Most of you who follow my photography and design blogs already know "Miss Mango." For those of you who do not, she is my and my husband’s 11-year-old dog; our precious fur baby! "Miss Mango" would like me to share the health crisis journey we have been on these last few months to help her furry friends who may benefit from this important information.
For most of Mango's life she has been an itchy dog and struggled with watery eyes, ear infections and over time, a dark colored pigmented belly, all of which I thought were caused by seasonal allergies, and perhaps some sensitivity to pet food. We managed the symptoms with frequent bathing and ear cleaning and, of course, tried all kinds of expensive "sensitive skin" foods. Her condition was tolerable and just slightly annoying for us and her. We believed that this was our cross to bear and accepted it as her normal, until it wasn't.
A few months ago, Mango’s itching became chronic, she began to exhibit signs of another ear infection, and we noticed blood in her urine. It was time to visit the vet. She was diagnosed with a serious bladder infection which was treated with antibiotics. During this visit, we also discussed with the vet different food options as a way to clear up some of the other issues which we, again, thought were food and/or seasonal allergies.
Because Mango had been on some kind of high end kibble her entire life, I decided to educate myself in a more holistic approach to what she was eating. The more I learned about pet foods, the more I wanted to know:
- Most commercial pet foods are not species appropriate. Dogs and cats are carnivores.
- Most commercial pet foods do not have enough moisture content needed for a carnivore’s diet.
- Most commercial pet foods contain mostly grains and carbohydrates which is not needed for a carnivore’s diet, and along with the fillers and preservatives may be the causes of allergy tortured pets.
- Most commercial pet foods are not nutritionally efficiently balanced and may cause inflammation issues.
- The commercial pet food industry sets their own standards and is self-regulated. There is no watch dog to keep them in check except us, as consumers.
This research brought me to the “Raw Food Diet” for pets. My conclusion was that a nutritionally balanced human grade raw pet food diet is a much healthier choice than the most commonly available commercial pet foods. A visit to a local pet food store (see link below) that carried this raw food diet recognized that Miss Mango may have a severe food-related yeast allergy. A raw food diet that would eliminate all grains, fillers, and preservatives was recommended. The next day we started the 10 day process of weaning her off her old food.
I knew from research that it might take months to get the food fillers and preservatives out of Miss Mango’s system. We were very surprised when we started to see improvements within weeks! We were excited, but still cautious.
It is now a few months after starting this diet, and we are convinced it is working because we have a different dog. She is not chronically itching, the sores are healed, her eyes are not watering, her ears are clear, she smells good, her pigmented belly has lightened up, and, most of all, she is so calm! I now believe that Mango had been allergic to her pet food her entire life, and at 11 years old, her body could not take the stress any longer and was shutting down quickly.
I am so thankful for the knowledge we now have, and that is why this story needed to be told. It is not feasible to put all the information needed to make an informed decision on this subject here, so there are a few links below that I think were the most helpful to us. Please do your own research about the pet food industry. Miss Mango and I want all parents of fur babies to have this knowledge so their pets never experience an unnecessary health crisis like Miss Mango did and live happy, healthy and stress free lives.
Natural Food Diet supplier in Melbourne, Florida:
Natural Pet Specialty Shop, Lee Barriault (owner) http://www.naturalpetspecialtyshop.com
Resources and Links: