I have a boxer named chewy and I did not know much about the skin conditions they can have. So one day I saw that he had these what looked like welts all over his body but then i thought it also could be because his hair was growing back because since then his hair was falling out in small clumps. I reseched what could be the issue first, before going to vet and found out he had hives, and the simple cure was to give him benadral. after a few days it cleared up, but every now and again they would reappear. i know i cant just keep giving him meds so i switched his diet to a more natural dog food. same thing is happing so, is this normal or is a trip to the vet the thing to do?
First, Boxers don't have multiple skin conditions any more than other breeds- but food allergies.
Secondly, Benadryl is not a cure. It is only to help stop itching from the hives, help reduce the allergen causing hives temporarily, and to stop the inflammation, etc. It is no more than taking an aspirin for a headache- it does not "cure" the headache.
You didn't tell me the brand of "natural" dog food. Therefore, I cannot determine what it contains; corn, corn glutens, other glutens, additives, etc.....
Most Boxers are allergic to any food and treat that has corn and corn glutens.
Hives are caused by food allergies and also environmental allergies.
I highly recommend feeding him a completely natural dog food that does not contain corn and corn glutens or any glutens.
The absolute best I have found is Dick Van Patten's (a retired actor) Natural Balance. There are many to choice from depending on his age, health needs, etc.
Limited ingredients: http://www.naturalbalanceinc.com/product-category.aspx?ProductCategoryID=12&cate
All dry dog food formulas: http://www.naturalbalanceinc.com/product-category.aspx?ProductCategoryID=8&categ
There are only online retailers to buy from. So, you have to select the one you choose and have it shipped to you.
Since this can be expensive and not always possible for everyone, I suggest writing down the ingredients of the dry formulas (I would get one that is for sensitive dogs with allergies to begin, so he can clear up the gluten food allergens in his system for a month) then you can switch to a regular formula: they are meats such as chicken, turkey, venison, fish, etc. with sweet potato, brown (not white) rice, etc. Or, vegetarian for a short time to clear up his system (a few weeks)............
After you read about Natural Balance and their different ingredients and research the website, look for a substistute brand matching as close as possible to theirs: you can check PetCo and other pet stores that carry a wide variety of dog foods and choose one and stick to it.
I am positive this will clear up his hives, stop allergies, and give him a healthy life.
Check on Blue and brands such as those to match Natural Balance.
Either spend more money on dog food to keep him allergy-free and healthy, or spend money on vet bills to have a vet recommend natural food with no corn and no corn glutens and no additives. Of course, the vet will encourage you to purchase what he or she sells in their clinic.