Want to Feed the Best Diet for Your Dog, But Don’t Know How?
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Read on to learn about Canine Nutrition
and preparing Raw and Home Cooked Diets!
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PhD Natural Health, LMSW-ACP
UPDATE ON BERTES DAILY BLEND, IMMUNE BLEND AND DIGESTIVE BLEND
B-Naturals is proud to announce updates to our Berte’s Daily Blend, Immune Blend, and Digestion Blend. Updates in ingredients and product availability highlight these changes.
The primary ingredient change for the Berte’s Daily, Immune, and Digestion Blends is a change from beef liver powder to a chicken liver based ingredient. This change was implemented for two primary reasons. We had an inconsistent supply of the beef liver powder and we received many requests from customers with pets prone to beef allergies.
In order to better stock Berte’s products, we are employing a new manufacturing company that should solve the backorder situation that has plagued us in the past. We sincerely apologize for inconvenience that our backorders have caused you and your pet.
With the new products, you will see some subtle changes in color, texture, odor, and labels as we go through these changes. One thing that remains the same, however, is our continued commitment to product performance and quality that you and your pets have come to know, trust and expect.
Thank you for your support and as always, feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.
B-Naturals Website and K-9 Nutrition Chat Line
1-866-368-2728 Toll Free
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Of all the inquiries that I receive, the most frequent questions are about itching, scratching and skin problems. This is such a big topic, that I will only ‘scratch’ the surface here, but I will put in quite a few resources to pursue further information.
Skin problems can pop up suddenly, be long term or even seasonal. Dermatology is a complex field and the causes of itching, redness and rashes can be hard to diagnose. But a diagnosis is important, as that not only leads the way to the correct treatment, but also on how to treat nutritionally and with supplements.
Causes of skin problems can come from a variety of reasons, and that is why it can be hard to diagnose. These include allergies (food or environmental), skin parasites (mites, flea bite allergies) or from bacteria or yeast. And the problem is that once itching, biting and scratching starts, it can spill over into bacteria or yeast, which can camouflages the true origin of the problem.
Once a skin problem occurs, along with itching and scratching, it is important to have a skin scraping done on the affected areas. This can show you several things. It can demonstrate if skin mites are present. A skin scraping will also tell you if yeast and or bacteria are present. These are often not the original causes, but become opportunistic if skin sores develop. Yeast and or bacteria can make the problem much worse, but they are easily treated.
Occasionally steroids such as prednisone are prescribed, but these drugs can make yeast problems worse. It may be wiser to use anti-histamines for temporary relief of itching until a cause is determined.
If these results don’t show anything, a blood panel and urinalysis would be helpful, to see if any underlying condition is present. Things that might cause skin problems include hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease and a few autoimmune disorders. Trying to diagnose the problem is a lot about ruling things out, but it most often gets you to the source of the problem.
Allergies can cause itching and scratching, and these can be either environmental or food related. These can also imitate other causes of itching.
Environmental and food allergies can have very similar symptoms, including face rubbing, eye discharge, rashes, redness in the armpit or groin area and crusty sores. Dr Pinkston, DVM states that most often ear problems are the result of food allergies. They may develop yeast infections, but she feels food allergies are the cause. She also reports that dogs with allergic symptoms under a year, or that develop in mid age are most often food related allergies.
Nutrition can play an important part of the treatment plan. Whatever the cause of the itching, helping the dog with the best nutrition will help promote better immune response and give your dog more defense to develop a better immune system. If you are using a commercial diet, look carefully at the ingredients to make sure good animal protein sources are used and that it doesn’t contain cheap fillers. Mary Straus has an excellent website on feeding dogs, with many links and comparisons on all types of dog food, from commercial to pre-made raw diets.
Supplements can be helpful for many skin problems.
One of best things to add to your dog’s diet is EPA Fish Oil Capsules. These are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which help the skin and coat, and which also help the immune system. These are added to the diet, at about one capsule (180 EPA, 120 DHA) per 10-20 lbs of body weight daily.
Adding Probiotic Powder is helpful, especially when the dog has been on antibiotics. These help replace the flora and fauna that are lost during antibiotic use. Probiotics also help fight yeast infections.
Bertes Immune Blend contains antioxidants and vitamins for the immune system, including Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and B complex. It also has enzymes and acidolphilus, which is helpful for allergic conditions.
Tasha's Skin and Hair Support (no longer available, please use Animals’ Apawthecary Spring Tonic instead) is an herbal tincture that is taken in the gum line, that contains nettles which helps to reduce itching and reduce inflammation.
Derma Dream Salve helps heal skin irritations and is healing to the skin. Another good topical is the Thayers Witch Hazel and Aloe. The witch hazel helps to kill bacteria and temporarily stop the itching. The Aloe vera is cooling to the skin and helps the skin to heal.
For environmental allergies, bathing is important to wash the allergens from the skin. The Purepet Shampoo is oatmeal based, so it has a drying action to sooth the skin and contains herbs to help with healing. It is also helpful to rinse after bathing with a solution of half white vinegar and water. The vinegar helps kill yeast and make sure all shampoo residues are removed.
When it comes to yeast problems, two good products are the HAC Yeast and Fungal (see Azmira Yeast & Fungal D-Tox), and the Tasha's Olive Leaf Extract. The Yeast and Fungal contains a blend of herbs to help fight stubborn yeast infections and is given a few drops daily, mixed with a small amount of food daily. The Olive Yeast Extract also helps fight yeast and bacteria when given orally. It can also be used as poultice on the skin to help with relief from rashes.
Remember to keep the dog’s bedding, yard and flooring in the house clean. Treating skin problems is about treating the dog internally, keeping the skin and coat clean and also the environment.
Nutrition is also important for maintaining healthy skin and coat. Trying to use foods with limited amounts of ingredients or even removing grains can help in some situations. For more information on preparing home made diets, look at the recipes here:
Home made cooked diets: https://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/cooked-diet/
Home made raw diets: https://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/raw-diet/
I hope you have found the above suggestions helpful. The links provided below provide more information on skin problems.
Overview of skin problems
More on skin problems:
Excellent web site with symptom charts and many good links
Dr Mike’s questions and answers on a variety of skin problems and conditions
Yeast Infections on the Skin
Yeast Skin Infections on Dogs
Differences between food allergies and environmental allergies
How Hypothyroidism can lead to skin problems and importance of testing
Some information on canine autoimmune problems and skin
Chronic Skin Disorders and Illustrations
Cushing Disease Symptoms, including the skin and hair
Bean and I wish you a Happy Valentines day, and we will see you again
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