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Hello everyone. :) My name is Keagan, 19 years old, and a very proud owner of a 10 year old beagle/basset hound mix named Rocky. I've had Rocky since I was 9, and he's helped me through my many crippling battles with depression and is therefore extremely special to me.

However, becuase Rocky is getting old, his health is starting to go ever so slightly and I want to nip any potential health problems in the bud before they spiral out of control. He has hip/joint arthritis, but we give him supplements for that which seem to make him feel better. He's also rather overweight due to my father table feeding him, which really upsets me because I know table food is the worst for dogs. I admit, when I was younger I table fed him because I did not know any better as a child, but I grew up, learned, and stopped.

My mother calls me paranoid for suggesting his current food is making him ill, but my dog has really bad allergic reactions to things. He's been having this problem for several years. His paws become very itchy so he'll bite them to the point they are raw and bleeding. We spray medicine on them, but they don't get better. So I'm convinced it's the food because I remember reading that dogs cannot digest corn product and it can irritate their skin, and I'm almost certain his current dog food has corn product in it as a filler. :/ I'll definitely be posting more about this under the "dog food" section of the forum. He also suffers from an upset tummy on occasion which I'm certain is also caused by the food. All his vet tests come back as healthy minus the weight.

Basically I want to learn how to boost my dog's health so he can live as long and comfortably as possible.

So yes, hello everyone!
 

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Hello and welcome to DF! I would definitely consider changing to a grain free food for Rocky. It's a process of elimination to find the right food. My westie mix, Maddie, is allergic to seemingly everything. Many people have had good luck with Acana, Taste of the Wild, Welness Core, Earthborn Grain Free, Nature's Variety grain free, Natural Balance LID, Orijen, or Evo.

Personally, I'm feeding Maddie Evo Herring and Salmon. It's pricey, but she doesn't eat much (1/2 c. daily), so it's not too much of an issue. If budget is an issue, Tractor Supply has it's own brand, called 4 Health, and it has a Potato and Fish variety that might work. Costco also has a reasonably priced grain free kibble, if you're a member, but it only comes in large bags.

Grain free will cause smaller poops, since more of the food is digestible (grain in, grain out...). You can also feed less of a grain free food, for the same reason I just mentioned, which helps balance its cost. Of course, any food change should be done gradually, over a period of at least 2-4 weeks, depending on how sensitive your dog's system is.
 

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Thank you for the welcome. :) I've just posted my whole dog food dilemma in the dog food section of the forum, and I definitely know that grain-free is the way to go. He is so picky with his dog food because my dad has spoiled him with table food. I understand giving him white rice, which we have fairly often, because I heard rice is good for the stomach. But I'm certain Rocky does not need potato chips, dad!

Do you know which stores carry Evo? I've heard that's a good food for dogs, but I can't find it on petsmart's website and I honestly do not know where to go for good quality dog food. It's hard too because I don't drive, unless you can get it mailed to your house. I just go to Petsmart because there's one in my town.

My dog never really had a sensitive stomach, just sensitive skin. But I will be sure to switch it over slowly to not give his system a shock.

Your dogs are adorable by the way.



This is my Rocky baby. He looks pouty in the picture because I was doing photography and he was jealous of what I was photographing. :D
 

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Hello and welcome! :) Awwwe ... Rocky has such a sweet and soulful look on his little face! What a cute guy!

Look at his eyes! Are they blue?
 

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Thank you!

His eyes are green/hazel. :) They started off as this really pretty olive color, but the older they got they've turned more hazel since the golden-brown hues increased. I've never seen a dog with hazel eyes, much less a hound with hazel eyes!

He really is sweet. He knows when I'm sad and need extra support with my depression. On the days where I can't seem to force myself out of bed or off the couch, he'll stare at me with his eyes and tail wagging by his leash and no matter how depressed I am, I can't say no to a walk with him. Or he'll throw his toys at me if I don't get up! Very patient and gentle too. Though when you mention the word "leash" or "walk" he goes crazy and starts howling.

He always "sings" for everyone who walks into the house, as in, he'll just give these long "aroooo" kind of howls lol!
 
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