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QUESTION: Was wondering your advice on best antihistamine to use for itching,I have 4 year old male cavalier that scratches all the time on comfort is for fleas ..going to switch him from pedigree to victor dog food see if that makes difference ,and was told try raw dog food .just wanted your advice ..thanks

ANSWER: Hi Angie,

You state he scratches all the time on comfort is for fleas. I'm sorry, that don't make any sense to me.

The scratching all the time can be from a flea allergy. If you treated for fleas and are not finding any on him, then we have to look at the food.

The Pedigree brands usually have one or more of the food allergy causing ingredients. You need to recognize these and make sure you don't feed them to your dog.

The main allergy causing ingredients are wheat, corn, soy, by-products, gluten's, chemical preservatives and artificial colorings.

These type ingredients are commonly used in many grocery store type pet foods. They are cheap fillers that weaken a dogs' immune system.

These ingredients will cause an allergy and then a dog to breaks out and constantly scratches.

I would recommend switching to a grain free formula. Victor foods do make a couple of grain free foods you can use. There are many other good grain free formulas out there as well.

I would transition him right away to this new food. Get him off the Pedigree as soon as possible.

You didn't mention anything about canned foods. You must supply at least half his diet in moist type foods. This is important. Dry food only diets will cause many other problems. A dogs natural diet is meat and that is high moisture. When you feed them only dry foods, they live in a mild state of dehydration. This will cause skin and coat problems as well.

You did mention raw food and this is of course the best diet possible for dogs. This is there natural diet. This is what they thrive on. Raw food have the "live" nutrients that you cannot get in cooked or processed foods.

If this is something you want to try, send me back a note and I'll talk to you more about the raw foods and how to transition to them.

If you feed a good grain free dry and canned, you can then add a couple of nutrients that are found in raw food that are missing from cooked foods.

These are the enzymes and probiotics. These are critical in a dogs diet. You can get these naturally in a raw food diet but are destroyed when you cook foods.

A good one we carry and use ourselves is from Animal Essentials. They make one that has both the enzymes and probiotics in one powder that you just sprinkle a little on each meal.

If you do nothing else, do this. It will go a long ways to helping any dog with skin and coat issues. It will also help him transition better to any other food as the probiotics will help flourish in his intestine.

I would also add some salmon oil to his diet. You can get this in a bottle that you must keep in your refrigerator and just put some on the food once a day.

So that's the basics. We see these constant scratching dogs a lot and this advice works most of the time. It will at very least get him on a much better and balanced diet. That will go a long ways to improving everything in his system.

It's possible that it is just flea allergies. But being on Pedigree foods is the cause that will weaken his immune system and allow the flea allergy to take hold.

There's also other possibilities that it's a seasonal airborne allergy. Or a contact type allergy. But the common thing here is any and all of these allergies spring forward when a bad diet is fed.

Most all of the time it's a food allergy and can be fixed by changing the diet.

It can take some time as well. Sometimes dogs will get worse before getting better as the bad stuff is leaving his system.

But most of the time we see relief happen in a few days to a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, if you want to give him some temporary relief, you can give him Benadryl. This usually gives some good relief but can make him drowsy.

I would always advise checking with your vet first but we have done it many times and recommend it to our customers for temp relief.

You can give him 1 milligram per pound of body weight up to three times a day.

This is fine for a short time but you don't want to do any kind of medicine for long term as you are just masking the problems underneath.

I know this has been a lot of information so if you have any other questions or want to talk more about the raw food diet, just respond back to this same question and we can go from there.

Let me know if there is anything else,

Roger

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Growth on sternum
Growth on sternum  
QUESTION: Thanks for all information .havent seen fleas so expected food ..I just switched him to grain free victor and going use raw for rep of canned food.Do I need to still add enzyme ?and how much salmon oil?he weighs 25 pounds.Will he eat less eating this food?I just found this growth on his sternum yest I know u not vet but have u seen one like this ?doesnt look like wart and not cyst ,I'm going take to vet to get looked at but closed today just worried.

Answer
Make sure you use a raw that is manufactured by a company and is complete. This means do not just use store purchased meat. The meat from manufacturers will be complete as it has the bone and organ meat ground up into it.

We have a couple local sources we sell in our store. There are many national manufacturers as well. One that we carry is from Natures Variety and is called Instinct. You can find out more about them here: http://www.naturesvariety.com/InstinctRaw.  You can also put in your zip code to find out where they sell it around your area. Go to one or more of these stores and ask them about the raw food for dogs they carry. Learn all you can about them.

You can use store bought meat but you have to feed it along with other supplements to make it complete and balanced. The meat manufactured for dogs is usually always complete and it is usually from free range animals.

It is best to feed separate meals of raw and dry. Do not feed them together. The rate of digestion is so much different that it can cause upset stomachs. Some bigger dogs with deep chest have been reported to even get a twisted stomach. We fed both at the same time for years to our dogs and never had a problem but you don't want to chance it.

When you first introduce raw to him, start with only a teaspoon at a time. Then give him his regular dinner. The next day or two give him two teaspoons and so on. Build up slowly until it replaces one of the meals all together. You can then feed canned, dry or both the next meal. But don't be afraid to feed raw full time and he will benefit the most.

Now days we feed exclusively raw food to our dogs as this is the best for them. Having a smaller dog like you do, feeding raw is very economical as well.

I would still add enzymes and probiotics to a raw food diet. We do because most of the raw used in the manufacturing process is from muscle meat of the animals. This meat does not have a lot of digestive enzymes. These are located in the bile duct system and the intestinal system and they do not use them in manufacturing. So we still add Animal Essentials digestive enzymes and probiotics to each meal.

You will have read your bottle of fish oil to understand how much to give him. It will have a chart on it for the weight of the dog and how much to give. Different manufacturers will use different amounts as to the potency of their product.

It's hard to say what that growth might be. Most all dogs develop small growths and/or get into things that cause these types of growths. But it is always best to see the vet and have them examine him. They can take a biopsy if necessary.

I hope that answers your questions, should you have any more, just write back and ask. I'll be happy to help if I can.

Roger

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Roger McLeskey

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Organizations
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.

Publications
Dog Food Decoded - How To Choose A Health Diet For Your Dog and Your Budget - Available on Amazon in Kindle format or Paperback. Various articles for in store and web.

Education/Credentials
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.

Awards and Honors
None.

Past/Present Clients
Many satisfied pet owners coming to our store for nutritional help and advice.

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