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FOOD: Low Protein, Grain Free, AND Affordable???

Okay, I know that inexpensive dog food that is also high quality is not available, but just thought I'd throw that last one in there.  Cosmo is now 7 months old and has had a series of ear infections, mostly yeast, since we brought him home from the breeders in April.  The vet thought perhaps it was just a stress reaction to leaving his mommy, but since he seems to get them a lot ... we are now starting to think food allergy.  My last irish girl was allergic to corn and rice ... oats was really the only grain she could handle.  Finding prepared food without either corn or rice was next to impossible ... the ones that existed at that time were almost $9/day!!  So I put together a home cooked recipe with the help of my vet and cooked for her for years.  It was an act of love and I don't regret doing it for an instant, yet I really don't want to go back to that chore again!!! 


I see that there are now many grain free options available ... but most have far higher protein than the 21 percent max I am using for Cosmo's growth months.  Does anyone here have any recommendations?  We reside in the States and so far the local pet food stores do not seem to carry much that is grain free ... I'm guessing I will have to order online and pay shipping.  Thanks.

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By the way, Cosmo is currently eating NutroMax Optichoice lamb and rice ... it is corn free and meets the 21 percent max protein requirement.
Try Acana or Orijen.
won't fit Gigi if she sticks to that very low protein percentage.
I know. :-(
This sounds like THE answer, but is unfortunately not available in the US. I am still pondering the importance of the lower protein amount, as there are several good no grain options if one is willing to increase protein up to the low to mid 30 percents. But thank you for posting!
Hello Gigi, I'm more inclined to focus on the ear problem, there is a UK product that has been around for over 100 years called Thornit, it's not available from the vets, it is produced by Miss P Bett as a cottage industry, and it works!

I recently gave some to a lady who had a Bassett Hound with cronic ear problems. After countless visits over many months to the vets and treatments costing her hundreds of £'s,there had been no improvement, the poor dog was so badly affected and had become so depressed that euthenasia had been considered. She used the Thornit and within a week saw a dramatic difference, and he is now completely his old self. I would try this first.

It is available on lots of stands at show in the UK, but also from several sellers on Ebay, this one ships worldwide http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/THORNIT-Canker-Powder-Ear-Mites-20gms-/200497...

Hope it works for you, Rosie
I have used Thornit on springers, very effective .

More recently I have had an older IRWS dog who had chronic problems with his ears which I was fairly sure were due to persistent ear mite infection and build up of wax, but nothing I got from the vets, however expensive cleared it.
Then I gave him a dose of Ivermectin, within a few days his ear problems cleared up, and he now gets a dose every two months and has been clear of any ear problems since . Selamectin (Revolution) is just as effective, and safer for dogs
Thanks, everyone. I will explore all your suggestions. I think maybe promoting ear health AND better food are in order. If I can't find the lower protein plus grain free here, then I might have to wait until Cos is a few months older to switch, but at least I will have something suitable identified. Thanks again!
We have many options here in the US for corn/wheat free foods. Where are you located, do you have Petco or Petsmart nearby? Blue Buffalo, Nature's Recipe, Wellness are three that come to mind which are easy to find in either store. As long as it is large breed puppy you should be fine. That might be even up to 24%, but it is the calcium level which is most important to you. And all three have the right levels for that. Check out what we use for twice weekly ear maintenance during the summer, even once a week is plenty once you are under control with his ears. Our breeder recommended it and it works amazingly. Cash can be wet four days a week, baths, swimming, rain etc. And it has never failed us. It is cheapest at through Amazon we have found.

It is dermapet Malacetic Otic in case my link didn't work. Order it and start right away. I think it should help you out quickly too. That is once you have your yeast cleared from the vet's meds. Use this to also clean between applications of that. Do you find that your pups ears start yeasting after they have gotten wet? A day or so after swimming or bathing him? That would mean it isn't the food. They just have the perfect ears for moisture to stay trapped and you need to use a drying agent often. Better food is always great, but it isn't always allergies that cause ear problems in our breed. Often it is just doing a better job of maintaining the environment to prevent the yeast from growing in the first place.
Hi Sue. No, Cosmo's ears are rarely wet ... although living in a humid climate here in DC combined with those lovely but long heat-trapping ears generate just the right environment for yeast, no doubt. Thanks for your suggestion ... I will check it out right away. We do have both Petsmart and Petco here ... I just became a little weary from trying to read from so many bags ... then I became weary from trying to do it online. I figured I should just ask here rather than reinvent the wheel! Thanks.
No problem Gigi. I think that there are many good choices for you, the question if which one gives Cosmo's the best stool. Each one processes food differently, so what works for mine won't work for yours etc. But you do have many to pick from. Good luck let us know what works out for you.
I've ordered the Malacetic Otic ... I got the wipes since poor Cosmo has just about had it with me doing liquid flushes of his poor ears. As for the dog foods ... you know they must be good when the ingredient lists make you feel hungry (salmon, sweet potatoes, blueberries, cranberries ... yum!)




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