Many people are afraid of feeding different foods or ingredients due to generalized marketing from pet food companies and advice from veterinarians that have been trained with nutritional data generated by the same companies. Vets and pet owners are led to believe that brands are more important than ingredients.
I have found that some pets improve from skin and ear issues when they are changed to hypoallergenic kibble. (Duck, fish, rabbit, potato). Some with more severe medical problems (bowel issues, urinary crystals and stones, seizures) need moister, hypoallergenic, holistic canned food or home cooked food. Each animal may need a different mix of ingredients depending on their immune system and their medical problems.
Some recent cases have made me suspect that a higher fat content can initially causes skin problems to worsen.( Staph infections, yeast infections, hotspots, sores, and itching) Anti-yeast and antibacterial shampoos, 1:10 vinegar rinse (2x weekly)
Antibiotics or anti yeast medication may also be needed if this occurs.
If itching gets initially better then worse on homemade diets, then a lower fat diet may be needed for a few months as the skin gets used to the new diet. I used to think that all pets needed and tolerated fat in the diet, but some may need a lower fat diet to start with. Just imagine getting used to eating larger quantities of protein and fat after eating kibble for years! If this is the case, leaner meat and less fat should be fed for several months if you are home cooking dog food.
In general, as long as you gradually introduce healthy human ingredients and make sure to feed different meats and veggies, dogs will thrive. Homemade dog food that rotates ingredients like chicken, pork, beef, fish, eggs, liver, heart, green beans, peas, carrots and slow cooked bones must be nutritionally complete…hundreds of dogs thrive on it! I feed my dogs raw chicken wings to ensure that they get all the minerals they need. One or two chicken wings a week or a pig’s foot in the slow cooker along with other meats supplies calcium, phosphorus, and needed cartilage and joint nutrition. Nutritional supplements like Platinum Performance Canine will ensure that all vitamins and trace minerals are covered for those that feel better when adding supplements.
Remember…dogs can be allergic and intolerant to many meats, grains, and veggies and fat content. That’s why I wrote Dog Dish Diet and Feed Your Pet to Avoid the Vet, to help pet owners learn how and what they can feed their dogs and cats. Whether it be better commercial food, raw food, or homemade food…each dog or cat may thrive on a different diet! Not all dogs or cats will respond to a better diet, but it is much cheaper then vet bills. Give it a try!
Read about “Dog Dish Diet” and “Feed your Pet to Avoid the Vet” at