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Question
Roughly three years ago we 'rescued' a female mixed chocolate lab (American breed) from the county animal shelter. Her age was unknown but estimated at 18 months. She was malnourished and weighed roughly 30 lbs when we took her home. My wife and I have both had family dogs essentially our entire lives - more than 100 combined years and we have owned no less than 15 dogs combined. Regarding this lab, we have never experienced a dog with such a sensitive stomach. Long story short, we have had to change her diet every 4 - 6 months since we brought her home. She is stubborn enough that she will go for days without eating until we discover an acceptable (to her) alternate meal. Most recently the only food she will consume is boiled chicken, rice and processed cheese - the cheese is used as an inducement to ingest her twice daily Zonisamide capsule (has been taking this prescription for roughly 18 months). Our QUESTION - is her current diet of boiled chicken, rice and processed American cheese bad for her health? Thank you.

Answer
The diet you are feeding is devoid of most of the vitamins and minerals required for a dog's health.  I would recommend adding the proper vitamin-mineral supplementation.  You can do this by purchasing a good vitamin-mineral tablet for the size of the dog and then crumble it up and put it in the food.

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Dr. Louis N. Gotthelf

Expertise

Dermatology and ear diseases of dogs and cats

Experience

I am the author of "Small Animal Ear Diseases; An Illustrated Guide" published by W.B. Saunders. I have over 25 years of clinical experience with a special interest in dermatologic conditions and ear diseases.

Organizations
American Academy of Veterinary Dermatology

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Veterinary Forum
Veterinary Medicine
Waltham Focus

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