I am often asked questions like this, so thought I'd publish this for you all to see, so you can all see how to improve your pets' health.
I just ordered another jar of Pet Plus for my 10yo Bichon/Maltese. It's helping his arthritis!
What would cause kidney stones & yeast infections in his ears? I thought I had him on a good dry dog food~now I'm not so sure.
How & what food would someone start their dog on a raw food diet when they are currently on dry dog food without causing any further problems? Any suggestions would be helpful.A PET Plus Customer
The dried food is the most likely cause of his problems, so I'd recommend you change to raw. As you're in USA, I just looked on the web and found several different raw dog food manufacturers.
Personally, I prefer to buy minced meat and bone then liquidize my own green vegetables and add Pet Plus. I avoid complicated mixes and certainly do not advocate mixing fruit with the meat and bone mix.
Only when they're used to eating the raw food in minced form would I consider feeding actual raw meaty bones.
So after about a month on minced meat and bone, give raw meaty bones like raw chicken wings, raw chicken drumsticks and raw chicken carcasses about 3 times a week. Remember that raw means totally uncooked, not previously cooked and left to get cold
Try to imitate the natural eating habits of dogs. They would eat whole herbivores, like rabbits, so they consume the meat and bone, organs, guts, fur, toe nails....the whole lot!
So the liquidized greens and Pet Plus simulate the guts of the herbivore and the meat and bone mince provide the meat, organ meat and bone! I don't think we need to add minced fur and toe nails really!!
So I'd suggest you get a good quality minced meat and bone mix, let it defrost overnight naturally in a bowl.
Liquidize / pulverize some green vegetables (broccoli, spinach, parsley, celery...a good variety of greens) and mix them in with the mince, about 40% veg to 60% meat and bone.
Add Pet Plus, and for the first few weeks, mix in his usual food too, so you're doing a 50:50 mix for the first week or two. Gradually reduce the processed food and increase the raw mixture, till you stop the processed stuff altogether after about a month.
Always avoid gluten (so any dried biscuit kibble type of food) and dairy. They are the main causes of allergic reactions and yeast infections in ears, because the allergic reaction creates inflammation which produces a warm moist environment which yeasts and other bugs just adore! So eliminate the cause so healing can take place.
Hydration is essential as all mammals are about 75 - 80% water. So feeding dried food means the poor animal has to drink as much as possible to try and keep hydrated.
It's much, much better to feed wet raw food which contains all that natural liquid, so they are getting hydrated from both their food and any water they choose to drink. Make sure also that the water is filtered and fresh every day. If they're drinking out of puddles and ponds, it's because the water in their bowl is not fit to drink!
Dehydration is certainly a great contributor to kidney stones. I did it to myself 25 years ago when I had pneumonia and didn't bother to drink. That was before I knew anything useful about nutrition, even though I was a fully qualified vet!