Any tips to promote skin health?

Talk about diets, exercise, and disease.

Re: Any tips to promote skin health?

Postby Annabella13 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:37 pm

I have a lot of reading to do! :) There is so much information out there sometimes it is difficult to know what is reliable. I really appreciate the advice and suggestions.

I have not been giving the coconut oil in their food but I will have to try that. I have just been adding the salmon oil and using the coconut topically. I am pretty new to using coconut oil with the dogs. (even though I use it for so much myself)

I LOVE Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar. It never crossed my mind to add that as a supplement. I will definitely be adding this as well.

I am starting to think they may be having an allergy from something in the air/yard. I spoke with a different vet today who told me that there has been a huge increase in allergies in my area so far this year. If I think about it my whole family has been having allergy issues as well. Even though they are not outside all the time, they are allowed the freedom to come and go the majority of the time. So, I am wiping them down with a wet cloth when they come inside as this vet suggested. I want to give them a little bit of time to adjust to the food change and add the coconut and ACV tomorrow to their meals.

Eventually I want to transition to a raw or partially raw diet. They really enjoy the occasional raw that I give them, but it has been a while. If these skin issues don't clear up with the new food and added supplements that will be my next step.

In the meantime, I am going to do some more research and get to reading the links above!
Will update any changes.
Annabella13
Newborn Bully
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:16 pm

Re: Any tips to promote skin health?

Postby amalie79 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:44 pm

Just to add to your reading...

http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/th ... conut-oil/

The healthier their skin is (fats help with that) the better the skin functions as a barrier to pests and allergens. We do coconut oil, plus salmon oil and kelp because they are on homemade raw. We also just removed chicken and switched to turkey, and that seems to be helping my sharpei mix with her terrible allergies. I added the probiotics to help with yeasty paws and ears, which also seem to have improved.

Good luck!!
User avatar
amalie79
Newborn Bully
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:14 pm

Re: Any tips to promote skin health?

Postby Annabella13 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:06 pm

amalie79 wrote:Just to add to your reading...

http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/th ... conut-oil/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The healthier their skin is (fats help with that) the better the skin functions as a barrier to pests and allergens. We do coconut oil, plus salmon oil and kelp because they are on homemade raw. We also just removed chicken and switched to turkey, and that seems to be helping my sharpei mix with her terrible allergies. I added the probiotics to help with yeasty paws and ears, which also seem to have improved.

Good luck!!


Thanks! The more information the better.

For the probiotic, is there one you recommend? I'll admit I have no experience with them whatsoever or kelp for that matter. :)
Annabella13
Newborn Bully
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:16 pm

Re: Any tips to promote skin health?

Postby amalie79 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:22 pm

My understanding with kelp is that you want to use it a few times a. Week if you're feeding a commercial diet; daily is fine if homemade. We actually have been using Solid Gold Seameal lately, which is a number of different seaweeds and may be ok to use daily with kibble...

The probiotic that we had most success with was Jarrow Petdophilus. And we did well with Vetriscience's probiotic. But I recently started culturing my own milk kefir, so we've switched to that and so far, so good. It's very much like yogurt, but with a lot more strains of bacteria. It includes some yeast, but I think in combination with the bacteria, it's ok. And once you get it going, it's easier than making your own yogurt, much much much cheaper than buying yogurt or kefir.

If you have a subscription to Whole Dog Journal, they have a lot of additional info about these things; if not, I think it's well worth the $20, since you get full access to the entire archive with a subscription.
User avatar
amalie79
Newborn Bully
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:14 pm

Re: Any tips to promote skin health?

Postby amalie79 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:40 pm

I'll add that we do also give an allergy pill during high season. But even then it wasn't enough; changing the diet and adding supplements have helped make them so much better, less reliant on the meds. It was honestly a matter of life quality. We decided to approach it multi directionally. Give the pills for relief now (my two allergy girls were miserable) and focus on diet so that the pills aren't a year long/life long crutch. Luna started out needing steroids, round after round of antibiotics, flea treatments, baths, and allergy pills. Now, antibiotic or steroid treatments for skin issues almost never happen. She never needs bathing, and we've done a mere handful of flea treatments in the last 2 1/2 years despite a terrible flea allergy. That immediate relief for them while I figured out what was going on was worth it. Now we continue to fine tune diet and supplements and it gets better all the time.
User avatar
amalie79
Newborn Bully
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:14 pm

Re: Any tips to promote skin health?

Postby Annabella13 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:19 pm

That's really great. I am hoping that by learning as much as I can I will be able to help my dogs in the long run as well. Thank you for the information. (also turtle) I am already taking notes. :) I will also check out Whole Dog Journal...that seems like a pretty good investment to me as well.

It is so frustrating to not know the source of issues like this. It is nice to be able to talk with people who are going through the same thing. (Although I wish none of our dogs had to!)
Annabella13
Newborn Bully
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:16 pm

Re: Any tips to promote skin health?

Postby turtle » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:23 am

amalie79 wrote:Just to add to your reading...

http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/th ... conut-oil/

The healthier their skin is (fats help with that) the better the skin functions as a barrier to pests and allergens. We do coconut oil, plus salmon oil and kelp because they are on homemade raw. We also just removed chicken and switched to turkey, and that seems to be helping my sharpei mix with her terrible allergies. I added the probiotics to help with yeasty paws and ears, which also seem to have improved.


That’s a good link, thanks!

I do feed her coconut oil in her cooked food, about a spoonful and I think it does help. And lots of salmon oil too. Plus a little ACV.

Interesting that you stopped feeding chicken. I think one thing to consider is that our dogs and ourselves can be affected not only by the foods we eat but by how those foods are raised and processed.

I used to eat a lot of grocery store chicken and also fed it to my dog for years. But a couple of years ago, I found that I could no longer eat it, and last year my dog could no longer eat it either.

There are some published studies showing how this cheap chicken has been shown to cause infections in people. It has to do with all the hormones and antibiotics that cheap chicken is fed. Now I buy a free range chicken without hormones and antibiotics and I eat much less of it. I have not yet tried the old dog on it, since she is eating other meats.
.
User avatar
turtle
Pit Bull Forum Addict
 
Posts: 1938
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2003 11:36 pm
Location: avatar - Leopards by CL Bull circa 1910

Re: Any tips to promote skin health?

Postby turtle » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:35 am

amalie79 wrote:My understanding with kelp is that you want to use it a few times a. Week if you're feeding a commercial diet; daily is fine if homemade. We actually have been using Solid Gold Seameal lately, which is a number of different seaweeds and may be ok to use daily with kibble...

The probiotic that we had most success with was Jarrow Petdophilus. And we did well with Vetriscience's probiotic. But I recently started culturing my own milk kefir, so we've switched to that and so far, so good. It's very much like yogurt, but with a lot more strains of bacteria. It includes some yeast, but I think in combination with the bacteria, it's ok. And once you get it going, it's easier than making your own yogurt, much much much cheaper than buying yogurt or kefir.


I give her a little kelp maybe once a week, as I was warned that too much kelp can be bad for the thyroid. I figure a little bit can’t hurt.

Jarrow makes good products, I have not tried their probiotic but will keep it in mind. I used the Solidgold D-Zyme from Amazon.

But the yogurt and kefir are much better! That’s great you are making your own. Is it hard to do?

I also was giving some plain yogurt everyday and my old dog loved it.

And I agree, we are better off to work with fine tuning their diets than putting our dogs on meds. It is an interesting journey and thanks for posting your experiences and helpful info.
.
User avatar
turtle
Pit Bull Forum Addict
 
Posts: 1938
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2003 11:36 pm
Location: avatar - Leopards by CL Bull circa 1910

Re: Any tips to promote skin health?

Postby amalie79 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:30 pm

Much of what the dogs eat is actually hormone/antibiotic free, though certainly not all. I'm very VERY lucky to have great, affordable sources and local farmers who work with me. But that's actually a really good point, and something I may investigate further. One has a dietary intolerance to chicken in quantities sufficient to feed regularly, another we're trialing removing the chicken to see if some of her allergies clear up, and the other two do fine with it. I actually just got a big order of ground, free range chickens. I usually just get ground frames from this farmer, but he had old whole birds to clear out of his freezer, and since they were low on organ meat, he charged less. Score!!

One thing I forgot in the probiotic category is beef tripe. Lots of great, live enzymes. We are also lucky to have a source of green tripe, and the girls get it nearly daily. My male lab has some serious digestive problems, so I'm hoping he handles the tripe well, too. We'll be starting it this weekend for him. I've not tried D-zyme, but I've looked at it before. Glad to get a recommendation!!

As for kelp, since I feed a homemade diet, I need to supplement iodine-- which is good for thyroid health. It's found in kelp along with lots of great trace minerals. Luna does NOT get kelp, because she's on thyroid medication and I don't want to make her thyroid any more active than it needs to be. Dr. Dodds says it's fine daily for a homemade diet, and for commercial diet I think it's 3 times a week. It's an important supplement, but it has to be delicately balanced.

Two other things for allergies that I've not tried are spirulina and local bee pollen...

I've made yogurt for years (and my mother always did when I was a kid, big hippies :) ), but I just started the kefir. I got dried grains for it, so the first week or two was a bit of a trail getting it going, but now it's super, super, super easy. I've been using in recipes in place of or in combination with regular yogurt for the humans in the house and I like it. The dogs love it, too, of course.

I did step-by-steps for the yogurt on my blog, and I've been documenting the kefir journey, too.

http://materiallyraw.blogspot.com/2013/ ... r-own.html
http://materiallyraw.blogspot.com/search/label/kefir
User avatar
amalie79
Newborn Bully
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:14 pm

Re: Any tips to promote skin health?

Postby turtle » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:57 am

amalie79 wrote:Much of what the dogs eat is actually hormone/antibiotic free, though certainly not all. I'm very VERY lucky to have great, affordable sources and local farmers who work with me. But that's actually a really good point, and something I may investigate further.

One has a dietary intolerance to chicken in quantities sufficient to feed regularly, another we're trialing removing the chicken to see if some of her allergies clear up, and the other two do fine with it. I actually just got a big order of ground, free range chickens. I usually just get ground frames from this farmer, but he had old whole birds to clear out of his freezer, and since they were low on organ meat, he charged less. Score!!


Ahhh you are lucky to be able to get such meats locally at a good price! I will be checking my local farmers market when it warms up to see what I can get around here.

I do think where our foods come from and what they eat and how they are processed is something to consider. Here is an interesting article on butter that talks about this, and about the chemicals put on the grass coming thru to the final food product –

http://www.nwedible.com/2013/02/grassfe ... aster.html

amalie79 wrote: One thing I forgot in the probiotic category is beef tripe. Lots of great, live enzymes. We are also lucky to have a source of green tripe, and the girls get it nearly daily. My male lab has some serious digestive problems, so I'm hoping he handles the tripe well, too. We'll be starting it this weekend for him.


I have a roll of frozen green tripe from Blue Ridge Beef that I have not yet fed her… I know it is great stuff for them, so I will thaw it and give it a try. How much do you feed at one time and did you start with a smaller amount?

amalie79 wrote: As for kelp, since I feed a homemade diet, I need to supplement iodine-- which is good for thyroid health. It's found in kelp along with lots of great trace minerals. Luna does NOT get kelp, because she's on thyroid medication and I don't want to make her thyroid any more active than it needs to be. Dr. Dodds says it's fine daily for a homemade diet, and for commercial diet I think it's 3 times a week. It's an important supplement, but it has to be delicately balanced.

Two other things for allergies that I've not tried are spirulina and local bee pollen...


I agree, a small amount of kelp is a good idea. And I’ve heard that local honey is also good for them and for us. Local honey and bee pollen can really help with allergies.

amalie79 wrote: I've made yogurt for years (and my mother always did when I was a kid, big hippies :) ), but I just started the kefir. I got dried grains for it, so the first week or two was a bit of a trail getting it going, but now it's super, super, super easy. I've been using in recipes in place of or in combination with regular yogurt for the humans in the house and I like it. The dogs love it, too, of course.

I did step-by-steps for the yogurt on my blog, and I've been documenting the kefir journey, too.

http://materiallyraw.blogspot.com/2013/ ... r-own.html
http://materiallyraw.blogspot.com/search/label/kefir


Thank you for the links! That is very cool that you make your own yogurt. I am off to read them.
User avatar
turtle
Pit Bull Forum Addict
 
Posts: 1938
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2003 11:36 pm
Location: avatar - Leopards by CL Bull circa 1910

Re: Any tips to promote skin health?

Postby amalie79 » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:21 pm

Thanks for that article!! We're about to start getting raw milk, and I'm hoping to make some cheeses, etc., and perhaps my own butter from it. (I promise, I'm not quite the hippie that I sound like, I just think this stuff is neat.)

I feed as much as 60% of the meal as tripe. I buy tripe blends form Texas Tripe. He's actually who I buy a lot of stuff from. He does a number of blends that include tripe-- and they make the tripe slightly less stinky if mixed with something else. I think I maybe started out with 10-20% of the total meal to start with...? I can't remember. Mine get such a wide variety of foods that they tend to handle big, sudden changes well. Not sure where any of you are located, but if Texas/Oklahoma/Western Arkansas, Texas Tripe has been a fantastic resource.

One thing I did to keep costs down was to contact the local farmers directly by email, and then I visit the farmer's market with a dog in tow. :) I explained to them what I do, what kind of things I'm looking for (mostly offal, poultry bone, etc.) and what the benefits are of doing this (it's not just great for the dogs, it uses up items that people tend to be squeamish about or things that are inedible for us and that therefore might otherwise go to waste). It appeals to many of our own senses of economy and conservation, and it's a win-win, since it becomes another revenue stream for them and a quality local source of food for us. I know a few farmers have started having the excess chicken ground and sold at our farmers' market for pet food since I started asking around. I can get a grind of frames, necks, feet, liver, heart for $2.25/lb bulk price-- all free range, etc. Lots of meat on them. I got the whole ground chickens from him this week for $2. I can also buy directly from another facility a bit of a drive away and get more AB/hormone free, free range frames (unground) for about 20 cents a lb. A little less meat, but still great. And I'm supposed to go pick up some pork liver and beef tongue from a small operation that needs to clear out its freezer.

I also visit our local abattoir. They process most of the local small-scale farmers' livestock, as well as that of hunters. They are Animal Welfare approved. They sell a lot of organ meats to me, but if I call ahead of time, I can get them to save sets of lungs, heart, kidney, liver all still attached (unprocessed) for $10-- I put in the elbow grease on those. Most everything they do is AB/Hormone free-- a mix of grain and grass fed.

And then I buy cases of a few feed lot/industrial items-- chicken hearts and gizzards by the case, pork hearts-- all around $1/lb. I'm always looking for better deals on higher quality products, but the way I look at it, even if I'm feeding them stuff from the grocery store, it's better than most kibble, especially the ones we have who have special dietary needs. I have 4 medium-large dogs, so I can only afford to do so much.
User avatar
amalie79
Newborn Bully
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:14 pm

Previous

Return to Health Issues

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 5 guests