My Itchy Dog Has Cost Us A Fortune!

by Christine C

OMG To begin with why oh why can't Vet's get it right! My poor little 14 pound Rat Terrier cross has been going through hell for a couple of years now with itchy paws, non stop licking and chewing herself and generally lethargic.

First it was thought to be what? who knows! So they immediately put her on the famous Prednisone to get it cleared up but of course it comes right back when the Prednisone runs out. Benadryl 3x a day. Then antibiotics because of infection setting in...and on and on.

OK suddenly they say its a meat-protein allergy, put her on Medical Veggie for 4 difference!

Back again to the Vet....suddenly its yeast infection which I had mentioned 4 months ago but got shot down with oh no its not! So needless to say she is now on an anti-fungal medication which hasn't seemed to have done anything yet, its been 5 days so it may take a few weeks.

So I decide to heck with the no-meat diet and head for the pet food store and go through many different brands to find one that might work for her....the shop owner talks me into Nutro Holistic Super I'm having second thoughts about some of the ingredients.

Does anyone know of a good food for a dog with yeast infection sold in Ontario, Canada?????

Editor's Comments

Hi Christine -

How awful for your little pup (and you) to have to go through all of this! We don't blame you for feeling terribly frustrated.

Just wondering, is it just her paws that she's chewing on, or does your dog have other skin problems too? Has it actually been confirmed that your dog does have a yeast infection? Or are you concerned this might be another shot in the dark?

Had you considered possibly seeking a second opinion, or even trying a holistic veterinarian, to see if you can get to the bottom of the true cause of her itching?

A tip for paw chewing: Our last doggie also used to frequently chew on his paws and on one occasion an infection set in. The Vet gave him antibiotics and suggested we give him half a baby Aspirin to bring him some relief. After witnessing the side effects of the medications, we knew we needed another solution. From then onwards, the moment he began chewing, we would soak his paws in warm salt water, drying thoroughly between his toes, and then tying a small sock on his paws. It worked like a charm every time. No more infections, Vet visits or medications required.

If your dog's yeast infection has been confirmed, we'd suggest you go with a limited ingredient, premium quality, grain-free canned dog food.

Note: Remember to read the label to ensure the wet dog food is intended as a “complete” diet, as opposed to “for supplemental feeding only”.


  • Petcurean GO! Grain-Free (Canadian Dog Food Company)
  • Nature's Variety Instinct Grain-Free
  • Addiction Grain-Free
  • Newmans Own Organics Grain-Free
  • Wellness Grain-Free Core Canned Dog Food

You may also wish to consider the BARF diet for dogs (i.e. raw dog food), in which case we would highly recommend you first consult with a holistic veterinarian.

We really hope this helps! It must be very hard to watch that cute little fur baby suffering so much. :(

A call-out to all our other visitors ... If anyone else has any tips or suggestions for Christine, PLEASE add your comments here!

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Dog with yeast
by: Nicole

My dog is a maltipoo and after 3 vets and tons of research she is now much better. She has yeast infections with itchy skin, paw biting, ear scratching. I switched her food to Bil&Jac grain free and bathed her weekly with anti fungal shampoo and conditioner. I've done raw food and tried every brand of dog food and high end human grade food. The only thing that really works is the Bil&Jac grain free. It's the only dog food without fruits and vegetables or anything that has sugar in it.

Making Your Own Dog Food
by: Anonymous

With how much you must be spending on commercial, processed dog food, you might want to try making your own.

Keep it simple -- they don't need all the veggies and stuff we think they do. Try her with some basic meat, beef for instance - raw is best - but if you can't stomach that, cook it just enough to toast the outside -- just feed that for a week or so to see if anything changes. Then do the same thing with another kind of meat, try chicken in the same way -- raw or cook it a bit.

That will tell you if it is the meat that is the problem. Then you can add ingredients one, by one like a bit of rice and try that, etc.

Rat Terrier
by: Kelly

I always suggest you get your dog on a single source protein. (not chicken) Turkey is my 1st choice when dealing with skin issues etc.

I'm not a fan of Nutro Dog food. Perhaps try an elimination diet and pick up Monica Segal's book K-9 Kitchen.

95% protein is not something I'd feed my dogs. JMHO. High protein diets have been shown to cause behavioural problems over time.

Best of luck!

Takes time
by: Shawn

The one piece of advice I've heard from our vet is, once you switch foods, it may take a month before you can say if it's better or not. So, if you switch food, don't assume that a few days or even a week of continued symptoms means to give up and switch to another brand. We have a St Bernard that has allergies. I'm still trying to find a food that works well for him.

How's your little one doing now? We have the same trouble.
by: alli

I don't know how long ago this was written and I'd love to know if your doggies condition has vanished?

We've got a 6 year old rattie (7lb runt of a small breed litter :) and we've spent thousands of dollars trying to help her skin troubles.We've tried every brand of food both at the vets and at petstores here in Vancouver and still nothing.

Recently her legs are now totally brownish in colour instead of white and her belly (which is ALWAYS red-ish) is now dark brown and scaling like crazy. Her paws are also near raw.

The food she is on now is grain free single protein (not chicken) and all of her bedding is washed in hypoallergenic laundry liquid (no dryer sheet).

This scaling is new and it looks and must feel atrocious. We've also had good results a few years back from prednisone, but like you as soon as our girl was off of it all the ickyness came right back. :( It's just so sad!

I hope your dog is feeling better and I hope that you may check this site sometime soon to offer any advice you may have. Thanks so much.

your poor itchy dog!
by: Deanna

Hi Christine, I feel so bad for your little dog! I just looked up the ingredients list for Nutro Ultra Holistic and it's made with an awful lot of rice. Someone else recommended the Acana line of dog foods (made in Canada) and it's something I would look into.

Stay away from chicken and rice for your little guy and see if that works. Allergies develop to everything over time, the main reason that I have gone back to red meat.

You could also add a little yogurt to their food, a natural and more yummy lactobacsillus for them, if you are concerned about his digestion, which if he has been on medication for any length of time would be beneficial.

Good luck to you! And Nutro has a money back guarantee, so any portion of it can be returned for a full refund! Most dog food companies do.

Deanna, Dudley, Zane and Zori :)

Yeast and Food
by: Kelly Graham

I attended a conference that Dr. Jean Dodds gave a few weeks ago. I found out that TURKEY is the best food to give your dog if it has reactive tummy or skin issues etc.

She says use Turkey because it's low in fat and is one of the LEAST used proteins in commercial grade dog food, so your dog is less likely to react to it and if your dog has tummy or skin issues, Turkey as a single source protein will help clear it up.

Dr. Dodds deferred to Monica Segal when it came to folks asking about foods and altering a whole diet. Monica has a book called K9 Kitchen, Your Dogs' Diet
, which suggests you work on an elimination diet for issues like this. It will help you find out what it is that's causing all these issues for your dog.

A starting suggestion would be cooked turkey with just cooked sweet potatoes and if this is tolerated well you can add green beans as extra fiber. I gave the whole turkey thing a try when my 5 yd old Boxer had an upset tummy off and on for two weeks. I roasted a turkey and gave him that, along with cooked cranberries, sweet potatoes, stuffing, and mashed cooked carrots and turnip. That worked to clear up his tummy troubles and changed his temperament (much calmer)and stopped him from licking his feet so often, which in turn cleared up his yeasty toes.

But if you want to go to an elimination diet, start out with cooked turkey and only sweet potatoes, once you find your dog tolerates this, you can try adding different things.

I'm amazed at how many health issues can be cleared up just by giving your dog healthy cooked human foods.

As a side note,I found a commercial dog food, fairly new on the market that was JUST turkey & chicken, of Turkey & duck. Just the one protein. Be darned if I can recall what the name of it was, but of you to go Global Pet Foods, they can show you what it is.

Good luck!!

Itchy paws
by: Anonymous

My Cairn Terrier was scratching and licking her paws until they were raw, nothing seemed to work from the vet or otherwise. I found this all natural product called Dermapaw. Since using it for a short time she has has stopped scratching and itching her paws. You can get it at

Your poor rat terrier.
by: Anonymous

I am also from Ontario and had a dog with allergies. Does your dog have seasonal allergies? Do the paws heal after a frost?

We did get a fish oil from the vet called Vet Solutions AllerG-3 Fatty Acids, if I remember correctly. It was in a pump bottle and not very expensive. The oil is supposed to help the allergies and is excellent for the kidneys. I think it did work. Our poor boy had hay fever and I dreaded every August to October.

We also had a cat and she had every drug and needle remedy that did not work. I was so surprised, one day we ran out of cat food and had to buy the cheapest crap at the corner store. To our surprise, within a short time, the cat stopped scratching and pulling her hair out. It was her food and it took us years to find this out. She lived until she was in her twenties!

We have two rat terriers now and one of our girls cannot eat chicken or eggs. We found this out by mistake but I am so happy I did. Our dog is a different girl since we changed her food.

I would try some dog food with limited meats something like a buffalo. This is available at Global Pet Foods.

Cool face cloths always helped our pets when their feet got raw from the chewing.

Good luck, I hope your pup is feeling better soon.

Dog Itching/Allergies
by: Jeri

My Dachshund developed the same symptoms at one year old.

I went to a pet specialty store and they suggested a food called Acana Pacifica. It is made by Champion Pet Foods in Canada. It is fish based and grain-free. It has worked a miracle for my little dog!

You could also try Natural Balance L.I.D. dog food and treats.

You will also need to discontinue all other treats if your dog has food allergies. If your dog has allergies to other things, there is a new medication that has worked well for us. It's name is Atopica and it is for allergies. However,it is a little expensive, but worth it.

Good luck.

Been there :( Finally Found Relief !!
by: Anonymous

I understand how difficult it is since I went through all those steps as well. It took nearly 6 years to finally get our happy-go-lucky little guy back!

I won't waste any time repeating all the steps you've already taken, rather share with you the last few steps that made the difference.

As far as food is concerned, we found grain-free, wheat-free, all natural food was the key. . . . that protein allergy approach did not work. I feed Natural Balance L.I.D. However, this was only partially effective. Where we really saw immense improvement was when we used shampoo treatment. At first, we got Malaseb prescribed by our vet and used it twice a week for two months, then once a week. We cleared up probably 70% of the scaling and angry spots.

Then we met someone and we are now back to a normal dog!!! We were told that we should find Allerseb-T shampoo because this is seborrhea!!! Well, that shampoo is no longer available, has been replaced by Keratolux Shampoo (tar free). Magic! His hair has grown back and he has no angry red spots, no scaly spots, and no offensive smell!

I only wish we would have run into this info a few years earlier so we could have saved our baby from so many years of misery. I hope this helps you and your baby.

Update on Shelby
by: Christine

Well Shelby still isn't finding much relief from the Ketoconazole drug she is on...I have also been giving her Benadryl at least once a day (the Vet said she could have it every 8 hours but I dunno...) I gave her a bath yesterday with Nizoral shampoo which seemed to help for a little while.

She goes to the Vet later this week and I just don't want her on any more meds, I would like to try some more natural treatments and get her off all the meds.

I feel so sorry for her, she can't go for her daily walks because her feet are sore. Time to get out her carriage again I think so she can at least go for a ride and have a change of mind. :)

I still have her on the Nutro dry dog food but have heard a lot of good things about "Taste Of The Wild" grain-free Pacific Salmon formula and may switch her to that.

I have been researching the benefits of putting her on Acidophilus and am wondering if anyone has had any success with it?

I will update again next week and pray I will have good news for ya all. :)

Itchy Pup
by: Kelly

Sorry to hear about your itchy suffering pup.

I love this site because it offers great info on the foods.

I personally like Natural Planet Organics Dog Food. You can order it through Global Pet Foods in Ontario. When it comes to skin problems or behavioural problems, I always go to NPO (Natural Planet Organics).

If you really want to try to give your pup some relief, make sure there are no allergies or reactions to chicken. If there are, go to lamb. I'd suggest you just try having your dog eat human grade food for a week or so and see what difference you notice in skin, coat and itchies :o) Chicken and rice with veggies, beef and potatoes and veggies, lamb and veggies, you get the idea. I always see a HUGE difference in my dog's skin and coat when I go back to human food.

My Boxer chews his feet as well and he will be prone to yeast infections between his toes. If you're a kibble person, Natural Planet Organics. Give it a try you have nothing to lose! Maybe add Essex Farms Kibble Boost to the food for a while to ramp up the immune system??

Reply To Editor:
by: Christine C

Thank you for your comments :)

Yes, it was confirmed as yeast infection after months of suffering for my poor dog.

I am baffled as to why it takes these Vet's so long to diagnose something like was actually a skin scraping that they were suppose to have done 4 months ago!

It is her paws that she is mainly chewing and licking and a little on her tummy, it is also under her chin now.

I have put her in the tub in a lukewarm foot soak with a little Hibitane Scrub and then I rinse her paws well and dry them well, this seems to give her a little relief. I only do this every couple of days because of the drying effect it must have on her paws and nails.

I could try the socks on her but it may keep her paws too moist and she would probably enjoy chewing those off too! lol

I like to keep her on a quality dry food but I am stumped here as to what ingredients to avoid...I just bought a small bag of Nutro Holistic Super food and I bought a couple cans of Wellness 95% chicken which is grain-free. I have done a lot of research on the internet but that alone can get even more confusing.

I should find out if there is a holistic Vet in my area as I would love to get this sweet little dog happy again, she is my baby and means the world to me.

A little more about my dog:

Shelby is a spayed female 8 year old Rat Terrier/Aussie cross. I found her at a flea market as a 6 week old puppy and she was the cutest little doggie I'd ever seen! I fell head over heels in love with her! She has been my constant companion and has mega attitude. She thinks she is a large Aussie and lays and sits like she is queen bee! lol

For company she has a 6 year old purebred female Rat Terrier pal named Saleen, they are wonderful together! :)

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