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The Bugs Of Summer


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  #1  
May 7th, 2010, 05:53 AM
my.estrella's Avatar Ashley
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,516
What do you use to help your kiddos deal with the bugs that come along with summer?

Lexi is a Lab mix, but she definitely, without a doubt, inherited the skin allergies Lab's are notorious for having. She has a massive flea allergy (which I will use advantage for since it is the only one that the flea doesn't have to bite before it dies) but she also is now getting attacked by flies. Her ears are practically raw. She had a horrible skin allergy/ecsema over the winter, which we never really figured out the cause of, I'm dreading the summer with everyone spraying their yards for bugs.

I'm going to get her "Swat" probably for the flies, and a nice oatmeal medicated shampoo to help her skin with the rest of the crap.
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  #2  
May 7th, 2010, 10:30 AM
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First off I spray my yard. Secondly I use Frontline Plus. My dogs aren't outside enough to have to deal with flies, but they make anti fly spray for dogs. I also have an all natural spray that keeps the mosquitos away that I use for about 4 weeks when we go through our mosquito season around July or August. Other than that we really don't have a huge bug problem as I spray my yard and perimeter of my home every 60 days and keep the dogs on Frontline Plus.

Something like this works well for flies for dogs (as unless they came out with a dog version swat is for horses):

Flys-Off Insect Repellent for Dogs & Puppies Dog Products - GregRobert

(there are some allergies that are just that allergies and can cause problems like the flea allergies, however the overall skin irritation is typically caused by a food intollerance/allergy which can usually be helped by switching to a higher quality/different food...just as an FYI).

With regards to the overall skin issues...what food and treats do you feed?

Last edited by SpazTaz; May 7th, 2010 at 10:36 AM.
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  #3  
May 7th, 2010, 11:24 AM
my.estrella's Avatar Ashley
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,516
Lexi has skin allergies. When she was younger she had more of a intolerance to certain foods (made her poop very runny). Now it's a flea allergy (even one flea will make her lose hair and have major skin irritation due to the saliva of the flea). Right now I'm feeding the dogs Purina, but will be switching back to Science Diet once I'm actually working again. She doesn't usually get treats, when she does it's something very plain and basic like left over steak, or occasionally I'll buy them some bones.

Her allergies have nothing to do with her food though. Labs are just notorious for having skin allergies to anything and everything. When I bathe her I usually have to use something very gentle (baby shampoo, an oatmeal formula, or Dawn when it's flea season). We moved to a new house in October, and it was her first winter spent mostly outside.

Swat is for dogs and horses. Many horse products like that can be used for dogs as well. Some are even used with humans (Corona Ointment for example.)
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  #4  
May 7th, 2010, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by my.estrella View Post
Lexi has skin allergies. When she was younger she had more of a intolerance to certain foods (made her poop very runny). Now it's a flea allergy (even one flea will make her lose hair and have major skin irritation due to the saliva of the flea). Right now I'm feeding the dogs Purina, but will be switching back to Science Diet once I'm actually working again. She doesn't usually get treats, when she does it's something very plain and basic like left over steak, or occasionally I'll buy them some bones.

Her allergies have nothing to do with her food though. Labs are just notorious for having skin allergies to anything and everything. When I bathe her I usually have to use something very gentle (baby shampoo, an oatmeal formula, or Dawn when it's flea season). We moved to a new house in October, and it was her first winter spent mostly outside.

Swat is for dogs and horses. Many horse products like that can be used for dogs as well. Some are even used with humans (Corona Ointment for example.)
Yes labs are notorious for food intolerances, that's why their skin is bad (most dogs truth be told have intollerances or allergies to corn, wheat, and grains in general, some worse than others). PLEASE check out Dog Food Analysis - Reviews of kibble and switch to a healthy food. Science Diet, all purina, Iams, Eukanuba are the owest grade foods you can feed full of fillers (corn, corn by products, animal by products, etc), BHA/BHT (poisons), by products and all sorts of nasty things. They're expensive and probably 90% of the cause of her skin issues (outside of the flea allergy). It's really no different than you feeding a human child McDonald's on a daily basis. Below is what I wrote up for my pet sitting clients on dog food that should help you some. I educate and have taken many classes on dog food nutrition so this is what I do along with pet sitting, fostering, training, and behavior modification. I would highly encourage you to first switch to a healthier food (if you have a Costco membership switching to their Kirkland brand would be a good first step, it's good quality for a low price), and second start giving her some fish oil capsules (1,000mg of fish oil for every 20 pounds of body weight) to help with her skin (I get a bottle of 400 capsules at Costco for $9). I will guarantee you'll start seeing an improvement in a month or less.

If you do bones, make sure they're raw meaty bones and absolutely NOT cooked (they're dangerous).

And DO NOT use baby shampoo on dogs, that's another bad thing, it is not Ph balanced for a dog's skin and does more harm than good (baby shampoo is actually awful for humans too, ask any salon stylist). Get a good soap free shampoo such as Tropiclean or Earth Bath at your local PetSmart or Petco (or another store that carries it) which should help as well. Many use the wrong and cheap shampoos which leave a residue and end up causing more problems than they actually help. Also don't over bathe. A bath every 4-6 months is typically (rinse with plain water in between to get off dirty and pollen) sufficient.

Yes thank you I realize horse products CAN be interchangable for some things, however the swat we used on the horses I worked with said nowhere on the can to be used for dogs. It's been a few years so they may have changed their product labeling but if it does not say it can be specifically used for dogs, I'd switch to something that is specifically for dogs (again if they changed their product labeling that's fine). Or simply bring her in the house...which if she has such bad skin problems is where she should be anyway IMO.

Honestly, I think if you switch to a higher quality food and some fish oil you will see a good 90% of her issues disappear within a month possibly less.

Here is what I have written up for my petsitting clients, hope it helps you some. Please let me know if you have any questions I'm more than happy to help if I can.

A good rule of thumb is, if you can buy the food at a grocery store, discount store (Wal-Mart, Target, etc), or PetSmart (minus Blue Buffalo) or PetCo (minus Solid Gold, Wellness, and Natural Balance) it’s the equivelent of you eating McDonald’s on a daily basis. Brands like Iams, Science Diet, Purina, Dog Chow, Ol Roy, Beneful, Pedigree, Eukanuba, just to name a few are very poor quality foods. You can go to Dog Food Analysis - Reviews of kibble to help you choose a healthy food for your dog. You'll want to choose a 4, 5, or 6 star food (with the exception of Kirkland food they have it listed as a 3 star which I do not agree with).

Good food brands/suggestions to name a few (not in any particular order):

Canidae

Solid Gold

Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul

Nature's Variety

Wellness

Natural Balance

Innova

California Natural

Kirkland Signature (Costco brand)-this is a good food if you are on a strict budget

Taste of the Wild (what I feed and recommend if you can afford it or rotate with it)

Below is some basic info on what makes a food good/bad:

In a food you want a food without corn, corn meal, corn gluten meal or anything else that mentions corn, without wheat, by products, soy, animal digest, BHA, BHT, these are the things I can think of off the top of my head. You want the first ingredient to be preferably a named meat MEAL product (ie Chicken meal or turkey meal, lamb meal, whatever), a whole meat is okay, just remember that a whole meat (ie chicken, turkey, lamb, etc) is about 80% water so when it's cooked, it will drop it to around the 3rd ingredient instead of 1st. So for example if your ingredients read, chicken, brown rice, white rice, this means that chicken really isn't the first ingredient it's rice which is okay, just something to be noted. Now if it is chicken meal, brown rice, white rice, this is correct as in meal form it is already cooked, there is no water in it and it's weight is a true weight and this is a good thing. Corn is 100% non digestible for dogs (humans too) and is a very common allergen in dogs and the #1 cause for scratching, chewing, hot spots and the like, wheat is also non digestible for dogs and a common allergen, by products are things such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, intestines, supposedly exclusive of feathers and blood “except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices” as AAFCO states, animal digest is chemical hydrolosis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue, BHA and BHT are known carcinogens (poison that causes cancer) so you can obviously see why you don't want this in their food.

Anyway, this is just scratching the surface but it's a good place to start anyway. If you want any additional tips please let me know. Good rule of thumb, if you cannot say “yes I know what that is” it probably isn’t something you want your dog to eat. Most people know what chicken is or rice is or oatmeal is or lamb is or barley is, many people do not know what by-products or animal digest are.

For a personal brand that I have used and like (just for some place to start), I recommend Taste of the Wild or Natural Balance as long as there are no allergies to ingredients, as it is the healthiest at a reasonable price. I get a 28 pound bag of Natural Balance Sweet Potato and Fish for around $45 (their non limited ingredient diets I believe are cheaper, but my dog has allergies so I have to stick with the grain free limited line) and with a 65 pound female dog and a 67 pound male dog it lasts me exactly 3 weeks. I get it at PetCo (oddly enough ti is the cheapest in my area) which has a buy 10 get one free program (not all at the same time), but the manufacturer has the same deal so basically I buy 10 bags and get 2 free so price wise it's very reasonable especially for 2 dogs. If you go to their website, Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance® Pet Foods :1 they will send you coupons as well. Taste of the Wild is grain free (which is GREAT) and an all life stages food (meaning you can feed it to puppies or seniors) and for a 30 pound bag runs me $42 (cheaper in some parts of the country). The 30 pound bag lasts my 70-75 pound German Shepherd for exactly a month. Both brands offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee so if you are not satisfied for any reason you can return it and receive a full refund (all of the premium foods offer this return policy so you're not out anything to try any of them). You will also feed considerably less because more of the food will be used by the animal rather than excreted by the body.

I hope this sheds some light on dog foods for you and again if you have any questions please let me know.

Good luck!
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  #5  
May 7th, 2010, 03:27 PM
my.estrella's Avatar Ashley
Join Date: Dec 2008
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See here's my thing. I'm a single mom, putting myself through school. I don't work, and the only money I have comes from child support or financial aid. So Purina is the best I can do right now, and I have personally used Science Diet and had zero problems.

At the end of the day, I know my dogs better than you do, and I know my situation better. I appreciate suggestions, but don't you dare tell me I'm feeding my dogs ****.
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  #6  
May 7th, 2010, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by my.estrella View Post
See here's my thing. I'm a single mom, putting myself through school. I don't work, and the only money I have comes from child support or financial aid. So Purina is the best I can do right now, and I have personally used Science Diet and had zero problems.

At the end of the day, I know my dogs better than you do, and I know my situation better. I appreciate suggestions, but don't you dare tell me I'm feeding my dogs ****.
Okay it isn't about knowing YOUR dogs, it's about understanding the ingredients in dog food and understanding any DOG'S digestion system.

That's like me saying i know my kid so don't tell me feeding my kid McDonald's for breakfast lunch and dinner is feeding them crap. EVERYONE knows that McDonald's is garbage why because we know what's in the food, we know it is full of fat, calories, oil, processed garbage, transfats, and other stuff that simply is not healthy for humans. Same concept with dog food, it's full of corn, blood, feathers, eggs, poison, that simply isn't healthy for any dog.

Why pay $40 for a bag of Science Diet (yes which is CRAP food) when you can spend the same amount for something healthy which will get rid of the skin problems, make them not smell their breathe not smell, less vet bills? Why buy from a company that the first ingredient is CORN?

Do you have a Costco membership or know someone who does? You can get a 40 pound bag of food for $22 and it's HEALTHY.

Really, read up on dog foods, understand what they're saying and don't close your mind to it. I'm not belittling you, I completely get you don't know any better, I didn't either about 5 years ago until I started listening to people (on here actually) and then started talking to nutritionists and taking classes myself and doing research and realizing the Dog Chow I was feeding was probably killing my dog. I refuse to feed it anymore. I use Kirkland or Taste of the Wild. Chicken Soup in my area is $25 for a 35 pound bag, it's reasonably priced it's affordable. You'll feed less than Purina and there's less waste too.

I HIGHLY urge you to switch foods, give it a try. You may not KNOW you had a problem with Science Diet but I promise, over time it's making your dog unhealthy and will cause problems down the road, not to mention the skin problems are definitely being exacerbated by the low quality food. I would HIGHLY encourage you to look at DFA, to read what I wrote, to understand it and not close your mind and be willing to say hey I made a mistake because I didn't know any better, but when I did find out differently I changed my ways. There's no shame in not knowing, the shame comes when you're taught better and still choose to ignore the issue.
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