My Dog Is Really Itchy – Will A Vegan Diet Help?
Dogs being fed a healthy balanced plant-based diet with none of the top allergens in the food (beef, dairy, wheat, lamb, egg, chicken, soya, pork, corn, rabbit and fish) will definitely stop scratching if the primary agent is a food allergy to the one of the protein molecules mentioned. Food allergies tend to develop in young dogs who have been fed the same food over a period of time and it tends to show as an otitis (recurrent itchy ears and ear infections).
We are here to fully support you as there is nothing more worrying than having your dog constantly itching, scratching and uncomfortable. They are more prone to skin infections, ear infections and secondary yeast problems if the scratching is not kept fully under control and none of us want to see our pets in pain.
Plant-based diets can also be made to be more beneficial to the skin barrier function (that is normally compromised in our itchy atopic pets who constantly chew and lick their paws), as they can have the addition of the purest form of EPA and DHA as Omega 3 Algae oil supplements as well as the addition of healthy skin function minerals such as Biotin, Zinc and Vitamin E. It is easier to find these in plant-based healthy homemade plant-based diets than in commercial dry foods where they are added in as supplements rather than coming straight from the plant source. Anything that strengthens the important skin barrier is vital to stop your itchy pet from scratching – we feel plant-based diets offer the kindest most sustainable solution.
Sadly most vets will tell you the only way they have been taught – to feed a novel protein to your dog instead of a plant-based diet. These ‘novel proteins’ ie proteins that your itchy pet may never have come into contact with before, offer non-sustainable and unkind options. These pet foods may contain duck or deer or rabbit or as in the case of Royal Canin Anallergenic, broken down chicken feathers, or ‘hydrolysed protein by-product aggregates’ as they state on their packaging! As animal lovers, we don’t even want to imagine how these beautiful animals used in novel diets are transported and slaughtered just to feed our itchy pets.
Another source of protein in most commercial skin-based dog foods is fish – either as the main protein source or as oils. We know that in our current climate emergency that we are facing, that there is no such thing as ‘sustainable fishing’. We have to protect our oceans and our marine life who rely on the small fish that are usually used in most pet foods, so yet again a plant-based diet for our itchy pets is the most sustainable option.
A gentle and kind fully balanced 100% plant-based diet can certainly help your itchy, allergic pet.
“So, while under normal circumstances I cook at home for my boy, he’s been on kibble a lot this year because lots of friends have been looking after him for me while I’ve moved house and worked mad shifts. He was on V-Dog, Yarrah and Benevo as I was trialling all of them with him one after the other. He really liked Benevo but after months of itching and infections, I worked out he had an allergy. The only common denominator in these kibbles that was new to him was soya. So, I’m trying him on Greta that you recommended and I have to say that when I opening the bag, he was drooling! He absolutely inhaled it when I gave it to him and it even smells good to me! I’m back to mostly cooking for him again (and his allergies have disappeared within three weeks) but it is great to have this food in the cupboard for staying with friends and emergencies”
Dogs that suffer with atopy – a form of allergy where your pet is allergic to more than one environmental allergen, and where they tend to bite or chew their paws; will also do much better on a plant-based homemade diet than on a commercial hydrolysed protein dog food diet.
Any dry food or kibble diets are made to last for a period of time on the shelf and they can carry storage mites that your atopic dog may react to especially if they suffer with the most common of all – a house dust mite allergy. We advise keeping any dry food away from your pet in a sealed container or in the fridge if they do suffer from a house dust mite allergy to prevent a reaction to storage mites in dry food.
A homemade diet immediately removes this concern and is far more palatable to your pet than a commercial hydrolysed diet. Purina Hypoallergenic HA food that most vets recommend as a hydrolysed diet, contains sugar as one of its ingredients to improve its palatability – this is not acceptable to sustain or even feed our dogs on a diet that has refined sugar as one of its ingredients!
See the descriptions below of the most recommended and most expensive foods for itchy dogs in the UK……quite shocking!
What Other Hypoallergenic Foods Do Vets Recommend…BUT NOT US!?
Royal Canin Anallergenic™
Find out more.....
Corn starch, hydrolysed poultry by-products aggregate, coconut oil, vegetable oil, natural flavours, powdered cellulose, dried chicory root, sodium silico aluminate, potassium chloride, monocalcium phosphate, L-tyrosine, fructooligosaccharides, fish oil, choline chloride, L-lysine, calcium carbonate, vitamins [DL-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), niacin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, D-calcium pantothenate, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin A acetate, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement], DL-methionine, taurine, L-tryptophan, histidine, trace minerals [zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, manganese proteinate, ferrous sulfate, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, sodium selenite, copper proteinate], marigold extract (Tagetes erecta L.), rosemary extract, preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid, magnesium oxide, potassium iodate
There are NO Non-GMO products, it contains corn starch (which is known to be one of the allergens in itchy dogs), and the bit we really don’t like about RC Anallergenic, is that the hydrolysed poultry by-product aggregate that they speak about are in fact broken down chicken feathers – yes you read that right!!
Purina ® HA Hypoallergenic
Find out more.....
Corn starch, protein , minerals, coconut oil, sugar, rapeseed oil, cellulose, soya oil, fish oil
We definitely do not support the ingredient list of Purina HA Hypoallergenic. Their first ingredient is corn starch and the second soya – both known to be allergens in intolerant itchy dogs.
The admission that their 5th ingredient is pure sugar is a definite no-no! Imagine your dog’s teeth after every meal of Purina HA! There is no mention of NON -GMO ingredients and they are using fish oil so we feel this product is non-sustainable and not recommended by us when there are far kinder more sustainable and healthier alternatives.
Find out more.....
40% Insect (Insect Meal 26.2%, Freshly Prepared Insect 8.3%, Insect Oil 5.5%), Oats (19%), Potato (19%), Corn, Peas, Brewer’s Yeast, Seaweed (2%), Linseed, Tomato Pomace, Minerals, Vitamins, Beetroot (0.5%), Chicory Pulp, Pumpkin, Carrot, Glucosamine (575mg/kg), Chondroitin (575mg/kg), Kale, Parsley.
We admire Yora for being such a sustainable company thinking about the environment and the health of your pet. They are also a local company so the food has not had to travel from abroad for packaging and manufacture. They do include corn as an ingredient (an allergen in itchy dogs) and there is no mention of NON-GMO. We are concerned that we do need to preserve our natural insect population and the destruction of the trillions of insects that will go into making this food for your pet does not seem kind when there are alternatives such as our healthy and sustainable plant-based options. They are also more expensive than all the foods we sell!
Hills Prescription Diet Z/D
Find out more.....
The ingredients as stated on their Hills official website, just state –
INGREDIENTS: COMPOSITION: Meat and animal derivatives, cereals, derivatives of vegetable origin, oils and fats, minerals. Carbohydrate source: Corn starch. Protein source: Chicken liver hydrolysate.
As a vet who works at a practice that only supports Hills food, this has made me so angry! Firstly, Hills is a very profit-driven company with no concern for the environment or sustainability at all. Their products are all packaged in non-sustainable thick plastic that can only be recycled if returned to the veterinary practice (and not many owners will do this!) and all their foods are meat-based and packaged in South Africa producing a dangerously high carbon footprint.
So with that in mind, if they care that little about the environment, surely your pet’s health is also the least of their concern and profit is what drives them.
They cannot even mention a breakdown of the ingredients as there is nothing in the food that is wholesome, natural or non-processed. They mention meat derivatives only, cereals (which ones? – non GMO? – absolutely not as not mentioned). They use corn starch as a carbohydrate source – one of the top allergens in dogs. As animal protein is one of the main allergens in dogs, they hydrolyse the chicken liver ie break it down into tiny components so that your dog’s immune system would not recognise it as an allergen – again so highly processed with every natural, wholesome ingredient removed compared to a balanced 100% natural plant-based diet – there is no comparison!
NOW COMPARE THE ABOVE INGREDIENTS WITH THE FOODS THAT WE OFFER….
Micronised rice, potato and pea protein, white oats and hulled oats, einkorn wheat, buckwheat, spelt, vegetable oils and fats (including evening primrose oil and borage oil), potato flakes, dried beet pulp and chicory, isolated vegetable protein, hydrolysed vegetable proteins, wheatgerm, micronised dried carob flour, dry brewer’s yeast, minerals, flaxseed, dried carrots, tomatoes, apples, spinach and medicinal herbs, fructo-oligosaccharides, yeast hydrolysates.
Crude Protein 24.0%, Fat Content 11.25%, Crude Fibre 3.7%, Ash 5.2%
There are no GMO ingredients and although the ingredients do mention wheat (known to be an allergen in dogs); buckwheat is in fact a seed and it contains many beneficial nutrients. Einkorn wheat is chosen for its antioxidant properties as well as being loaded with the essential nutrients zinc, iron, potassium, riboflavin, and vitamins B6 and A. All very important for heart health. It also contains added taurine and the Vit D3 component comes from yeasts which are grown using ultraviolet light – a pure plant-based source.
(We highly recommend this premium plant-based dry food and it is very tasty as our own family dog Ruff LOVES it!)
Green Crunch from Vegdog
28% lentils, 27.9% peas, 15.10% hydrolysed sweet potato, pea protein, sunflower oil, carob, minerals, rape seed oil, carrot, yeast extract, calcium carbonate, yeast, monocalcium phosphate, 0.1% blueberries, pumpkin, 0.1% seaweed
Crude protein 24.1%, crude fat 9.5%, crude fibre 2.8%, crude ash 5.1%, moisture 8.7%, 0.8% calcium, phosphorus 0.52%, Ca: P 1.5: 1 (calcium / phosphorus ratio)
Vitamin-packed fruit and vegetables such as pumpkin, carrots and blueberries, provide large amounts of natural Vitamins A, C and E while also being high in fibre to support a balanced gut microbiome for immune-boosting qualities. Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants and all contribute to a very palatable and fully hypoallergenic balanced food for your lucky plant-based dog.
(We LOVE this food as NO wheat, corn, soya, preservatives and 100% vegan with Vit D3 derived from pure plant sources)
Our Homemade i-Veg Feed the Rainbow Recipe
Cooked ingredients each carefully out weighed in grams specific to your dog
- Tinned red kidney beans and tinned cannellini beans
- Chopped sweet potato (no skin), red apple chopped (with skin no pips), cauliflower and kale
- Green lentils
- Red lentils
- Brown rice
Nutrient rich icing also carefully weighed out in grams
- Ground almonds
- Desiccated coconut
- Chopped fresh parsley and basil and dried origanum or thyme
- All-In-Veluxe VEGDOG supplement
- Sunflower or linseed oil (or combine both)
- Algae oil capsules
- Oat or almond milk
(As you can see from our carefully selected list of wholesome, fresh ingredients, we offer you the choice of adding in the most nutritious and even garden grown ingredients that nutrient-wise cannot even compare to the dry foods that most vets are recommending for itchy pets!)