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I have just found this site, and will read through some of the information already posted.

I have a wonderful 9 year old chocolate lab that I rescued from the SPCA 2 years ago. He was in pretty bad shape when I got him. He has done really well though and is a pretty happy guy now. He is a wonderful dog.

But he is a dog with allergies. He gets hot spots in the fall and in the spring in human allergy season, and he has just had his 2nd anal sack abscess in 4 months. We are at the point of considering removing his anal glands, which I really don't want him to go through if we can avoid it. I feed him Canadian Naturals Dog food, which is a turkey/salmon combination. I just looked up the contents on line a few minutes ago, and realize that it is high in grains. The 2nd ingredient is potatoes, followed by oats, and brown rice, while salmon is way down the list.

I am also on a small pension, so unfortunately cost will be a factor in my choice for him.

The vet is putting him on prednisone for the summer to simmer everything down, so it will be difficult to know if any dietary change is actually making a difference. I will read through some of the past posts, but if anyone has any ideas, they would certainly be welcomed. At this point we don't know if the allergies are mainly from grasses and pollens and other environmental factors because of his skin, or if they also are dietary. Because of his puffy anus and the 2 infections in such a short time, I suspect that he also has dietary allergies.

Di
 

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Welcome!

Anal gland abscesses can be caused by lack of fiber in the diet. Dogs need the fiber to release the fluid in the anal glands. The food you are feeding is 4% fiber which is low. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon is a grain free food with 6.5% fiber. It is high in Omega 3s which results in a beautiful skin and coat. The additional Omega 3s may help with the hot spots.
BLUE Wilderness Salmon Flavor is a High Protein, Low Carb Dog Food

Earthborn is a cost effective grain free food. Their Great Plains Feast contains bison which is a unique protein that may avoid allergies and has no chicken or potatoes. It is also high in Omega 3s. The fiber content is low at 4% but a tablespoon of canned pumpkin, not pie filling, can be added 3 days a week to add fiber.
Great Plains Feast : Earthborn Holistic Pet Food

Seasonal hot spots are often contact allergies. Wipe the feet, legs and any other areas that are prone to hot spots with a diluted solution of white vinegar and water every time the dog comes inside.

Also, consider a limited ingredient diet, balanced home cooking or raw feeding as these work best for dogs with allergies.

Below is a link to the best dry grain free food reviews. Keep in mind there is no prefect food unless you prepare it yourself.
Best Dry Grain Free Dog Foods

When considering cost include vet expenses. There are usually fewer vet expenses with grain free, home cooked and raw. Calories per cup also makes a difference. A dog will need less food, therefore cost less, when there are more calories per cup.

Transition from a grain inclusive food to grain free very slowly. Add a few pieces of the new kibble to the old over several weeks to avoid digestive upset.

Give Milk Thistle for liver support while giving pred.
 

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Welcome!:welcome:Like Magicre, I'm a raw feeder so I really can't help with the kibble end of things, but I just wanted to say welcome to the forum! Hang around and you will find some great information you have been needing.
 

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I have just found this site, and will read through some of the information already posted.

I have a wonderful 9 year old chocolate lab that I rescued from the SPCA 2 years ago. He was in pretty bad shape when I got him. He has done really well though and is a pretty happy guy now. He is a wonderful dog.

But he is a dog with allergies. He gets hot spots in the fall and in the spring in human allergy season, and he has just had his 2nd anal sack abscess in 4 months. We are at the point of considering removing his anal glands, which I really don't want him to go through if we can avoid it. I feed him Canadian Naturals Dog food, which is a turkey/salmon combination. I just looked up the contents on line a few minutes ago, and realize that it is high in grains. The 2nd ingredient is potatoes, followed by oats, and brown rice, while salmon is way down the list.

I am also on a small pension, so unfortunately cost will be a factor in my choice for him.

The vet is putting him on prednisone for the summer to simmer everything down, so it will be difficult to know if any dietary change is actually making a difference. I will read through some of the past posts, but if anyone has any ideas, they would certainly be welcomed. At this point we don't know if the allergies are mainly from grasses and pollens and other environmental factors because of his skin, or if they also are dietary. Because of his puffy anus and the 2 infections in such a short time, I suspect that he also has dietary allergies.

Di
Good luck with your lab, they are great dogs. I was raised with them and love them.

One hint about food allergies, they tend to be year round. Pollen allergies tend to be seasonal. Of course, I'm from Canada so our winter really helps sort that out.

Best of luck.
 
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