Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Shih Tzu has been on a feeding trial eating Hill's Z/D food. She had done well on it especially after an almost 2 yr struggle finding out what she is sensitive to and the vet had us trying to transition her off the Z/D now. I'm not having much luck and wondering if anyone else has been in my position and what did you end up being able to feed?

She is sensitive to chicken and all forms of poultry. If it has feathers, she can't have it. She's allergic to beef, pork makes her vomit, rice makes her itch, potatoes make her itch, she doesn't do very well with peas. It's hit or miss but whole peas definitely make her vomit. She's not a fan of fishy smelling food and isn't crazy about the taste. Flaxseed makes her itchy. She has reacted to the foods we've introduced back into her diet almost immediately. She prefers canned food and is very picky with kibble and it has to be very small pieces or she'll just spit them out and won't eat. She will hold out and keep puking bile if she goes hungry.

If money wasn't an issue, I'd willingly just keep feeding the Z/D since her ears cleared up, itching went away and was the best food I've tried. She can't even have too much of the Z/D kibble because it would soften her poop a bit too much so I have to mix in the canned Z/D and her poop is normal then. We are soon going to have a huge cut in pay and we really can't afford the Z/D and I'm wondering what may have worked for your highly sensitive small breed dogs that didn't break the bank. I feel like a horrible dog owner but I'm hoping there is something that can help that is cheaper than Z/D.

So far we've tried, Natural Balance Lamb Meal and Rice- made her itch and bite her paws. Natural Balance Sweet Potato and Fish (she's not eating it), and WholeHearted from Petco Pea & Salmon (kibble too big and she licks and spits out). I tried grinding up the WholeHearted but she still won't eat it.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,909 Posts
I really feel for you: even most LID foods have peas or potato. Do you know how she does with oats? Wellness has this: https://www.chewy.com/wellness-simple-limited-ingredient/dp/36864

Otherwise, at this point I admit I'd seriously be considering a homecooked or raw diet. Commercial raw and/or novel proteins can be pricey, but it's much easier to curate the ingredients. There's options like this one: https://www.chewy.com/instinct-by-natures-variety-frozen/dp/170896 and of course you could make a prey model raw diet just with meat, bone, and organ. For homecooked, a lot of people swear by the Balance IT website, which is specifically for pet nutrition.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,445 Posts
Sounds like a really tough one with so many ingredients being eliminated as options.

What are you currently paying for the dry Hill's Z/D? Include what size bag of course to get price per lb. How much does she weigh? What is your target budget per month? Can you order online? And finally, what location are you (region of the US or Canada?) as there are some regional commercial raw options that might be useful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,227 Posts
I'd want to go with a homecooked diet as well. You are guessing as to which ingredient is causing trouble in even 2 ingredient kibbles, better to substitute a tiny bit of one new thing into the diet at a time so you can back off fast if any cause trouble. Monica Segal's Optimal Nutrition has a chapter on trying to develop a limite ingredient diet that could be useful. Your dog is doing so well on the Z/D, don't rock the boat! After you have a list of things that work then maybe see if you can move her to a kibble or canned food with those ingredients.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am currently spending $35 for a 7lb bag of the small bites Z/D dry food and $45 for 12 of the 13oz of the Z/D canned food. She is 15lbs and I'm in the U.S. and can order online. I currently order the food on Chewy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
While the Z/D is working well for her, this isn't about me just wanting her off of it, it's about the fact that we will no longer be able to afford it when our pay cut takes effect. If we could continue to afford it, I'd just keep her on it. I'll be lucky if we can do anything more than $40 a month on dog food. I'm just hoping to find something she can eat that at least she won't vomit, has good stool and at least minimize itchiness with Benadryl if I have to medicate her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,445 Posts
I am currently spending $35 for a 7lb bag of the small bites Z/D dry food and $45 for 12 of the 13oz of the Z/D canned food. She is 15lbs and I'm in the U.S. and can order online. I currently order the food on Chewy.
One option would be to buy the 25 lb bag at $90 ($3.60/lb vs $5/lb) and break up the bites if needed. Ziplock and freeze portions until needed if the bag is too large and might go stale before use within say, 6-8 weeks.

Instead of canned food, consider subbing a home cooked or raw meat. Markets catering to Latin American, Caribbean, and Asian American communities tend to have more unique proteins and cuts of meats with organs and bones included. Mutton and goat are probably easiest to find in most U.S. cities among the various novel proteins, unless you have a friend that hunts.

At 15 lbs, I figure she needs about 1/2 lb of raw meat/bones/organ for a raw diet each day (Kathyy has much more experience than I do with raw/home cooked though). If you are within a delivery area in the Midwest, someplace like MyPetCarnivore which carries novel proteins of meat and organs (frozen) could work out decently priced. Only if you are within truck deliver though as shipping adds a lot. There are similar companies in other areas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
The only issue with giving her the dry Z/D only and not the canned is that the dry will make her stool a bit too soft. If I add some of the canned to the dry, it's perfect. She will only eat the small bites dry food and that only comes in a 7lb bag.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top