Dog Food

Finding the Right Food

When Angus was still a puppy he stopped eating the food he’d been on since birth.  He just flat out refused to eat.  I remember sitting on the kitchen floor, throwing food pellets so he’d, hopefully, chase them and eat them.  I figured a change in diet was probably in order.

He was on Royal Canin Yorkie food.  I used the Dog Food Advisor website to research various brands because I wanted to give him a quality food.  I can’t remember exactly what the next food I tried was.  I think it was a Blue Buffalo Freedom, Grain-Free, small breed brand and he immediately started to eat his dog food and I no longer had to try throwing pellets to get him to eat.  Something else happened though, I noticed he had started scratching a lot.  I decided to switch him to a food without any chicken in it as chicken is a common dog allergen.

I then switched to Blue Buffalo Basics which is a limited ingredient food.  I think it was the lamb and potato one but I don’t recall.  It says right on the bag:

  • NO chicken (or poultry) by-product meals
  • NO corn, wheat, soy, dairy or eggs

Still, my dog was itchy.  I had a conversation about it with a friend who has a Pug.  She had also been through allergy problems and she suggested it was the food.  “But it has no chicken!” I protested.  “Read the ingredients anyway,” she said.  And so I did.  It listed something chicken and then I realized it said no by-products, not no chicken.  (Note: I’ve just rechecked the ingredients on this food and that is no longer listed so it looks like they changed their formula since then.)

I was mostly annoyed with myself.  As someone with food allergies, reading the labels is second nature to me.  Why I did not read the label fully for my dog’s food, I will never know but once again, I was off to find new food.  I actually think I tried him on one other food (I think it was Orijen) but ultimately, I ended up at Global Pet Foods looking for something else to try.  When one of the women who works there asked if I needed help, I explained the problems I was having with my dog’s allergies and she recommended Canine Cavier Wilderness Holistic.  She said others have had a lot of success with this brand and so I decided to try it.  It is still the food Angus eats today and he has no issues with allergies related to this food, that I’m aware of.

This has been our experience.  Everyone is different.  Every dog is different.  I’m not suggesting the foods we tried prior to the one he currently eats are bad. They just weren’t right for Angus.  Likewise, I’m not suggesting his current food is the only food you should buy.  Again, it was what was right for Angus.  If your dog does have food allergies, look for a limited ingredient food, something with 1 protein and 1 carb.  Try something other than chicken and beef, like lamb (which Angus actually seems to be allergic to) or venison or something like that.  I highly recommend looking for wheat-free food for dogs with allergies.

Treats

Treats were another issue and I went through many of them trying to find ones that wouldn’t cause problems and were not bad for him.  Ultimately, I settled on Orijen.  I buy him the Free Range Bison treats.  These are just freeze dried meat treats with nothing added and he loves them.