When we first adopted Oliver we notice he was struggling with itchiness. We just dismissed it as seasonal allergies and/or dry skin and gave him Benadryl every once in a while to help ease the itching some. But, we noticed it was getting worse. We were feeding him Pedigree, thinking that was a good food! Nope. It’s not.
Through doing some research and talking with friends, we learned that corn should NOT be the first ingredient in the food, and ideally shouldn’t be in the ingerdient list at all. Meat should be the first ingredient (and not meat by-product!).
So, we began our serach for better food and quickly discovered that food without corn cannot be found at Walmart or grocery stores. Around this time we had started training at Petsmart and went there (we LOVE Petsmart). With the help of our trainer and the other employees, we spent the next couple of months choosing and trying other foods with meat as the first ingredient, but they still contained rice and other grains. Our vet also told us to attempt to switch up the first four ingredients with each new food to better pinpoint the allergen.
As we tried these new foods, Oliver’s allergies just continued to worsen. We were giving him six Benadryl a day and he was still rubbing areas raw from itching so much. After many talks with our trainer, we decided to make the leap to go grain-free. Cost is a big issue for us, so she helped us pick out the cheapest grain-free food available at Petsmart- Authority Chicken and Potato. He has been on that food for over two months now and we have gone from six Benadryl a day to two a day, and sometimes even those aren’t needed.
When going grain-free you also have to change all your treats too! And bags of grain-free treats are not cheap! Here are some that Oliver has liked and have been somewhat affordable:
- Zuke’s Jerky Naturals (there are several grain-free flavors)
- My Little Wolf (these are the cheapest, but of course, seem to be the ones Oliver likes least)
- Hill’s Ideal Balance Soft-Baked Naturals (these are Oliver’s favorites, especially the duck flavor)
I am planning to soon try making some homemade grain-free dog treats and will blog about those when I do. Grain-free can be good for all dogs even if they don’t have allergies! Just remember, make sure meat is the first ingredient on their food!
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