“My vet said to stop feeding chicken…”
How often do we hear this in the pet industry?
For dogs with allergies, specifically itchy skin and hot spots, this is usually the first course of action. But does anyone ever take the time to explain to pet parents why chicken should be removed from their dog’s diet, and what other proteins should also be avoided?
In Chinese medicine Chicken is referred to as a “hot” or “warming protein.” It causes the body temperature to rise and therefore brings on an intense allergic reaction or inflames an already existing one, most commonly, severe skin irritation. However, the protein is not always the root of the reaction. Usually, the initial allergy is to another common food ingredient culprit…grain. Wheat, corn, sorghum and soy are all cheap fillers found in a lot of commonly known foods. The digestive tract of a dog was not designed to process these grains, and therefore, the body tries to detoxify itself by developing a layer of yeast on the skin and in the ear canal. The yeast infection can cause itching and flaking. Pair this with your hot protein, chicken, and your canine companion is now one flaking, scratching, chewing mess.
So what next? Most consumers are under the assumption that the next step is Lamb. But beware; Lamb is a hotter protein than chicken. Cooling and Neutral proteins should be fed to dogs that tend to be more prone to allergies. Cooling proteins include Duck, Rabbit and Whitefish and Neutral proteins include Beef and Salmon.
How do you know if a dog’s body temperature tends to run warm or cool?
Warm dogs are commonly nervous, the body is hot to the touch, they usually have excessive thirst, they pant excessively even when at rest, and they will seek out cold places to lie. These dogs should be fed cool or neutral proteins.
Cool dogs suffer from fatigue, exercise intolerance; low appetite and they are slow moving. Cool dogs will often suffer from joint pain and stiffness during the cooler winter months. These dogs should be fed warm or neutral proteins.
Treats should also be considered when dietary alterations are made. Dogs that run warm should not be fed treats with hot proteins or grain fillers. Natural beef and duck jerky are great alternatives to biscuits. Dogs can also be kept busy with natural chews such as Elk and Deer Antler Dog Chews from the Silver Gate Antler Company without fear of an allergic reaction!