Diet/allergies Diet

Discussion in 'General Dog Chat' started by Lauraxo, Mar 10, 2022.

  1. Lauraxo

    Lauraxo New Member

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    Diet/allergies

    Hello all, im coming to you for a bit of advice and guidance in relation to allergies in dogs and the best diet for my girl.

    I am concerned my shih-tzu coco has allergies.
    In the last couple of weeks coco has started to itch her ears, lick her back paws to get them wet enough to itch her ears and sneeze, she does have watery eyes now and again.

    Despite the sneezing etc she is so super happy, playful, not lethargic, loves her food and loves a cuddle. She is walking perfect, drinking and going to the toilet so although i want to get to the bottom of this im not concerned she is super unwell.

    Coco had the kennel cough spritz up the nose a couple of weeks ago, this was the first time she had it.. her old owners didn’t vaccinate or anything so she came to me with no vaccinations etc.

    In relation to her diet:
    She came to me on wet food and never had a set diet, the old owner would just buy her whichever food was on offer at the time and mix james well-beloved wet pouches in with the dry mix.
    I did a lot of research into the best foods for her in relation to protein, fats and fibre etc but found such conflicting reviews on different brands.
    After speaking with the vet and a couple of local independent pet shops, i settled on their advice and coco was moved on to ‘carnilove’ dry biscuits (something she loves!)
    Coco struggled with no wet food and as advised on ‘lily’s kitchen’ as i was sold it was organic, no badness and although more expensive than regular wet food it was better. so she currently gets ‘lily’s kitchen’ wet food mixed in; she gets the grain free and only a tea spoon per meal. I wanted to keep to the same brand but had some struggles in getting the wet ‘carnilove’ food.
    She has three melas per day from one allowance, she used to be left with a bowl full of food and when she ate it the bowl would be filled again.

    Everything we are doing is taking time and trying to help her adapt to her new diet/routine.
    She loves blueberries and carrots, she loves veggies if i have them.
    She doesn’t have many treats as i don’t know which are good natural ones, if she has a treat i stick to the ‘carnilove’ meat style bars… or a healthy snack!
    I bought her the ‘YAK’ bone at the weekend and she is super happy with it, again if this is not good please do let me know!

    I am up for advice around her diet, the best known food for shih-tzu’s or any general allergy advice.
    How would i get an allergy diagnostic for her, or are dog allergies pretty similar?
    Apologises for the questions which may seem simple to know, ive never had a dog with allergies or potential allergies before!
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  3. Chris B

    Chris B Member

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    Lauraxo likes this.
    I have a feeling we are in different countries so the brands I use probably aren't available where you are, but I'll tell you how I sorted out my girl's dietary allergies:

    First was elimination so I used Wafcol Salmon and Potato. It provided a novel protien away from meat.

    Then I tried her on Butchers wet food in with her dry and spotted that the allergies came back when she had the chicken variety and she became quite ill

    Tried a few more things, but we found she has a high intolerance to chicken

    She still has a delicate stomache, but now we've settled on a diet that really suits her. She has three meals of Wafcol and one of Butchers liver. If we deviate or try to cut down to less meals, she suffers

    If your girl is scratching, also consider environmental factors (grass) and fleas

    Hope this helps
  4. Lauraxo

    Lauraxo New Member

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    Chris B likes this.
    Thank you so much for the reply.
    I’m in the UK and have had a look at the names you have mentioned, can get it in a lot of places which is brilliant!

    She hasn’t had a chicken wet food for a couple of days and her sneezing has subsided a lot! I think im going to start the elimination process the same as you did!

    I will certainly consider environmental factors, coco is flea’d routinely.. however she is mesmerised with our house rabbit and often sits in the rabbits bedroom watching her with the upmost love.. I wonder if the hay etc is playing with her allergies because it certainly does mine!
    I usually buy the dust free cleaned bits but the boyfriend got me the wrong hay a couple of weeks ago and i have suffered with my allergies since…. Coco might be the same!

    Thank you again!
  5. David D'Angelo

    David D'Angelo New Member

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    Helidale likes this.
    Allergy tests are costly so that's a last resort. It's more a "food sensitivity" than an allergy, but from what you've said it could well be diet related.

    Other factors can be environmental, antibiotic, or vaccine related. Shih Tzus and smaller dogs are more prone to sensitivities.

    First step - make a note of the ingredients in the foods you've fed, particularly when symptoms were more prevalent.

    Watch for cereals/wheat. If that's in any of the foods (possibly James Wellbeloved dry?).

    If that's not in any of the foods then it could be chicken, beef, lamb... and if chicken be wary as many formulas which aren't chicken still contain stuff like chicken fat (or animal fat including chicken)

    Lilys Kitchen seems decent, as does carnilove. Check out Acana too which is probably sold by the same place you bought Carnilove.

    If a diet change or elimination diet helps, then a worthy step is probiotics. Big topic, but a good place to start is https://www.petfoodreviews.com.au/probiotics-for-dogs/

    Aussie site, not UK, but same principles.

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