It wasn’t until I experienced skin issues with my French bulldog, Reagan, that I even remotely considered the possibility of having to feed my dog a vegetarian diet, since she has been raw fed since 8 weeks of age. Reagan developed skin issues three weeks after her first rabies shot over 15 months ago. I had her under my allopathic (conventional) veterinarian’s care for several months which included several skin scrapings, two preventative courses of Revolution, a hydrolyzed protein food trial (where her skin actually got worse), and finally, a new “miracle” drug. Much to my dismay, the new wonder drug of course, was true to all of the case studies I had previously heard about. She did well on it for the first two weeks (which was the loading dose), and by the third week when they had me step her down to one daily dose, the skin issue resumed and it seemed to be even worse! Her skin resumed its cycle of itch, she’d scratch and make it raw, it would itch even more intensely, she’d scratch again, make it bloody and oozy. She rubbed froggy style on carpeting, pillows and our hands – anything she could get under her in an attempt to relieve the itch.
I decided that I had to find out WHAT was causing her skin to itch so badly and to try and find help. I don’t want to mask the symptoms with drugs, but would rather find out the cause. I follow Dr. Will Falconer, a homeopathic veterinarian in Austin, Texas. I went to his website and found information on how to find a homeopathic vet in my area. I made the first phone call and set up an appointment for a one hour phone consult (none in my state that were predominantly homeopathic) because we were at least 3 states away from each other.
Homeopathic Medicine To The Rescue
My homeopathic veterinarian put Reagan on two or three different homeopathic remedies and supplements which seemed to help. I mentioned to her that during this whole time, Reagan seemed to “emanate” heat from her body. A warmth that I could not describe – definitely not a fever, just a really warm feeling. It was at that point that she suggested that we put Reagan on a vegetarian diet for six days. (Mind blowing to me, because I had recently written a blog called “The Benefits of Fruits And Vegetables For Your Dog” – see article here: scoopapoop.com/benefits-fruits-vegetables-dog/ ) She suggested “cool” vegetables such as squash, broccoli, cucumbers, yellow potatoes, and quinoa. I learned that quinoa is high in protein and is not a grain but a seed! After the phone consult, I made a trip to the supermarket and I set about chopping and mincing vegetables into separate containers. I started feeding Reagan this mixture along with the supplements and her multivitamin that evening. Within five days on the vegetarian diet I could not believe my eyes – the intense itching that Reagan had, subsided substantially and the skin irritation and red raw itchy rash had completely cleared up. She started playing again! Based on these amazing results, and a check in with the homeopathic vet today, we have decided to leave Reagan on this vegetarian mix for another few days to give her once raw spots a chance at additional healing and hopefully hair regrowth in these spots.
On this diet of fresh vegetables it’s been amazing to see how well her skin is responding. However, the homeopathic vet and I agree that since Reagan is a carnivore, this is not a diet that she can remain on permanently.
My Final Thoughts
Having several friends that are vegetarians they tell me all the time about the importance of consuming fresh, whole, organic, bioavailable vegetables. Reagan may not remain on this diet for an extended time, but I do know that it has certainly rectified her skin issue. If you have a dog like Reagan, and you decide to switch your dog from a meat based diet to a vegetarian diet, make certain that you source fresh, whole, organic vegetables – and stay away from the processed commercially produced bagged food versions. It is worrisome for me because I want to insure that Reagan is getting all of the essential nutrients in a vegetable based diet. This is not the way it was intended for a carnivore to eat, and it’s an incredibly hard balancing act to feed this type of a diet for an extended period of time. Don’t set out on this adventure alone – I am glad I didn’t! Make sure that you seek out and work with a certified homeopathic veterinarian or an animal nutrition expert – and, as always, if you need a recommendation for one, I would be more than happy to help!
I would love to hear your comments, feedback, stories and ideas.
Scoops is a pooper scooper, dog waste clean up and pet waste clean up service located in central New Jersey – Check us out at www.ScoopaPoop.com/contact-us/