Does your dog or cat suffer from any of these symptoms — itching, poor coat, runny stool, paw biting, or chronic ear infections? The list of symptoms can go on and on.

When a furry family member isn’t acting quite right, most owners’ first reaction is to make a trip to the vet. The visit itself can be costly, and so can medications and foods prescribed by the doctor. Now, I never want to undermine the value of your vet, but in our 25 years of experience, I’ve recognized the first thing you should be evaluating is what’s going in your pet’s bowl.

Oftentimes, all it takes is a simple change in diet, and almost all these above-mentioned symptoms can be remedied. More times than not , it’s just a matter of switching their food to a different protein source.

Animals can have food allergies just like humans. When it comes to allergies, eliminating chicken, and sometimes grain, is a must. Symptoms of allergies can occur even after years of feeding the same food without any side effects. The same adverse reaction can happen over time in your four-legged loved one’s tummy, as well. An unhealthy gut can lead to diarrhea and even room-clearing gas.

When switching your pet’s foods, we like to put into place an elimination diet to get things right. We want to eliminate all the excessive ‘extras’ to find the cause of the problem. Feeding a simple food that has limited ingredients can help to isolate the root of the issue. Keeping in mind that patience is key, you must gradually introduce the new food. Once the food is being fed exclusively, wait at least a month to see if it’s made a difference. Don’t forget the treats! You have to make sure the treats correlate with the new diet or you’ll contradict all your efforts.

Feeding a healthier food can give your dog a longer, better quality life with less trips to the vet. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that we can help you accomplish this and save you money on your food at the same time.

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local pet store if you have questions on this or any pet-related topic.