Dog Food for Skin Allergies?
For the past 6 years I have been receiving requests for what we call, “Menu Consultations.” Many of these emails are from pet parents with cats or dogs with complicated health issues, wondering if a balanced raw diet will help. While not a vet, I find that a fresh raw diet is usually a great addition to your dog or cat’s healthy lifestyle.
So, why “Ask Darwin’s?” Simple. Simple answers to simple questions, like:
- Why does my dog have loose stool all the time?
- Why my cat’s eyes water?
- Why does my dog drink so much water?
And the most asked question:
Can the dog food I feed affect my dog’s skin allergies?
This first column will answer that last question, from a recent email from a dog lover who found too much general info and not enough specifics online.
Menu Consultant for Darwin’s Natural Pet Products
“My Labradoodle, Angie is a 5year old active dog. Unfortunately, she has a constant rash on her tummy and between her toes. She is constantly chewing her front paws and scratching her ears until they bleed. I have heard that many dogs are allergic to grass, their environment, grains, chicken, beef and even gluten. I have gotten so many suggestions, I really don’t know what to do. Help!”
Barbara M – Secaucus, NJ
While dog skin allergies are pretty common, the reason is not always clear.
Thanks so much for your great question. Believe me, we understand how overwhelming online information can be. I always say, “You ask ten people (best friends or vets) nutritional questions, you’ll get ten different suggestions.”
These 2 types of dog food, regardless of the brand, reputation, or cost have preservatives.
While changing Angie’s diet was the right thing, my guess would be that you were still feeding a dry (kibble) or canned, which has preservatives. Think about it; if it lives on a shelf there has to be some sort of “something” in it or on it to keep it from going bad. Speaking of going bad, parents of big dogs will often buy the larger eco- bag to save money. Unfortunately there have been reports that the bottom 1/8 of these jumbo bags will have mites. You also need to check the expiration date. Just because it expires next Tuesday doesn’t mean it hasn’t been on the shelf for more than six months to even a year.
Feed clean fresh raw food to help skin allergies; fresh being the operative word.
Raw food is frozen, preservative-free and if you buy from the right company there will be a manufacturers date on the pack – so you know how when it was fresh packed. Transition Angie slowly and if these conditions are allergies (which I highly suspect they are) in just a few weeks you should see a marked difference.
More on Dog Food for Skin Allergies
Hope this helps.