You contact me and ask me can I help. You begin to list his symptoms. He has a recurring, skin or gut condition. He’s on fire, nibbling his paws. He may have recurring ear infections or weepy eyes. Or he has constantly sloppy bowel movements which will stink to high heaven. Over time they can develop into anal gland issues. Or he has a mix of all the above.
You have tried everything and received a number of different diagnoses including dermatitis on the skin or irritable bowel / colitis gut. You have been given a list of potential allergens, flea bites and dust mites are a favourite. Ironically you have probably been recommended to move to the dog to some plain chicken and rice while the “right bag of dry food” is found. You are terribly concerned for your dog’s prospects. You have spent a fortune and you are at your wit’s end.
You are another victim of “food allergies” in dogs!!
Food Intolerance in Dogs
Your dog is eating something that is not agreeing with him. The immune system that patrols the gut sees a protein it doesn’t like and sends out the troops. Once all the “baddies” are rounded up they need to be ejected from the body. The bum is a common exit point but so is the skin (zit-like pustules, itchiness), ears (dark brown, smelly wax), eyes (weepy) and mouth / nose (phlegm).
Vitally your dog is experiencing a food sensitivity or intolerance - it’s not an allergy of any sort. It’s a similar beast, but because it involves the immune system, it’s slower and often slips under the radar. If your dog has a food intolerance to something it eats every day, their immune system will be constantly harassed and under pressure and will eventually tire out. It can go one of two ways, hyper-responsive (where it screams “if one more thing bothers me I am going to FREAK out”) or hypo-responsive (it lays down and disease is free to set in). Whichever occurs its bad news for your dog. The last thing your dog needs is to be doused with chemicals, depleting their immune system even more.
The Top 3 Causes
Wheat (wheat-based dry food, dental sticks, bread, pasta) - The problem is gluten (the clue is in the name… Glue!) It’s very hard to break down in the gut and 30% of humans still can’t digest it properly. Your dog is a carnivore and has only been eating it for 50 years! It is the number one cause of food intolerance in dogs and its removal cures the majority of cases.
Chicken or beef (and possibly all red meats, a result of the highly processed gunk used in dry food) – You don’t want to know what they do to chicken and beef that is used in dog food. Suffice to say by the time this “chicken” and “beef” reach the dogs intestines it does not resemble real chicken and beef. Moreover it’s hard to digest.
Chemicals - all the stuff you can’t pronounce in the dry food ingredients (if you can’t pronounce it don’t feed it!) but also neurotoxic chemical flea treatments, heavy wormers and needless annual boosters
Establish a Base Diet
A base diet is simply one food that you know you can put into your dog and he will not get his symptoms. It is a platform from which you can build. Choose either of the following, which are brilliantly nutritious and as close to a hypoallergenic as possible:
Diet 1: 70% Fresh duck mince with bone in it, 30% cooked veg and Cod Liver Oil tablets (1000mg tab per 10kg of body weight)
Diet 2: 70% Fresh Turkey, 30% Sweet Potato (boiled, skin on), Cod Liver Oil tablets (1000mg tab per 10kg of body weight).
Diet 3: 80% Oily Fish (sardine, sprat, salmon), 20% Brown Rice (boiled).
Feed Nothing else. Not a treat. Nothing! You should see a very noticeable if not total recovery from his conditions within two or three days. If no noticeable improvement after 7 days, try one of the others. When you find one that works, stick with it. This is your base diet, somewhere you can take a breath, his symptoms disappear and vitally a diet you can to should it all kick off again later on. It’s his safe diet.
Find the Culprit(s) and Cut Out All the Junk, Put in Some Fresh Ingredients. Simple!
For a while you need to trial an Exclusion Diet and then test your dog with a new protein each week and watch for a reaction. If his symptoms come back then you may have one of a possible few culprits.
Note: It is important to keep up whatever pills you have been prescribed for the short term. Finish any course of antibiotics. You can start to come off steroid or NSAID tablets from day 3.
Starve For a Meal (Pups) or Two (Adults) this will purge his gut of the possible junk inside. Don’t feed him and leave him out fresh, boiled but cooled water with a pinch of sugar and salt in it.
Day 2 – 7: Establish Base Diet:
One diet may work well for some and worse for others so give one a go for a week
Days 8 – 14: Continue on Base Diet but add in the following nutritional extras:
Kelp – brilliant antioxidant, can be used beside garlic, it will help purge nasties from your dogs system
Golden Paste: (Turmeric and black pepper cooked with coconut oil) – possible the worlds strongest natural anti-inflammatory. 1/2tsp per 10kg of body weight
Day 14 Onwards: Challenge with One New Protein Each Week!
After a period of good health you should add a little pinch of raw beef mince to his new diet for three days in a row, then stop and watch. You are waiting for his symptoms to return. It may take a day or two or maybe therefore his body to let you know the latest addition is not tolerated (hence we test one protein per week) but not much more than that. If you spot a reaction, make a note and return him to his baseline diet for a week to recoup. Then you must test again. Test all the major meat groups first – beef, chicken, lamb, duck, turkey, fish, pork, eggs, rice, different veg.
Never ever test wheat, assume it is the problem. It has no place in the feeding of carnivores
In addition to this diet, I would also highly recommend providing your dog with additional herbal support for both their immune system and general nutritional/digestion support - this would include the like of flax, spirulina, marshmallow root, licorice root etc. For further advice and guidance on this, or for a bespoke tonic, please contact me directly.