I cannot witness the needless discomfort and suffering of so many dogs from allergies and skin conditions and remain silent any longer. Especially since I have knowledge of, and personal experience with, a simple dietary protocol that has been 100% effective at substantially reducing or completely eliminating the allergic reactions, food intolerance issues, and skin conditions with hundreds of dogs when they followed the simple protocol without the need for medication unless the infections were advanced as in the photos of these feet.
I’m not a doctor, I don’t have a Ph.D in nutrition, I’m not a veterinarian, I’m not AAFCO or the FDA, I’m not with big business, multi-million dollar research projects, or the Government, and I don’t have piles of peer reviewed research papers – so if you think these are the only avenues to the truth then save yourself some time and skip the rest of this article because none of those people are going to show up.
My family has run a successful dog food store for 11 years and been manufacturing our own dog food for 7 years now. We hired an animal nutritionist who had 35 years experience in the dog food industry with a Ph.D in Gut Biology and asked him to help us design the healthiest kibble dog food possible. It was the first time in his over 30 year career that any dog food company had asked him to use his knowledge and experience to design the best dog food possible in kibble form. Before us they had always asked him to find a way to make it cheaper.
From the very start a steady flow of people searching for solutions to their dog’s skin conditions and allergies came to us and we listened to the reasons they’d been given for their dog’s problems by everybody from the dog food companies to the Veterinarians and everyone in between. We were highly motivated to understand the origin of the problem and find a solution to help our customers find relief for their dogs.
Thanks to the Internet, a Ph.D in gut biology, and hundreds of customers willing to work with us, we found a solution that actually works. We were not guided (or rather limited) by existing theories, the opinions of experts, the pervasive body of existing nutritional dogma, scientific studies paid for by billion dollar dog food corporations, or the self proclaimed dog food critics with a website. The only criteria that we considered valid was the end result – it had to work, it had to be a solution to the problem. Focusing on the solution, to the exclusion of all else, proved to be very effective.
I’m not offering another version of the same nonsense about Allergies that is all over the internet and which is obviously useless based on the number of poor dogs that are still suffering from these problems and who are being over medicated in an effort to deal with the symptoms rather than the source of the problem.
I’m not offering another opinion or some advice that I hope will help. What I am talking about is a protocol that actually produces results. You don’t need to understand the science involved and you don’t need to understand the details of how it addresses the source of the problem and heals the dog from the inside out in an organic, holistic, natural way that does no harm, for it to work. You only need to follow the simple, straightforward dietary suggestions that have worked for every dog it’s been tried on, and it will work for your dog as well. You can bypass all the arguments, rhetoric, theories, and “proof” that diet doesn’t cause these problems by simply changing the diet to what we have found actually works and YOU WILL DISCOVER THAT DIET DEFINITELY CAN AND WILL RESOLVE THE PROBLEMS – WHETHER IT CREATED THEM OR NOT.
I’m sorry if the content of this article goes against the existing theories or opinions of the many hardworking, well meaning professionals who are trying to help your dog, or the nutritionists who are doing their best with what science has to offer. I have no desire to demean their efforts, I have no doubt they are doing the best they can, but I cannot stand by silently any longer to be politically correct at the expense of the millions of dogs who are suffering from allergies and skin conditions when I know of a simple course of action that has actually worked in the day to day life of hundreds of dogs, regardless of how severe the symptoms were. If the owner stays with the course of action long enough (sometimes conditions like Systemic Candida require 6 months or more to resolve completely) it is almost certain that the dog will resolve the issues and it is a total certainty that the dog will be healthier overall.
When a solution works – it works! It is evidence that adds to the body of empirical knowledge that supports the theory. In this case the theory is that the correct diet will resolve most of the conditions that cause allergies, skin conditions, and “Leaky Gut”. A theory that logically follows is that this same diet, given to puppies would prevent the occurrence of the problems to begin with.
Do not be deterred from using what works by those who claim there is no ” proof” (scientific or otherwise) that it works. For that matter there is no “proof” that love exists, nor is one possible. Does that argument convince you there is no such thing as love? To claim that “proof” is necessary to validate empirical evidence of reality is patently absurd. As Satoshi Kanazawa, The Scientific Fundamentalist points out in Psychology Today, “Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a scientific proof. Proofs exist only in mathematics and logic, not in science. Mathematics and logic are both closed, self-contained systems of propositions, whereas science is empirical and deals with nature as it exists. The primary criterion and standard of evaluation of scientific theory is evidence, not proof. Anyone who uses the words “proof,” “prove” and “proven” in their discussion of science is not a real scientist“. (bold highlighting is my own)
At this point all the evidence points to the fact that allergies and skin problems in dogs continue to multiply despite the application of solutions based on existing theories of diets for dogs. To distract from this dismal fact they usually resort to claims that the problems are too complex and diverse, and the possible causes too varied to be easily understood, much less resolved by a “One size fits all” solution. They claim that feeding dogs grain, grain products, potatoes, sweet potatoes, high -glycemic carbs, and various forms of sugar is not harmful (because tests “prove” dogs can metabolize them). My 14 year old son can metabolize sugar coated cereal, candy bars, soda, and no end of white bread products covered in icing, but in the real world that does NOT mean it’s nutritious or that it will not harm him. No parent needs science to validate that obvious fact for them. It is the essence of empirical knowledge gained from practical experience, or as my mother would say to her 11 children – “It’s just plain common sense.”
It turns out there actually is a simple “One size fits all” solution for the long list of complicated problems that seem to be the result of a faulty diet in dogs – at least for about 80% to 90% of the problems that are associated with it that present as Allergies, Food Intolerance, skin problems, itching, dry fur, cloudy eyes, etc., etc., etc.
The solution that we’ve successfully used to resolve allergies, food intolerances, and a host of associated skin problems is a diet that has the following properties.
- 32% to 40% protein on a dry matter basis with over 90% of the protein being animal sourced (versus vegetable sourced).
- Over 10% egg protein for easy digestion and a perfectly balanced amino acid profile
- Protein that starts as human grade protein.
- Cassava as a low-glycemic starch binder.
- Added Digestive Enzymes to ensure complete digestion and strengthen the immune system (Amylase, Protease, Cellulase, Lactase, Hemicellulase, and Lipase)
- Added special Prebiotics that are long chain so they feed the Probiotics and not the pathogenic bacteria in the colon.
- Added Probiotics that are encapsulated to protect them from activating prematurely which usually happens to 99% of the probiotics added to dog food.
- GMO Free, Grain Free, White Potato Free, Sweet Potato Free,
- Artificial Coloring Free, Artificial Flavoring Free
- Meat that is antibiotic and hormone free
- Only Natural preservatives used (Mixed Tocopherols (Vit E), Vitamin C, Green Tea Extract, Rosemary Extract)
- Chemical Preservative Free – BHA, BHT, and Ethoxyquin Free (a chemical preservative usually used in fish).
- No topical systemic anti-flea or anti-tick medications used
- No Antibiotics
- No sugar in any form
- The use of meat toppers is allowed up to 20% of the calories of the meal.
I can’t tell you if this protocol would still work if some of the desired components of the diet were missing. I feel more confident telling you that I think it very important, even essential, that all the ingredients that we’ve removed from the food should stay removed for it to work – to heal Leaky Gut, remove Systemic Candida from the blood stream at an appropriate pace, and rebuild the health of the colon and the immune system.
What I can tell you for certain is that this is the makeup of the diet that actually works – that resolves Leaky Gut and the problems that result from it – which turns out to be a very long list of problems.
I’ll bring this article to a close by directing your attention to “Leaky Gut” which I believe to be the genesis of almost all the allergy and skin associated problems. It is a major problem because it allows fecal matter, including partially digested proteins, to leak through the gut wall into the bloodstream which is the origin of all the protein allergies that develop over time. Leaky Gut also allows Candida Albicans, to leak through the gut wall into the bloodstream, from which “Systemic Candida” evolves. Systemic Candida, is a fungus that circulates throughout the bloodstream and can cause every version of skin problem you can imagine from excessive itching, hot spots, to yeasty ears, to lumps, sores, rashes, scooting (itchy butts), cloudy eyes, dull, thinning, brittle fur, etc., etc., and the problems can come and go and change location without rhyme or reason.
It’s very important to understand the hugely negative role that sugar, grain, potato, sweet potato, and other high glycemic carbs have on the dogs system because they feed the Candida fungus and create havoc in the colon and throughout the bloodstream when they convert to sugar in the system. A particular food like potato or sweet potato isn’t necessarily what the body is allergic to but it can contribute to a condition known as “Leaky Gut” which is the mechanism that creates allergies, systemic candida, and a host of skin problems.
In the event that you run into a professional who tells you that Leaky Gut doesn’t exist you can refer them to the article “Leaky Gut Syndrome: What Is It?” on WebMD where Dr Linda A. Lee a gastroenterologist and director of the Johns Hopkins Integrative Medicine and Digestive Center says, “We don’t know a lot but we know that it exists”
If there is any interest in the specific mechanism from beginning to end that causes Leaky Gut, Systemic Candida, Immune System dysfunction, the formation of Allergies, and all the associated skin problems I’ll be happy to go into more detail in future Blog articles.
Richard Darlington, Co-CEO
Brothers Complete Dog Food, LLC