I’ve been writing blogs for dogs for a number of years now and my purpose is to share information – information I have learnt on the way.
For the parent of an allergy pet it can be so tough, the endless scratching, sleepless nights, stress and worry is something else. With so many rashes and allergies around these days an effective relief is much needed and often medications had been the only answer.
We brought you Eezapet to help break the itch/scratch cycle. To offer relief to your dog (or cat), stopping rashes and itches from spreading all over their body (and quickly done with their constant scratching!)
But sometimes you have to think - what IS actually going on?
Why the continual rashes?
I often talk about overloading allergens weakening the system. An overloaded system cannot cope – the skin being the largest organ often presents as red, raw, itchy, rashy and this can be anywhere on the body!
Eezapet relieves the skin but if the allergen is continually affecting the dog's system then they will continue to present rashes.
So after battling with allergies on Bhindi for 2 years - constantly - she’d clear up and then boom, another break out.
First it was the body, then the paws constantly red, inflamed and sore. Then, about 6 months ago, 2 major ear infections. This was new – never had an ear infection in 8 years – things were getting worse!
It was stressful for all. Poor Bhindi was not happy, lethargic, still had a great appetite but was not running around being a dog. Whilst the itches were being controlled with Eezapet - it was time for more extensive research.
WHY GETTING WORSE?
WHY SPREADING OVER THE BODY?
I was done and I knew my poor Bhindi was done too!
We had previously tested Bhindi through a natural method and she showed as having a grass allergy, she did not show allergies to any food.
I decided to do more extensive research on gut health, nutrition and underlying problems/issues
A timely win was receiving tickets to a Commonsense Organics event (one of our Eezapet stockists ) who had a talk on Gut Health . They were talking about human problems and being similar to my dogs' problems got me thinking
FOOD – we are what we eat!
I was a kibble feeder – one day I thought 'That's enough!' - the vets offered medications, again, so I ran a mile – straight to raw feeding sites, natural vets and Raw Essentials (another of our Eezapet stockists) for more advice, podcasts, papers and research. It was the only thing I had not tried!
This is when it all started to resonate.
Leaky Gut Syndrome – the symptoms and the causes.
One thing that struck me as a concern was the acidity needed in the gut to have optimum health.
When pets are fed high carb, high plant protein (think pea and soy) and low meat protein diets hydrochloric acid is not produced so the PH of the stomach is around 4.5 (low acidity)
When pets are fed a natural raw diet the stomach PH is around 1-2 (high acidity) triggering the production of hydrochloric acid needed for digestion.
This is a HUGE difference! How can the gut operate with a low acidity (PH4.5)? The digestion through the rest of their system is compromised – there is no acid secreting cells, no stomach acidity to aid digestion.
How do they get nutrients from their food?
How does the food travel through their body?
Is this why my own dog has constant rashes?
70% of the immune system is in the gut. A healthy immune system produces antibodies to clear harmful threats. If their system is overloaded then this clearance cannot happen.
A diet high in carbs inhibits stomach acidity and they are not properly digested. Dogs and cats need a high acidic stomach (PH1-2) to properly digest food.
In March 2019 I moved Bhindi onto a raw food diet.
I visited Raw Essentials for a feeding protocol, and have advice from their vets in the best ways to do this.
We had to fix Bhindi’s leaky gut first which is done with the help of bone broths. I’ve always fed bone broths to my dogs if they were sick or irritated, plugging up the holes in the stomach that causes irritations.
Bone broths are highly nutritious, easy on the system, great for gut health and plugging up the holes created by low acidity.
About 2 weeks later I moved No 3 Hemi on to a raw diet. (Hemi would never want to eat his kibble for breakfast – just looking at me as if I was mad and walk away). By the time Hemi came to me – you can read his story here – he was already catching and eating rabbits and chickens.
I also had No 1 dog Coco to think about. She was 13 years old – should I move her onto a raw diet? Coco had been to the vet for a health check and had showed high elevations in her kidneys. The vets sent me home with drugs at $77 per fortnight and to come back and see if they worked. I did more research to check that moving a 13 year old was the right thing to do, and moved her to raw to May 2019.
AND THE RESULTS:
Three months later and back to Bhindi she is looking great.
I’d say she is about 90% healed (and we’d had some horrendous breakouts).
Her coat is beautiful, shiny and glossy (she still gets Newflands Hoki Oil as this is a great product for healthy coat and skin).
For Bhindi it has been great having Raw Essentials vet advice for her transition. Her gut was severely compromised, I believe, hence her skin and rashes slowly getting worse by the week! Once we have her gut health to 100% she should be able to produce enough antibodies to fight allergens and therefore react less. Her system had been severely compromised and healing her leaky gut is an ongoing process.
For Coco after a recheck at the vets in Dec 2019 the vets confirmed that the elevations had all reduced and her kidneys were healthy for a dog of her age. On questioning how this could happen the vets confirmed a good diet and asked what I was feeding. A raw diet I confirmed.
It was one of my happiest moments - I had healed her with food.
Remember 70% of the immune system is in the gut.
With all three dogs now on raw food:
- Hemi comes running for his food
- Coco eats with gusto and
- Bhindi is looking healthier and healthier and not only that she is back to being a dog, running outside, enjoying life as opposed to being almost depressed.
Leaky gut is a very complex thing but really it is as simple as
‘You Are What You Eat’.
If you eat badly your system will be compromised. If you eat right you’ll have a healthy immune system.
The advice I got from Raw Essentials was invaluable and the podcasts from The Natural Vets in Australia are so educational.
If you are having battles with constant allergies blowing out of control then maybe look at what you are feeding your dog(s). Some kibbles are cleaner than others but after learning about the correct PH for digestion – PH 1-2 then raw makes sense.
Best thing I have ever done (asides from making Eezapet to help break the itch/scratch cycle) is moving my three onto a raw diet.
I’ve always believed you are what you eat – that’s how I eat so it was time for my dogs to eat naturally too.
I can only go by the proof I have which is the difference in my dog Bhindi – her mental state, her physical being, and her itchiness and general demeanour.
I’ve even had people who visit saying 'Wow Bhindi is a changed dog' – her coat is healthier, her physique looks great (she is a greyhound cross after all), she is more engaging and generally happier in herself.
If you would like to read more from Eezapet and managing allergens then our blog collection is here.
Get a month of food for free - yes please!
October 2020 special with Raw Essentials - now closed
If you are thinking of making a change now is a great time with this special brought to you from Eezapet & Raw Essentials.
First time raw food customers or those interested in making the switch who mention the word Bhindi at any of the Raw Essentials 12 stores during October will go into the draw to win a month worth of food for their animals. (prize capped at a maximum value $200.)
Even if you are curious about raw feeding then pop in to a Raw Essentials store and have a chat to their knowledgeable staff to learn more on how you can do the best for your dog.
Mention Bhindi at Raw Essentials and go into the draw - to easy!
Our winner has been announced and happy to say that this gorgeous girl won a month worth of food! Big congrats to Martine
Have more questions?
If you have questions on raw then our blog
Raw Feeding 101
answers those questions.
because happy pets make happy owners
Oct 15, 2019
Hi Hannah, I’m a true believer of dogs know best hence not wanting to eat the kibble.
But for me it’s the gastric acidity that is important in maintaining good health, which isn’t helped by kibble feeding.
When you travel a freeze-dried product works best for example K9 Naturals – you just add water.(Dogs with existing digestive issues should avoid ingesting whole bones while they are on freeze-dried products).
If your dog doesn’t suffer from any complex gut issues, they will likely do fine on freeze-dried while you are travelling – but try them on this food before you go away!
Heather – Eezapet
Oct 14, 2019
Hi, our 10 month old has never been particularly keen on kibble and has a mix of raw patties, chicken necks and prime meat off cuts, as well as some vegetables. I am persisting with giving her kibble for breakfast (she reacts like Hemi so I add a bit of yogurt, homemade dog gravy, and hot water), as we want to be able to travel easily with her and raw meat won’t be easy to transport or store when we’re on the road. She seems to be very healthy so we persist with mixed feeding – but if she had her own way she would just eat the lamb loin and fillet steak!
Oct 03, 2019
Great blog Heather… I’m a total believer in the raw food diet, my guys have been on it for years and are SO healthy!! Its absolutely common sense to have dogs (and cats) on a raw food diet as well… why wouldn’t you? ;)