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Lew Olson's newly revised edition is filled with an abundance of new topics and information. Whether you are new to home feeding or a seasoned raw feeder, have a senior dog or a new puppy, a pregnant mom or a toy breed, this book presents all the information you need to make the best nutritional decisions for your dog.
Filed Under (Dog Nutrition) by B-Naturals.com on 02-01-2021
Lew Olson's newly revised edition is filled with an abundance of new topics and information. Whether you are new to home feeding or a seasoned raw feeder, have a senior dog or a new puppy, a pregnant mom or a toy breed, this book presents all the information you need to make the best nutritional decisions for your dog. 

Lew Olson started sharing her canine health information to her readers in the form of Newsletters in 1997 and over the past 23 years, she has shared 215 of them with her readers.  This month we compiled and organized Lew’s Newsletters into in alphabetized categories. We have done this a couple of times over the past two decades because it provides Lew’s readers an easy and convenient way to find their topics of interest quickly and easily.

As new information comes available on specific health topics, or if several people call Lew with similar questions on the same health issue, she updates a past topic to address those questions and includes any new information that is available.  Additionally, as some links in older newsletters became unavailable, whenever possible, she adds in new research links when the newsletters are updated.

Another great way to get all the information you need in one place and to have it at your fingertips any time you need it, is to purchase Lew Olson’s book, Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs.  This is a fabulous reference book that is easy to read, easy to navigate, and covers everything from the history of dog food, caring for all stages of life from puppies to seniors, diet needs for pregnant moms, working dogs and dogs with specific health care and nutritional needs.  This is an invaluable gem for every dog lover who wants to provide their dogs with the best nutrition possible.

Want to Feed the Best Diet for Your Dog, But Don’t Know How?

Now there is a fast and easy way to learn! Check out Lew Olson’s easy-to-follow, on-line course videos! Read on to learn about Canine Nutrition and preparing Raw and Home Cooked Diets! Click for Video

We hope you save this newsletter so you can refer back to it any time you need an answer to a specific health, nutrition or diet question.

Addison’s and Cushing’s Disease

Allergies and Allergy Testing (Also see Yeast)

Anxiety (Also see Stress)

Arthritis (Also see Joint Issues)

Bladder – UTI’s, Stones, Crystals and Incontinence

Blood Work Values

Calcium (Also see Supplements)


Canine Influenza

Carbohydrates and Sugar




          Balancing Your Dog’s Diet

Best Diet Foods

            Diets and Health

Diets for Specific Health Issues

Diets for Unique Issues

Homemade Diets – Raw and Cooked

Importance of Variety

            Mixing Fresh Food with Kibble

            Questions Answered about Feeding a Fresh Food Diet

Vegetarian Diets – Why you shouldn’t feed this diet

Digestion Issues (Also see Stomach Issues)


Fact or Myth

Fats and Essential Fatty Acids (Also See Supplements)

Green Foods

Healthy Treats

Heart Issues



History of Dog Food


Inflammation (Also see Pain Management)

Inflammatory Bowel Disease/Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD)

Immune Deficiencies and Autoimmunity

Incontinence (See Bladder)

Joint Issues

Kidney Issues


Liver Issues

Miscellaneous Topics

Muscular Dystrophy

Pain Management


Pregnancy and Infertility


Puppies and Raw

Senior Dogs

Skin Issues (Also see Allergies and Yeast)

Stomach Issues (Also see Digestion Issues)

Stress (Also see Anxiety)




Essential Fatty Acids




Supplements for Good Health

Supplements for Specific Health Issues




Testimonials and Individual Stories

Terminal Illness

Tick Borne Disease


Toy Breeds

Vaccines and Titers

Vegetarian Diets

Whelping and Rearing Puppies

Working Dogs

Yeast (Also see Allergies)

Other References


Filed Under (Dog Nutrition) by B-Naturals.com on 12-03-2020
Lew Olson's newly revised edition is filled with an abundance of new topics and information. Whether you are new to home feeding or a seasoned raw feeder, have a senior dog or a new puppy, a pregnant mom or a toy breed, this book presents all the information you need to make the best nutritional decisions for your dog. 

Yeast is the most over-looked cause of itching in dogs. It can also cause brown discharge in the ears, chewing of the feet, itching by the tail, flanks, belly and feet.  It is often misdiagnosed as environmental allergies, flea bite dermatitis or food allergies. This article will discuss easy ways to get rid of pesky yeast!


Yeast, or Malassezia dermatitis, is air borne and found normally on a dog’s skin. Whether you are experiencing a particularly hot summer, live in a wet climate, or when you turn the furnace on in the fall, all of these environments can cause yeast to grow. Yeast is also commonly found on puppies and senior dogs when their immune system is either immature or suppressed.

Want to Feed the Best Diet for Your Dog, But Don’t Know How?

Now there is a fast and easy way to learn! Check out Lew Olson’s easy-to-follow, on-line course videos! Read on to learn about Canine Nutrition and preparing Raw and Home Cooked Diets! Click for Video


The first symptoms show up as mild itching. The itching continues and begins to worsen and can be accompanied by ear rubbing, redness in the ear and the development of a brown discharge. Sometimes ‘hotspots’ (weepy, large sores, usually on the neck, back or legs) can develop. Yeast grows in moist areas on the dog, such as the ears, around the eyes and mouth, feet, belly and rear end. Dogs can lick their feet so much they develop redness between the toes that can develop into cysts and cause sores on the pads. Yeast can occur as one of these symptoms, a few of them, or all of them. In addition to these symptoms, some dogs can also develop a yeasty, musty odor.

If your dog is itchy and has any or all of the symptoms mentioned above, have your veterinarian do a skin scraping and culture. Your veterinarian will take a small sample of the affected area and send it off to a laboratory to culture and determine if yeast is present. You don’t have to wait for the results to begin taking steps to make your dog feel better. Treatment is straight forward and fairly simple and easy. But be sure to follow the timing precisely, to make sure you get rid of the yeast!


The first step is to purchase the needed ingredients.  You need to buy a good anti-fungal, anti-bacterial shampoo. It does not need to be strong smelling to be good and you can find several quality shampoos online. Then buy some baking soda. The same simple baking soda you find at your grocery store. Lastly, you need a good ear treatment such as Zymox (the cortisone free version).

The second step is to bathe your dog in the shampoo and follow with a rinse of 4 tablespoons of baking soda to a quart of water. Leave this mix on your dog for ten minutes and rinse. REPEAT this bathing and rinse process two more times – one day apart, and then weekly for at least a month. At the same time, start the ear treatment with Zymox and use for ten days. While the baking soda will kill the yeast on your dog’s body, the Zymox will kill the yeast in the ears!


If your dog’s feet have been affected, you can purchase an athlete foot spray, such as Tinactin, and apply on your dog’s feet twice a day. If the yeast and itching has developed hot spots on your dog, you can use Gold Bond Foot Powder on the hot spots.


Lastly, it is important to wash your dog’s bedding frequently and mop the flooring where your dog may rest or sleep daily. If you use an outdoor kennel, the flooring needs to be disinfected daily as well. I would also suggest treating any of your other dogs in your household whether they show symptoms or not. Yeast can spread easily and is opportunistic in settling in dogs due to age, illness, recent vaccination, or if a dog has recently been on antibiotics or steroids. Both of these drugs promote yeast growth.

Please note that areas affected by yeast can itch for 30 days after the yeast is killed and it can come back! Therefore, you need to be diligent and watch for any reoccurrence. If the symptoms return, repeat the steps outlined above.


A good prevention of yeast can be to feed a good, healthy diet. This can be a raw diet, home-cooked diet, or kibble diet mixed half and half with animal-based proteins (yogurt, meat, eggs). Avoid starches, grains and fruit as these are all high in sugars and help to promote yeast growth. I also recommend adding the Berte’s Immune Blend to your dog’s diet. This supplement contains vitamins A, B complex, C, D3 and E, and probiotics. Probiotics are especially important as they help keep yeast in balance. If your dog is going to be on steroids or antibiotics, I also suggest giving Berte’s Ultra Probiotic Powder while your dog is on the medication. If on antibiotics, offer the probiotic powder two hours prior to or after giving the medication and continue for up to a month after the medication use is over. In addition, I recommend adding Fish Oil Capsules at one per 10-20 pounds daily. Fish oil contains omega 3 fatty acids, which are difficult to find in foods. Omega 3 fatty acids help support skin and coat and the immune system.


I hope you find this information on treating yeast helpful and your dog will thank you.


Lew Olson's newly revised edition is filled with an abundance of new topics and information. Whether you are new to home feeding or a seasoned raw feeder, have a senior dog or a new puppy, a pregnant mom or a toy breed, this book presents all the information you need to make the best nutritional decisions for your dog. 
  1. How can I be sure the diet is balanced?

That answer is easy enough! Just make sure to add 900 milligrams of calcium to the diet. You can use carbonate, calcium citrate or ½ teaspoon of ground eggshells per pound of food fed to your home-cooked meals. Design the recipes to be at least 75% animal-based protein and 25% low-sugar (low-glycemic) cooked and mashed carbohydrates.

For raw diets, feed half the diet in raw meaty bones and half in animal protein with a slight amount of liver or kidney added.

  1. How much cooked or raw food should I feed my dog daily?

For adult dogs, we feed 2% to 3% of their body weight daily. For puppies, we feed 5% to 10% of their body weight daily and feed multiple meals (3-4) per day until age 4 to 6 months.

Want to Feed the Best Diet for Your Dog, But Don’t Know How?

Now there is a fast and easy way to learn! Check out Lew Olson’s easy-to-follow, on-line course videos! Read on to learn about Canine Nutrition and preparing Raw and Home Cooked Diets! Click for Video
  1. Are all meat types safe for my dog or are there some I should avoid?

Most meats are fine for dogs. I use USDA approved meats or pre-made frozen raw diets. However, there are a few exceptions. One of these includes pork. Pork is fine for dogs, but it does need to be frozen hard for three weeks to kill the trichinosis parasite. ALL meat suppliers in the United States do this before it ever hits the grocery shelves, so there is no problem with store-bought pork. HOWEVER, there are some meats that cannot be fed. You CANNOT feed dogs raw wild boar or bear as these can contain the trichinosis parasite. If you choose to feed these meats, you MUST make sure they have been hard-frozen for at least 3 weeks prior to feeding OR they MUST be fully cooked. In addition, salmon from the Northwest must be cooked before feeding due to flukes that they can sometimes harbor. Just cook first or offer canned salmon, which is fine because it has been cooked prior to canning. When feeding venison, avoid the spine and the head (brain).

  1. What are the benefits of feeding a raw or home cooked diet?

The benefits are wonderful! The first is smaller and less odor stools. The second is a lack of, or VERY LITTLE, tooth decay, plaque or tartar. Carbohydrates (grains, starches and fruit) cause Tartar. Third, there is NO DOGGY ODOR! This simply goes away on fresh food diets! Lastly, you will find your dog has better muscling and far less fat!

  1. How do I start a raw or home cooked diet?

The first thing is to get good directions and recipes. My book is a good way to start, “Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs”. It contains detailed directions and recipes. Or, you can purchase my excellent videos! There are three of them. One is on Home Cooked Meals. It is $60 and contains lists, ideas, recipes and videos to help you prepare meals. The second is on Raw Diets, also $60. This video will help you with recipes and instructions on buying and preparing food for adults, puppies and toy breeds. Also available is my full seminar video for $199, “Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs”. This video not only includes the Home Cooked and Raw Diet Videos, but also has chapters on the History of Dog Food, History of Feeding Dogs, Anatomy and Digestion of the Dog, Use of Supplements and How to Understand them, and two bonus chapters on Feeding Dogs with Cancer and Feeding Dogs with Renal Disease. These videos are on the Teachable site and there for you to use and view as long as you would like! The videos will help give you the confidence and courage to proceed and make sure you are successful!

I would also like to suggest you join K9Nutrition on Facebook where I, and several others, are available to help you with all your individual questions and concerns.

Once you get started, you will find out in a very short time how easy it is AND how fast you start to see the rewards! YOUR DOG will appreciate because fresh food is far tastier and healthier and they LOVE the variety! You will enjoy the smaller stools, no doggy odor, less vet visits and a calmer and more athletic dog! So GET STARTED TODAY!


Lew Olson's newly revised edition is filled with an abundance of new topics and information. Whether you are new to home feeding or a seasoned raw feeder, have a senior dog or a new puppy, a pregnant mom or a toy breed, this book presents all the information you need to make the best nutritional decisions for your dog. 

Dog owner’s most common health concerns are about skin and coat problems, digestion problems and urinary issues including crystals, stones and infection. Once again, I am going to address questions about allergies, allergy testing and skin problems. My most immediate reason for this is that I am seeing more references by dog owners using saliva or hair testing to determine allergies in dogs, and these are completely bogus. I plan on offering several references to this in this month’s newsletter and a short discussion on how these tests have been debunked. I do hope you read the references here to gain better information and understanding on this issue.

The term ‘sensitivities’ has been bandied about quite a bit. I have people tell me their dog has food sensitivities to several foods (as per indicated by a saliva test). The term is mostly made up, mostly by those marketing these tests. Understand that sensitivities are used to describe specific conditions such as lactose intolerance, Crohns disease, or gluten intolerance. While some of these are geared toward specific things, (i.e., lactose being milk and gluten being about grains that contain gluten), the doctor will diagnose these conditions, not through a food sensitivity test, but hearing a list of symptoms.  Dogs are not prone to any of these except lactose intolerance and this is why only cultured milk products are recommended for dogs, not plain cow’s milk.  Food sensitivities have to do with having a specific condition, not a reaction to a random, wide selection of foods. Food allergies are to an immune response to proteins in food. Not fats, or fiber, but proteins. It usually takes up to two years to develop this because the body needs to have a lengthy exposure to a substance to develop the immune response. Allergic responses most commonly result in the following:

  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Swelling of the face, ears, lips, eyelids, or earflaps
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy ears
  • Itchy, runny eyes
  • Constant licking

Hives are the most common. Swelling can occur, but can also be a reaction from bug bites, which can also be an allergic reaction. The swelling and hives are the best markers. Topical yeast infections – the only kind dog’s get – can also cause itching, runny eyes and face, hot spots, and constant licking. For more on diagnosing and treating the very common yeast issues in dogs:

Want to Feed the Best Diet for Your Dog, But Don’t Know How?

Now there is a fast and easy way to learn! Check out Lew Olson’s easy-to-follow, on-line course videos! Read on to learn about Canine Nutrition and preparing Raw and Home Cooked Diets! Click for Video


And while allergies might cause digestive upsets, this is most commonly caused by something else. It could be an irritated digestive tract lining, too much food fed to the dog, too much fat, or even too much fiber, (i.e., carbohydrates such as starches and grains). The best way to treat that is with frequent small meals, taking care in the amount of food fed, adding probiotics, l-glutamine, or the Berte’s Digestion Blend.



Allergies come from mediated (immediate) reactions, or Immunoglobulin E (lgE). This reaction happens immediately, with flushing, hives, throat swelling or even anaphylaxis. These affect mast cells, and why antihistamines are effective in minor cases. Immunoglobulins (IgG) show us if we have been exposed to a food. Some take this to mean we are ‘intolerant’ to a food, but it really means we are tolerant of it. And that is what some of the saliva tests are designed to do, test the IgG. Which makes them worthless. Read more here:


As for IgE, the testing used in most blood or skin prick testing, most are worthless and the results are not reliable. “To summarize the current clinical consensus on allergen-specific IgE serology in canine atopic dermatitis, specialty clinicians universally recognize that these assays are ‘IgE tests’, not allergy tests.” “As such, they are merely tools to aid diagnosis and therapy, not definitive diagnostic tests. The usefulness of these tools can be greatly improved through appropriate use; principally, prior to their use, other possible diagnoses must be eliminated from consideration and a firm clinical diagnosis of atopic dermatitis is required. It is well established that there is only partial correlation between the serological and intradermal tests; however, the significance of discrepant results is unknown and unstudied. Some healthy dogs, and some dogs with nonatopic skin diseases, have positive serum-based test results. Finally, variation in test methodologies, along with the absence of universal standardization and reporting procedures have created confusion, varying study results, and an inability to compare across studies performed by different investigators. Establishment of appropriate standards would greatly facilitate additional study, and arguably is necessary if meaningful conclusions are to be drawn in the future.”


Most Veterinarian websites are now stating the only way to test for allergies is an Elimination Diet, or a diet with two food sources, and slowly introducing new foods along the way. They also state explicitly that saliva and hair tests are bogus.


And lastly, the hair and saliva tests that are being marketing for dogs have been researched and found bogus. And please note, these tests were banned for human use some years ago and determined as bogus:

“Positive test results were provided by the direct‐to‐consumer pet allergy for all submitted samples, including synthetic fur and saline. The test results for healthy and atopic animal samples were no different from each other or from synthetic fur and saline samples. Reproducibility for paired samples was not different from random chance. The results for real animals correlated strongly with results for synthetic fur and saline samples (r=0.71, P<0.05).”




So please, do not buy a hair or saliva allergy test for your dog. They are totally worthless and a scam. What I do suggest if your dog is itching, has red skin, and simple bathing and flea preventions are not working, is to get a skin scraping and have it sent off to be tested for both bacteria and yeast. Quite often after a dog has had a flea or bug bite, or gets a mild skin bacterial infection, yeast will set in. While waiting results of the skin scraping, bathing your dog with an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial shampoo every other day will help. Rinse the dog with a solution of 4 tablespoons of baking soda to a quart of water. This baking soda solution will kill yeast if you leave it on the dog for 5-10 minutes and then rinse. Then use twice weekly for two weeks, and then weekly. While you may kill the yeast, the dog will continue to itch for a month. Be sure to wash the dogs bedding often and clean the floors well. You can also use athlete’s foot spray twice daily on feet and areas on the body. I do recommend cleaning the ears with Zymox (you can find this on Amazon. Use the non-cortisone formula) religiously for ten days. Yeast tends to grow around moist areas. This includes the dogs face, ears, eyes, belly and rectum. At times, dogs will have bacteria and yeast. The bacteria needs to be addressed with antibiotics. However, remember antibiotics and steroids cause yeast to grow like mad. I recommend adding the Berte’s Ultra Probiotic to the diet, and the Berte’s Immune Blend. Once the antibiotic use is over, treat with the anti-fungal and anti-bacterial shampoo, and rinse with the baking soda solution every other day for a week, twice a week for 2-3 weeks after that, and weekly for a time.


Please note, Food Allergies in dogs are RARE!  It takes time after being feed a single protein repeatedly over many months and in most cases over several years for these to develop. The term intolerances or sensitivities rarely, if ever, apply to dogs. Please do the skin scraping to test for bacteria and yeast and use the simple solutions outlined above to kill yeast. Even if the dog doesn’t have yeast, it will not harm the dog, but I think you will get good results. Remember, the same is true for hot spots, which are most often caused by yeast. I have also used the Gold Bond Foot Powder for Hot Spots with good results, and it contains baking soda.


Lew Olson's newly revised edition is filled with an abundance of new topics and information. Whether you are new to home feeding or a seasoned raw feeder, have a senior dog or a new puppy, a pregnant mom or a toy breed, this book presents all the information you need to make the best nutritional decisions for your dog. 

Regardless of the diet choice you make for your dog — kibble, raw or home cooked — the vast amount of supplements on the market today, including vitamins, minerals, digestion aids, and anti-inflammatories can make choosing the right supplements for your dog very confusing. It seems just when we might be getting comfortable with our choices, new products pop up or we read an article that warns us to avoid the supplements we have already been giving to our dogs! We want to feed our dogs the best we can and we want to make sure what we are giving them enhances their health and gives us the best value for our dollar.


First, let’s talk about minerals. I do not ever recommend adding minerals to a commercial diet (kibble or canned). These foods already contain the recommended minerals and you never want to give MORE than the recommended amount. Additionally, some minerals balance each other, such as zinc and copper, so you do not want to risk unbalancing those minerals. So, do not add minerals to any fixed commercial food diets!

Want to Feed the Best Diet for Your Dog, But Don’t Know How?

Now there is a fast and easy way to learn! Check out Lew Olson’s easy-to-follow, on-line course videos! Read on to learn about Canine Nutrition and preparing Raw and Home Cooked Diets! Click for Video

Calcium and Commercial Diets and Raw Meaty Bone Diets

In a raw diet with bones, you do NOT need to add minerals because the raw meaty bones contain the needed minerals, including the correct ratio of calcium and phosphorus. When feeding a raw diet with bones, you want to avoid supplements that contain minerals. NEVER ADD CALCIUM to a raw meaty bone diet or a commercial dog food diet because too much calcium can harm your dog, especially growing puppies and pregnant dogs!


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Calcium and Home Cooked Diets

If you feed a home-cooked diet however, you DO need to add calcium because you cannot feed cooked bones safely. Calcium is added to the diet based on the amount of food fed and NOT the body weight of the dog. Dogs need about 900 mg of calcium per pound of food served, which is about 2 cups of food. The best source of calcium for a dog, when given as a supplement, is either calcium carbonate or calcium citrate with vitamin D3. These are both economical and can be found at any supermarket or drug store. You can also feed ground eggshells (use a coffee bean grinder to grind the shells). 1/2 teaspoon of crushed eggshells equal about 900 mg of calcium. Vitamin D3 is very important as it helps with the uptake of the calcium. Please note it is important that the Vitamin D offered to your dog is Vitamin D3, which is animal sourced. Dogs cannot utilize plant-based sources of Vitamin D. (More on this later).

Again, do NOT supplement with calcium if you are feeding a commercial diet or a raw meaty bone diet because these diets already contain enough calcium.

Below is a list of important Vitamins and supplements to add to your dog’s diet:

Water Soluble Vitamins

Two good water-soluble vitamins to add to your dog’s diet are B complex and vitamin C. Water soluble vitamins are not stored in the body, so any excess is flushed out in the urine.

B complex vitamins off support to many bodily functions, however the B vitamins can be more fragile so they do not keep well in commercial foods. B complex vitamins are good for the nervous system, brain function, cell division, help prevent anemia and support memory. Additionally, they are very important during pregnancy! They are helpful during pregnancy and for puppies and seniors. Turkey and liver are high in B vitamins.

Vitamin C was first found to prevent scurvy. However, more recently, it is considered an anti-oxidant and helps support the immune system. Too much vitamin C can result in diarrhea. If this occurs, just reduce the amount of vitamin C by one dose. I give dogs about 100 mg of vitamin C per 10 pounds of body weight daily. For dogs, the food highest in vitamin C is liver.

Fat Soluble Vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins do not flush out of the body easily. Instead, they are stored in fat. The first fat-soluble vitamin I will discuss is vitamin E. This is also considered an anti-oxidant and helps the immune system. It also works with omega 3 fatty acids, as these two nutrients need each other to work effectively. Vitamin E also helps with neurological functions and protects against lipid oxidation. I generally give dogs vitamin E at 50 IU per 10 pounds of body weight daily.

Vitamin A, Specifically Retinol

Dogs, because they are carnivores, do best with animal-sourced vitamin A, or retinol. This vitamin supports eye health, the immune system and thyroid health. It is rich in liver and organ meats and is also found in eggs and yogurt. Dose is about 25-50 mg per 10 pounds of body weight.

Vitamin D3

As mentioned earlier, it is important that the vitamin D given is D3 (animal-based), such as calcium carbonate (made from eggshells) or calcium citrate. Avoid all plant-based forms, which are often known as D2. Dogs need about 400 IU per 100 pounds, but more can be given — up to double this dose — for immunity. It is also thought to protect against cancer. Vitamin D3 is necessary for the uptake of calcium and it is needed for healthy bones and teeth. It is also helpful to protect against diabetes. Foods containing vitamin D3 included fortified milk products, eggs, salmon and sardines.

Digestion Aids

Digestion aids help support the digestive system and are very useful for puppies, pregnant mothers, through changes in your dog’s diet, for that travel and dogs that suffer from digestive issues.


These beneficial bacteria help maintain the good flora and fauna in the digestive tract. These help promote well-formed stools, support the immune system and help control excess gas. I find these especially helpful for diet changes, while traveling with my dogs and for puppies. These ‘good’ bacteria also help keep bad bacteria at bay and in check.

Animal-Based Digestive Enzymes

These include pancreatin, pancrealipase and ox bile. These animal-based enzymes help pre-digest fats in the dog’s stomach, ease the digestion of fats in the liver and pancreas, increase assimilation of nutrients, and help promote better formed stools.


This amino acid is used to help heal the digestive tract lining. It has also been used in infants and starvation cases to help with weight gain. Once the digestive tract lining is healed, it continues to help by assisting with proper digestion. Dogs with IBD, IBS or colitis have an inflamed digestive tract, which can result in diarrhea, mucus covered stool and loss of the ability to absorb all the nutrients. Over several weeks, L-glutamine helps heal the lining and works to restore health back to the stomach and intestinal lining.

Essential Fatty Acids

There are several types of essential fatty acids. Two of the more common ones are omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 6 is found in most foods and is therefore more abundant in the diet. Because of this, there is NO reason to add more omega 6 to your dog’s diet. Avoid any plant-based oils such as corn, safflower, coconut, and olive or canola oil. The essential fatty acid your dog DOES need to balance the omega 6 already in the diet, is Omega 3 fatty acids. It is important to use animal-based sources of omega 3 because dogs are unable to convert the omega 3 oil found in plant oils (ALA) to a usable form. Animal-based sources include fish body oils like salmon, menhaden, sardine or mixed fish oil. Omega 3 oils are fragile and heat, air and light can destroy their properties, so use fish oil CAPSULES rather than bottled oil. Omega 3 fish oil is a natural anti-inflammatory and it helps with the immune system, supports liver, kidney, heart, eye and brain health, and it is very good for the coat and skin. Use fish oil capsules at one capsule per 20 pounds of body weight (generally a capsule is 1,000 mg with 180 EPA and 120 DHA).

Arthritis and Inflammation

It is always important to get a diagnosis if your dog is limping, acts sore, has rear end weakness or shows discomfort. While it may be arthritis, it could also be something else. Just a few of the diseases that may resemble the symptoms of arthritis are Addison’s Disease, cancer, Lyme’s or tick disease, or leptospirosis, and more. If the problem IS inflammation, then some following supplements to try include:

Fish Oil Capsules: Omega 3 fish oil helps fight inflammation.

Yucca Intensive: Yucca contains natural steroidal saponins which are powerful anti-inflammatory agents to help reduce pain. DO NOT use yucca with other prescription NSAIDs such as steroids, rimadyl, metacam, etc. Give one drop per 10 pounds of body weight, WITH FOOD, once or twice a day.

Glucosamine/Chondroitin Blends: These are thought to help lubricate the joints and repair cartilage.

Willow Bark Tincture: Willow Bark is a natural form of aspirin, only give with food! NEVER feed on empty stomach.

There are numerous remedies for arthritis on the market. Therefore, always check the ingredients and their safety for dogs! The best diet for a dog with arthritis is a carbohydrate-free raw diet. Carbohydrates are sugars which help promote and increase inflammation in dogs.

I know trying to put together all these supplements can seem daunting. To make it easier, I would recommend B-Naturals Berte’s Daily Blend, which contains all the vitamins I have listed, as well as kelp and alfalfa. This is a powder supplement that is easy to mix with your dog’s food.

Another choice is Berte’s Immune Blend. This mixture has all the vitamins I have listed with vitamin C and E in double doses. While it does not contain kelp and alfalfa, it does have added probiotics and some digestive enzymes. The Immune Blend is ideal for dogs with health issues but it can also be given to healthy dogs at half dose.

For those with dogs with digestive issues, B-Naturals carries Berte’s Digestion Blend. This blend contains the animal-based enzymes, as well as l-glutamine and probiotics. It comes is a palatable powder form that can easily be mixed with your dog’s food or you can mix it with some yogurt.

I hope you have found this information helpful. If you have any questions, please email us at B-Naturals and we will answer any of your questions: lewolson@earthlink.net


Lew Olson's newly revised edition is filled with an abundance of new topics and information. Whether you are new to home feeding or a seasoned raw feeder, have a senior dog or a new puppy, a pregnant mom or a toy breed, this book presents all the information you need to make the best nutritional decisions for your dog. 



Let’s start by talking about Kidney Disease. We will discuss what it is and what it isn’t. Recently I have had several people sending me questions about their dogs that were recently diagnosed with having kidney disease. They are scared, searching frantically for what to do next, what diet will help, and the best plan of action.

Want to Feed the Best Diet for Your Dog, But Don’t Know How?

Now there is a fast and easy way to learn! Check out Lew Olson’s easy-to-follow, on-line course videos! Read on to learn about Canine Nutrition and preparing Raw and Home Cooked Diets! Click for Video

There are two types of kidney disease. Acute and Chronic. Chronic disease can’t be reversed and are most often caused by genetic or congenital causes. It can also be caused by poisoning or other serious trauma or injury.

Acute Kidney disease has a cause or source and is most often treatable. Old age DOES NOT CAUSE KIDNEY DISEASE. Common causes of increased kidney values such as creatinine, BUN and phosphorus will be discussed below. I always recommend that if your dog is diagnosed with kidney disease, proceed with these tests to rule these potential causes out. I would hate to see any dog owner miss something treatable.

In a Kidney Disease diagnosis, BUN and Creatinine will be above normal, but in true renal disease, these can climb rapidly. Slower moving of these numbers can mean a lot of things.


  1. Urinary tract infection (UTI): A UTI causes elevated BUN and Creatinine. If you suspect a UTI, get a Sterile Urine Culture done at your veterinarian’s office. The test will be sent to a lab to either rule out a UTI or determine which bacteria are present causing the infection. The results take a few days, but UTI’s are very treatable with the RIGHT antibiotic given for at least 2 – 4 weeks.
  2. Leptospirosis titer: There are 7 strains of leptospirosis, however, the current vaccine only covers 3 or 4 of these strains and the vaccine is only good for 3 or 4 months. Penicillin given for two weeks cures leptospirosis if discovered early in the bacteria infection.
  3. Tick Borne Disease: This issue can cause elevated renal numbers (BUN and Creatinine), so a Tick-Borne test should be run to rule it out. Doxycycline is used most often for tick borne diseases.
  4. Cushing’s and Addison’s Disease: These two diseases can cause elevated liver and/or kidney levels. An ACTH stimulation test can be done at your veterinarian’s office to determine if your dog has either of these diseases. Addison’s is more easily treated with low dose steroids and there are now newer medications available for Cushing’s disease.
  5. Medications: Medications such as anti-inflammatories, steroids and some antibiotics, to mention a few, can cause elevated renal values. Sometimes long term use of steroids and anti-inflammatories can cause permanent renal damage. However, if caught early, they can be stopped and renal function can return to normal.

If you suspect your dog may have kidney disease and you are waiting for a firm diagnosis and treatment plan, a good interim treatment is administering IV Fluids and/or Subcutaneous fluids. These are the most helpful in supporting the kidneys and it gives you the time needed to continue pursuing the cause and correct treatment.

I am also asked about kidney diets. It is important to know that kidney diets are useful for pain when the phosphorus level rises and the dog can’t process phosphorus well anymore. This generally occurs at the end stage of renal disease. Reducing phosphorus removes most of the pain the dog experiences to process this mineral. However, no diet truly stops, slows down, or reverses kidney disease with true kidney damage. But one of the above causes is more likely if it isn’t a puppy with a genetic or congenital issue.

Now let’s talk about Struvite Crystals and Stones. Crystals develop and turn into stones. For some reason, most veterinarians will recommend a prescription diet. Unfortunately, diet does nothing to combat struvite crystals or stones. Struvite crystals form when a bacterial infection is present or urinary tract infection (UTI). Bacteria waste is what makes the urine become alkaline, which is a perfect environment for struvite crystals to form. If left untreated the crystals eventually form into stones. Please note, blood work can show some of the same blood levels you might see with early renal issues. UTI’s can cause increased protein in the urine and low specific gravity, along with an increased BUN level. If the infection becomes severe the creatinine level can increase as well. SO, if you see these values, increased drinking and urination, PLEASE get a Sterile Urine Culture done at your veterinarian’s office. The urine is collected in a sterile manner and sent out to a lab to CULTURE. This shows WHAT bacteria is present, and the RIGHT antibiotic to kill it. UTI’s are VERY antibiotic specific. Use for at LEAST 3 weeks to cure it. Diet does not CURE it or STOP it.  Only the right antibiotics will stop struvite’s from developing and turning into bladder stones.

A main cause of dogs being prone to UTI’s is not having enough chances to urinate during the day and eating a dry diet. Dogs, like people, need to urinate often during the day, have water available around the clock AND a moist diet to be able to flush, flush, flush so bacteria and struvites cannot form and grow in the bladder. So remember, get your dogs out often during the day and feed a moist diet (raw, home cooked, fresh with kibble). Feeding probiotics and yogurt are also helpful!

If you have further questions, please join K9Nutrition Facebook page. I also do individua

l Nutritional Consults, so if you need more help with diets and feeding your dog the best diet possible, you can contact me directly at lewolson@earthlink.net.


Filed Under (Dog Nutrition) by B-Naturals.com on 07-01-2020
Lew Olson's newly revised edition is filled with an abundance of new topics and information. Whether you are new to home feeding or a seasoned raw feeder, have a senior dog or a new puppy, a pregnant mom or a toy breed, this book presents all the information you need to make the best nutritional decisions for your dog. 

People love their dogs, but as our companions begin to age, we begin to worry. I get asked a lot of questions on what is the best nutrition for dogs as they enter into their senior years. Most people want to make sure their companions are comfortable and getting everything they need. In this month’s newsletter we take a look at an overview of diet considerations, common senior health problems, and suggested supplements for seniors.



Want to Feed the Best Diet for Your Dog, But Don’t Know How?

Now there is a fast and easy way to learn! Check out Lew Olson’s easy-to-follow, on-line course videos! Read on to learn about Canine Nutrition and preparing Raw and Home Cooked Diets! Click for Video

Some of the most common questions I get on senior dogs pertain to diet. Many people believe they need to feed a senior dog a diet that is lower in protein and fat. Many commercial dog food companies make senior diets that do just that – lower the protein and fat. However, the truth is, senior dogs need high amounts of quality protein in their diet and a moderate amount of fat.


High quality animal-based protein is essential to canine organ health, muscle tone and healthy skin and coat. High quality protein is even more important for older dogs. As dogs age, their ability to maintain good muscle tone and a strong immune system lessens. This is due partly from inactivity and partly from metabolism changes that occur as dogs get older. Senior dogs that don’t get enough quality animal-based protein have less body mass and are more prone to illness and disease.

  • Older dogs need more protein than young adults (50% more to maintain protein reserves and lean body mass
  • Prepares body for stress and challenges
  • Good quality protein essential!

So don’t skimp on the protein! Don’t feed your senior dog a reduced protein diet. Be sure to feed a good raw or home-cooked diet with plenty of quality animal-based protein!

“This research is contrary to conventional opinion that senior dog foods should contain lower protein levels than adult maintenance formulas in order to avoid progressive decrease in kidney function. However, senior dogs that were fed a high-protein diet had stable renal function and a lower death rate than those dogs fed a lower-protein diet”. https://www.iams.com/pet-health/dog-life-stages/nutrition-and-your-senior-dogs-body

You can read more about the importance of quality protein in the links below.


http://web.archive.org/web/20030826140629/http://speedyvet.com:80/NIP/olddogs/default.htm –



Fat is also important for seniors. Fat is what makes food taste good and when fat is reduced, dogs tend to crave more food. This is because they are usually looking for more fat. If you have a senior dog that needs to lose weight, do not substitute fat with carbohydrates (vegetables, grains, starches) thinking you are doing your dog a favor by simply cutting calories. Carbohydrates can be fattening because they cause increased your dogs hunger. This is because your dog needs and craves fat! Feeding carbohydrates also increases stool size and gas. Generally, it is recommended to keep the animal protein amounts high and the animal fat at moderate levels – not low levels – and simply reduce the total amount of food you feed your dog by 10%. The following article was written by Christie Keith and gives specific instructions on weight reduction:


Additionally, dogs do not have the ability to break down sugars like we do as they have no amylase in their saliva. Therefore, the sugars remain on the teeth and gums and cause decay. If your dog has chronic dental problems or bad breath odor, it may be a good idea to switch it over to a homemade diet with no grains or starches. You can find some great low glycemic diets listed in the link below.


One health consideration with weight gain in seniors is hypothyroidism. If you have a dog that won’t lose weight by food reduction or increased appetite, it is probably a good idea to have a full thyroid panel on your dog. Hypothyroidism can cause weight gain and other health problems.



Health Issues for Seniors:

Arthritis and Joint Pain

Arthritis is probably the most common complaint for dogs as they age. Joint inflammation and pain can affect dogs in many ways. They may become less active; they may show pain upon rising or after activity, and it can even affect their appetite. Any time you have a dog that shows pain in a joint or the spine, it is important to see a veterinarian and get a full blood panel, urinalysis and radiographs. Many things can cause pain and lameness, including arthritis, pinched nerves and muscle or tendon sprains, renal issues, pancreatitis and Addison’s disease (rear end weakness and muscle loss). In order to treat your dog effectively, a diagnosis is paramount. Please don’t try and guess or diagnose the problem yourself. If the problem is arthritis, there are several approaches to try. EPA fish oil capsules are very effective as the omega 3 fatty acids found in this animal-based oil helps reduce inflammation. Additional benefits from omega 3 fatty acids is that it is renal, heart and liver protective and it improves skin and coat.

White Willow Bark Liquid, derived from white willow bark, is a natural pain reliever. This comes in a liquid tincture and can be dosed in the gum line or mixed with food. Do *NOT* give Willow Bark if you are already giving a NSAID (Rimadyl, Metacam, Deramaxx, etc.). I have used this for my senior dogs during seasonal arthritic pain commonly caused by weather changes. Yucca Intensive is another good herbal product that helps relieve inflammation. It is given at one drop per ten pounds of body weight once or twice daily. This needs to be given with food to avoid stomach upset. Lastly, try to reduce the amounts of grains and starches in the diet as these can aggravate inflammation and pain.

A good homemade diet to help with arthritis pain and inflammation is the low glycemic diet. You can find information on this diet by following this link! http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/low-glycemic/. You can also add quality animal protein and fat to a high quality grainless kibble food, which will help reduce the carbohydrates found in dry kibble diets. Follow this link and it will help you learn how to mix fresh food with your kibble diet! https://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/how-to-add-fresh-food-to-dry-dog-food-for-better-health-and-taurine-needs/.

Urinary Incontinence

An issue that may affect senior dogs is leaking urine. This may be due to a weakening of the urinary tract muscles, however, be sure to contact your veterinarian first to test for a urinary tract infection. This would be determined by a sterile urine culture and sensitivity test. This is done in house at your veterinarian clinic to capture sterile urine. This sample is sent off to a laboratory to see if any bacteria should result. This test will not only identify the bacteria, but will also determine the correct antibiotic needed if there is an infection. If there is an infection, generally a four week course of antibiotics is needed. Then ten days after completing the antibiotics, another urine culture should be done to ensure the infection is gone. A UTI (urinary tract infections) can cause incontinence.



Diet changes can help with incontinence problems. Often diets high in grains or starches, which include dry dog food or homemade diets where grains, potatoes, carrots, etc., make up more than 25% of the total diet, may make incontinence worse. Removing the high amounts of sugar and fiber can help in many cases!


I would suggest trying both of these methods before pursuing prescription incontinence medications. They may be needed, but I would rule these out first. Often a dog with a urinary tract infection is thought to have renal problems. Whenever an older dog is found to have elevated BUN, creatinine and phosphorus levels, be sure to check for a UTI, have a leptospirosis blood titer done, ACTH Stimulation test (Cushing’s and Addison’s disease) and a tick borne disease blood panel. Old age does not cause renal problems. It is wise to run these tests to either find the source of the problem or rule these other health conditions out. With Cushing’s disease, Addison’s disease and leptospirosis, liver enzyme values may be high as well. More information on diets for dogs with renal issues can be found here:


Skin Problems and/or Odor

Some senior dogs may develop dry or itching skin and dry hair coat. Sometimes these issues can be taken care of by changing the diet. Increasing the quality and quantity of animal protein in the diet may help. If you are using a senior dog commercial diet, change to an adult diet (higher fat) commercial food or a home-cooked or a raw diet. Fat quality is also important for good skin and coat. I have often found homemade diets reduce odor in dogs, as the fats in dry foods can oftentimes cause body odor. Adding EPA fish oil capsules at one capsule (1000 mg) per ten to twenty pounds of body weight daily will help due to the omega 3 fatty acids. If the dog has mouth odor, be sure to have a complete check up on the dog’s teeth and gums. Often teeth in poor condition or gum disease will cause this. Removing grains and starches will often help keep teeth cleaner and reduce the need for dental procedures. As mentioned earlier, dogs do not have the ability to break down starches in their saliva which can, in turn, cause tooth decay and gum disease.

Weekly baths with a good quality oatmeal based shampoo such as Pure Pet Care Herbal Shampoo will also help skin and odor. Rinse with a solution of ¼ white vinegar and ¾ water. If the skin problem persists, be sure to have your veterinarian do a skin scraping to check for bacteria, yeast or mites. Both bacteria infections and yeast can cause skin odor. For more information on skin care:


Cognition Problems in Senior Dogs

Symptoms of possible cognitive problems in senior dogs can include confusion, restlessness and less enjoyment of life, and some can have increased house soiling incidences. Research done in humans has also been found to apply to dogs. BOTH senior dogs and people, need MORE protein for good health; especially for heart, kidney and liver health. Dogs who have been raised solely on dry dog food tend to be more prone to decline in cognitive ability. Studies have shown that when protein levels are increased and antioxidants and fish oil with EPA and DHA (from animal based oils such as fish oils) are added to the diet, senior dogs were known to sleep better and show clarity improvement in their surroundings and had less house training issues. I would suggest senior dogs have a fresh food diet – home-cooked or raw – or a commercial diet with fresh animal protein added in. Additionally, I think it is important to add a couple of quality supplements. These would be Berte’s Immune Blend, which contains antioxidants and other good nutrients, EPA Fish Oil capsules at one per ten to twenty pounds of body weight daily and CoQ10 at 2 to 3 milligrams per pound of body weight. CoQ10 is also thought to help cognition as well.

Additional Health Problems of Senior Dogs:

Adrenal Disorders

Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease are both adrenal disorders caused by either too much or too little cortisol production. Either disease can create a major health crisis. Both diseases can be vague in their symptoms, which can cause these health problems to be over-looked and mistaken for simply being attributed to old age. Cushing’s disease is an over-production of cortisol and symptoms often are mistaken for other ailments. These can include sudden onset of thirst, increased urination, increased appetite, development of a pot belly, poor hair coat and/or skin, dark spots on the belly, more prone to infection and lack of energy. If any of these symptoms occur, have a complete veterinarian evaluation. For more information:



Addison’s disease is caused by under production of cortisol and there are three types: primary, secondary and atypical. Like Cushing’s disease, the symptoms can mimic other problems and are often over-looked or confused with other health problems. These symptoms include diarrhea, lack of appetite, rear end weakness, loss of energy, shaking and depression. Both Cushing’s and Addison’s disease, if not treated can result in death. Your veterinarian can test for either of test with an ACTH Stimulation test. For more information on Addison’s disease:




Daily Supplement Suggestions:

Two good supplements for senior dogs include the EPA Fish Oil Capsules and the Berte’s Immune Blend. The Fish oil contains omega 3 fatty acids which help with skin and coat and are renal, heart and liver protective. Recommended dose is one capsule per 10-20 pounds of body weight daily. The Berte’s Immune Blend contains the antioxidants vitamin C and E and also a B complex (good for nerve and eye health), L-Glutamine (helps slow muscle atrophy and helps with digestion), digestive enzymes (helps break down proteins and fats) and Probiotics (help keep the good flora and fauna in the digestive tract).

On a final note, it is always important to keep your senior dog in good physical condition. I can’t stress the importance of daily walks and exercise, as their mobility permits. Good nutrition, bi-yearly wellness checkups by your veterinarians, and keeping your senior physically fit and mentally active will lead to a long and healthy life!


Lew Olson's newly revised edition is filled with an abundance of new topics and information. Whether you are new to home feeding or a seasoned raw feeder, have a senior dog or a new puppy, a pregnant mom or a toy breed, this book presents all the information you need to make the best nutritional decisions for your dog. 

Dog owners have a variety of ways in which to feed their dogs. Some use a Raw Diet. They make their own or buy pre-made raw diets. Others prefer to home cook for their dogs. They may make their own or order pre-made cooked diets. Some use dehydrated forms of raw dog food. And probably, the majority of people use commercial dog food, which is mainly dry dog food and also known as kibble.


Each method of feeding has issues of convenience, cost, time and interest of the person choosing their preferred choice. Making your own raw diet is generally less expensive than buying a pre-made raw brand. Cooking meals for your dog at home is also less expensive than buying pre-made cooked diets. And commercial dry dog food offers the product that is readily available and needs no preparation or freezer space. It offers the convenience of a one-step simple ‘measure out the meal amount’ that provides the convenience of providing your dog ‘a meal in a scoop’.

Want to Feed the Best Diet for Your Dog, But Don’t Know How?

Now there is a fast and easy way to learn! Check out Lew Olson’s easy-to-follow, on-line course videos! Read on to learn about Canine Nutrition and preparing Raw and Home Cooked Diets! Click for Video


A new concern about dry dog food is the issue of taurine. In recent years, some dogs have developed heart problems which have been pinpointed to certain brands of kibble. While more research is being done, there were some early conclusions that were found to be untrue. One was that grain free diets were the cause, however research has not shown this. I personally suspect this was done more for marketing purposes as no good data or information has been presented.


You need to understand how taurine is lost from animal-based products when heat is used or moisture is removed. When meat is cooked, taurine (an amino acid found only in animal-based products) is leached out during cooking. Many types of commercial dog food are heavily processed at high heats and the moisture is removed in order to make a dry product. Since a bag of meat and fat would have no shelf life, fiber is added to the food. This would include grains, rice, vegetables, beet pulp, rice bran, tomato pomace, flax seed and even peanut hulls. But the recent addition of legumes, potatoes, peas and pea proteins and lentils have added more of a concern as some research has shown that these may inhibit the uptake of taurine. It would also be wise to avoid commercial dog food that contains legumes, potatoes, peas, pea protein and lentils!




Based on this, dry dog foods (including dehydrated and freeze dried) could possibly have a lack of taurine. Many dog food companies have caught on and are now adding taurine back in to their products. However, what I recommend for those feeding dry diets, is to add some fresh food to the dry food you are feeding. A lot of people have asked me how to do that, so I have outlined it for you here!


You can mix fresh food with kibble. It does not affect digestion. That was a big Internet myth for some time. I do caution people, however, that it is probably wiser to feed raw meaty bones as a separate meal from kibble – at least in the beginning. Raw meaty bones are usually fatty and the heaviness of the bones may compete with the dry dog food for digestion in the stomach. I recommend any dry kibble be moistened, as moist food is easier to digest for dogs and is not as irritating to their digestive tract. Dogs are designed to eat raw meat and bones. It would be a rare thing if they ever ate anything completely dry. It is my opinion that eating dry food is what is causes so many digestion issues, including IBD, gastritis, reflux, an irritated intestinal lining and the ability to digest and uptake nutrients. People complain of their dog having allergies, stomach sensitivities, gas and diarrhea frequently and I believe most of this could be resolved with a diet that is moist and contains some fresh food.


With that said, let’s take a look at how you can improve a kibble diet.


Adding fresh food to kibble will only enhance it! But it MUST be enhanced with animal-based products only. Dry dog food is already too high in carbohydrates. As mentioned earlier, carbohydrates are added to extend shelf life and keep costs down. So, give your dog what they really need which is meat, animal fat, eggs, whole milk yogurt, cottage cheese, canned mackerel, salmon or sardines packed in water, organ meat, raw meaty bones and chicken or beef broth. All of these contain taurine – some more than others – and they help moisten the dry food. DO NOT add any vegetables, potatoes, grains or fruits. Dogs get no nutritional value from carbohydrates and they will only add to larger stools, poorer digestion, gas, and they add unnecessary calories.


You can add up to 50% of the total diet in animal-based proteins without any worry of adding additional calcium to balance the diet as long as you vary the proteins added, and use some dairy and canned sardines, mackerel and salmon packed in water to help balance calcium. Not only does adding animal-based proteins help to moisten the dry food for better digestion, it also adds important nutrients that your dog needs. Animal-based proteins include taurine, iron (dogs can only absorb iron from animal-based products), vitamin D3, B vitamins and vitamin A.


You can offer your dog a variety of foods with each meal. Any meats you add can be cooked or raw, with the exception of raw meaty bones. Do Not cook raw meaty bones. Raw meaty bones must be fed raw as cooked bones can splinter and cause injury to your dog, and raw meaty bones are easily digested. I do however, suggest only feeding raw meaty bones SEPARATELY from dry food in the beginning. And for extra digestive insurance as you start to add fresh animal-proteins to your dog’s dry food diet, I suggest adding the Berte’s Ultra Probiotic Powder to your dog’s meals to aid digestion. This is a very reasonably priced product at only $13.95 for a one-pound jar and it will support your dog through this diet change.


If you want a boost in taurine, the animal-based proteins highest in taurine include dark meat turkey, dark meat chicken, pork, beef and lamb. Yogurt also contains small amounts of taurine.




To further enhance a dry dog food diet, I also suggest adding the Berte’s Daily Blend, and Fish Oil capsules at one capsule per ten to twenty pounds of body weight daily.


I hope you found this article helpful. You can find more information about feeding dogs on the K9Nutrition Facebook page, or in my book, “Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs”. I also have videos on preparing raw and home cooked meals for your dog at https://rawandnaturalnutritionfordogs.teachable.com


Lew Olson's newly revised edition is filled with an abundance of new topics and information. Whether you are new to home feeding or a seasoned raw feeder, have a senior dog or a new puppy, a pregnant mom or a toy breed, this book presents all the information you need to make the best nutritional decisions for your dog. 

I receive many calls and emails pertaining to dog health issues, but the two most common questions are about:

  1. Suspected food allergies in their dogs or;
  2. Their dog’s inability to eat certain foods because it has a ‘sensitive stomach’

This month I will give you some answers to these very common questions and health issues. Both food allergies and sensitive stomachs oftentimes get mislabeled and can send dog owners spinning down a rabbit hole of despair. Stop the despair and please read on!

First Question:  My dog has allergies, what do I do?

Want to Feed the Best Diet for Your Dog, But Don’t Know How?

Now there is a fast and easy way to learn! Check out Lew Olson’s easy-to-follow, on-line course videos! Read on to learn about Canine Nutrition and preparing Raw and Home Cooked Diets! Click for Video

When someone tells me their dog has allergies, the first questions I ask is ‘What are your dog’s symptoms and how did you conclude your dog has allergies? Most often, I am told the dog has digestive issues or vomits on certain food; or is itchy on their sides, back, feet or face, so they are certain the problem is a food allergy.

In reality, most symptoms of allergies show up in the form of hives, itching, or skin and face issues (swelling and itching). It is important to note that food allergies are extremely rare in dogs, almost unseen. However, allergies can develop from repeated, constant exposure to the same food if fed the same commercial diet day after day for many, many months or years. The body needs to develop antibodies to a substance to develop an over-active immune system to think it is ‘alien’.


Allergy testing is very inaccurate – up to 50% inaccurate, and saliva-based tests are pure baloney, as they have no basis in being able to accurately diagnose any type of allergy.

The distribution of test results from samples obtained from allergic, non-allergic or fake dogs was not different from that expected due to random chance. Test-retest reproducibility was poor to slight.”



The next question I ask is ‘Where exactly does the dog itch?’ If it is the face, paws, back, or near the tail, I can almost guess that what is really going on is a yeast infection. Dogs do not get candida as humans do. They get an airborne yeast (fungus) called Malassezia. Dogs are most prone to getting this during wet, rainy seasons, hot weather, when we turn our furnaces on, or in dogs that swim. It also affects the ears causing a brown, thick discharge with an odor. Yeast breeds in moist places on the dog, most commonly around the eyes, mouth, ears, feet or anus. Treatment is not related to diet, unless however, you are feeding commercial dry dog food. These foods contains high amounts of carbohydrates, which convert to sugars. These sugars can then in-turn feed yeast growth. The resolve is more about bathing your dog frequently with an anti-fungal shampoo and rinsing with a solution of a few tablespoons of baking soda mixed in water.  Keep this mixture on for 10 minutes before rinsing. Apply topical sprays such as Tinactin Athletes foot spray or lotion to the feet and tail area to kill the yeast and apply anti-fungal solutions in the ears. Additionally, keep your dog’s bedding clean and wash floors frequently. It takes 30 days of this treatment to effectively to wipe out the yeast.

Read more on treatment here:



The second most common health issue I get questions on is about dogs that have difficulty with certain foods or switching foods. Some people tell me their dogs have ‘sensitive stomachs’. I can only guess this made up term comes from either the internet, or some popular product. They tell me their dog vomits or gets diarrhea whenever they switch kibble brands or from feeding specific proteins like chicken, beef, turkey . . . you name it. The answer is not the protein the dogs are reacting to, but rather one of the three other causes.

  • Over feeding: Over feeding causes the most diarrhea or stomach upset in dogs. Remember, dogs only need about 2% to 3% of their body weight daily for young, active dogs.  Less is needed in in middle-aged, spayed or neutered dogs, or dogs that do not get a lot of activity. Over-feeding or giving your do too much food will cause stomach issues.
  • Continual dry dog food feeding: Dry dog food contains a significant amount of sodium, which is used as a preservative. It is irritating to the digestive tract due to the dryness. Commercial dry foods are also is high in carbohydrates, which convert into sugars and high fiber. Sodium increases water intake, which in turn can cause digestive upsets. Feeding dry dog food without adding water or some fresh food will inflame and irritate the digestive tract lining. Additionally, high fiber diets, which contain high levels of grains and starches, also puts an extra strain on the intestinal tract causing diarrhea, gas and large loose stools.
  • Compromised and inflamed digestive tract: Once the digestive tract is compromised and inflamed, any additional fat OR fiber (vegetables, rice, grains) will produce explosive wet stools, sometimes with mucus. Why? Because once the intestinal lining is compromised, it can no longer effectively digest large amounts of fiber or fat. Both of these take their toll on inflamed and irritated digestive tract linings. This will then be diagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD). This simply means that the digestive tract lining is inflamed. How do you stop this? IBS or IBD does NOT mean your dog is sensitive to one food or protein, it means the need the digestive tract lining needs to heal.

Treatment for IBD or IBS:

Treatment is straightforward and is an easy 3-step process:

  1. Diet: The dog needs a moist diet. A moist diet is easier to digest and less irritating. I would recommend feeding your dog one of these three choices:
  2. a raw diet (the best solution)
  3. a home-cooked diet
  4. or a diet that includes 50% fresh food added to a kibble, dehydrated or freeze-dried diet

Feeding any of the three diets listed above will not only ease the strain on your dog’s digestive system, it will also help to fight yeast!

  1. Feed Smaller, more Frequent meals: When changing diets OR fighting diarrhea, feeding smaller, more frequent small meals puts less of a strain on your dog’s digestive tract. The larger the meal, the harder it is to digest.
  1. Beneficial Supplements: Adding two supplements to your dog’s diet can benefit the healing of their digestive tracts tremendously! The first is to give your dog L-glutamine at 2,000 mg per twenty pounds of body weight daily. This helps heal the digestive tract lining and helps with muscle development. The second is to add the Berte’s Digestion Blend. This product does have some L-glutamine in it, but you need to add additional L-glutamine for the first 6-8 weeks for the best results. Berte’s Digestion Blend also contains probiotics, which help put the good flora, and fauna back in the digestive tract, animal based digestive enzymes that help digest fats in the stomach before it hits the intestines, and supplements for nausea and better digestion. Give the Berte’s Digestion Blend at half dose for the first two weeks and then to full dose after the two-week initial period.

More information on IBD:



If your dog is itching and you think it might be allergies, PLEASE rule out yeast first! This can be done either by a skin scraping and culture at your veterinarian’s, and/or treating the yeast with an anti-fungal shampoo every other day for a week and rinsing with a solution of baking soda and water for 3 treatments and then repeating this weekly for four more weeks. You can also use Tinactin athletes foot spray as needed, keto wipes (look on Amazon for those) topically and Zymox in the ears for ten days. Keep bedding and floors washed daily.

If your dog is having trouble digesting food or switching foods, double-check the amount you are feeding your dog. The most common cause of stomach upset and diarrhea is caused by feeding too much food, so adjust the amount you are feeding, if necessary. If it is not that, then try smaller, more frequent meals (3-4 a day); add in l-glutamine to help heal the digestive tract lining and the Berte’s Digestion Blend for the probiotics to keep the good bacteria balanced and the enzymes to help with the digestion of fats.

During this time of the COVID 19 Pandemic, I send my love to you all and want you to remember to stay safe! Social distancing and wearing a mask and gloves when you are out is very important. It helps keep you and your neighbors safe. Please stay home as much as you can!

While you may experience meat shortages during this trying time, try to find the fresh food that you can. Please know that you can use eggs and yogurt to keep taurine levels up. You can add one egg per small dog, per day, two for a medium-sized dog and 2-3 for a large dog. You can feed raw eggs for those dogs who are used to it, or you can cook the eggs scrambled, over-easy in a dab of butter, or hard-boiled!

Making your own yogurt is also quite simple. See the recipe below:

  1. Bring one gallon of whole milk to a light boil
  2. Remove milk from the stove and put into 4 quart-sized containers
  3. Add 3-4 tablespoons of ready-made yogurt to each container
  4. Cover and put on counter or in an unheated oven
  5. Wait 24-48 hours and Voila!
  6. Fresh Yogurt for your dogs!

Lew Olson's newly revised edition is filled with an abundance of new topics and information. Whether you are new to home feeding or a seasoned raw feeder, have a senior dog or a new puppy, a pregnant mom or a toy breed, this book presents all the information you need to make the best nutritional decisions for your dog. 

In today’s dog food market, you not only find puppy and adult foods, but also senior foods and diet foods. Also on the shelves are bags of dog food specifically formulated for toy breeds, large breeds and giant breeds. This is quite a selection of food types and can be very confusing. So, what do you do? I hope to explain the differences and remove some of the confusion so you can make the right choice for your dog. This article will give you the right information you need to make the best diet decisions for your dog.

Up until a few years ago, the only dog food available for our companions were regular and puppy formulas. The puppy food was generally coated in a white substance, which made you think it might be milk. Then senior diets came on the horizon. These typically contained higher amounts of higher fiber and less protein. A similar formula was made for weight loss diet. These also included higher amounts of fiber, less protein, and less fat.

To further confuse us, or fill us with fear, special diets were developed for large and giant breeds. These formulas, depending on the brand, contained less or more protein and less or more calcium. Moreover, while I am guessing here, the toy breed dog diets were simply made with smaller pieces of kibble designed for the smaller mouth.

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At the end of the day, let’s put the marketing hype aside and examine some of the real facts.

  1. All dogs are the same on the inside, regardless of their size or age. In other words, all have the same jaw, teeth, digestive tract and nutritional needs. While larger dogs grow slower than toy breeds, they still have the same nutritional needs.
  2. Lower protein does NOT slow down growth or protect bones or joints. The fact is, puppies and seniors BOTH need MORE protein, not less.
  3. While calcium may be an issue, especially with too much calcium, reducing it is harmful and adding TOO much is equally harmful. All dogs have the same requirement for the proper calcium to phosphorous balance. This article offers some helpful resources at the end and emphasizes that calcium to phosphorus needs are the same for all dogs. They also emphasize the need for D3, which helps calcium absorption into the system, and to NOT overfeed a large growing puppy:
  4. Senior dogs need MORE protein than adult dogs. High quality, bioavailable protein helps protect the heart, kidney and liver function in senior dogs. You also need to avoid high fiber diets for senior dogs, as they rob them of protein and they struggle to digest fiber as dogs do not have the ability to process or ferment fiber well enough. A good article on that is found here:
  5. Toy breeds (typically dogs under 15 pounds) have the same requirements as larger dogs. The one difference is that toy dogs grow and mature faster and often need smaller, more frequent meals due to their fast metabolism. Some toys breeds can have problems with hypoglycemia on one or two meals a day. I recommend 3-4 meals daily if possible, and they need slightly more food than medium to giant dogs. The general recommendation is 2%-3% in body weight daily, but for toy breeds, it is often more like 5%. They just burn calories faster due to their metabolism.

Important points to remember:  Spaying and neutering often changes hormones and metabolism in dogs. Spayed and neutered dogs are prone to weight gain because of this. Rather than put them on a weight-loss formula, which robs dogs of valuable protein and fat, just feed slightly less – about 10% less – AND do your work by walking them daily to help keep the weight off.


My best advice is to feed a raw or home cooked diet. You can monitor the ingredients and this diet is ideal for all life stages (puppy, adult, senior) and sizes of the dog. If I want the dog to lose weight, I reduce the fat in the diet. The protein in these diets is very bioavailable and helps protect the dog’s heart, liver and kidney health and also helps senior dogs retain their muscle mass.

So, what is the answer? All ages and breeds have the same mineral requirements. All have the same calcium/phosphorus requirements. Puppies and seniors need a bit more protein for growth and organ protection. Where do you get the best protein? A fresh diet, naturally! That would be a home cooked or raw diet, or at the very least, a 50% fresh to 50% kibble diet. Need your dog to lose weight? More exercise and less fat in the meal, which is easy to do with home cooked or raw. Do you worry about joint issues in your large or giant breeds? Feed a regular diet, but do not over feed!.

Good supplements to add?

  1. Berte’s Fish Oil Capsules, one per ten to twenty pounds of body weight daily, limit of 6 for the large and giant breeds
  2. Berte’s Immune Blend. This blend contains good probiotics, vitamins A, B’s, C, D3 (great for helping with the calcium uptake and healthy bones) and E, along with l-glutamine (helps keep a healthy intestinal lining). Half dose for healthy dogs and puppies, full dose for immune compromised and ill dogs.
  3. Special vitamins for the aging dog includes fish oil capsule, acetyl carnitine and the Berte’s Immune Blend.

Please Remember, all ages of dogs get the same diet as long as the protein has high bioavailability (digestibility, which means fresh and is animal based), do not OVER FEED, and only reduce a diet by 10% to start for weight loss. For puppies and seniors, it is most important they get a lot of high quality, good animal-based protein. Raw diets that contain 50% in raw meaty bones are naturally balanced. Home cooked diets need 900 mg of calcium carbonate or calcium citrate added per pound of food served. In addition, the Berte’s Immune Blend contains D3 to help this overall balance (calcium needs D3 to be absorbed).

Please remember to walk your dog’s daily during this very challenging time! The exercise will help you both and the walk and fresh air can help clear the mind and can be calming.