Q: why is my beagle biting butt and tail?tail is raw......
vet and me have tried everything-scent glands,oatmeal and shampoo bath,vitamins,hot spot solution,steriods,benedryl,etc.this has been on and off for months!i am so frustrated,really worried!!can someone PLEASE help.........
Apr 03, 2008
First of all, is this a sudden thing that developed? If this is a sudden departure from your dog's normal physiology not connected to any changes in her environment or diet, then seek veterinary advice. Your dog may require a topical solution.
If your dog has always had kind of a skin/coat problem but it's become worse, than read on.
Food-related problems and diseases are widespread. Here's what I've learned about nutrition - I've posted this on various dog food pages here on this site.
The main thing to remember about nutrition is the fresher and more pure the ingredients, the better health your dog (and yourself, for that matter) will be in. Your dog was designed to eat raw carcass, and from that it would consume muscle meat, gristle, fats, and fiber and vegetable matter from the stomach contents - hence, a whole meal. The next best thing - providing raw, whole foods from your pantry and butcher - is the ideal choice, but not always feasible in the busy lives we lead. In that case, if you're going to go the route of prepackaged food, be sure to choose something whole and made with care.
Look at the ingredients list on your dog's food. If it's dry food, look at the first 8-12 ingredients, which will show majority of the composition, about 85-90%; everything else is trace amounts, like vitamins/minerals. Now, if it lists generic things like "meat meal," "meat & bone meal," or "animal fat," get rid of it. The big food conglomerates (Purina, Iams, Pedigree) use ingredients such as these because they are cheap and by technicalities of pet food laws, they can be used. These mystery ingredients are literally scrapings from the bottom of the barrel - meats, fats and oils picked up from rendering plants (which would include leavings from fast food restaurants, roadkill, and even the melted-down remainders of Fido and Fluffy who's time ran out at the shelter.) If you don't believe me, check out "Foods Pets Die For: Shocking Facts About Pet Foods" by Ann Martin. Another good read that is considered less conspiracy theorist is "The Dog Bible," which has the most comprehensive dog information I've seen yet. Their chapter on nutrition is very sound and insightful.
What you want to see in an ingredient list a named meat (chicken, duck, lamb, beef) and a named meat meal first in line; ingredients are listed by weight, so if you see a bunch of brewer's rice (not a good source) or corn meal (it's alright, but shouldn't be the bulk, dogs cannot digest corn nearly as well as meat and other fibers) high up on the list, don't bother with it; this means an incomplete protein/fiber source is outweighing the meat. You'll want to see WHOLE wheat and grains other than corn (wheat has only become allergenic because we have stripped it of all nutrition and bleached it, turning it into something it's not supposed to be, causing a reaction). A few vegetables are good for digestion and should be included.
I worked at PETsMART for nearly 2 years and, after I learned everything I know about nutrition, I NEVER had a single person return the better foods I recommended because it didn't help their dogs as I said it would. Skin problems went away, their coat became thick and shiny, their stools improved and they went to the bathroom less often (because they didn't have to eat as much, as this food is more nutritious) - any number of problems simply went away and they were amazed at the difference in their dog. This is true with ALL whole, well-made food, whether properly produced and packaged or fresh.
So try something good – check your ingredients and expect to spend a little more, but a little goes a long way. I guarantee your dog will like it! If your dog is hesitant about new food, just mix a bit in with the old for a week or so - if you're feeding a lower quality food right now, your dog may prefer it simply because they coat it with a lot of fat and sugars to make it palatable.
I wish you and your dog good health and happiness!
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