Doggie Diaries Week 1 – My Dog Had Severe Allergies, Trying Elimination Diet #JennieO
My poor sweet Molly. She is a black lab, 9 years old this year. She is the sweetest and best dog – great with the kids, good at detecting strange noises, awesome at scaring people that come to the door with her bark. She has NO bite to speak of and will cuddle close when given the chance (which she gets a lot). She’s a good dog.
Her biggest problem? She has severe allergies that have only gotten worse as she gets older.
My poor baby developed rashes, alopecia (loss of hair/fur), and basically started looking miserable. I started noticing her ears flare up years ago and with every trip to the vet it was treatments – ear flush, steroids, ointments. They would recommend feeding her certain brands of food. She was ok for a while and her uncomfortableness subsided. She began acting normal again. Whenever her ears flared up we would treat them. She HATED that. She would jump around and whine and basically freak out with every ear flush. It was awful to see.
As the years went by, I started seeing little things – a patch of fur sparse, paws getting red, and she would itch. We continued treating her symptoms with her vets and us believing it was airborne since she would flare up more in the spring. We got rid of all carpeting, thinking the fibers may hold some of those allergens. We gave her flea medication religiously. I bathed her every few days with a soothing oatmeal bath.
These last few months I noticed a change worse then ever, then a rapid decline in her appearance (as you can see in the photo). She started having diarrhea, more itching, and began turning away from her food as if she was trying to tell me something…
Her FOOD was giving her problems.
It’s not like I was giving her junk – We have been feeding her a grain-free limited ingredient dry food (read=expensive). We gave her no treats at all. Still she was miserable. SO I decided I would start looking at alternatives. With every vet visit we were treating the symptoms and not trying to cure her.
I found out about a plan called the Elimination Diet from several websites, including the nationally recognized 5 start rated brand The Honest Kitchen. So we decided that trying this will be the best course of action – not only will it help her digestion and allergic reactions, but it will pinpoint what her allergies are without having to spend hundreds on yet another blood test that may or may not be 100% accurate.
I started Molly’s Elimination Diet today. For the next week she will have a mixture of 50% cooked Jennie-O ground turkey and 50% sweet potatoes. I spent about $15 on supplies and made enough for a least a week for her. Next week I will introduce kale into it, but only if she is getting better. I am using Jennie-O because it’s readily available and 100% natural, key for this method. Here’s the exact recipe and method I used
4lbs raw sweet potatoes
4lbs Jennie-O ground turkey
Chop and boil sweet potatoes for about 20 minutes until tender then mash or puree in a blender. Cook ground turkey in a large skillet or pan then let cool. Puree turkey and sweet potatoes together until thoroughly mixed. Refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
I am REALLY hoping this will help my sweet girl – I will be blogging about her progress weekly for the next 12-15 weeks, so be sure to check back on Fridays for updates!
*Thank you to Jennie-O for supplying some awesome all-natural products for my family – including the furry ones – to try.