Maria explained it to me. Heidi, my German Shepherd, had digestion problems to the point that she was underweight. Some days she would wolf down her food the way you assume a hungry, growing puppy would; some days she would look at it, obviously interested but walk away, head down. Maria said this was because she now was sick often enough that she associated eating with the pain in her stomach, the diarrhea afterward, etc.
It broke my heart to hear and I believed it right away. Heidi definitely was too skinny. Her coat was full of dandruff no matter how much grooming I did. She would keep us all awake at night, scratching and biting herself. Even though she was potty trained, I would frequently come home to throw-up or diarrhea all over the living room. It wasn't a matter of wanting to go in the house, it was just that she couldn't hold it.
Besides, I had spent enough money at the vets' by now that I was willing to try anything.
But allergies? How could she be allergic to her food? I had tried so many different things in an attempt to get her to eat that I just didn't see how she'd been exposed to one food long enough.
First, I learned about the dog food I had been feeding her. There was no commercial dog food made before the 1950's. Food companies had silos full of corn, corn that was too rotten to even put into Corn Flakes so then they invented dog food. And to this day, pick up almost any commercial dog food and you'll find the first ingredient is "corn".
Some dogs are born with an allergy to corn. Some dogs develop an allergy to corn. Corn is very hard to digest.
The commercial dog food companies have to process the corn and will advertise that it's "99% digestible" but that isn't entirely accurate. And let's face it, if you have a food allergy to a particular ingredient it doesn't matter how it's prepared, you'll still going to get sick. On top of the corn being a possible allergy producing ingredient, there are the other things contaminating the corn itself. Rodent droppings, storage mites and their droppings, these are all things that become part of the food on the shelf.
Now that I'm talking about it, it's kind of making me itch too.
People are becoming more and more aware of the allergic reaction to corn in their pets and the commercial dog food companies are starting to look at it as well. You'll find new dog food brands available on the market and part of the packaging includes "no corn or corn byproducts", which is a great first step.
I'm happy to say that once I learned about the corn allergy, Heidi became a much healthier dog, very quickly. Initially I stopped feeding her commercial grade food altogether, weaning her back to health with some homemade recipes, which I will share in an upcoming article. Don't worry, cooking for your dog is easy and cheap. In fact, making gourmet dog food from scratch is easier and cheaper than purchasing commercial dog food.
The first thing I would suggest if your dog is suffering from any of the conditions above and you've tried prescriptions to no avail is to take your dog off of the commercial dog food they are eating. Substitute the kibble with cooked rice; I would recommend half white and half brown so they get some natural fiber.
Once your dog is able to start keeping down their food and they don't have their "sad, sick dog face" anymore, now you're ready to get a little more progressive with their diet and curing their allergies, the natural way. read more on how to cure allergies http://symptomsofwestnilevirusinadults.com/