Should I switch dog food?

Questions about the influence of diet and metabolism on seizures.

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Should I switch dog food?

Post by Cooper » Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:52 pm

I want to switch my dogs food. He is on (as per the vets recommendation) Hills Z/D Ultra, which is a hypoallergenic food. A few years ago he was always licking his paws raw, always got ear infections and just generally bad skin. So the vet recommended the Hills Z/D ultra, which we switched to without looking into it. He has not had any ear infections since and he only licks his paws raw in the spring (outdoor allergies) so I guess it worked. On the other side of it, before we switched his food he was in very poor heath. When we switched, we also switched vets, did a complete overhaul of his medication and his health has never been better. Before the switch he was bordering on liver failure, and now he's almost in normal range. So that makes me wonder if its the food or if its that he's just generally healthier. Also, before we switched to Hills, he was on Medi-cal, which I now realize was full of corn.

Since all this, I have done lots of research and I don't believe Hills is the best dog food, not even close, especially for the price tag. I spoke with my vet, who I really do think is great, and told her I would like to switch. She has STRONGLY urged me not to. Basically saying if its not broke don't fix it. However, I feel I could be doing better for my dog, and I want to do better. Although he hasn't had ear infections, and his skin problems are better, they are not great. His coat is dull, when you pet him he almost feels dusty. Would that not be his food? Not getting the right nutrients?

I've looked at Acana Duck and Pear, and Fromms Senior. Both seem really great, but my vet has me totally second guessing myself. I know these are better foods, but will I be causing more harm then good to my dog by switching? Should I follow my vets advice and not switch, or should I trust my gut and switch? I plan on doing the switch unbelievably slow, so I'm thinking that if allergies do pop up, I could easily stop, would that work?

I specifically mention Acana Duck and Pear, and Fromms Senior as they match the sodium and chloride level of his current food almost perfectly, which is good because one of his medications is Potassium Bromide. He is also 9 years old (JRT Cross)

Any help/advice would be great! Crazy paranoid about my dog, and I'm driving my husband nuts with the food issue.

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Re: Should I switch dog food?

Post by Carolyn » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:54 pm

I have no idea how many hours I've spent on the food subject. I learned to read ingredients and if it isn't fit for me to eat then why should my dog eat it. Currently I have Kiya on 50% liver cleansing diet and 50% decent kibble. My husband gets upset because I cook for the dog more than I cook for him.
Kiya is 115lbs so it's like cooking for a person, I'm still not sure exactly where I'm going with her diet. I joined the yahoo group k9kitchen and I'm leaning more to home cooking.
Kiya 11yr Shiloh Shepherd
PB 60mg am 90mg pm, 1teas kbr 1200mg, turmeric paste
1000mg milkthistle bid
First seizure 11/27/05
Last seizure 5/21/15

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Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:34 am

Re: Should I switch dog food?

Post by seebr5640 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:19 am


I agree that Hills is not one of the best dog foods around.

It sounds like all the licking of the paws raw, ear infections and bad skin came about from the food he was being fed prior to Hills, since you mentioned that it was full of corn.

If you feel it is time to switch the food, I would go for it. However, since grain (wheat, corn, rice, oats and rye) can be an allergy trigger for some dogs, switch to a food that is grain free and free of preservatives.

Most dog food “ingredients list” do not list the sodium chloride on the bag or web site. If needed, you can email or call them and they are usually happy to provide the sodium chloride percentage.

Like you, when I switched my epi Sampson’s food due to him being on potassium bromide, I got the food that was close in sodium chloride and did it very slowly and had no problems.

Good luck!
Barb & Sampson

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