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NancyH, Pet Health Care, Rescue,Train,Breed
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience:  30+yrs pet vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior & training, responsible breeding, small animal care
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What is the best food for Boxers with skin allergies?

Customer Question

What are the most common food allergies for Boxers, and what is the best brand of food to feed them? We have a 2 year old female who had always eaten Purina Pro Plan. About six months ago she started having major problems with her ears and our vet suggested switching brands. We fed her Iams for a while but her coat stated to not be as shiny and soft as it was on Pro Plan.

Her ears healed but she still seemed to itch on her belly a lot. Recently we tried Pro plan again to help with her coat and now her ears are bad again and she has red bumps on her chin that itch her badly. I''m pretty sure it an allergy but wanted to know if there is a food out there that would be the best for her.

Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  NancyH replied 9 years ago.

This is a common symptom of allergies in dogs. Paw licking, ear itching and skin chewing are all often signs of allergies. You may see red staining to the fur in the licked areas or raw spots where the dog chews itself to the bone.

The skin itches from allergies, the dog licks and chews trying to soothe the itch, making the skin raw and allowing other infections to set in which may itch even more.

It is believed that the chewing of the dog's own flesh releases chemicals in the brain helping to control the feeling of irritation the allergy produces. You can read about allergies and dermatitis in dogs here to see among other things that its not easy to pinpoint the problem allergens:

Dogs can develop allergies to foods, and to inhaled items, and contact allergens such as rug cleaners, cedar beds, or chemicals including lawn chemicals or even flea bites. You might want to try a different dog food that has no ingredients the same as what you feed now. Diets of Fish and Potato, venison, or rabbit etc. where the protein source is new and there is no grains in the food can work for many dogs for example. Wellness, Natura, Blue Buffalo, California Natural, Eagle all may have a formula that might work for your dog.

You might want to see if some plain Benadryl helps with the itching. A common low dose is 1mg per pound of dog every 12 hours or you may want to consult with your vet and consider doing allergy testing. You may want to try a Chlorhexiderm shampoo from the pet supply store in case part of the problem is a bacterial skin infection.

This breed is also known to have low thyroid level issues and that can trigger skin allergies and ear infections. The vet can check for that with a blood test.
If your dog is not on a flea prevention that might also help. Just one flea bite can make an allergic dog itch all over.

To sooth the ear, if the ear drum is not punctured by infection, you can see if your local pet supply store carries Zymox with cortisone. I've had good luck clearing up infections with that. You can read about it here

Hope this helps you!

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