Day 44: Lamby isn’t just Bailey’s favorite toy…

It’s also his favorite treat.

Bailey has allergies, and is a very itchy scratchy dog.  We know what he is allergic to in the environment, however we don’t know exactly what he is allergic to food-wise.  We tested him for environmental stuff, however our vet basically told us that the food tests are a waste of money and can be really inaccurate.

He instead recommended a restricted diet while gradually introducing new foods to see what works and what doesn’t.  This would be a great way to narrow down allergies if you are someone who can be really meticulous and exact about it.  Craig and I are not those types of people.  We pretty much failed at conducting our food trials with Bailey in any scientific fashion.

However despite that, we have figured out a diet that seems to work for him, and keeps his scratching at a minimum.  The main protein source of his food is Lamb.  I also like giving him raw meaty bones as well for his teeth.  Back before we switched him to a lamb diet, we did turkey and chicken necks.  They were a great option because they were dirt cheap.  However now we tend to stay away from turkey and chicken and beef, so that ruined our options for meaty bones.  Now we give him lamb ribs as occasional treats for his teeth.  Lamb is not cheap here in the US.  Spoiled puppy.

When he gets his raw meaty bones, he has to eat them in his crate.  When it is warm out, we will let him eat it out on the deck.

It was hard to get a shot of Bailey today while he was eating his lamb.  Behind behind the bars made the focusing hard, and he also kept on turning away from me as he was eating.   He was too busy enjoying his treat to pose with it.  Also going along with the theme of “raw” for today’s post, I got a new bigger memory card for my camera which will enable me to shoot RAW without worrying about not having enough memory.  First time shooting RAW today,  I need to brush up on my RAW post-processing skills though, but I definitely like the additional control of the photo after the photo is taken.

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12 Comments to “Day 44: Lamby isn’t just Bailey’s favorite toy…”

  1. It can be really tough to figure out allergies – in both dogs and humans! I’m glad you got Bailey’s diet figured out so he’s not itching anymore. He certainly looks like he’s enjoying his lamb bone!

    • It has been a battle with Bailey’s allergies, but I’m glad we have gotten a decent handle on them. He definitely enjoys his raw bones. He is not crated anymore otherwise, but he’s happy to go right inside for his bone :)

  2. Hey! I am on that diet! Ha, ha. Saem kind of thing to determine possible food sensitiviites. AND the doctor said lamb is one of the best meats to eat when you are on the diet. Looks like Bailey and I have a lot in common.

  3. I think I can just about spot a lamb rib hanging out from the corner of Bailey’s mouth! Nice photo, and well done to you for giving him a raw diet. Raw is best and should help with allergy symptoms. Have you looked whether there are any natural, homeopathic remedies available that could ease Bailey’s allergies and scratching? There are herbal products for dogs that help with a wide variety of illnesses or symptoms, so there might be something available for Bailey.

    • We haven’t made the jump to completely raw. While I’ve considered it, the protein sources would be tough and really expensive due to the restrictions we put on his diet. He is on a very high quality lamb based grainless kibble and we supplement with raw. We also supplement with coconut oil which has helped. Overall, we have found something that works for the time being. It’s been a long road to get him to the point of not scratching raw sores in his neck. We have some setbacks now and then but overall he is much more comfortable.

      • I admire your efforts to give Bailey the best and solve his health issues at the same time. I know how hard it is to have a baby who suffers from allergies. Whilst George is ok, Brianna is allergic to food additives and I have to make pretty much everything at home, including bread. We haven’t managed to work out what exactly triggers the allergy (she gets really nasty rashes and sores on her elbows), but after a lot of trials, we’ve come to the conclusion that there is something in commercial bread that doesn’t suit her. Weird, really.
        Haven’t heard about coconut oil helping with scratching, so thanks for the tip. I have a friend whose dog has allergies, so I’ll pass on this information.

      • I first heard about Coconut Oil at a little boutique pet store down town. They were having a holiday party thing so we went and got to talking to another person by the supplement section. We talked about Bailey’s allergies and scratching and she recommended the coconut oil on the shelf. She couldn’t say enough good things about it and then when we bought it, the owner of the store was saying how the reason they started carrying it was because of the effects they saw in their own dogs when using it.

        I did a lot of research about it and apparently it is like the miracle substance and people claim it has such a wide range of benefits. According to these people, coconut oil fixes everything. We have been using it for about 4 months or so now and I think it has helped with his skin and coat a lot. I shared the coconut oil finding on a forum I am active on, and many others decided to pick it up and try it for their pets. One person has a dog who was chewing/scratching her fur off because of allergies and had really dry flakey skin. She started giving the coconut oil (in addition to a food elimination diet) and the problems really seemed to clear up. She decided to do a test and take away the coconut oil and the dry flakey skin came back almost right away. Then she gave it again, and it went away. Another member has a dog who normally had dry, cracked lips and she has been putting coconut oil on his lips and it has helped them. It is definitely something to look into.

  4. Speaking of lamb – you should try out lamb ears. They’re great chews – it would probably keep Bailey occupied for a while – and they’re compatible with your allergy restrictions. Toki loved these chews when she was a puppy. She still does today, but now she eats them in only a few minutes.

    • I’ve never seen them in stores but I have seen where you have mentioned them before. I’ll have to look into ordering some to try out.

    • I can vow for lamb ears, too. George loves them, and I like the fact that, as opposed to pig’s ears, they don’t smell so can be given to dogs indoors. We used to find them at our local pet shop, although I haven’t seen them for the past 2 months. I’m considering buying them online.

  5. Thanks for that last comment, Kristen. You’ve definitely convinced me, it sounds like a really good product. Why don’t you write a post about it at some point? Then I’ll pass it on to other dog owners ;)

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