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I have a 3-year old yellow lab who I believe has a meat intolerance. I have tried him on dozens of different brands over the years, including virtually every different type of meat under the sun including fish. He gets very runny stools, sometimes vomits and gets pretty sick.

The only food he is able to tolerate is a vet food made for sensitive stomachs, which is chicken-based. I believe this food has some sort of beneficial bacteria or something in it that makes it easily digestible, but I really have no idea. This is the food he's on:

http://www.royalcanin.ca/index.php/...rmulas/Gastro-Intestinal-Moderate-Calorie-Dry

Needless to say, it is EXTREMELY expensive and I am having a hard time affording this brand of food. I just bought a bag and the price has gone up another 20%, so I am spending almost $200 per month on this stuff. Looking at the ingredients, it isn’t anything special either. I have no idea why it works so well and he is not able to tolerate any other high quality foods.

Anyway, I have seen there are some vegetarian foods like this one:

http://www.naturalbalanceinc.com/dogformulas/Vegetarian.html


Would this type of food be suitable for an active lab? Would I need to supplement anything else in his diet, or would this be good enough on its own? I haven’t tried it yet, and there could be a chance he won’t tolerate it either, but I am guessing his problem is meat intolerance because he has the worst reactions to rich foods like orijen and acana.

Thanks!
 

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Have you ever tried him on raw? I don't believe dogs should be fed a vegetarian diet. Have you had an allergy panel run? I would bet he could tolerate duck or buffalo. My guess is its sonething other than meat causing his reaction.
 

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I would second the raw. Even if he's had issues with a meat source in kibble, he may be ok with it if it's raw. If he's doing well with a chicken based dog food, even better, chicken's easy enough to find.

I would start on three different meats only, starting with one then adding another a week or so later and so on. No supplements at first either, just one thing at a time and see how he does. After a month start adding one supplement at a time, or a different meat.

My old girl didn't tolerate chicken based dog food, but could have raw chicken without exploding.
 

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Dogs need meat, so you can try raw or kibbles that are low in protein. Both acana and Orijen are one of the foods with a very high protein content which some dogs just can't process. Try chicken and rice or potatoe only kibbles from Natural Balance, the less ingredients there are, the better it will be for your dog.
 

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lots of dogs dont do well on orijen, its not uncommon. there is probably no shot your dog has a "meat intollerance". he is most likely reacting to something else in the food, OR you may not be transitioning foods properly/giving him enough time to adjust to the new food. and IMO, no, i would never feed a veg. diet.
 

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Natures variety makes a prairie kibble & also a chicken grain free, duck/turkey grain free & also a few limited ingredient diets. www.naturesvariety.com I think is their site they are still pricy but not as much as RC which is horridly overpriced for what it is (a mid-tier dog food) I also would stay away from natural balance, their products are made at the diamond plant which has tons of probs with salmonella contamination. Also NB foods are filled with potatoe fillers (i think their food's ingredient lists have a named meat product but then have a bunch of potatoe stuff after it, if it doesn't say 'meal' after thr meat name (I.e. chicken MEAL) then it's fresh meat which is weighed BEFORE the water is cooked out making the potato stuff the first three ingredients. Some dogs have probs with potatoes I would try NV prairie (they have a few flavors including a chicken one ) if they doesn't work you could also go raw, or go with cooking for your dog.
 

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I agree with everyone else. Dogs should have meat, its just what their bodies need. Whereas a veg. diet may be okay for humans, it isn't okay for dogs and I think it is very unlikely that your dog has meat allergies/intolerance.
I would try raw or a limited ingredient dog food.
 

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Largely unrelated, but Dalmatians come to mind on the vegetarian diet front. If he has been doing well on a chicken based food, it's unlikely it's meat in general.
 

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I have a relative that feeds their dog Beneful Healthy Harvest because she believed one of them had a meat intolerance. I don't know what made her think that, but whatever issues her dog was having with meat I'm sure couldn't have been as bad as the issues *caused* by the vegetarian food. All 3 dogs have terrible dark tear stains and dry, flaky, itchy skin. Their coats are dull. They are a mess. After being around them I have to say I am not at all a proponent of feeding dogs vegetarian.

Here's one of their dogs. You can see the stains on her eyes and feet and even a small sore spot on her back knee where she'd been itching.


IMO, it is highly unlikely that your dog has issues with ALL types of meat. It could be just cooked meat. It could be just certain types of cooked meat. It good be something else entirely. IMO, eliminating all meat from your carnivorous pet's diet would be a hasty and poor choice with the amount of information you have currently. Have you tried any other chicken-based foods? Have you thought about a raw diet? Have you had any allergy tests done?
 

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Blech I hate going to Walmart & seeing ppl buying that crap, one lady was in front of us at checkout talking with the clerk about how she feeds beneful bc she wants 'only the best' for her dogs *facepalm* it takes a lot of restraint not to say anything.
 

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What foods has he been on that cause diarrhea?

I would suggest raw as well. I've met many digs that simply can't have carbs in their diet, you cut out the carbs, and their daily diarrhea went away. I doubt your dog is allergic to every food out there.

I would try raw or possibly another LID kibble (Natures Variety Instinct LID would be my choice) and a digestive enzyme and probiotic combo
 

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OP, I feel your frustration. I adopted an allergy prone dog - a westiepoo. Westies are notorious for skin allergies. So far I've found that she seems to be sensitive to potato, rice, barley, lamb, chicken, and God knows what else. Right now, I have her eating Innova Prime, which uses legumes rather than potatoes. She's still itchy, but better than before. Her stomach is cast iron, but her feet are constantly itchy. Currently, the vet has her on a steroid, which is doing nothing... We're also thinking it may be environmental, in addition to food. Sigh... I'm considering trying RAW - perhaps Instinct pre made. Since Maddie's a small dog, it would be so expensive compared to your lab. For some reason, some dogs can eat a protein source in raw form, but can't tolerate the kibble form - the processing/chemicals may be to blame, I guess.
 

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I would try raw or freeze dried/ dehydrated raw. Some people just are not comfortable feeding raw and it is completely understandable. I am one of those people. I have cats running around and My brother lives with us - I do not want to chance Salmonella. However, if you don't have little ones it may be right for you. If not, freeze dried food may be good. We switched Delilah and Cato (My Siberian Huskies) over to Grandma Lucy's Pureformance and it's gotten rid of Delilahs allergies entirely. There is no grain and we alternate between flavors. Their favorite is either the rabbit or chicken and they eat it incredibly fast. No hacking, no itching, no rubbing their eyes and no licking their paws. When we switched, we saw a little increase in BM, but now it is regulated. For a dog that has sensitivities I would try a grain free freeze dried option. Grandma Lucy's has a line of Grain Free Artisan pet foods, I would get a 10 lb. bag of either the venison, bison or lamb. Neither of these are consistently used foods, and should be rather hypoallergenic for a sensitive dog. Don't be confused by sticker shock. You can get 55lbs prepared from a 10lb bag of the freeze dried. Which evens it out to about 1.25/lb for the rabbit formula - the royal canin is 70 for a 28lb bag, which is 2.50/lb - DOUBLE, what you would pay for a much better food.

Just my two cents. :)
 

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OP, I feel your frustration. I adopted an allergy prone dog - a westiepoo. Westies are notorious for skin allergies. So far I've found that she seems to be sensitive to potato, rice, barley, lamb, chicken, and God knows what else. Right now, I have her eating Innova Prime, which uses legumes rather than potatoes. She's still itchy, but better than before. Her stomach is cast iron, but her feet are constantly itchy. Currently, the vet has her on a steroid, which is doing nothing... We're also thinking it may be environmental, in addition to food. Sigh... I'm considering trying RAW - perhaps Instinct pre made. Since Maddie's a small dog, it would be so expensive compared to your lab. For some reason, some dogs can eat a protein source in raw form, but can't tolerate the kibble form - the processing/chemicals may be to blame, I guess.

What does your vet have you on? I just want you to check this forum out, not the same breed, but I would be wary of long time steroid use. http://www.itsahuskything.com/t3626-auto-immune-or-allergies#83860
 

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I would try raw or freeze dried/ dehydrated raw. Some people just are not comfortable feeding raw and it is completely understandable. I am one of those people. I have cats running around and My brother lives with us - I do not want to chance Salmonella. However, if you don't have little ones it may be right for you. If not, freeze dried food may be good. We switched Delilah and Cato (My Siberian Huskies) over to Grandma Lucy's Pureformance and it's gotten rid of Delilahs allergies entirely. There is no grain and we alternate between flavors. Their favorite is either the rabbit or chicken and they eat it incredibly fast. No hacking, no itching, no rubbing their eyes and no licking their paws. When we switched, we saw a little increase in BM, but now it is regulated. For a dog that has sensitivities I would try a grain free freeze dried option. Grandma Lucy's has a line of Grain Free Artisan pet foods, I would get a 10 lb. bag of either the venison, bison or lamb. Neither of these are consistently used foods, and should be rather hypoallergenic for a sensitive dog. Don't be confused by sticker shock. You can get 55lbs prepared from a 10lb bag of the freeze dried. Which evens it out to about 1.25/lb for the rabbit formula - the royal canin is 70 for a 28lb bag, which is 2.50/lb - DOUBLE, what you would pay for a much better food.

Just my two cents. :)


The huge recent Diamond recall was related to salmonella in kibble...

People prepare chicken and meats for themselves...salmonella isn't really a big concern in raw feeding lol.
 

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It isn't a concern for the dogs, but if you have children and they pick it up it is a concern in humans. Yes, people prepare meet for themselves, but it is cooked.
 

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It isn't cooked before they prepare it :p. Seriously, just use the same common-sense precautions you use with your own meat. . .the dogs will just eat it instead of cooking it :D.
 

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But it's starts out raw...so why no concern over having raw meat for the humans?


You put it down, the dogs eat it, and it's gone. And a child shouldn't be bothering a dog while they eat, really no chance fir them to just handle raw meat.

And again, many people have gotten sick from salmonella in kibble, so the argument that raw is risky because of salmonella, isn't really a calid one. You'd have to be doing a lot of things wrong or trying very hard to get salmonella just from feeding a raw diet. People shouldn't be scared off from a claim that isn't particularly valid ;)
 

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IF the dog eats raw on the floor and it is contaminated with Salmonella and the pet parent misses one spot, it could end up on a crawling babies hand or foot. It's a preference. I didn't hate on raw in any way, I just listed a precaution, because dogs do eat on the floor and children spend a lot of time there too.

Raw is a great choice, but it's not for everyone.
 
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