Meet Emma: A Search and Rescue Dog with Annoying Allergies

Emma is in the business of saving lives, but food and dust allergies were making her life miserable.

Although Emma means the world to her owner Amanda Wise, her chronic allergies and constant itching were keeping both of them awake at night and causing hotspots and discomfort for Emma.

Pick of the Litter

Amanda Wise and her family had been breeding labradoodles for a while. Working together with another breeder, their female labradoodle, Autumn, had birthed four litters of happy healthy labradoodles. Knowing that her fifth litter would be her final, Amanda decided to keep one of the pups.

Picking a puppy is always hard, especially when you’re attached to one of the dog’s parents, but in the end, Amanda chose Emma for her winning personality and has grown to love her even more in their three years together. When asked about Emma’s importance in her life Amanda said, “She means the world to me. She’s everything to me.”


Emma the Working Dog

Aside from being a cherished member of her family, Emma is also an important member of her community. As a certified American Working Dog Association air scent dog, Emma helps police and fire departments in the region find missing people, possibly saving their lives. Many of these missing people are children or elderly people suffering from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.

To keep her air scenting skills sharp, Emma and Amanda participate in weekly training sessions. When they arrive at a search location, Emma and Amanda are assigned a search area of 40-120 acres. Amanda said, “If there’s anybody in that [area], she will find that person.”


Allergies Attack

In September of 2014, Emma started itching constantly, developing hot spots, and getting ear infections. After a trip to the vet, she was diagnosed with allergies. Originally, the problem was diagnosed as a dust allergy, but further testing revealed that Emma was also allergic to a number of foods including; kelp, shellfish, peas, sweet potatoes, peanuts, and soy.

Bills for allergy testing, vet visits, and allergy shots ran well over $1,000, but nothing seemed to solve Emma’s problems. The next step was to put Emma on a raw food diet, but her chronic allergies and the itching that accompanied them persisted.

As if the hot spots, itching, and ear infections weren’t enough, Emma’s lack of sleep drained her normally exuberant energy and left her feeling lethargic. Something had to be done.


A New Diet = A New Lease on Life

After discovering that food allergies were a major factor in Emma’s problems, Amanda started looking for something that would keep Emma happy and healthy and keep her allergies at bay. Amanda said, “We went through food after food trying to figure out what would work for her.”

Emma’s problems were finally solved when Amanda discovered The Honest Kitchen and their Whole Grain Beef Recipe. The Honest Kitchen’s original pet food recipe proved to be the secret to keeping Emma allergy-free.

After about a month of eating an Honest Kitchen diet, Emma’s allergies started subsiding and she began to regain her energy. Amanda said, “Before The Honest Kitchen her energy level was very low. Once we switched over to The Honest Kitchen her energy increased. She likes to play with other dogs, play Frisbee, and take walks.”

Amanda went on to say that Emma’s newfound energy has also increased her drive and effectiveness while working on search and rescue assignments and training.


Moving Forward

With her allergies taken care of, Emma is free to do the thing she does best—search and rescue work. With Amanda’s help and a consistent training schedule, Emma is steadily climbing the SAR dog ladder and earning new certificates to prove it.

While her owner is especially happy with Emma’s newfound health, energy, and zeal for life, residents of the entire southeastern Pennsylvania region should be happy this dog’s feeling better. After all, she might save their life.

Want to discover more True Stories and how diet has played a positive role in the health of over 1,400 pets? Click here

Meet the Author: Micah Sargent

Micah Sargent is a freelance writer and photographer living in northern Pennsylvania. He enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, biking, hunting, and fishing. When he's not tapping away at a keyboard or behind a camera, you can find him hanging outdoors with his wife and two sons.

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