Best food and tips for dry/itchy skin and coat? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-14-2017, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Best food and tips for dry/itchy skin and coat?

Hi everyone. I did some research online before posting and found a variety of answers. I figured it would be best to ask here since everyone has GSD's. My GSD Bullet is 3 years old and has always been healthy. The past month he has been itching like crazy. I noticed that on his lower back he is losing a little bit of fur and has a patch of very dry and scaly skin. That particular spot of skin is bothering him. He doesn't like me touching it at all. He has been tested at the vet for allergies and he didn't have any. I'm in the process of switching vets because ours has been absolutely no help with this. He does not have fleas and has been checked for ticks.

I have started giving him coconut oil and a Vitamin E pill daily. After doing some research, I have found that grain-free food is a good option for skin and coat. I have read about Blue Buffalo and the whole lawsuit and have decided against that. What are some good recommendations for food that I can feed him? Is grain-free the best option here? I am looking for something that will help his skin and coat.

Aside from coconut oil and Vitamin E, what are some other tips that will help this itchiness and dry skin? I've read about salmon oil and I am planning on buying that. I just recently started oatmeal baths as well. I hate seeing him itch and bothered by this dry and itchy skin. I just want my poor boy to stop this itching and feel normal again. I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make him better. I apologize if something similar to this has been posted elsewhere. Thank you in advance for any replies.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 06:04 PM
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Have you done a skin scrape to test for parasites,fungus, or bacteria he might have on his skin? My Titan has the same problem even though he is on a raw diet so we are going to take him to the vet tomorrow to check for fleas, do a skin scrape, do an allergy test, and take care of a hotspot he has.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 08:30 PM
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Fish oil is very important. It can be a human-grade capsule (labeled with the "USP" means a third party checked for purity) -- for example, Costco capsules work for lots and lots of dogs, but it takes a good month to see a benefit. You can buy much more expensive forms with higher levels of EFAs, if your budget allows. (e.g., Nordic Naturals makes a pet supplement in a blue glass bottle, which gets stored in the fridge).

The Vitamin E is worthless if it's synthetic E. It needs to be a natural form the body recognizes, preferably with the full spectrum of mixed tocopherols. Any product labeled "mixed tocopherol" should be fine, but you won't find them at big box stores or drug stores in the U.S. -- they're available from natural supplement stores, Whole Foods, health stores, or online.

A dry itchy patch could be lots of different things though -- from ringworm (fungus), to bacteria, to parasites (like mites). I agree that I'd start with a skin scrape. That's a procedure that normally costs under $25, plus the exam fee. They scrape off a layer of skin with a sterile razor blade, mount the scraping on a slide, then look under the microscope to see what's there.

As for grain free, IMHO that fad is a kibble marketing gimmick. If you're feeding kibble, you're feeding starch because the extrusion process won't work without it. It needs the starch as a binder. The grain-free types just substitute potatoes (white or sweet), tapioca, or some other starch in place of a grain--and the substitutes might not be digested as easily! Rice and oats are both digested pretty well by most dogs. Unless there's a food allergy, I don't think you're gaining a lot by paying more for a grain-free kibble. Now, if you're paying more to get the dog off of kibble and onto an alternative diet, then you're potentially stepping up to something much better.

That said, as kibble goes, I do like foods like Fromm 4-Star that have both grain and grain-free options and are designed to be fed on rotation, with no transition. You get a broader nutrient profile by rotating through the entire line. My Fromm-fed dogs have thick, lush coats with a fish oil capsule a day. These are dogs that have no allergies, so it works for them.

If you think you have a dog food allergies, then you would be looking at an elimination diet (lots of threads about it), and a limited ingredient-labeled kibble (Wellness Simple, Natural Balance LID, and on an on with competitors now). I wouldn't go that route yet -- what you're describing doesn't sound like an allergy (and statistically most skin issues aren't likely to be allergic responses in dogs).
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-23-2017, 12:07 AM
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I keep hearing good things coconut oil.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-23-2017, 10:19 AM
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Go to Monica segal's website and read thru her blog. And get a humidifier running. IMO cocount oil is overrated and I have never seen a difference using it.



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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-23-2017, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jax08 View Post
Go to Monica segal's website and read thru her blog. And get a humidifier running. IMO cocount oil is overrated and I have never seen a difference using it.
what were you looking for ? (coconut oil)

there are many benefits for glandular health (thyroid and adrenals), anti microbial fungal and viral assist , quick energy by passing digestion, and topically benefiting the skins health.

Coconut oil has no omegas -- no vitamin E .

Carmen

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