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Picky eater dog needs limited ingredient diet

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  • Picky eater dog needs limited ingredient diet

    My fluffy little pain-in-the-neck-love-her-to-death dog is allergic (we think because she's so itchy) and needs a low ingredient diet. She has been on Natural Balance potato and duck for three years, but she really doesn't like it much anymore. We switched her to another non-LID kibble which she liked but her midnight scratching is back with a vengeance.

    The thing is that she is also the only dog we have ever had who actually chews her food. She's small, 15 pounds, with an underbite and generally bad teeth, so she needs small bite kibble.

    Is there anything else on the market out there that is...

    small bites
    comes in a canned version to help soften up her food


    does not cost $25 per one pound bag?

    2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

    A helmet saved my life.

  • #2
    Have you considered it might be a dry skin issue and adding oil to her diet?

    My dog was itching excessively, but she's already on a no grain diet (Evo. And they make small bite kibble, too) so I tried adding olive oil (extra virgin, just a little to her dinner every other day) and now...she's not itchy. She also seems to have gotten even fluffier...
    The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
    Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


    • Original Poster

      The only thing is that she only started scratching and chewing again after we switched her food, but it took a few weeks after that for her to get itchy. So the olive oil is certainly worth a try!

      Perhaps this video will give you some insight into my problem.

      2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

      A helmet saved my life.


      • #4
        I switched my Dobe to Nutro (this one http://www.nutro.com/natural-dog-foo...-dog-food.aspx) and he looks great.

        I don't remember how much it is but I don't think it was too expensive. It is small bite kibble.

        Oh....and they guarantee it for skin and coat. Whatever that means.
        "look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."


        • #5

          There's some info about oil.

          I will say, Inari looks forward to her "special" dinners when she gets 'em.
          The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
          Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


          • #6
            No canned version that I know of, but Costco has a grain free called "Nature's Domain" that my dogs love. The kibbles are sort of flat and not too big, and it is "salmon and sweet potatoe". Its about $35 for a 34 lb bag, and its rated a 4* food by those pet food review people. I believe its made by Dimond?


            • #7
              Taste of the Wild High Prairie formula worked for my itchy dog. It's Bison and Venison/Grain free.


              • #8
                Blue Buffalo or Natural Balance (mine loved the sweet potato and fish, you can top it with some canned salmon or tuna if they don't have a canned version...just make sure the salmon or tuna is packed in distilled water, not broth). Wellness also makes some limited ingredient food.

                We did the veterinary diet for a while and it just got too expensive, and switched to Natural Balance.


                • #9
                  California Natural makes a small bite food. http://www.californianaturalpet.com/...lt.asp?id=1671

                  There are also several prescription limited ingredient diets -- not sure if any of them are available as a "small bite" formula, however.


                  • #10
                    Natural Balance comes in small bites and canned... But if she's not eating it, well, that's not going to help!
                    Not all who wander are lost.


                    • #11
                      I make my dogs food- once a week, and put it in the fridge. I also feed them fresh ground flaxseed. Their coats are great, and they have no allergy issues, although two of them did, prior to me starting to cook for them.
                      When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou


                      • #12
                        Check out Natural Balance. My sensitive stomach dog did great on it. They have limited ingredients and small dog pellets.

                        I love cats, I love every single cat....
                        So anyway I am a cat lover
                        And I love to run.


                        • #13
                          FYI you can't entirely be sure of how limited ingredient most OTC are as they may use the same machinery to manufacture several different formulas. This can be a big deal if your pet is very sensitive.

                          If these have been working so far its probably not a big deal though. I like the fish and potato formulas and my dogs seemed to as well. If she's not already on a higher quality omega fatty acid supplement I would give that a shot too.

                          I am going to try my butt and foot licking pointer on the new Royal Canin skin support diet, but it is a bit pricey so I haven't bit the bullet yet. The rep has promised me miracles


                          • Original Poster

                            Thanks everyone for all the great ideas!

                            The California Natural isn't carried in the big box pet store, but the little boutique next to the groomers has it, so we could easily give that a try.

                            I love Royal Canin for my big dogs. Their fussy eater chihuahua food is what Pinky loves, but I think has caused her itchiness to return. If they make a skin and coat formula in small bites, we would give that a try for sure.

                            I am loving this new forum! Thanks, COTH!
                            2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

                            A helmet saved my life.


                            • #15
                              When my mom's lab was still alive, she was able to feed the same food to her very small JRT and lab by tossing the JRT's food in a cheap coffee grinder for 5 seconds or so before feeding it to her.

                              That would definitely make your search a lot less daunting...
                              Here today, gone tomorrow...


                              • #16
                                Just as an FYI to my earlier post, lamb wouldn't be my top choice for a "novel protein" diet, which is what I assume you're going for. (The vast majority of dog food allergies are due to the protein source, nothing else). Lamb is found in lots of treats, etc, so she's probably been exposed to it before.

                                However, the food is available in a 5# bag, so it's at least worth a shot.

                                I also liked the suggestion of using a coffee grinder to make the kibbles smaller. It would certainly increase your options!


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by ASB Stars View Post
                                  I make my dogs food- once a week, and put it in the fridge. I also feed them fresh ground flaxseed. Their coats are great, and they have no allergy issues, although two of them did, prior to me starting to cook for them.
                                  Sorry to high jack in advance

                                  I just started my thbd on fresh ground flax and wondered about giving it to the dogs as well. How much do you feed? I have a 25lb Terrier and a 85lb Dobe. The Dobe also gets a fish oil capsule with his dinner (for heart health as much as anything).
                                  "look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."


                                  • #18
                                    I switched all 6 of my dogs to Blue Buffalo. They have a small breed variety that I feed to my 6 pound pom, 7.5 pound yorkie and 14 pound yorkie. The BB small breed has the smallest kibbles I've ever seen and they do make a canned variety. Since I switched them over Scooter, the 7.5 pound yorkie, has stopped itching. He used to have those cruddy, itchy ears but that's cleared up, his itchy skin has cleared up and he doesn't stink like he used to. In fact, all of my dogs just seem to smell better. RE: cost....any of the better dog foods are just going to cost more than the supermarket brands. You have to decide if the benefits of a healthy happy, itch free dog is worth the extra cost.
                                    "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."


                                    • #19
                                      This is a timely topic for me (and thanks Louise for pointing me to it).

                                      My Jack Russell has been itchy for months. He's always been on a skin and coat supplement because he tends to lick and bite his feet if not on something good. This year it's gotten worse so the supplements don't keep him comfortable. Never fear, he's been to the vet and is on extra pure fish oil, brewer's yeast with garlic and also anti-itch pills. These things tone the itch down but I want to see him much happier.

                                      I'm looking to change his food from Nutro Max and Pedigree canned (he's been on them for years and years and itch only started this year) to a non-grain formula.

                                      I know the Countrymax store carries a few varieties of the grain free or natural foods so I'm taking a trip up to look at them again. I've had HUGE vet bills with an old dog that has passed and a young dog that needs surgery so I'm ashamed that I haven't switched yet.

                                      If the food change doesn't give him relief then it's back to the vet specialist for testing. My vet warned me that this is extremely extensive and expensive (she laughed at her rhyme, dear vet ).

                                      Keep the suggestions coming.


                                      • #20
                                        Grain-free foods for itchy dogs are the way to go, OR....you could be like our dog....allergic-to-everything-needs-to-be-in-a-plastic-bubble.

                                        Grain-free, high quality, $100/lbs kibble....................allergies.

                                        Grass? Allergies.

                                        Pollen? Allergies.

                                        Down feathers? Allergies.

                                        The *only* diet we have found that works for her has been a raw diet with Fish Oil and Vitamin E or Before Grain kibble. We have a sample of HK coming in this week, but we'll only be feeding HK (Honest Kitchen) when backpacking.
                                        If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
                                        DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
                                        Originally posted by talkofthetown
                                        As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.