Feathers, Sugars, and Yeast

I’ve been on a journey with Zeke’s diet. I want to share the path we’ve followed to get where we are now, in case any of this resonates with your dog.

Having been to the Vet for yeast in his ears (poor thing). Yeast has a particular odour, so I suspected what it was before we went. But a Vet check will always be my first step. Aside from frustration for Zeke, all the scratching carries risk of infection and permanent damage to his ears. It also spreads the yeast onto his paws, which he licks, and then licks his paws and body…

While giving him his prescribed ear treatment, I also stopped all added fruit and root veg, eg carrots, sweet potatoes, berries and apples. I bought the ‘no veg added’ Naturaw options. I then read that if dogs can’t tolerate chicken, they often can’t tolerate turkey or duck. So those went too. He still has steamed kale and broccoli, which we both eat.

I read a great book called Feeding Dogs last year, by nutritionist Dr Conor Brady. Since completing my COAPE course, I signed up for his online seminars. So informative, he shares options to redesign or boost your dog’s diet. I’ve included Power Paste from his range, added to Zeke’s food as soon as I could buy it locally.

Dogs First also has a new product called Propythium, I haven’t been able to get hold of the ear drops yet (they can’t yet meet demand) but the oil worked brilliantly on Zeke’s paws. You can put in a foot bath, or add topically. Have a read for yourself. Here’s Zeke after his shower, where I added some to his final rinse… and yes he’s a dream to shower. He walks into the shower cubical and sits there, often when I’m not planning to shower him. The power of positve reinforcement and exposure to novelty when a puppy.

Given that chicken and other feathered meat is being routinely added to once single protein options, my next brave step is into DIY raw. I’ve found an ethical butcher who can provide the recommended proportions of meat, offal, and bone. I’m sticking with a base of Naturaw, but as there are only three options without feathers I need to build in additional variety. Otherwise, it’s a bit like me eating the same three meals for the rest of my life, and who would do that? I introduced Zeke to all sorts of food as a puppy, and he’s a healthy eater and bang on his target weight (32.6 kg) for a working Lab of his age.

We haven’t fully cracked it yet, but Zeke is 95% there. His ears are clear, and he no longer has paw licking as a pastime. I’ll keep you posted on the DIY food, so many inspiring people on Instagram who have cracked this. I’m also going to continue to check all ingredients labels very carefully.

Until next time

Jen

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