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My Sophie was 3 mo. Fri. 1/8/10. I have noticed her scratching (not real often) for a couple of weeks but thought it was b/c of her harness or collar that she was not used to. I notice now dry flakes throughout her coat. Her back coat seems dull (not so much head, ears maybe legs & tail). I posted about Sohphie's callused elbows yesterday (w/ pic). I don't know if they could be connected. I want to shampoo Sophie today but am hesitant as to what to shampoo her with (get rid of the flakes & itches). I have a terrible time getting her to eat! I usually end up sitting with her & feeding from my hand. She is sooo distracted by any lil' noise or movement in the house (Very Curious, playful, nosey = puppy:). I'm concerned am I feeding her the right food (have had her 5 wks. & feeding what breeder was feeding) Pedigree Puppy Chow. Could the food be the reason for dull dry coat? Does she not like her food (she sure wants other dogs foods & cats!). Instructor @ puppy class says to put her food down & if she only eats a lil' & walks away put food up & wait til next feeding! She barely eats!
Help!
 

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Pedigree Puppy Chow is a very low end food and this could definitely be contributing to the itchies and poor coat you are seeing. If you are able to, I would highly recommend switching to a higher quality food that is meat based and which will provide better nutrition. A good website to review is Dog Food Analysis http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/ which may help you in your search for another food. Good luck.

Here is the review specific to Pedigree Puppy Chow. It is rated 1 star and that is because it is full of fillers and does not contain any real meat, just by product meal. http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/showproduct.php?product=5&cat=7
 

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I have Murphy on Purina ProPlan. Not the shredded. He seems to do well on that, just remember, if you switch your pups food, do it over a matter of a week or so to get her tummy used to it.
 

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Pedigree Puppy Chow is a very low end food and this could definitely be contributing to the itchies and poor coat you are seeing. If you are able to, I would highly recommend switching to a higher quality food that is meat based and which will provide better nutrition. A good website to review is Dog Food Analysis http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/ which may help you in your search for another food. Good luck.

Here is the review specific to Pedigree Puppy Chow. It is rated 1 star and that is because it is full of fillers and does not contain any real meat, just by product meal. http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/showproduct.php?product=5&cat=7
ditto

Hank's breeder fed this and I switched him pronto. Ack, the first four ingredients - Ground Whole Corn, Chicken By-product Meal, Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, not a healthy food IMO.

I feed Innova LBP and am so happy with the results. The first four ingredients - Turkey, Chicken, Chicken Meal, Barley. Even in this cold, dry weather Hank's coat and skin are great.

I spent an afternoon browsing the pet food isles at different pet stores and hours on web sites poured over ingredient lists. It's mind-boggling! I wish I had all this information and food choices when my Maggie was young. She was allergic to corn and ate Lamb & Rice just about her whole life. There is so much more available now.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We're headed out to Wal-Mart & Pet Smart today. I hope to find a shampoo & food for Sophie. I appreciate all of your help. Truly! I wanna do the best I can for Sophie I just love her to pieces:)
 

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Also for her dry skin, find an oatmeal shampoo. It helps with the dry flaky skin. Mine are on ProPlan chicken and rice (not shredded).
 

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Pedigree is a pretty low end food. I would also recommend Purina Pro Plan. Our new pup, Tyson, is on Pro Plan and is doing great on it. Fish oil supplements are also a great way to ward off dry skin. Our dogs get 1000 mg of fish oil a day. Tucker is especially prone to dry skin and it has done wonders for his coat. We'll be starting Tyson on fish oil within the next week or two since our other two dogs have greatly benefited from it.
 

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Good luck on finding a new food. I find that my dogs do best on meat-based kibble with not less than 15% fat. I also give 1000 mg of salmon oil each day which helps.
 

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If you're looking for a food change, I highly recommend the Natura brands (Innova, California Natural and Healthwise are a few of their product lines) for a myriad of reasons and have seen them work wonders on many dogs. You won't find them in Petsmart or Walmart, but many non-chain pet stores, feed stores and online stores carry them.

As for shampoo, the Earthbath Oatmeal is all natural and readily available at pet stores. You should also be able to find the plain Pearls Au Lait Milk Bath there as well which is does an AMAZING job at replenishing the skin and coat (it's also long lasting = ideal for winter use in Goldens). Not sure where you live, but the cold winter weather in many areas often equates to the dry, flaky skin you mentioned - a little omega supplement is another option to help alleviate that.
 

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I have 3 and 4 1/2 month old lab pups. The older one had diarrhea, parasites, dandruff and very itchy skin when I got her. She chewed at her skin constantly it was so bad. Antibiotics took care of the parasites. And I switched her on Pro Plan large breed puppy and squirt Salmon Oil onto her food daily. After about 2 weeks her itching calmed down and she has a healthy coat now. I also give the Salmon oil to the young pup and to my adult golden and all have nice healthy coats. Besides being good for their skin and coat, Salmon oil is also good for their hearts.
 

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In regard to that website goldilocks posted with the food reviews and ratings, at what food star level would be your lowest? I'm looking at foods from the four star rating and up to compare. Food is such a huge topic. I'm looking at a food made locally, so it will be fresh, won't sit on the shelf to rot or go stale and it's in the four start category.
 

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I agree with 99% of the advice in the thread, but I don't consider dogfoodanalysis.com to have a truly scientific approach to nutrition. They start with the premise that dogs are carnivores since dogs evolved from wolves, and they go from there. That's not, strictly speaking, true and verifiable. They'll push you toward foods that are mostly or only meat, and any food with significant grain content is automatically put down the list, even when lots of feeding trials and the experience of professional dog handlers says otherwise.

They also automatically downgrade corn-based ingredients and things the FDA classes as "byproducts," even when they're good ingredients. For example, "chicken byproduct meal" is chicken muscle meat, organ meat, and bone, ground and dried. In the right proportion, it's a fabulous ingredient. dogfoodanalysis.com would lead you to think otherwise.
 

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In regard to that website goldilocks posted with the food reviews and ratings, at what food star level would be your lowest? I'm looking at foods from the four star rating and up to compare. Food is such a huge topic. I'm looking at a food made locally, so it will be fresh, won't sit on the shelf to rot or go stale and it's in the four start category.
I think Dodger's food has one star. But I don't agree with thier rating system.
 

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What struck me most about your post was what you said about her elbows. Granted, I do believe you should be looking for a higher quality food for her (and dogs did evolve from meat eaters) I would double check on her thyroid level as well. Very simple test and if your vet knows the breed then he/she will know that a "low normal" result is LOW for a golden. One of the side effects of low thyroid is pronounced elbow calluses. Since Rusty went on thyroid medicine his (which were larger than the size of a quarter) have completely been replaced with beautiful coat. I know she's young but I would test now and see what the results are.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you ALL for your advice. I truly appreciate your experiences & thoughts. Sophie is now on Blue Buffalo puppy food & gobbling it down (had a terrible time getting her to eat the Pedigree). I think her coat is starting to look better! The elbow is void of all scab & pink skin now exposed. We go to Vet on Friday. I can't wait! I am now feeling a few lil' scabby spots on top of her head. She doesn't seem to notice but her lil' Bassett friend was not @ class on Sat. b/c he has scabies! Yikes! Can't wait to see Vet on Friday for piece of mind:) Will mention Thyroid to Vet. BTW my Vet is big into Goldens so I am thankful to have found her. Will update you all:)
 
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