. She ate it right up. Now, my picky eater is NOT a picky eater! She loves to eat and finishes her plate instantly! I gave it her her daily for a year. Then I started slacking off a bit and just watching her poo. If I see even the slightest bit of non-formed poo I go straight back to the slippery elm gravy and she’s fine. With this regimen I have not had a single colitis attack!!! It’s a miracle!!! Not vet med had EVER given that kind of result.

    Now for the recipe:

    Slippery Elm Gravy

    1 heaping teaspoon slippery elm powder
    12 ounces filtered water

    Stir slippery elm powder into 12 ounces of water in a pot until smooth. There can be some tiny lumps so I use a fork to stir them out. Put on stove and bring just to a boil. The moment it begins to boil set a timer for 15-20 minutes and reduce heat to low. Just simmer on low, stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes. Once time is up just store this broth in the fridge for up to two weeks. I use a mason jar to store mine in. And this amount will not last you two weeks. You just have to make a new batch when you run out.

    Once cool enough, you can give some to your dog right away. 2 tablespoons full. It’s not a bad tastes cause my girl seems to like it with no problems. Just mix in a spoon full of wet food and they’ll gobble it up. If you do this at feeding time I just put the two tablespoons of slippery elm gravy onto her plate, mix a spoon full of wet food with it then add her other food on top. She eats it all and licks her plate clean. Works perfectly. I feed her twice per day so she gets slippery elm twice a day. You can give it up to 4 times daily if they’re having a bad attack. I would do this a while before skipping any slippery elm doses. I planned on giving it to her daily but got lazy one week and didn’t make it and my girl stayed the same. So that’s when I decided Id just keep a close eye on the poo and give it to her if I noticed any soft poo. I usually make a batch a month to give her just as maintence now. And, of course more if I see any changes in poo. This, literally cured my girl!!!

    I get my slippery elm powder at a local healthfood store. It’s Frontier Brand. You can order it online. Just make sure you are getting slippery elm powder and not slippery elm bark. The powder is totally ground up like flour. Whereas the bark has bits of bark in it. I’ve used both to make the gravy but you have to strain off the bark. It’s a pain. So just get the fully ground up powder.

    If you choose to switch food, make sure you do the slippery elm and do it very slowly, giving mostly the current food initially and over a couple of weeks or more slowly adding a bit of the new food until you’ve totally switched. Watch the poo the whole time! It may even take longer than a couple weeks if you notice soft poo. But if you’re doin the slippery elm, you’ll prob be fine. You could stay on that food but for me, I believe since my girl may be allergic to chicken getting her off it helped. And of course the slippery elm is miraculous! Good luck with your baby! Hope this helps you like it did me!

  • KcQ8ov

    Maybe this blog will help clarify some things
    The best thing you can do for crystals/bladder stones is increase water intake, add water to meals and offer frequent bathroom breaks, opportunities to urinate. There is nothing wrong with prescription food, it has helped many dogs.
    Go to the forums section at this site and search “allergies”

  • Katherine Shade

    I have the same problem right now with my little guy! I’m so lost with the whole situation:(

  • Kristi Diaz

    Sensitive stomachs in dogs is a tough problem to handle! What kind of dog do you have? Are you still on Royal Canin?

  • Morgan Anderson

    My poor pup has colitis and her vet put her on Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Fiber Response. I’ve never been comfortable with the lack of quality ingredients in the food. Does anyone have other recommendations that would work for her sensitive tummy? I asked him about options but he absolutely refused to identify any stating that Royal Canin is one of the best brands available.

  • Lori Johnston

    My dog has been diagnosed with a crystal/stone in his bladder. He had surgery for this 3 years ago and the vet prescribed Hilll’s Science Diet, which I took him off of after maybe a year. I disliked what I read about it. I put him on a natural foods diet, aided with Cornucopia wet food. Given that he’s developed another crystal/stone, he needs a second surgery and the vet says he cannot eat as I’ve been feeding him. She suggested Royal Canin, Iams or perhaps Purina, who is coming out with prescription food specific to ph levels. Any advice? I’m not sure what to trust. Thanks in advance.

  • Leslie Celia

    change vets