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Has anyone here had specific experience of positive effects of raw/homemade diet on their golden with allergies/skin issues? Would love feedback/experiences!!!

For a long time my three year old golden has been suffering with itchy skin thought to be allergy related worse certain seasons like late spring-early fall resulting in hot spots, bacterial and fungal infections. For a while we tried fish oil, coconut oil, more frequent bathing with many different shampoos, wiping down after coming in from outside, colostrum, OTC antihistamines and more. This past year has been the hardest and he was in a cone for almost a month as he would not stop paw chewing and itching. Despite our efforts to stay away from apoquel/cytopoint we gave in and got a cytopoint injection. I'm trying a diet change in hopes we can figure this out more naturally and not need to turn back to cytopoint. (Vets claim its safe I know- for me if there is more of a natural solution I'd prefer that).

Im looking into home cooked feeding and possibly raw there are a lot of resources out there I have been reading up on that claim this heals their gut and biome and immune system with some other natural supplements and can be life changing for itchy allergy dogs (even if its more environmental). Was worried about DCM but the more I've heard its more due to legumes and also I bought premix as starter of Dr Harveys that does include high quality organic whole grains vs grain free to try first.

Raw kind of grosses me out but it seems this is everyone preference for a healthier dog. Has anyone here had specific experience of positive effects of raw/homemade diet on their golden with allergies/skin issues? Would love feedback/experiences.
 

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Oscar is on a raw diet and still has occasional but significant itching issues. We have had to resort to Apoquel which I understand can impact on his auto-immune system. We use it sparingly and titrate down to the lowest possible dose possible that is effective. We have tried salmon oil which has not been effective for him and also contributes to weight gain, which is an issue for Oscar. I too would also like to find a more effective homeopathic treatment option.
 

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I fed my senior a homecooked diet after years of battling skin issues and a year on Apoquel. I fed him a combination of eggs, chicken, beef, pork, broccoli and cauliflower with a very reduced portion of "limited ingredient" kibble for the minerals. I would never again put a dog on Apoquel. Taking him off of Apoquel and improving his food cleared his skin issues almost instantly. I tried Cytopoint once, but it seemed to have no effect.

I feed my puppy 95% home cooked diet of turkey, beef, barley, sweet potato, squash, cultured cottage cheese (has probiotics) and peas in varying combinations. I will vary this combination more as he grows up but it is better to keep his system stable for now. I add vitamins, calcium, coconut or olive oil, and some freeze dried patties from Stella and Chewy's because they contain freeze dried organ meat that is easy to throw on top (the other 5%). So far he is doing great, has tons of energy and is very lean with no skin issues. I won't tell anyone this is easy to pull off, and you really need a vet who supports this and will consult on supplements. I also don't use chemicals on my lawn and give him either distilled water or filtered water from the fridge (not 100%) of the time though.
 

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I have been mostly home-cooking for my last 5 Goldens for almost 20 years. Like you, I don't have the stomach for raw feeding. I currently have one male who has had minor issues with licking his paws and rear, I tried kibble but find he still does better on home-cooked.

I want to be careful about DCM too, so I use the home-cooked recipes and the BalanceIT Canine supplement from balanceit.com, which is a site entirely maintained by board-certified veterinary nutritionists. (I use their free Autobalancer EZ tool to generate balanced recipes.)

Another possible resource is Dr. Jean Dodds home test for food sensitivities at nutriscan.org .
 

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Hi everyone! Just read this post and I am in the same boat with looking to switch to a raw or cooked diet. We just rescued a Golden from Turkey and I am deciding which way to transition his diet…he currently is eating ProPlan (what the rescue feeds) and I top it with some added fresh meat or an egg and sometimes some broccoli. I fed a cooked diet to my previous dog that was developed with the help of a nutritionist. Now debating raw vs cooked for all the health reasons including the fact that he is biting at his legs and has a bad ear infection right now that is being treated. Thanks for everyone's perspective.
 

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First of all congratulations on your rescue. If you have a chance it would be a wonderful edition to the Golden Retriever Rescue Forum area of the site for you to tell his story. As for diet, this is what Oscar is eating which seems to suit him well and appears to keep his scratching under control, which has been a problem particularly when the house is dry in winter.

Big Disclaimer:

The subject of diet on the Forum is a passionate one :sneaky: so let me preface this by saying that this is what works for Oscar. He seems healthy, energetic, and enthusiastic about eating it. I am not suggesting that this is the only way to go (there are many commercial products that keep dogs healthy and long lived) as well as probably one hundred variations on raw and cooked diets. This is just the one that seems to work for us. It was approved by our vet, which is something I would suggest you do - run it by your professional provider...

Main meal (twice per day)

AM

Ground up raw chicken backs
Schrooms

PM

A healthy portion of various raw vegetables - carrots, peppers, tomatoes, cucumber
Ground up raw chicken backs
1/2 a hard boiled egg
Schrooms
Kelp

We have in the past added salmon oil when he has been particularly itchy.

Hope this helps!
 

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@OscarsDad Thank you!! I am definitely into feeding whole food whether it is raw or gently cooked. I agree that many dogs do well on commercial diets and everyone has to find what works for their dog. I am looking for a more holistic vet in the DC/VA/MD area right now to consult with on a diet as I want to do what is best for this boy. I will head over to the rescue forum next and post some of his story. Thanks again.
 
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