Our handsome Ziggy Stardust (a white lab mix) is, at 85 pounds, the largest dog we’ve ever adopted. He’s so big I jokingly call him “My Little Pony”. Ziggy (aka Zig) may be the biggest boy in the house, but he’s also the absolute sweetest.
Over the years, Zig has suffered from constant itching and severe skin allergies. Our vet has prescribed ointments and meds (usually prednisone) and we also tried various, prescription dog foods. But it wasn’t until after we switched to Petcurean kibbles (made with no by-products or artificial preservatives) that we saw a real change. Imagine that, feeding him kibbles with FEWER ingredients was the turning point.
Teaming up with Petcurean has been an educational experience for me. Not only has Zig been itching less, but his adopted brother Woody has never looked better. A healthier diet does indeed result in a beautiful and shiny coat.
Zig and Woody have both been eating Petcurean kibbles for a few months now. They started with “Now Fresh” which is made with 100% fresh turkey, salmon and duck (again, no preservatives or by-products). Zig’s skin continues to improve and we’ll be trying a more sensitive Petcurean recipe next. Here’s hoping he’ll be able to COMPLETELY quit meds and ointments in the near future.
If your dog is having allergy or skin issues, check out the Q&A I did with Petcurean’s nutrition expert, Dr. Jennifer Adolphe. There’s much insight into dietary causes, food sensitivities and dog-breed myths too.
Dr. Jennifer Adolphe Q&A:
Will you please explain the effects of by-products ( or added growth hormones, artificial preservatives, flavors or colors) found in mass-produced dog food?
High-quality ingredients are essential for a healthy dog food. It is important to select ingredients from trusted partners that are located as close as possible to the manufacturing facility to ensure freshness and reduce the environmental impact from transportation. All of the ingredients together in a complete and balanced diet must provide the nutrient requirements of the pet. Whole food ingredients, like fresh meats, fruits, and vegetables, provide the essential nutrients, antioxidants and plant-based nutrients to support optimal health.
Each ingredient in our recipes is carefully selected to play a specific nutritional function in the food. When choosing a food for your dog, reviewing the list of ingredients on the back of the bag is a good place to start. By law, pet food labels must list their ingredients in descending order by weight. Choosing exactly the right food for your dog can be challenging. Petcurean believes that a “one-for-all” philosophy does not work when it comes to feeding pets since they come in so many different shapes, sizes, backgrounds and ages. A food that works great for one dog may not work as well for another. Our recipes do not contain wheat, corn, soy, by-products or artificial preservatives.
Is there any truth to the myth (several people have told me) that white-haired dogs have more skin issues?
It is possible that white-haired breeds are more susceptible to allergies, though any dog, at any age can develop dermatitis. White-haired dogs also may seem to be more prone to skin issues because their skin is more visible and less protected from the sun and environmental elements than the skin of dark-haired dogs.
With adverse food reactions seemingly on the rise among dogs and cats, many pet parents are looking for solutions. However, it is important to remember that food reactions often mimic other conditions, and that flea and environmental allergies are more common than food allergies. If you suspect that your pet is suffering from food allergies, discuss this with your vet and consider doing a food elimination-challenge trial, the “gold-standard” for diagnosing food sensitivities.
Is there a Petcurean dog food (besides the Now Fresh) that is best for dogs with skin issues?
For dogs with skin issues that may be related to an adverse food reaction, a limited ingredient diet may help. These diets provide a single source of meat protein with as few ingredients as possible to meet the nutritional requirements of pets. After introducing a limited ingredient diet, a noticeable improvement may be observed right away, though a pet should stay on the food for at least 8-12 weeks to ensure it is the right choice. Petcurean has recently introduced GO! SENSITIVITY + SHINE Limited Ingredient Diets in duck, salmon or venison for dogs, and duck for cats. These recipes are ideal for all pets, but particularly for those with food sensitivities.
Again, full disclosure: I am being compensated for these blog posts. Please note that I would NEVER promote or support a product I didn’t love or use. For example you won’t see me writing about baby clothing or cat toys. Woof.