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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)
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    Question Food Question: What to feed my "sensitive" Great Pyr???

    I have a Great Pyrenees. She (Carly) is about 9 months old. I don't know her exact age, b/c she was found by some friends, who kept her until she was about 6 months old, but then had to give her up due to a job transfer. Anyhow, she seems to have very sensitive skin, and I have been thinking about going to a "Grain-Free" dry dog food for her. Any thoughts or advice on this?

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Espinay's Avatar
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    What will work will depend on the cause of the sensitivity. For example it could be a contact allergy and in that case changing food will have no real effect. In what way is her skin sensitive? What are you seeing?

    If it is related to diet, changing foods can work. Best way to approach this though if you really think it is a food allergy is to do an elimination diet. The problem with changing from one commercial food to another is that they are all made up of multiple ingredients (not just the big ones - all those little additives too that are on the ingrdients list). It is next to impossible to find a food that is 100% different. And how do you know which ingredient in the food you are feeding is the culprit? It may not be the 'headliner' ingredients that are the issue. And it may be that fed in a different form those ingredients are no problem at all too.

    One of the reasons I like feeding a raw diet is because it is so versatile and a diet can really be tailored to a dogs individual needs. For example, if you do an elimination diet, you can start by feeding one thing only for at least a week to two weeks. If there is no reaction, feed a new one along with it for at least another week. If something reacts, remove it. Retest it again in a month or two to double check the reaction. this way you can pinpoint exactly what is causing the issue.

    I must say though that I do beleive that most of the 'allergy' issues seen in dogs these days are not a reaction to particular whole food ingredients, but to chemical buildup caused by our 'modern' life. So many chemicals in the household and household products these days and so many additives in food. So many diets deficient in essential fatty acids and important enzymes and amino acids found in fresh foods.

    So befor exhanging foods, take a look at other things too. What you wash clothes with, what you put on the carpet, what you use on the lawn, what you wash the dog with and how well you rinse it off, whether anyone in the household smokes. Also look at whether you can increase natural enzymes and EFA's in the diet by adding things like fish/salmon oil, whole raw eggs, sardines/mackeral or salmon etc. Of course feeding all raw IMO is a great move, but by adding some live foods high in those essential elements it can be a good start.

    FWIW.
    Espinay Pyrenean Mountain Dogs (Australia) - putting the Breed before breeding

    www.espinay.com

  3. #3
    Old Dawg (Senior Member)
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    Quote Originally Posted by queeniepng View Post
    I have a Great Pyrenees. She (Carly) is about 9 months old. I don't know her exact age, b/c she was found by some friends, who kept her until she was about 6 months old, but then had to give her up due to a job transfer. Anyhow, she seems to have very sensitive skin, and I have been thinking about going to a "Grain-Free" dry dog food for her. Any thoughts or advice on this?
    It might be a good time to see a vet, if you haven't already. Sometimes other conditions can be the root cause. My Sebastian tended to have more skin issues than the others, and he gets a little more fish oil supplements.

  4. #4
    Road Dawg Kay's Avatar
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    I have a pyr with both food and seasonal allergies and have modified his diet to deal with them. As Espinay states, using an elimination diet is the best way to determine food allergies, but it may take about a month for the diet to show any improvement once the allergy source is removed. Other reasons for allergies are fleas and seasonal/contact allergies, with flea allergies being more common than food allergies.

    When dealing with food allergies last summer, I had to take Traveler to the vet since he had a few nasty hot spots and was itching every 5-10 minutes. His allergies were so bad that they placed him on a short treatment of prednisone and I started an elimination diet. From the diet, I determined he can't eat chicken/fowl, eggs, soy, rice, nuts or corn. Traveler is currently eating Orijen 6 Fish or Acana Pacifica with good results (there are other, cheaper foods, but he is a finicky eater). I also bring treats when we go for walks because people think Iím being mean when I ask them not to feed him their treats - they donít have to deal with the itchies or loose stool.

    Besides the visit to the vet, I recommend keeping a log of the intensity of the problem (I use the free diary at pollen.com) and also note everything she is eating.

  5. #5
    Puppy (New Member)
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    I don't have a Great Pry yet but I do have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that get's explosive stools with poultry and super itchy with low fat in food and any sort of grain. So we're stuck with grain free fish based, boring but he's healthy (wellness core ocean fish or taste of the wild salmon).

    I hope you are able to find the root of the issue.

  6. #6
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Davey Benson's Avatar
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    I concure with getting a second opinion. There very well could be an alergy issue, or there could be something else going on, like a reaction to environment like bugs and so forth. What are the symptoms? Spots? Bumps? Loosing hair? Redness? Rash? Swelling? Itching? All of the above? Good luck with the diagnosis.

    For what it's worth, there are genuine cases of food alergys out there, but sometimes I wonder if it's a symptom that is being over diagnosised. I've had a few dogs... never had any display signs of food alergys. Perhaps I'm just lucky.
    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. Groucho Marx

  7. #7
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Amatrine's Avatar
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    My dog has grain and corn allergies. We feed Castor and pollux Oraganix, and have no problems. Its the only feed she can eat.

  8. #8
    Puppy (New Member)
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    Kay I see you are in NH.I am as well,where in NH are you? send me an email to thenewmrsb2001@msn.com

  9. #9
    Puppy (New Member)
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    Default please help

    My Pyrenees Bently is 2 years old.I have ( Guilty as I am ) been giving him purina one since he was a baby.In the last year I have noticed alot of skin conditions.So I decided to change his food to earthborn dog food witch is about 20.00 dollars more than what I was paying.He is still itching! should I change him to a grain free??Any sugestions are greatly apreciated.

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