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Dogs/skin problems


I have a mix Shiar Pai (excuse spelling)anyway he is a big wrinkly dog.He started having skin problems about a year or so ago and we took him to vet and her only solution was steroid shots which worked to some degree but it wasn't something we wanted to keep him on because there not good for them.So we changed his diet to high grade food for skin problems and we bathe him almost everyday.But we simply can't afford the shampoo that works good I can only get three washes out of a bottle which costs $60.00 a bottle.I am disabled so money is very tight.I should explain that the vet thought his problem was a yeast infection of the skin what happened is that all his fur fell out and his skin turned black. I have gotten him back to about half good. He still has lots of black skin but his fur is growing back and he doesn't look as bad.Can you give me some things we might try to get him fully back to normal. I would appreciate anything you can do.

Hey Pat,

Let's see if we can address a few things and go over some alternatives.

First, if it's a yeast infection you should be able to smell something similar to corn chips when you are near him.

The steroid shots and shampoos are only masking the problem but are giving him temporary relief.

We've seen food allergies and yeast infections many times in our store. People are unaware of what causes them and the vets, well, they just know medicine. They've never studied nutrition but its natural for us to believe them and do what they say because they are an authoritative figure.

I've never recommended anyone shampoo a severe skin problem more than once a week at the most. You need to allow some of his natural oils to return and nourish his skin.

If you want to get an inexpensive way to help heal his skin, get some organic apple cider vinegar. Mix this with half water and half vinegar. Get him wet all over and pour this mixture all over him. Let it sit for 5 minutes then rinse. This naturally balances the PH on his skin. So if it is sore or itchy, this will give some temporary relief.

The diet is almost 100% of the time the problem. Most dogs diets are not natural these days. Dogs were never meant to eat a cooked food diet. When you only feed them highly processed dry foods, you are more than likely going to get bad results.

The statistics are staggering. Nearly half the dogs on dry food only diets will fall to cancer or other serious disease before they are 10 years old.

I don't know if you only feed dry or not. But if you do, it will benefit him greatly to be on mostly canned or fresh foods. A dry diet will cause a dog to live in a mild state of dehydration. This effects his internal organs and his skin and coat. A dogs natural diet is meat and that's around 70% moisture. Dry food is just dry.

If it is food allergies or a yeast infection, you will need to get him on a grain free, high protein diet.

The grains in his diet will feed the yeast if that is the problem. If it's a food allergy, the grains can cause continued skin irritation.

I wish you wold have told me what food he has been on and what you switched him to. I could then look up ingredients and go over them with you. It's all about ingredients when it comes to a dogs good health.

But look for a grain free food that is high in protein. Ones such as Orijen, Before Grains from Merrick, Good and Natural and similar. Try to find one that is around 40% protein or as close as you can.

The same goes for canned foods. Get the best you can that is grain free. The more canned you can feed him, the better and faster he will heal. I know you are on a budget so just do the best that you can with what you've got. That's all anyone can do.

There are a couple supplements to add to his diet that will help if you can. The most important one in the world is enzymes and probiotics. These two nutrients are critical in a diet and the lack of them is the main reason why there are so many cases of food allergies, yeast infections, pancreatitis, dry skin, overweight and a host of diseases.

Enzymes and probiotics are naturally found in a dogs natural diet of raw foods. These "live" nutrients are responsible for proper digestion of foods and to fight off bad bacteria such as yeast. They are destroyed when you cook foods so that's why there are none in the dry or canned foods that have been cooked.

You can get them in supplement form from places like Animal Essentials. They make one that contains both enzymes and probiotics in one powder that you just sprinkle on each meal.

This is one supplement I would find a way to get on any budget. It will help you keep him out of the vets office in the future.

You can go to their website for more information and they are for sell on Amazon or other places.

Organic coconut oil added to each meal is very good for him if this is a yeast infection.

Adding some fish oils like salmon oil, cod liver oil or even just some sardines in water are very good for nourishing the skin and coat.

Of course the best diet in the world for any dog is their natural species appropriate diet of raw foods. This is what nature intended them to eat and thrive on.

We feed raw foods exclusively to our dogs and cats. We rescue some dogs from kill shelters and bring them in our home. Most come with a host of skin and coat issues and food allergies. We transition them to a raw food diet and they heal the fastest. Then we place them in good homes.

There are many commercial manufacturers of raw foods for dogs these days. They make it very easy to feed a balanced diet. Most are ground up with ground in bone and organ meat that makes it complete.

The higher the protein, the less you feed to your dogs. So a good high protein or raw foods you would feed less. So the cost difference becomes minimal and the results are amazing. We've transitioned thousands of dogs and cats to raw with tremendous success.

We've gotten in a couple of dogs that come to us with the black skin and hair loss. The raw food diet fixed them up the fastest. This just provides so many more live nutrients that they are supposed to have in their diet. The dry foods are just the highest processed foods and like for us, processed foods are not healthy.

Even though we feed a raw diet, we still add the enzymes and probiotics to each meal. This just gives their digestive system that much more help. The heart of their immune system is in the digestive system so you want to keep that strong.

If you want more information about the raw food diet or how to transition your dog to that, just write me back and I'll be happy to go over it more in detail.

For now, get rid of all grains in his diet. Get him on a grain free high protien food. Feed as much grain free canned as you can.

Add the enzymes and probiotics and coconut oils. You will start seeing a difference soon. It will take a lot time to get all his fur back. But with a little knowledge, you can keep this from coming back. He will be more susceptible now that he has had this problem once.

Let me know if you want to go over any of the foods again or if you want to share what you are feeding now so we can go over that.

Or any other questions you might have, let me know and I'll try to help.

My wife and I did write a book on feeding dogs on a budget. It's called Dog Food Decoded. It's available on Amazon for about $3. It's a quick read but it gives good knowledge moving forward that will help keep him healthier and how to choose foods. If you want to check it out, it's at:

Take care,



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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.

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.

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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