New here! Advice please


I have a 12 week old shih tzu who is just adorable. This is the first puppy I have ever owned and I spend most days researching everything and anything. He came to my house on royal canin dry food. I felt bad feeding him biscuits every day, I thought to myself. I wouldnt want to eat digestive biscuits 3 times a day every day and introduced him to a bit of wet food mixed in with his kibble. Started with Butcher’s foil trays. But then he started itching a lot and getting really hyper after meal times - literally bouncing off the walls. So i ordered some food off the pets at home, mixture really. Lily’s Kitchen, Little BigPaws and a fishmongers one and while waiting for that I have been cooking boiled chicken with veg (carrots, peas, sweet pots), also been doing him some scrambled egg with puppy milk of a morning and he is still itching and has the odd few sneezes too. (Mixing kibble in with these foods still as was worried he might not be getting all the good stuff)

Does anyone have any ideas what this could be? Do you think its the food? Something in the air? Shall I just stick with dry food? If so, how do I get him back to eating dry food as he will just leave it in his bowl, however, I have been feeding him the kibble by hand as he thinks its treats. So when we are playing or training, I will use that instead of treats.

Anyone have any advice?

Thanks so much

Hello and welcome to the forum. Unfortunately finding a food to suit individual dogs is often lots of trial and error. It does sound like your dog is reacting to something in his food as he was doing all right before the changes.
You could have some allergy testing for your dog which can be expensive or try a food with few ingredients and a single source of protein. Initially it may be helpful to look for a new protein source then introduce something that was in the foods that he was eating when he was itchy. That way if the itching starts again you will know what is responsible and can cut it from his diet. You can then try introducing other things one at at time to see what happens. Some examples of single protein foods are Acana and forthglade Others may be able to suggest different foods that may be useful.

I have been through an elimination diet with both my chihuahua (bad digestive trouble) and my cat (chronic diarrhoea), and found the culprit for both in the end.

I would suggest you try one food with a good percentage score on the Dog Food Directory. If he has a reaction (and even if he doesn’t), write down and keep a list of all the ingredients in this food. I would stick with one food only, and give no treats or extras. He probably won’t get bored of a good food that he enjoys. If you give one food only for a while without treats or extras, you will be certain that nothing else is in the equation.

You can introduce a different food later and do the same steps. Eventually you will have lists of ingredients to compare and if he itches on some of them, you may see a common link in the ingredients of the foods that caused the itching.

If you find a food that agrees with him, there would be no rush or real need or concern to introduce something new, quickly.

He seems to have an allergy, so you will need to keep lists and notes to help you out in the future.

Hello and welcome to the forum MilosMummy. It’s best to rule out any obvious cause of itching first so it might be useful to take your dog to the vet for a checkup. They will look for fleas, mites and bacterial infection of the skin. The itchiness could also be due to environmental reasons. An occasional bath using a gentle, hypoallergenic shampoo or even just rinsing the dog with warm water will help to get rid of pollen, grass seed etc.

Regarding food, you don’t mention which Royal Canin variety you are giving but in general they don’t score particularly highly on the Dog Food Directory but check that for yourself. Shingigz is correct in that it is useful to slowly work through an elimination diet. This is best done using wet food with very simple recipes. Grain free diets are popular just now but not always necessary. Recipes containing brown rice can be suitable.

Sounds like some good advise there. An exclusion diet makes a lot of sense but be careful to only select meals with single sources of protein. Lots of foods like to sneak in things like chicken oil. Some of the more unusual meats such as goat and, horse can be worth a try, also taking additives out of the diet can be helpful.