Friday, August 2, 2013
Dear Ask Ariel:  My doxie is on a homemade diet with cooked turkey and dehydrated veggies. I'm wondering if he's not digesting the cooked turkey well? He has itchy ears, runny eyes, gas, burping, squishy poop and is CONSTANTLY licking his boy parts. He's had blood work and urine done and nothing is wrong? Confusing!    Jordan

Dear Jordan:  There are a couple of issues going on here.  First of all, while we would like to think that cooking a homemade diet is optimal to using commercial food, this is not always the case.  Dehydrated vegetables for example, are much higher in carbohydrates and lack the vitality, nutrients and enzymes that fresh or steamed frozen vegetables would have.  Think of a comparison between a dried apricot and a fresh apricot--the sugar level is different.  More carbohydrates and sugar in the diet feed bacteria and yeast overgrowth in the diet.  Commercial frozen raw diets are now very balanced, fresh and highly nutritious, that unless there is a specific reason why you would need to use a homemade diet (e.g. a liver or kidney issue), then it is far better to use those along with some fresh vegetables and/or some homemade fish to round out the diet.  The raw foods are highly digestible and along with digestive enzymes such as K9 Digestive Enzymes, should really help firm up your dog's stool.

Regarding your dog's symptoms, it's possible that the cooked turkey in his diet could be contributing to his discomfort. Poultry, including turkey, is a common allergen for dogs, and symptoms like itchy ears, runny eyes, and gastrointestinal issues can indicate an allergic reaction. Considering the variety of symptoms your dog is experiencing, it may be beneficial to explore a novel protein source such as rabbit or fish. These alternative protein sources can provide nutrients without triggering allergic responses, potentially alleviating your dog's symptoms. Additionally, incorporating high-quality commercial raw diets, which are balanced and easily digestible, along with fresh vegetables and digestive enzymes, could help address digestive issues and support your dog's overall health.