Dr. Edward Moser, a board certified veterinary nutritionist, answers your questions on pet food nutrition.
Q: I have a golden retriever with “sensitive skin”. She scratches daily and I wanted to know if there might be something lacking in her diet? Is there anything I can supplement to help alleviate the itching?
A: To help control the itching your golden retriever is experiencing, it is important to first determine what is causing the abnormal itching. Your veterinarian will help you identify what is causing this. Some possible reasons can include a diet intolerance, skin infections, bacterial conditions or dermatitis. For many dogs, excessive itching is caused by a combination of these conditions on varying levels. To help diagnose the presence of food intolerance, your veterinarian may want you to feed a novel protein exclusion type diet for 6 to 8 weeks. Wellness® Simple Food Solutions Duck and Rice is an excellent choice. Additionally, a grain free diet can be helpful, such as Wellness® CORE Ocean Formula for use as an exclusion diet.
A: Helping your dog slim down should begin with a sound dietary program and daily exercise to gradually reduce the body weight of your dog. As with humans, it’s best to lose weight at a slow and steady pace until your pets target weight is reached.
Choosing a diet with high quality protein can be helpful in maintaining lean body mass and helping your dog feel satisfied with fewer calories. A protein focused diet also aids in reducing the loss of lean body mass and facilitating loss of body fat.
And remember, combine your pet’s diet change with a regular exercise program to keep your pet healthy, happy and at his healthiest weight. Diets like Wellness® Super5Mix® Healthy Weight for dogs provides whole-body nutritional support for healthy weight loss and weight maintenance.