Food for the Itchy Pug
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    Chasing Henry's Avatar
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    Default Food for the Itchy Pug

    Petey chews his feet at times and scratches around his neck and shoulders. Not a lot, but he does do it several times a day. His skin is slightly dry...when I use the furminator I can see flakes of dry skin on the comb. His tummy and feet are a grayish color. I can't actually see too much of his skin since his fur is so thick though. He just had a thorough bath and brush out at the groomer's.
    I am ruling out fleas because I don't see any and we started him on Frontline a couple weeks ago(and fleas love me so if there were any in the house I would know because I'd be itchy too!). I assume it's not a reaction to Frontline since there is no localized irritation at the site of application.
    So is this a food issue? It seems like food allergy is very common in pugs? I know that when he was at the Foster Home he was eating a fish based kibble (the Costco salmon one). When we first got him he got a lot of variety of foods since we had a buch of samples. So I don't know if he is allergic to something in one of the foods. I now have him on just TOTW Pacific Stream. He is still itchy but it's only been a few days so I will wait and see how he is by the end of the 5 lb bag.
    Is the TOTW Pacific Stream good for a dog with a possible allergies? If it doesn't end up stopping his itching should I go with a non-fish based food or just another brand? Any suggestions? I prefer a kibble but I could consider doing wet food if that would help.
    **Rhea, mama to 2 legged toddler, Henry, and to Petey the Wonderdog, our rescue pug**
    ~Always missing my heart dog, Buster and his partner in crime, Abigail. They are together now at the Rainbow Bridge and probably causing trouble.~

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    Have you asked the foster family if he was having this issue at their home? Could the itchiness be from the bathing and brushing? Has he been shedding alot especially around the neck and shoulders? Is there a collar or harness rubbing his dry skin? He could just have inhaled allergic dermatitis (like airborne allergies). One of my pugs is on benadryl. He has itchy feet during grass/pollen season. He was very hairy around the neck and shoulders, too, like a lion so I had him shaved and only bath as needed. He seems more comfy this way. I also had another foster pug that was allergic to grass/pollen. Another foster right now, is on hydroxizine for inhaled allergic dermatitis. He actually scratched a hot spot under his neck until it bled, but is all better now. I would give the TOTW some more time. It only has one protein source (fish). It sounds like your pug scratches infrequently. I would try some benadryl or some soothing skin spray.

    If you're thinking about changing foods go with something potato free next. Nature's Variety Instict Limited Ingredient Diet, California Natural Grain Free Chicken Meal Formula, Brothers Complete Allergy Formula. These have limited ingredients.

    There are regular foods that are also potato free - Nutrisca, Natures Variety Instinct, Natures Logic, Amicus, EVO herring & salmon, Nutrisource grain free, Back to Basics, Earthborn Hollistic Grain Free Great Plains, EVO weight management.

    I mention potato free because too much potato can lead to problems manifesting as "allergies" Dog Health - Cat Health - Pet Health - Horse Health - Human Health | NZYMES.COM (PT) - NZYMES.COM - a Division of Biopet Inc.

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    Thanks for your advice Pugtown!

    Ok, in the past day Petey has started itching a lot more. I know that Now his inner back legs seem to really be bothering him. His eyes are goopier too. I know sometimes things get worse before they get better, but this seems extreme considering he wasn't that bad to begin with. Should I keep him on the TOTW still or switch to a potato free/ novel to him protein food?
    **Rhea, mama to 2 legged toddler, Henry, and to Petey the Wonderdog, our rescue pug**
    ~Always missing my heart dog, Buster and his partner in crime, Abigail. They are together now at the Rainbow Bridge and probably causing trouble.~

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    You could try that. Would lamb or turkey be novel to him? If so, I would go with NV Instinct LID. If you need more novel ideas, there is Addiction brand foods. They have brushtail, and kangaroo, but does have potato. How about rabbit? There is NV raw rabbit, and Primal raw rabbit. Unfortunately, the NV Instinct regular rabbit formula also has salmon, but it is potato free. So...so you have some choices. Potato free LID, or just potato free non-LID, and raw, and Addiction's novel protein but with potato. Make sense? And some benadryl.

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    First, thank you for rescuing a pug. Second, how old is he? Food allergies generally develop after about 2 years old when the dog's body has developed an intolerance to what he's been eating. Ensure he gets NO GRAINS, including in treats. If he doesn't respond well to that change, it may be an intolerance/allergy to one or more protein sources - e.g. chicken (it could be anything). If he was doing well in the foster home and has started scratching since adoption, this is likely. There's lots of information about this on this forum and here's where I would recommend you start:

    FOOD ALLERGIES and ELIMINATION DIETS
    "You cannot afford to subject your animals, or your children, to medical interventions that you do not understand. The belief system upon which the conventional medical model is founded is so faulty, so corrupt and so dangerous that you simply cannot afford to follow blindly." Catherine O’Driscoll http://www.whale.to/vaccine/driscoll1.html

    Hilary & the Pugpillow Gang: Rescues: Denver (10), Tina (7), Murdoch (5) and chihuahua puppy Maximus Spartacus. Always loving my angel-girl Mei-Ling (1994-2009), my cutie-patootie Kim-Soo (1995-2010), my precious Daisy-Bo (1998?-2006), my sweet boyfriend Jake (1997-2010), my little black beauty Betsy (1995-2010), my sweet old grumpy man Gooey (1996-2011), and my sweet gentleman Farnsworth (1998-2012) at the Bridge.

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    Petey is 1.5 yrs old. I emailed his foster mom and she said he was doing well on the salmon based kibble she was feeding him (Natures Domain from costco and/or Simply Nourished). All the kibble we have ever tried him on were grain free but he has had a few dog biscuts now and then with grain so I will eliminate those. He seemed to scratch less this evening but really, I don't think it's normal for him to scratch at all, right?

    Thank you pug town and pugpillow for your help. If the itching gets more frequent I will try benedryl (his foster mom also suggested it) but his skin isn't raw or anything so I don't want to give him medication if I can avoid it. The food allergy/elimination diet thread was really helpful, I guess that would be the best next step rather than trying so many kinds of kibble since it could be an allergy to a preservative or something too I guess. I am also researching raw food diets (your threads on this are awesome, pugpillow!). My DH is horrified at the idea of us giving Petey a whole raw fish for dinner though...he said we would have to bathe him every day, lol.
    **Rhea, mama to 2 legged toddler, Henry, and to Petey the Wonderdog, our rescue pug**
    ~Always missing my heart dog, Buster and his partner in crime, Abigail. They are together now at the Rainbow Bridge and probably causing trouble.~

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    My pugs love, love, love their raw food and their turkey and chicken necks. I don't make homemade. I just use the frozen raw from Natures Variety and Primal. I like their 8 oz patty size and they come in many flavors.

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    Ok I think I figured it out. While I was out of town DH was giving Petey dry kibble (I always add lots of water to it). I think that made his skin dry and itchy. I've read about how much water it takes to rehydrate the kibble as they digest it and that gets taken away from the other organs (like the skin). Also, kibble is apparently super low in oil since that would make it go rancid quickly. So he's been doing better with the kibble with water and I've been adding fish oil and raw egg or yogurt too which he likes. I will probably add a canned food or cook his meals myself or go raw but I need to research all the options first. Anyway just wanted to update and note what helped in case someone else has a similar issue.
    **Rhea, mama to 2 legged toddler, Henry, and to Petey the Wonderdog, our rescue pug**
    ~Always missing my heart dog, Buster and his partner in crime, Abigail. They are together now at the Rainbow Bridge and probably causing trouble.~

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    There's a dehydrated raw food called Honest Kitchen Zeal. It is a whitefish based food and you have to mix it with water so that might be a good way to make sure he always has water with his meal when DH feeds him!!

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    Could it be thyroid problems Macie Belle was doing the biting and itching also belly turned dark, now energy she is now on thyroid meds has been for about 45 days and is doing great back to her old self playing and not biting and itching as much. Belly is much lighter and fur feels fuller and looks better.

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