Season after season of watching my dog scratch and lick himself raw, paying veterinarians hundreds of dollars to tell me they don’t know why my dog (and so many other dogs they treat) have these skin issues, and reading heartbreaking accounts about deaths stemming from contaminated commercial dog food has led me to switching Kona to a raw food diet.
He typically starts scratching in June, when flea season blossoms with the warm, humid weather. Though I have yet to see a single flea on my self or in my home, I have spotted a few crawling around on Kona during the summer. His belly turns pink and he scratches and chews himself bald. I take him to the vet, they tell me he’s probably allergic to flea saliva and hand me a bottle of Prednisone and antibiotics, which brings only temporary relief. When summer comes to an end, his scratching usually stops and his fur grows back.
This year the scratching hasn’t stopped, and Kona is miserable. It’s December and it’s cold out, so I doubt there’s an abundance of fleas around. This seems like something beyond flea allergies. I’ve noticed he has a stronger odor, and his skin feels sort of waxy. I bathe him once a week, just to keep his smell under control. His typically silky fur feels brittle, and he’s licking his paws excessively.
I decided to try the homemade approach. I was a bit overwhelmed by the wide variety of homemade dog food sites there are. Should I cook it, or go raw? My husband likes the prey-model raw food diet. I suspect he fancies himself tossing whole raw chickens into the yard while Kona gnashes on them like his wild wolf ancestors. I wasn’t too comfortable with this one. The reality is my dog would most likely bury it instead of eating it, and we’d eventually end up with a raw chicken graveyard in our backyard. Eew.
One night I typed in “home made dog food” and this popped up. I found simple recipes for both cooked and raw diets, and nutrition information. The site eventually brought me to their product site, where they describe Kona’s exact symptoms, most likely caused by yeast (Candida albicans) overload.
Symptoms Of Yeast:
• Dog has stinky skin that comes from the inside. Does your dog stink right after a bath?
• Dog has goopy, stinky ears. Do you clean and deodorize your dog’s ears continually?
• Dog has irritated skin, paw licking and skin rashes. Are you up all night listening to your dog lick and dig?
• Dog has oily fur, flaky skin and brittle coat. Do you hesitate to pet your dog because of what ends up on your hands? Does your house smell like your “stale frito” dog?
I decided to order a box of Dinovite for large dogs with a bottle of fish oil. I received it on December 5th, and made a large-batch of raw food following their yeast starvation recipe. There is also a video that shows how to do it. I also bought ten small plastic containers so I could freeze individual portions and just pull them out of the freezer as needed.
Kona loves it. He inhales his food and seems to have a bit more energy, though so far his scratching is about the same. It’s been less than two weeks, and the website suggests using the product for three to six months because the yeast takes a while to go away.
At this point, I’m cautiously optimistic. There are hundreds of positive reviews about this product, so this give me some hope. Like most things natural, it will take time.
What kind of diet is your dog on? Have you ever used Dinovite, or fed a raw food diet to your pup? I’d love to hear from you!