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We've had our 18 month old Golden for about 4 1/2 weeks now, and have been feeding him Pedigree, which he's generally seemed OK with. However, his coat has been a little dull and he scratches a fair amount (no fleas or bites), so we decided to try switching him to Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream based on several comments here.

He's been getting 1/4 TotW and 3/4 Pedigree since Sunday evening, and seems to love it. He's didn't really seem to care about food with the Pedigree, but he can't wait to get the TotW. With the pedigree he would eat some, then come back for a few bites here and there over maybe an hour or so before it was finished. With the TotW he eats the whole bowl in one sitting without even looking up until he's done.

I'm really glad he seems to be enjoying the taste of the new food, however last night he started scratching and biting a lot more, and I noticed some small red rashes in his groin area. I'm guesing he's having an allergic reaction to something in the new food, is this common when switching foods or should we stop with the TotW and maybe try another food (or maybe just go back to the Pedigree)?

It seems like a lot of people switch /to/ TotW for allergy issues, not away from it. I was really hoping that it would help his itching (which wasn't nearly as bad as it was last night/this morning), but it seems to have made it worse.
 

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Hi Marc.

He may be allergic to a certain animal protein in the food. What formula TOTW are you using and what is the meat source(s) in the Pedigree?
 

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I definitely think you made a step in the right direction to transition away from the Pedigree dog food. Corn, meat meal, corn gluten and animal fat wouldn't be anybody's top 4 listings of quality protein sources for a dog.

It seems like you're taking a nice slow approach to transitioning. No, the red rashes and scratching aren't typical changes when switching foods. If you've ruled out other reasons, then it may be the food. TOTW Pacific Stream has salmon (plain and smoked) and fish meal as the 2 meat sources and 3 different potato products and canola oil - not any of your most common items to have an intolerance to. It could just be what all the fish is treated with and/or the "smoked" residue that he can't handle. You may want to try a simple ingredient formula like California Natural Chicken Meal and Rice Puppy. I suggest the puppy formula (all puppy formulas are also "all life stages" formulas) because it has 26% protein and 16% fat which a young, active dog can certainly utilize.
 

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Both our girls eat TOTW and all winter and neither dog scratches..[the roasted duck/fowl formula].

now I notice that after I mow the lawn, Carmen[the oldest] starts scratching like crazy for a week..
She loves to roll over and over on the freshly mowed lawn..so I am assuming our dogs scratching is due to fresh cut grass..
 

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Several of ours had reactions to TOTW Bison/Venison. Ear infections. I haven't seen an ear infection here in 5 years!

They all do great on the Duck version or the Fish version, but the Bison is out.

TOTW isn't an "allergy" food per se. It's grain free...which helps if a dog has grain allergies, but it does have chicken in it too...and some dogs have an allergy to commercially prepared chicken in dog foods. It's pretty common, actually.

TOTW is MUCH better than pedigree, but there's always a possibility your dog is allergic to something in it.

Natural Balance has some true allergy formulas, so if you keep having a problem...you might want to try one of those.

It could also be a contact allergy...to grass, etc. Or, if the rash is in the groin...is pimply...it could be a staph infection. Does he swim, by any chance? If the rash continues, take her to the Vet and ask for a skin scraping. However, they can usually tell a staph infection just by looking at it.
 

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We used Timberwolf Organics until they priced themselves out of our reach, then Taste of the Wild. Honey's kidneys didn't care for the high protein, so we now feed Natural Balance and switch off between the sweet potato and venison and the lamb and rice. Very good food, good protein sources, no mystery ingredients and she's doing very well on it.
 

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Rashes in the summer are so hard to pin down. It could also be a staph infection. Try giving him benadryl- if it is an allergy , that should help. If it is a little staph infection, he'll need some antibiotics.
 
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