Raw Diet advice - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-04-2016, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Raw Diet advice

Greetings Everyone,

I must say my head is about to explode with all the information I've been reading about raw diet. I really want to get my little guy Bahston on raw, as he's itching non stop and I literally am running out of options when it comes to premium foods (Orijin, Acana, Fromm, Victor, Zigniture, Canine Caviar etc). I've checked him for fleas and ticks (Nexguard) and found nothing. Could the chemicals be making him itch? He's also on heart warm medication and take them both on the same day.

We got him at eight weeks old from a breeder in Pennsylvania. He comes from great blood lines (none of the parents have or had allergies). When we first got him he was on Purina One LBP. We slowly switched him to Orijin LBP and he loved it. By three and a half weeks his itching started going increasing to about 30 times a day. By 4 months he was itching 60 times a day and at one point 115 times a day (this is only what I counted. He was crated for 6-8 hours a day while I went to work and can't imagine how many times he itched. Bahston is now 6 months old and weights 73lbs. He is on a limited diet food called Canine Caviar (8% moisture). When he started, his itching frequencies went from about 60-70 times a day to 12-15. We thought we found the answer, but we are going on about almost three months now and he is back up to 70-80 times a day of itching for like 30 seconds each. His coat feels like straws (he get's Grizzly Salmon oil and Organic Coconut oil).

Can anyone tell the difference between food allergies and environmental? I know when we go for a walk he sneezes or when he's breathing u can hear his throat is not clear. We tried medicated shampoos, plain water, wiping him when he comes in from outside and nothing seems to fix it. I've read how raw diets improves the immune system and coat. With that being said, how much is everyone spending a month of raw diets? I found a few websites where they deliver a complete balanced meal, but it's quoting me $189.00 a week!!!! Right now I spend $90.00 a month on his kibble and then another $40.00 in treats. Is there any way I can feed him a raw diet on that budget? Any books you suggest reading, websites with good information, or does anyone know a local farmer or place that is cheaper than $189.00 a week? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm not expecting it to solve the problem, but I am hoping it at least helps him in becoming more comfortable and healthy. Last night I did some research on worst places to live for people with allergies and not to my surprise I live 20 miles away from the 5th worst place in the country (St. Louis). If it's seasonal, it should get better as we are moving soon.

Thank You all in advance,

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-04-2016, 07:09 PM
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Have you considered doing a consultation with a board-certified vet dermatologist? It would likely save you a lot of money in the long run. The problem with all this food switching is a true elimination diet trial takes about 8 weeks on one food with no other food or treats allowed, unless they are treats from the same formula/mfr. It really takes that long. A vet derm can likely help enormously here, and save you months of aggravation.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-04-2016, 07:16 PM
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I had a pit bull with the worst skin issues. Lots of allergies and intolerances. Both environmental and food related. The dog literally scratched himself hairless. So I feel your pain with the itchy pup.

You asked about chemicals possibly being the cause, and it is a possibility. One of the side effects of nexguard is dry skin. One possible side effect of ivermectin (active ingredient in heartguard) is itchiness. Since you are up north and it is getting into the cool season - you could probably safely stop using both products over the winter and see if there is an inprovement. That said I live in the South East and I don't use either flea meds or heartworm preventative. I have come up with something else that works for me.

I ended up doing allergy testing on my pit. It was worth every penny. They didn't have it around at the time but I have heard good things about nutriscan to help pinpoint food intolerances.

One of the most frustrating things with my itchy pup was that there were MULTIPLE triggers. His immune system was junk. Not only was it the allergies, but he was sensitive to meds, susceptible to yeast and other fungi too

He was on steroids and allergy meds for sometime just to keep him from scratching himself raw I eventually went the all natural route with him and he did well enough to wean him off of med except for the occasional benedryl during the spring. No vaccinations. No flea medications. No heart worm preventative. All natural diet (raw when he was young and then cooked once he was a senior). I went BARF style raw with him instead of whole prey. There are a lot of flavanoids in fruits and vegetables that have wonderful effects on the body and inflammation. Quercetin for example acts as a histamine blocker in test tube studies and researchers think it may help with allergy symptoms. I used to grow dill in planters for the dog as it is one of the better sources of quercetin. Apple skins are too. I used a lot of supplements: raw local honey to help build up an immunity to pollen allergens in my area, Probiotics, good oils etc.

Raw diets can vary greatly in price depending on your meat sources and what style of raw you feed. I'm paying 200 - 300 per month for my boy as I feed a lot of grass fed red meat and all nutrients he needs comes from whole food sources. My boyfriend spends like $60 a month because he uses a commercial vitamin and mineral blend (he doesn't feed bone or organ), and feeds a lot of poultry.

Check out mypetcarnivore.com. they have reasonable prices and with your location you might be on their delivery route or within a reasonable drive of one of their drop points.
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