Hi everyone! I have posted a couple times now about Frosty's mystery allergies, but I had another discussion with our vet today and I need some advice. Frosty developed a frantic itchy problem in June 2012. No idea why. Nothing changed in our home and he has been on Pedigree for his whole life (4 years). He did not have fleas, no hot spots, no skin irritation, just endless frantic scratching. We were hoping it was just caused by our super hot/dry summer (live in Iowa) and that symptoms would fade once winter got here. The vet has been giving him steroid injections to help calm the scratching/chewing, but the last one in December had absolutely no effect at all :( I have used about 5 different kinds of super strength anti-itch shampoo/conditioner on him over the last bunch of months, and the latest stuff seems to help a little bit.
Anyway, vet says shots aren't working so we have to try some way to find out what may be causing the problem. Step one is to change Frosty over to a hypo-allergenic food, or at least something without corn/wheat/chicken/beef. There is no way I can afford to buy Frosty prescription food for the rest of his life, so what I am looking for are food recommendations for something that does not contain the above ingredients. I can not afford Wellness, its just too much. Does anyone have recommendations for something a little bit less expensive? I had thought maybe Blue or Taste of the Wild, but haven't looked at their ingredients yet. I live in podunk Iowa in the back of nowhere, so I don't have any big pet outlets near me to get food, just one TSC farm store. If necessary, I guess I can always order food online.
So if you have any recommendations, I would be super greatful. Thanks in advance!
Chris and Frosty
I think Iam's does a new food with limited ingredients for sensitive skin? It should be easy to find and at a cheaper price point.
The non-vitamin/mineral ingredients are:
Ocean Fish, Brewers Rice, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Fish Meal (source of fish oil), Ground Whole Grain Barley, Animal Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Dried Egg Product, Dried Beet Pulp, Fish Digest, Brewers Dried Yeast,
The unnamed animal fat makes me go "ick" but they are a company with a solid reputation.
I'm not sure how Taste of the Wild compares, as far as price goes, to what you currently buy, but my two sure do love it. Both the Pacific Stream (salmon) and Sierra Mountain (lamb) formulas are free of grains, chicken and beef. Online it seems that the average price is around $2 per pound of dry dog food. I'm not sure what we pay at our local store as we haven't had to purchase any more recently.
I have my two on TOTW as well. Right now we bought a 30lb bag of the Sierra Mountain formula (lamb) and cost me about $50. The 15lb bag at my local feed store goes at around $30 so it isn't too bad considering it can last me about a month for both of my corgis.
I believe TOTW to be a good grain free food at a decent price compared to a few others on the market.
I did a quick check, but looks like it's going to be US$1.50 to $3 per pound for most hypoallergenic food if you buy the largest bag.
These are online prices as of right now. Some sites offer free shipping which may help with the lack of pet stores in your area.
BLUE Basics™ Grain-Free Turkey & Potato Recipe Food for Dogs $54.99/24lbs = $2.29/lb
Wellness® CORE® Grain Free Ocean Formula Dog Food $63.99/26lbs = $2.46/lb
Taste of the Wild High Prairie - Roasted Bison & Venison $48.99/30lbs = $1.63/lb
IAMS® Sensitive Naturals Dog Food $33.98/22lbs = $1.54/lb
As I've never had Kaylee on grain-free or bought her food online I can't honestly recommend any particular food or store. We've had Kaylee on Blue Buffalo Chicken her whole life (one year) and it suits her well.
You have to be careful with the foods. For example, the High Prairie formula for Taste of the Wild actually has chicken meal in it.
Just a thought for you: do you feed him out of a stainless steel bowl? If not, switch to one.
My husband had a cat once that had HORRIBLE allergies....he'd scratch so much his fur was a matted mess of puss and scabs. I hated to even pet him, and I love animals. Anyway, he'd been tested and retested, multiple blood tests and allergy testing, TONS of prednisone and medications over his life. He was 9 when I met my husband.
One month I read in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine that some animals are allergic to bowls made out of anything but stainless steel. I thought it was worth a try. We switched him, and lo and behold, ALL of his symptoms and crustiness and puss and everything went away. Within a month he was BEAUTIFUL...gorgeous fur, and a very happy kitty cat. Never had a recurrence of it the rest of his life.
I agree with the stainless steel...that's all I use too!
I use Canidea and mine has no corn or wheat BUT several proteins they may have some that are single proteins. I love Taste of the Wild but it's too expensive for me to feed so many dogs. Go to Dog Food Analysis and you should be able to see the ingredients and ratings. Our Ace hardware/fllet farm(not the big chain) carries TOTW and more...surprisingly. I LOVE Premium Edge but there is/was(?) a problem with a possible chemical used in the factory where the cheaper food is produced. There's another brand that now has grain free but I can't remember the name. Many of these food you can find through a "food locator" om their sight which is also helpful...you might want to check out "Chicken Soup for dogs too...rating are high but don't remember what's in it. Good luck...
Orijens is one of the more expensive brands (you can find online if they don't carry it where you live) but Bogart used to scratch all the time when we got him at 6 months (I thought for sure it was fleas - but vet said no), and now he doesn't, and everyone comments on his soft, beautiful coat. I would go without many things myself before changing to a less expensive food for Bogart. I 30lb bag is about $65 at the store - it will last a good long while though.
Natural Balance and Nutro Natural Choice have a few LID kibbles if I recall correctly. Sorry I'm not sure what the pricing is though.
If you go to Dog Food Analysis and click on the star rating and one of the foods it does give you the ingredients...so you don't have to run around looking and reading bags.
Poor Frosty, my 3rd favorite corgi. It is an assumption that it's the food. Might be something else entirely. Think.
Possible that you're bathing him too often? Some dietary insufficiency instead of allergy??? Try fish oil?
I can say that we got into this whole expensive raw-meat-diet thing with our first corgi, who as a pup started gnawing bleeding sores on her bum until my wife suspected food allergy, switched to nothing but raw meat, and it went away.
Allergies and skin reactions are mysterious; I had some once, was taking antihistamines daily, and eventually they disappeared as mysteriously as they'd arrived.