Meet Wiggles: An Unhappy Itchy Dog Who Finally Found Relief

Wiggles’ horrible itching and skin hot spots had her miserable and her owners distraught. But a change in dog food turned out to be the solution!

Watching Wiggles run around the park near her home in Escondido, Calif., you’d never know the poodle mix is nine years old. “People think she’s a puppy,” says Daniela, who with her sister Viri are Wiggles’ pet parents. “They don’t see her gray hair!”

An Itchy Unhappy Dog

Today, Wiggles is full of energy but that wasn’t always the case. For months, the dog suffered from painful hot spots where her skin was dry, red and prone to bleeding. She would constantly bite her own skin and her coat gave off a foul odor.

At one point, Romero bought a cone for Wiggles’ neck to block the dog’s non-stop chewing of the already irritated area. She even put a children’s sock on her foot so her scratching wouldn’t cause so much bleeding.

Left: Wiggles had a cone and children’s sock to protect her skin from the constant scratching.
Right: Wiggles lost hair and her skin was scabby and inflamed from all the irritation.

While she and the vet couldn’t pinpoint any specific medical problems in Wiggles, Viri searched the Internet for a solution to her dog’s itchy, smelly skin. Viri and her sister tried a wide variety of premium dog foods for Wiggles but none of them stopped the dog’s problems and in many cases, Wiggles didn’t even like the food.

“She would tip over the bowl of kibble,” Viri says of how Wiggles displayed her distaste of the food.

Plus wet dog foods gave Wiggles diarrhea, leaving her in a constant state of lethargy and she spent the days listlessly laying around the house. The sisters also tried applying natural remedies to the sores, including lemon juice, vinegar, betadine and witch hazel. But Wiggles’ woes continued.

A Healthy Transformation

Nothing worked until in the summer of 2012 when Viri tried feeding Wiggles food from The Honest Kitchen. “We started with small trial size boxes,” she says. “She ate them all and licked the bowl clean!”

Within a month of eating The Honest Kitchen, Wiggles’ health and skin started to improve. The dog lost weight, going from a round shape and weighing 16 pounds to thinning out to 11 pounds with a noticeable waist. After a few more months, her hot spots were gone, the itching had stopped and her coat filled in thick and shiny. Plus her confidence and energy for playing returned.

Before: Wiggles is a round 16 lbs with a dull coat and minimal energy

Before: Wiggles is a round 16 lbs with a dull coat and minimal energy.
Now: Wiggles is a trim 11 lbs with noticeable waistline and shiny coat.

The Benefits of Real Food

Viri is now a huge proponent of The Honest Kitchen food, which is made of human grade food ingredients. “There’s no corn, no filler, no fake meat stuff, it’s real food,” she says. “The analogy I tell people, it’s like eating fast food or pizza every day versus eating real food, not processed stuff.” The results are clearly seen in her own dog and so Viri tells every pet owner she meets to try The Honest Kitchen pet foods.

“You might think it’s expensive,” she says, “but it’s worth the investment. You’ll save on veterinarian bills. I’d rather have a happy, healthy dog than go to the vet.”

Every time Wiggles went to the vet, it cost the sisters $150 to $250 which added up quickly after multiple visits. Now that Wiggles is eating Honest Kitchen, the extra vet visits aren’t necessary. Viri is also saving because she no longer has to buy medicines and grooming products that she was using to treat Wiggles’ previous symptoms like scaly, dry skin and odor.

Wiggles has made a full recovery from the itchy skin allergies and hot spots that plagued her before.

Wiggles has made a full recovery from the itchy skin allergies and hot spots that plagued her before.

Above all, Viri says it’s a joy to see Wiggles healthy again and is happy to have found a natural way to heal her. “It was super exciting,” Viri says. “We were so relieved after months and months of frustration and worry!”

Among Wiggles’ favorite Honest Kitchen foods that have helped her with this transformation: Embark, a grain-free turkey; Keen, whole grain turkey dog food; Thrive, whole grain chicken dog food; and Zeal, grain-free fish dog food. A 10-pound box of Honest Kitchen lasts Wiggles three to four months and she eats twice a day. No bowls of Honest Kitchen have ever been tipped over.

“Everyone’s Dog”

Wiggles is a family pet, with Viri explaining the black poodle is “everyone’s dog.” Viri’s cousin found Wiggles as a puppy, abandoned on the side of the road. Their other sister took care of the poodle initially, calling her “Baby”. When Viri and Daniela took over as pet parents, they changed the dog’s name to match her personality. “She’s pretty wiggly,” says Daniela. “She moves around a lot.”

These days Wiggles is healthy and happy but she’s also blind in her right eye, as a result of old age.  “But that doesn’t seem to slow her down now,” she says laughing as Wiggles races around the yard and in between her feet.

Today Wiggles has plenty of energy as she races around the yard after Viri.

Wiggles lives with the sisters, their mother and Daniela’s husband Juan. Daniela’s cat, Tiger, also eats The Honest Kitchen cat food. Both Viri and Daniela say they’ll never feed these pets or any new ones anything except The Honest Kitchen foods. “We’re not going to try anything else since we’ve had such a great experience.” says Daniela.

Wiggles has so much energy that she is working on becoming an Internet star, with her own Instagram account (@wigthepood) which features fun photos like playing with Tiger, grinning for the camera and yes, eating all of her Honest Kitchen meals!

wiggles-belly2

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: Kristen Castillo

Kristen Castillo is an accomplished writer, editor and TV producer with over 15 years journalism experience. She is the recipient of over 50 professional awards including two Emmy’s. She enjoys covering lifestyle, family, food, health & fitness, women’s interest and consumer news. Kristen is also the author of the e-book, "Weddings on a Dime: How to Plan Your Big Day Without Breaking the Bank." She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists; a member of the board of directors for the San Diego Press Club and Vice President of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Pacific Southwest chapter. A graduate of Fairfield University, Kristen lives in Southern California with her husband and two sons.

Benefits of Raw vs Dehydrated Pet Foods
Vet Advice on Caring for Your Pet's Skin and Coat