Dust and storage mite allergies

I am forever trawling the internet trying to find the best thing for my poor labrador. She is constantly getting ear infections and last year we had just about had enough to ask our vets to run all the tests. The results came back as severe dust and storage mite allergies.
We were advised to take her off dry food and feed her a wet diet, but I didnt feel completely happy with this. I worried about the health of her teeth and the fact it just didnt seem to fill her up. She is not a greedy labrador and would often leave her dry food and graze on it all day… one of the problems as this allowed the dust mites to get onto the food. It also seemed to result in very loose poopoo.
She is very itchy all the time, especially around her mouth and paws. It breaks my heart.
At the moment we have her on James Wellbeloved cereal free dry food in the morning and the same on an evening, with the odd tin of Lily’s Kitchen on an evening as a treat. She eats it all up (at the moment, as she isnt bored of it yet) and seems to enjoy it.
We only buy the small bags of food and store them in an air tight container so as to stop the dust and storage mites getting in… although I worry they could already be in the food when we buy it?
I wash her beding once a week and let it air dry.
I just don’t know what to do for her, money is no issue, I just want her to be happy and healthy.
Would bathing her help?
Our vets don’t really seem to be able to offer us anymore advice other than to feed her Chappies, which my husband says we should do but I really dont want to.
Any help or advice here would be really apprecaited!
Binky’s mum.

Hello Binkymum. I’m sorry to hear about your poor Labrador. You have done very well to find out what is causing this problem - lots of people who have dogs with this kind of issue are not able to determine the cause. I have to say that I hadn’t heard of storage mites until very recently. This particular person had apparently solved the problem by pouring boiling water on the kibble. I subsequently read about it here and it seems that even dead mites and their excreta can cause irritation in affected dogs so it is a mystery why this should work.

Anyway, I wonder if you have had a look at feeding raw? It seems to me that this might be the answer but I hope there are other replies which might help you. I never fancied raw feeding but began just over one week ago due to weight issues. Because I am unsure about the correct nutrition I opted for Nutriment complete raw meals. It is extremely easy to feed this - no different from opening a tin of dog food. I have found their customer support people very helpful so don’t be afraid to give them a call. There are other companies that do raw meals e.g. Natures Menu and Natural Instinct. Look carefully at the ingredients and I would recommend that you go cereal free. I have to say that I am amazed at how easy the transition is and how well it is going right now.

Please do not worry about your dog’s teeth if you don’t feed kibble. There is no proof that kibble cleans their teeth and tbh I cannot see why it should. After all, when a human eats a biscuit it doesn’t clean our teeth. I wonder if the opposite is true i.e. the reduction in cereal and carbohydrates could actually keep the teeth cleaner, exactly as it does for us when we avoid sweets. The best way of keeping your dog’s teeth clean is to brush them daily with a canine toothpaste. Bones are also recommended and are reputed to work well.

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So sorry to read about your lab’s problems, BinkyMum.

While I’m not one of the raw-feeding fanatics mentioned in another thread, being quite new to it myself, in your place I would definitely try it, simply because I’ve lost count of the number of allergy-ridden dogs I’ve heard of who had quite amazing recoveries on a raw diet.

I certainly wouldn’t feed dry food in any form to a dog with a dust and mite allergy. You say your dog isn’t greedy because she leaves her dry food lying around, I wonder if that is simply because she doesn’t like it all that much? Dogs, in my experience, can sometimes be remarkably clever at recognising what is making them worse. And maybe she seemed unsatisfied on a wet food because, in contrast, she was enjoying it so much she was asking for more?

I wouldn’t worry about wet from the dental point of view anyway, I’ve seen too many kibble-fed dogs with terrible teeth to believe that it makes any difference.

Honestly, I’d feed her raw, or if you can’t face that then a really top-notch 4 - 5* wet food. Not dry and definitely not Chappie.

I do hope you find a solution, fingers crossed for you both.

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I hadn’t seen your post when I started typing Dottie, honestly. I’m just a very slow typist…

Great minds though ;D

Hi Dottie and George,
Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to reply to me.
Binky is nearly 3 now and we only just got the diagnosis this year, so it has taken time. I think she had some intolerances too, just to add to the mix! As she is often sick and has loose poopoo’s.
I think the suggestion of raw could be a really good idea. I’ve never looked into this because I didnt know that there were companies who can supply you with the meals all ready to go, I presumed I had to prepare the meals and although I would do that, I would find it quite difficult knowing exactly what to feed her.
Nutriment looks like the best option in terms of costs and complication… Nature’s menu blew my mind… I wouldnt know where to start! However I dont think Nutriment do a cereal free option, which I agree Dottie I think Binky needs. I can see that Nature’s menu do ‘Grain Free’ I presume this is the same? Looks like I might have to drill down into Nature’s Menu and figure out what my girl needs. Shes a small lab at only 20kg, but I want to make sure I am feeding her enough as she is partial to looking a little skinny.
To be honest she isnt really leaving her dry anymore now we are on James Wellbeloved, she seems to enjoy it. I just don’t think dry is helping her allergies, even though she is on a cereal free hypoallergenic food.
George, you suggested a top-notch 4-5* wet, do you have any examples?
I have started trying to brush her teeth with a dog tooth brush and paste, but she hates it, I guess I just need to get her used to it.
Thank you again!

BinkyMum, Nutriment don’t specify that any particular option is grain/cereal free, simply because they all are! No grain in any of their food, just fresh meat, vegetables and various natural supplements. Don’t be fooled by the mention of wheatgrass and barleygrass - that isn’t grain, it’s just the fresh new leaves emerging from the plant and is fine (even good) for cereal-sensitive dogs.

Do give Nutriment a call and have a chat with them, it’s far better than Nature’s Menu in my opinion, having tried both, and the people there are so helpful. I feel sure it would help.

Do bear in mind though that it will take some time for your dog to ‘detox’ before you see a big difference. I’ve seen 30 - 90 days mentioned to get the full effect.

Yes, I find Natures Menu to be too much to take in - so many varieties. I chose Nutriment because it is all good ingredients, straightforward and unadulterated. Salmon oil is added too - excellent for the omega oils. I am sure you would get help from their customer services people if you gave them a call. Honestly, it is so easy to feed - if I had known that I would have started a long time ago. I thought raw was all about a lot of chopping meat and vegetables with a huge amount of effort involved. This is a doddle and it is lovely to know that they are getting quality food. In your case you would need to stop any form of cereal (dog biscuits included). You need to feed at least 2% of the dog’s body weight but in your case it could be more as you want to increase weight. They will advise you.

The company have some treats that you could give but I use Fish4Dogs Tiddlers (sea jerky) and the lady at Nutriment said this was fine. I’ve fed these as a treat for a long time because they are really crunchy and help to keep teeth clean. You

I fed JWB for some time before I got into knowing about nutrition for dogs and now I realise that it is chock full of cereal/grain - not particularly useful for a dog like yours. Agree with George about Chappie - it has ingredients which might not suit your Labrador. At

Snap! Dottie. I use sea jerky too.

While my little boy improved somewhat on Natures Menu, I saw a real transformation on Nutriment. To his digestive problems, and also to his repeated ear & eye troubles, which my vet thought were allergy related.

Gosh - we’re a match made in heaven! LOL ;D

i hope you can get to the bottom of things and see an improvement. So hard to see them itchy and uncomfortable.

I have just started my little dog on natures menu. I like the look of nutriment and will possibly try it at some point. I have to say that natures menu is very convenient. You just defrost the right amount of cubes and serve. I didn’t change due to allergies although my terrier has been a little itchy of late so can’t comment on its usefulness in this respect.

I can say that she loves it and has had no digestive issues. Again though, she rarely had problems with this anyway.

You’re so helpful! Thank you!!
I’m going to order one of the starter packs, see how we get along.
I will call them and ask how much I should be feeding her.
Just ordered some sea jerky online from Fish4Dogs, so will see what she thinks to that too!

Thank you again!!

You’re welcome. I just hope that she likes the food and gets on with it. I too ordered the starter pack today. Please would you let us know how you get on? You never know if it might help someone else. I’m keeping fingers crossed for you both.

Hi Binkymum.
As you may have seen on a few of my previous posts I have good knowledge of human allergies and eczema and it does help to pass the knowledge across for dogs. My Son was born with eczema and through my own research and treatment from a homeopath he is cured of eczema.
With dust mite you must wash bedding over 60 degrees to kill the mites. Some people put their bedding in the freezer and then wash it to make sure they have killed the mites. Be careful with washing powders too that you are using as they can be highly perfumed which again causes an allergy. I still use Formil by Lidl. It is brilliant and very low perfume. The non bio would be the best one to go for.
I would really recommend Nutriment raw. My dog is on it and she is thriving. It has tripe in which will help with allergies due it its pre/pro biotic nature. Nutriment also contains Spirulina powder which is excellent for allergies.
Nutriment are very helpful and they will always talk to you and explain about their food. I visited them when I first put my dog on their food and they let my dog try a little sample of the food. I started off with the duck, salmon and beef. I have to mix in the duck and chicken with the beef as my dog is fussy and won’t eat the duck and chicken or turkey on its own.
If changing foods is still not helping I would recommend homeopathy. My son was cured by a homeopath and I have also been helped a lot with my allergies by homeopathy. Ainsworth Homeopathic have a list of local vets who are also homeopaths. I know a very good human homeopath. Next time I see her I am going to ask if she treats animals as I have put on quite a few posts here recommending homeopathy.
Good luck. I will be really interested to hear how you get on.

Raw is not hard but isn’t for everyone, the only must is the calcium level so feeding 100% steak is actually not good. The BARF guy just made a load of money out of creating a mystery. I would avoid any starchy food, which includes potato but wheat and beef are the most likely to cause intolerance. Starchy food contributes to problem yeasts and may make us more susceptible to being allergic to other things. Probiotics are being found to support the immune system and ahealthy gut can mean less colds as welll as less immune system probs. A pack of probiotics might be an idea to kickstart good gut health. I make something called Kefir which is similar to b ut better than yoghurt and just keeps on reproducing so is free after your first batch. Coconut oil on itchy skin is brilliant and you can eat it for good skin. Cold pressed coconut oil is the new superfood but it works and my dogs love it. Small pea size chunk is about right, salmon oil too helps Omega 3 balance if you feed cereals.

Don’t know whether this will help with the mite problem - had a customer earlier today enquiring about Diatomaceous Earth - I didn’t know anything about it and definitely can’t pronounce it - off to Uncle Google - turns out it is a natural anti insect and parasite powder that can be used internally as well - does anyone know anything about this stuff? If it does what it’s claimed to it could be put around the dog bowl to prevent mites getting in the food?

I’ve used diatomaceous earth for several years now.

I use it primarily as a natural wormer, far safer than the chemical variety and I’ve found it to be very effective; I have a worm count done every 2 months and all have been clear for all the time I have been using it, even when my last dogs managed to pick up fleas. The Little Cav gets one teaspoon stirred into his breakfast every morning, a large dog needs a tablespoon or more.

I’ve also used it to clear a mild flea infestation by rubbing it into the dogs’ coats every 2 or 3 days and sprinkling it in their beds and on rugs - doubt it would have worked if I’d had carpets for them to lurk in, but I don’t and it did work.

And I take a tablespoon a day myself too, and find I feel much better for it; better digestion, increased energy, and better sleep.

As you may have guessed by now, I’m a fan.

It’s important to make sure you only use food grade diatomaceous earth around dogs, even if you’re only using it as a insecticide. This is the one I buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00A49Z9CQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I have heard of cases of diatomaceous earth getting rid of harvest mites, but don’t quite see how it could be used for storage mites since they would be actually in the food.

Good feedback thanks George! I was thinking sprinkling around the food as the initial thread says she thought the mites were getting into the food as the food was left down all day - I can’t see it being in the food as extruded kibble is made using high temperatures and the bags are gas flushed and sealed. (and I’ve been in the biggest dog food manufacturers premises and it is ‘human’ grade hygienic)
I’ll be giving the earth stuff a try.

Hi everyone - this is my first post so please be gentle with me.

I’m hoping for some advice re my dog’s diet. I have a 5 year old 42kg male Doberman who has been confirmed as having a severe allergy to dust mites and storage mites which makes him very itchy. Linked to this allergy he also gets frequent yeast infections in his ears and armpits. He constantly licks and in order to prevent any more lick ulcers I often have to muzzle him.

He is on meds from the vet but its costing me £175 every 2 weeks. I am covered by insurance but at this rate that will run out in a year.

I have always fed him on Oscars dry food and its recently been pointed out to me that certain flavours of this food contain almost 50% rice.

I have started to research natural dog foods online and have given myself a total headache as to what would be best for his conditions but also provide him with a balanced diet. I am also confused as to whether I should still give him a dried food, switch to wet or combine the two?

I believe that I need to reduce his sugars to stop feeding the yeast. I have ordered a probiotic supplement called YUMPRO BioActiv to help get rid of the candida which is adding to his constant itchiness.

Any advice would be much appreciated as I am desperate to help him.


Hi and Welcome. Have a read through this thread. Hope something in it is useful for you


Thank you so much for your reply, that’s really helpful. I will contact Nutriment tomorrow as this sounds exactly what I’m looking for.
Thank you again for your help