I have a 9 year old poodle/terrier mix. I had him tested do to continual stomach issues for years, The test showed he is allergic to rice, eggs, pork and chicken along with all sorts of outdoor allergies, pollen, grass, certain types of trees. I have been feeding him ZD for allergies but he still continues to have these bouts with diarrhea that seem to be getting worse. Is there another food out there I can try or could this be something else all together? The vet suggested a probiotic, any thoughts on that as well?
Sorry to hear you are having so many issues. Very typical these days as most commercial dog foods create this type of condition. They are notorious for ruining the immune system and thus, all types of skin conditions, allergies and diseases happen.
First and foremost you should learn the basics of pet nutrition. This will go a long ways to helping you learn why your dog has gotten to this point and what changes should be made.
You are doing more than most by reaching out and looking for answers, never stop. Your pet is counting on you.
I will go over a few basics with you but I can also recommend a book my wife and I wrote. It's a basic introduction to dog foods and why commercial ones are bad, why premium ones and supplements that you must include into the diet. It's on Amazon and if you have a Kindle or Kindle app on your computer, you can pick up a copy for a few bucks. It's called Dog Food Decoded and it's at: http://www.amazon.com/Dog-Food-Decoded-Choose-Healthy-ebook/dp/B008LX6WGY/ref=sr
In a nutshell, the ZD and other prescription formulas are crap. They contain many not so good ingredients and are typically not balanced. They may help temporarily with one condition but typically will cause other issues.
Not sure what you fed before this but if it is one of the commercial ones like Purina, Iaams, Beneful, most Nutra's, Science Diet or others, then that is most likely caused all your problems.
We rely on big food manufacturers and expect them to provide a solid balanced nutrition for our dogs as stated on their bags or commercials but this is far from the truth. They are in it for money and obviously don't care much about pets health. This is evident with all the problems we've seen and fixed here at our store. As well as the class action law suit filed against Purina for their bad formulas.
If it were me at this point, I would look to feed only canned and no dry foods. Dry is the most processed food for dogs, it's hard on the digestive system, takes the longest to process, has synthetic vitamins and minerals sprayed back on it after cooking it to hundreds of degrees.
Canned or moist type foods are not so heavily processed, easier to digest, and provide needed moisture content in the food itself. Any dog on all dry or mostly dry will actually live in a mild state of dehydration. This is hard on their bodies and their internal organs.
Look for grain free canned foods like Taste Of The Wild, Wilderness, Before Grains, Merrick's grain free, Evangers grain free, Wellness's grain free or other premium grain free canned foods. Look for the protiens that he is not allergic to at this point. There are many.
Next, add the needed supplements to make his diet more complete. This is where your vet was partly right about giving probiotics. You must also add enzymes. These are two or the most critical, overlooked and very much needed supplements.
No dog food diet is complete without them. You have to think on how a dog would naturally eat in the wild. I'm sure you've heard all about this but it is what is real. They are supposed to be on the prey model diet or what's called the raw food diet. Dog's were never meant to eat cooked foods, they never were or ever will.
The raw food diet is the best diet in the world for any dog or cat. This is what nature intended them to eat and thrive on.
We feed raw exclusively to our dogs and cats. We've switched many customers dogs and cats to a raw food diet after having so many health issues and they all seem to heal and thrive much better.
Raw foods have the natural enzymes and probiotics that make their meals more complete.
I would not suggest raw for your dog at this point because of so many immune system issues he is having right now.
It would be best to get him on a good canned food and add enzymes and probiotics. You can get these supplements in most of the small independent pet food stores. Look for them in your area as they will carry the better brands of dog food as well.
A good one we carry is from Animal Essentials. They contain both enzymes and probiotics in one powder that you just sprinkle on each meal. You can go to their website for more information. You can also purchase them there or on Amazon. There are many others out there that are good as well.
We add them to every meal even though we feed a raw food diet. This is just to help them with digesting that much more. The digestive system is the heart of their immune system. You want to keep that as strong as possible.
Enzymes break down foods far enough or small enough so the nutrition passes through the small intestine and travels through the blood stream. This is why they are so important. The lack of them in a diet causes other problems.
Probiotics are great for fighting off the bad bacteria that's everywhere. This is also very important. They also help transport nutrients through the blood stream.
I tell people almost every day that these two supplements are the best thing anyone can add to their pets diet. They are destroyed when you cook foods so they are not present in cans or bags. That makes these foods incomplete. And when a diet is incomplete, that's when eventually bad things happen.
The next thing I would look to add to his diet is an antioxidant. Again, there are many out there, find a good one and add to the diet. These will help fight against the free radicals that cause so many health issues. Look for ones like the green powder types like Pet Kelp or even some fish oils.
Next, add some bee pollen to his diet. This will help with the airborne allergies he is experiencing. You have to find a local source where the local bees gather local pollen's.
It takes a little time to start working as the bee pollen slowly introduces these pollen's to his system and he slowly develops defenses to them.
This has worked good for humans as well. It's great for pollen's but he made need other help with the other airborne allergens.
There have been a couple dogs come through our store that no matter what we did, we never could get them 100% away from all allergies, it was just too much in their systems or genetics.
So those are my suggestions at this point. Learn everything you can, that will help the most towards understanding, helping him live longer and keeping him out of the costly vets office.
Another good website to learn a few things is at Shirely's Wellness Cafe where you can learn more about the holistic side of healing things. It's at: http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/AnimalWellness/Animals.aspx
I know this has been a lot of information to take in. If you need more clarification or additional information about anything, please don't hesitate to write back and I'll try to help.