When Sunny came to live with us the breeder sent her home with some kibble and a box of The Honest Kitchen Preference. I topped her kibble with The Honest Kitchen. She liked it. I used this combination of food for about a year and then switched to a kibble only diet. I don't remember the reason I switched the food, but I did.
At some point I started giving her what I believed to be premium grade salmon kibble. I could get the large quantity bag of kibble at the local Wholesale store for a decent price. She was on the same food for about 4-5 years. The vet said once I find a food that she likes to stick with it. So I did.
The change of food and the vet advice seemed like it was working until it suddenly stopped working. When Sunny was 6 years old she started to develop hot spots, ear infections, and got her first UTI. The vet treated this with a couple rounds of antibiotics. The ear infections and UTI went away with the medication and the hot spots did too...for awhile. Then a couple weeks later the hot spots returned, she got a staph infection this time on the hot spots and was given another round of antibiotics. Things cleared up temporarily. The vet suggested that perhaps the hot spots were due to environmental allergies so we tried Benadryl to stop the itching, yet the hot spots kept coming. Even when Summer turned into Fall Sunny still had hot spots appearing. In the Winter things seemed better so I started to think maybe she had seasonal allergies.
Then almost 1 year to the date of her first UTI diagnosis the entire process started again. Hot spots, ear infections, UTI. It took me 3 vet visits in 2 months before I got an antibiotic for her 2nd UTI. I saw 3 different vets in the same clinic before the 3rd vet suggested it might be a food allergy to chicken. I told the vet I had been thinking of switching Sunny's food and was told not to do anything "too rash". After spending close to $1500 in 2 months at the local vet I felt like they were holding back telling me that the hot spots could be a food related allergy, just to make more money off my sick pet. It felt what they were doing was unethical.
When I checked the label on Sunny's Premium Kibble I learned that it contained chicken along with a host of other things that probably should not be in dog food. I didn't want to spend more money at the vet and didn't want to give my dog more medication. Since I had been trying to eat healthier myself, I thought my dog deserved to eat better too. I wanted Sunny to eat food that contained whole, unadulterated ingredients.
I figured good food would lead to better skin and increased overall health. I decided to try The Honest Kitchen again. After reading great reviews and remembering that this was part of Sunny's diet when she was a puppy I switched her food. There were many new options with The Honest Kitchen dog food than there had been 6 years prior. I wanted to go with a novel protein for Sunny and started her on Zeal. She loved it. She would "talk" to me while I prepared her food by barking with excitement and dancing in circles around the island.
I noticed a change in Sunny's skin condition in about 2-3 weeks after switching her to Zeal. She liked Zeal so much I decided to try other options for her including Halcyon, Love, Verve and Keen. Her favorites seem to be Love and Verve. After 6 months being exclusively on The Honest Kitchen, Sunny rarely gets a hot spot, her ear infections are no longer an issue and I am happy to report that she has been free of UTIs.
An added benefit of switching Sunny over to The Honest Kitchen has been her weight loss. She has lost about 5 lbs and this has helped tremendously with her osteoarthritis. Sunny is now within a healthy weight range for her breed and age. She wants to go for longer walks, is willing to jog with me, and best of all wants to play fetch again.
Thank you to The Honest Kitchen for giving Sunny a happy, healthy, and bright future.