I have a poodle/bichon, Lucy, and a mini golden doodle, Mac. They were eating Blue, but we transitioned them to taste of the wild when our foster arrived. We wanted to go grain free in case Lucy had sensitivities anyway.

Lucy already had mild salivary staining on her feet and just a little around her mouth, but it has gotten much worse since eating TOTW. A little research tells me that foods with tomato pomace and food coloring can contribute to saliva staining. TOTW has pomace. One vet told me the staining is no big deal, but I see that it is about body chemistry. He also told me that her itching is more allergy related than food related, but i don't agree with his position regarding the staining.

Anyone have any suggestions for a food that is grain free, preservative free, tomato pomace free? It seems to even transfer to Mac's hair where Lucy chews on him ....back of his neck looks a little pink.

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Comment by Karen and Jackdoodle on July 14, 2011 at 11:04pm
BTW, Jack eats Orijen, on the advice of his immunologist.
Comment by Karen and Jackdoodle on July 14, 2011 at 10:59pm

Regarding washing Lucy's feet after spending time in the grass, keep in mind that it is NOT contact with grass (or whatever the allergen may be) that causes problems. It's breathing the pollen in the air. Since most plant pollens travel hundreds of miles, there's not much you can do to avoid them. It isn't a bad idea to wipe the dog down after he/she comes in from outdoors, to keep them from bringing the pollens into the home. The feet need to be kept clean and dry regardless of whether they've been in contact with grass or not.

Carpet obviously harbors more dust mites than wood, but unless you have a dog tested to find out which allergens are causing the problem, you don't know if that would help any particular dog.

I have never heard of adding cream cheese to a diet to help with yeast, I don't know how ingesting a dairy product would help with yeasts on the skin. I'm not sure what you mean by helping with chemistry? But some dogs are sensitive to dairy products, so I wouldn't add cream cheese.

Be sure that the sites you are looking at are based on factual scientific information and cite specific impartial studies as the basis for their information. Information from veterinary websites or university sites are usually reliable. Any site that is selling a products, things like "Yahoo answers", and chat forums are usually less than reliable or factual in their advice. Anecdotal info like "this worked for me" or "my groomer says" are not good sources of information.

Comment by Lorelei Johnson on July 14, 2011 at 9:27pm
Karen....forgot to ask...what are your thoughts on adding a spoon of cream cheese to their diet? Is this something that would honestly help with yeast and chemistry?
Comment by Lorelei Johnson on July 14, 2011 at 9:23pm
Karen, thanks for your response. After I posted this,I found other sites that dispute the info on the bichon site I visited, and your response is basically the same. I trust your information, since you're probably an expert on allergies and nutrition due to your Jack's condition. I also spent time in PetSmart tonight looking at all kinds of food ingredients......you're right about the pomace. I decided to go back to Blue because Mac and Lucy like it better than TOTW. Vanessa seems to have trouble tolerating TOTW anyway. Hopefully Blue mixed with boiled chicken and maybe some brown rice might firm things up a bit for her. :-)
I will check out the raw food you suggest. What does Jack do best with?
I will also take care to wash Lucy's feet after extended time in the grass. I'm hinting to my husband that we need to get rid of the carpet and install hardwood throughout as well. Lol
Comment by Karen and Jackdoodle on July 14, 2011 at 8:00pm

Unfortunately, tomato pomace is the fiber source of choice in the better quality foods. Some foods use beet pulp, but that is considered controversial as there are some who believe it contributes to yeast infections; this is unproven and makes no sense physiologically, but nevertheless, the better foods use tomato pomace.

However, I doubt the tomato pomace is responsible for the staining, since the form it takes in dry kibble is very far removed from anything that could stain fur. (Or anything else.) Most staining of the fur around the mouth is due to saliva, with yeasts sometimes contributing to the problem. But light-colored dogs with facial hair are going to have some saliva staining around the mouth no matter what you feed. You'll notice that even black dogs often have reddish or borwnish fur around the mouth. And dark reddish-brown fur on the paws is one sign of a dog with allergies, because they lick their paws and the saliva stains them.

Your vet is probably also right about the cause of the itching, as itching is the main symptom of allergies in dogs, and food allergies are rare. Only 10% of allergies in dogs are related to food; the other 90% are due to environmental (also called seasonal or inhalant) allergies. This does not refer to chemicals, carpet cleaners, fertilizers, etc. It is common organic substances such as dust mites, molds, and pollens that are responsible for 90% of the itching due to allergy in dogs.

At any rate, I have not yet seen a premium grain-free food without tomato pomace; the alternative would be beet pulp. You might look into commercial raw products like Honest Kitchen or Bravo.

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