I gotta say diet for Thane was getting ridiculous to ascertain the best option. Since his hypothyroidism was allowed to run-a-muck for three years, gluten intolerance destroyed his GI system for digestion of raw. I finally came to the conclusion that it's not about giving him more time to heal, but about finding a better approach for him.
For four months I had been feeding him the Nature's Variety Instinct line of foods- It's supposedly gluten free, but like the rest of the pet industry, they don't test for gluten and they use the same machinery and plants that manufacture gluten foods for the gluten free ones. Evidently no one at Nature's Variety has gluten intolerance! Cross contamination can be a huge deal in situations like they manufacture their gluten free foods in.
I was trying to come up with a better solution for Thane. He was showing increased allergies with this food and on a regular basis had to jerk me over to the road edge to essentially poop in harness before I was ready for him. This was not going to work long term- it was old after the second time it happened.
Then a friend of mine stumbled upon a video by Veterinarian Karen Becker. It was on canine allergies. She discussed how with her own dogs she fed a different food every day which prevents the allergy from taking hold since they are not eating the same thing morning and night 365 days a year sometimes for years.
I thought this was the most bizarre thing- I mean it goes contrary to everything veterinarians and pet food manufacturers tell you to do- but then we all know just where veterinarians are educated on diet and just how worthwhile that education really is.
The more I thought about the one food a day approach, the more I thought how similar of a concept it is to how I fed Thane when he ate raw- a different protein source/ cut of protein rotated so that he was not just eating beef every day of his life.
I've been shopping online with wag.com because they have a lot of good options and very quick delivery. They have great customer service and return policy (free shipping for returns too) Their website can drive me a bit wacky at times, but the real care for me as a client and my needs is great.
This month will be the real trial on the one food a day approach for Thane. By the time everything arrives, I will have eleven foods to rotate throughout the month. I'm sure we'll find a food or two that just isn't quite OK for him but with eight protein sources (I don't think I'm forgetting any)- some being single proteins and limited ingredient foods (even without calling them limited ingredient) I didn't look for foods labelled as gluten free after my Nature's Variety experience. I looked at the ingredients themselves. Being gluten intolerant myself (discovered through Thane's journey), I'm getting really good about asking google about the gluten status of various things LOL
I may have eleven foods for Thane this month, but what shocked me was the magnitude of foods I could choose from that really had pretty good ingredients and gluten free ingredients at that. During Met's life, I never would have had such pickings and even with Thane in 2009 when I gave up and went to raw, there never was such variety of food like I am finding today. I am not going to question it because it is a positive thing for Thane right now. Of course the industry still has not taken the ramifications of rosemary on the epileptic to heart so there still are few foods that one triggered by rosemary like Met was could have. Maybe the next positive move for some of these premium/ super premium companies to make will be to remove rosemary from their ingredient pool.
For now though, Thane and I are on a quest to get him healthier each and every day. I get a snicker from some people when I share what I am doing. I can just imagine what it will be like when we settle on a new veterinarian
Vet: What is his diet?
Me: Rattling off a list of manufacturers and protein sources as long as my arm
Vet: None of my clients have ever done that before
Me: Well, do you eat the same food for every meal 365 days a year for your entire life
Vet: No! I see your point