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Dogs/Rotti puppy, constant scratching and UTI


My Rotti is now 16 wks and has had UTI since I got her at 8wks. She has also been scratching, biting, and licking non-stop. The breeder used Old Blue with corn as #1 ingredient, and I have tried Purina One, Iams, Diamond Naturals, and Nature's Choice, all large breed puppy food, some Limited Ingredient Diet, with the last two grain free. She still scratches constantly. The vet has now suggested finding a chicken-free food for large breed puppy but I can't find one anywhere, and on top of that, she still has UTI even after two different antibiotics. I am so frustrated that my puppy is still suffering from both problems. Could one have something to do with the other and do you have a food to suggest that isn't a raw diet?

Hi Vivian,

Typically we don't see too many food allergies in such young puppies. But, when the parents are fed a bad food, they can pass down many health problems such as these for three generations.

As long as your vet has ruled out any type of parasite, then we'll have to assume it is from the diet.

Having UTI's and sensitive skin and coat, she must have one very weak immune system. A weak immune system can and will cause both of these.

We have to build her immune system stronger so she can fight off these conditions herself.

To do that, you are going to have to be willing to give her a proper, balanced diet with the proper supplements.

I know and understand you don't want to hear about the raw food diet but it is by far the best. This is their natural diet and full of "live" nutrients that are needed for a dog to thrive. They were never meant to eat a cooked food diet but this is what is typically forced on today's dogs. This is also why so many of them are facing severe health issues and degenerative type diseased in their lives.

With her immune system being so weak, I would suggest just to get her on some good regular dog foods and supplement to make up for not having the live nutrients from the raw foods.

Keeping grains out of large breed formula's is harder to find. If you eliminate grains, you have to add more protein and fat. Large breeds need lower protein levels to help keep them from growing too fast and causing joint problems.

It's possible the dry chicken can cause some problems if the mom had such problems and passed them down. Typically moist, fresh foods do not cause these problems.

You can get away from chicken by using Taste Of The Wild in their lamb or fish formulas. It's not large breed but it is grain free and a lower protein so it would be fine.

I would make at least half or more of her diet in wet, moist type canned foods. Dry foods have no moisture. A natural dogs diet is meat and that is around 70% moisture. Dry foods are around 10%. A dog on dry food only or mostly dry, will actually live in a mild state of dehydration.

This is hard on her digestive system, her skin and coat and her urinary tract system.

Girls especially need high moisture diets to help keep her system flushed. You can give her some dry but try to make most of her diet in canned foods.

There are a lot of good grain free canned foods. I would choose something like Natural Balance canned because they are a good price point and they are grain free and lower in protein. You can even stay with Taste Of The Wild in their canned foods. Both have chicken alternatives.

Now, to make it more like a raw food diet, you need to supplement this food with enzymes and probiotics. These vital nutrients are naturally found in raw foods but are destroyed when you cook foods.

These nutrient alone can save dogs lives. Without them, their immune system suffers over the long term and that leads to many health conditions and degenerative type diseases.

They can also help her overcome her scratching and skin problems. They will also help boost her immune system to help her overcome the UTI's.

We carry several brands but we really like the ones from Animal Essentials. They have a product that contains both enzymes and probiotics in one powder. You simply apply some to every meal. She may even require a therapeutic dose to help get her over things. This just means a little extra, build up slowly.

You can find this product on Amazon or a local natural dog food store. This is the most important thing you can add to her diet right now. No matter what she is eating. To me, it is the number one thing anyone can add to their dog or cats diet. It's that critical.

The next thing I would add to each meal is a little salmon oil. This is important for growing puppies and it's good for her skin and coat and joints.

Next, if you can, add a little greens to her diet. Things like kelp, spirulina and/or wheat grass will help build her immune system stronger. It works!

Lastly I would look to give her a cranberry supplement. This will help get rid of and keep UTI's away. You can find them at a local natural dog food store. They will usually carry some type of green powder products as well.

You have to give anything you do some time. Severe cases can take a couple of months to get out of a dogs system. It can get worse before getting better as well as the bad stuff is working its way out of her system.

Keep her far away from those cheap grocery store dog foods. I would limit even the healthy grains for a while. Healthy grains are like oatmeal and barley.

Keep her away from anything that contains wheat, corn, soy, by-products, artificial coloring's, and preservatives just to name a few.

Take the time to learn what dogs are really supposed to have in their diets and what they shouldn't have. Their are many good books on the market, look for the natural diet ones.

You have a long term investment in her now and you want to keep her healthy and out of the vets office.

If you feel more comfortable getting even better advice where someone can actually see her and check her out, find yourself a local holistic vet. These guys are great and they are trained in healing through a good diet and proper supplements.

Our regular vets are great for what they do and that's medicine. Too many people make the mistake by asking them about nutrition. They are not trained in nutrition. Some vets may have taken it upon themselves to learn more but the majority of them know very little about proper nutrition. It's just not part of their schooling. You can ask your vet if you would like to see what training they have had.

Holistic vets have had the medical training and then taken more years of schooling on healing naturally. That makes a big difference then the pill pushers.

If you do as outlined above and give her some time, she should get better. But you have to be persistent and feed the right food and supplements regularly. If you cannot or do not, you can't expect her to get better.

If you are on a tight budget, then start one of these things and work up. I would start with the enzymes and probiotics. If you have any organic virgin coconut oil, I would give her a tablespoon of that a day as well. Full of good stuff and anti-microbial and anti-fungal. Will also help keep any yeast problems away.

I know this has been a lot of information and you will probably have more questions. Please feel free to respond back and ask more questions or add any other thoughts.

I will be happy to help if I can.



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Roger McLeskey


Can answer all nutritional information for all dogs. Common problems with food, supplements, weight control, allergies, fleas, etc. Questions regarding raw food, homemade food, skin & coat issues, ect. Can't and/or will not do medicinal type questions that the vet takes care of.


I am certified in Dog Nutrition. Over 6 years now I've owned a natural pet food retail store. I've worked with hundreds of dogs and there owners to achieve better health. We promote a healthy balanced species related diet. This is the way nature made your pet to thrive. Fortunately for those who cannot or wish not to feed a raw based diet, there are alternatives with supplements and cooked food. Just don't let processed food be there only diet. Food is the most powerful medicine. Heal the core of the animal and the rest will take care of itself. We've turned the lives of many dogs around. There parents come back into the store and comment to us on how there dog acts like a real dog again. Our business is thriving and we continue to help many.

We work with Second Chance Companions, Must Love Dogs, members of ASPCA, HSUSA and started our own personal "Red Head Rescue" (non chartered) for stray dogs and rescue dogs from high kill shelters. We've been able to heal the many health ailments these dogs have and place them in good homes.

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Certified - Canine Nutrition Level Three. Last 7 years I've been working with veterinarians, holistic veterinarians, attending seminars and best of all, real life experience with hundreds of customer dogs and cats. I've seen what works and does not work. Feeding a proper species appropriate diet works for most ailments. We've taken away our petís natural diet and caused most of todayís problems.

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