Tracy Loeffelhholz Dunn and her husband Paul were tired of searching for the best dog food for their 4-year-old German Shepherd, Penny Lane, who’d suffered a serious case of itchiness since she was a puppy. When Penny’s veterinarian suggested a dietary allergy could be causing the symptoms, the owners tried to isolate the problem.
“One $50 bag of food after another—salmon only, chicken only, no grain. Nothing worked. A year later she was still an itchy dog,” recalls Tracy, YES! Magazine’s creative director.
As carnivores and a sub-species of wolves, dogs are designed to eat animal protein and fat by consuming bones and raw meat. In the wild, the stomach contents of animal prey provide nutrients from grains and vegetables. Enter the modern raw-food plan, which provides a variety of fresh meats, pureed vegetables, and fruits.
YES! Web Managing Editor Lilja Otto switched her Appenzeller Mountain Dog, Bounty, to a raw-food diet, and within two weeks, Bounty had a soft, fluffy coat (minus the shedding), naturally clean teeth, and a much-improved disposition. Once willful and rambunctious, Bounty became more obedient and easygoing.
Penny Lane seemed to sniff out the new diet herself. For months, she’d been snatching fresh chicken eggs from the Dunns’ coop and sneaking kale and almost-ripe tomatoes from the garden. The Dunns decided Penny Lane should eat as well as they do. Says Tracy: “Penny can’t believe her luck,” and she’s not so itchy anymore.