Happy Friday! I feel like this week flew by thanks to the Monday holiday. I am finally getting a haircut and smoothing treatment this afternoon and I can’t wait to feel like I have healthy hair again. I’m trying a new salon (thanks to all your recs on Instagram stories last week!) and will be sure to report back!

design darling rose and thorn

vintage lamp (similar here and here)  //  candle  //  vase

This week’s rose was a happy hour date with my friend Jen from The Fashion Magpie. She is such a kindred spirit and a total role model for me — she’s an insanely talented writer (seriously, she is in a league of her own!) and has amazing style, an adorable family, and the warmest heart. Do check out her blog if you have a moment this weekend — you will not be disappointed! We went to the Ribbon on the Upper West Side and it was the perfect cozy spot for a glass of champs or two.

This week’s thorn is that our cockapoo Rory has been dealing with food allergies and we’re still struggling to get to the bottom of what’s causing them. We switched his dog food from chicken/rice to salmon/potato (as dog food flavors and occasionally the actual foods if we happen to be eating one or the other) a few weeks ago and I’m not convinced it’s relieved his symptoms (general itchiness and frequent ear infections). We’re trying a food elimination diet recommended by our vet and so it’s time to move on to the next protein /grain sources on the list… but I really just want him to feel better already! It really doesn’t affect his playful disposition at all but I know he’d be so much more comfortable if we could solve this once and for all. If you’ve been through something similar with your pup, I’d love to hear from you!

39 thoughts on “THIS WEEK’S ROSE AND THORN

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  1. Poor Rory. 🙁

    Food allergies for dogs seem to be as pervasive as they are for humans these days. Which makes sense I guess as the food supply is so mucked with.

    Anyway, we’ve only had Odee a few months, but she has a mostly grain-free diet and does really well on it (everything is gluten-free, dairy-free and corn-free since I can’t have those things — we don’t let them in the house…and I can’t have her sweet puppy kisses making me sick).

    We do the raw frozen chicken. We’ve also tried the raw frozen duck but she doesn’t do as well on that. She never gets dry food, but we’ll occasionally give her sweet potato with her food or a little rice.

    Have you considered switching her shampoo as well? Did the problems start when it got cold there? She could be really itchy from the dry air as well (the person who mentioned the humidifier didn’t seem crazy to me!).

    Good luck with your baby and keep us posted!

  2. We have a french bulldog, which are known to have allergies and skin issues, and our breeder told us to only feed him Fromm’s Salmon a la Veg – she swore by it. We’ve been feeding it to him for three years and have never had any issues. Highly recommended!!

  3. Our silken windhound has the same thing. We switched him to Nulo (salmon and peas) and it has helped a ton but not completely. Our vet suggested we cut potatoes. Need to give it a few months to work. Also, no traditional treats even the super clean treats i.e. freeze dried lamb and no other invredients, etc.. “Treats” now include salmon oil, celery, spinach and an apple slice. Going to try some homeopathic anti itch drops in his water too.

    Sorry about R! Was this a thing in TX or Nantucket or just in Connecticut? I wonder if it’s environmental allergies and not food? Keep us posted!

  4. Hi Mackenzie! I’m a cat owner versus dog owner myself so forgive me if this is totally off base (and/or totally obvious) but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to make a suggestion. Quite a few of my dog owner friends in Brooklyn are REALLY struggling with the salt they use to melt the snow. Apparently there’s a specific kind that is super chemically and terrible for their dogs’ paws. Anyway, unsure what they use in CT but wasn’t sure if this allergy coincided at all with the winter.

    Best of luck figuring this out!!

  5. My dog has food allergies! When he was a puppy he wasn’t gaining weight and my vet finally decided to test him for food allergies. I found out he was allergic to beef, pork, barley, rice and potato! You’d think finding food to accommodate this would be hard but wasn’t. The results came with a booklet of treats and food (wet and dry) that he can have! Good luck 🙂

  6. Hi Mackenzie!

    I was dealing with the same issue with my dog (toy poodle) for months back and forth to the vet, and trying different foods. It was so bad that he was biting himself and had patches of skin showing from his biting and we didn’t know what to do. We switched his food a few times but nothing helped until we started giving him hypoallergenic food from Science Diet. It took about 3-4 weeks for his body to adjust but it truly solved all his problems and he is no longer itchy or biting at him self. We highly recommend going that way and seeing if it works for Rory. They also have special treats that we get for him too. I hope that he feels better soon! xo

  7. My dog also has serious food allergies- specifically to poultry. The only thing he can eat is wild boar or kangaroo based food!!! Might be worth a try for Rory.

  8. So sorry to hear about Rory not feeling well! I have a dog and we do a mix of salmon/potato kibble alongside whole foods that I make a big batch of every two weeks (chicken, sweet potatoes, barley, carrots, and spinach). Our vet has recommended that if she ever gets an upset stomach from a change in diet to try out oatmeal, it’s supposed to settle them a little. 💖 🐶

  9. Sorry to hear about Rory’s allergies! My dog Ollie has had allergies for years and while it might be food related, we haven’t been able to solve it through different diets. Ollie’s scratching gets so bad that he gives himself scabs and they can get infected. We recently started getting monthly shots for him and they’ve been a game changer with his scratching. The shot is called Cytopoint if you want to ask your vet about it. Before the shots we gave him Apoquil pills which also helped, but not as well as the shot. I hope you get to the root of the problem and Rory feels better soon!

  10. Cut out the grains! Huge difference for our Cavalier. We use Stella & Chewy’s and it really has cut down his itching- we notice a difference every time he has other treats/food.

  11. My 7 month Mini Goldendoodle has had upset stomachs since I got him. My vet put him on Probiotics Fortiflora from Purina. I can buy it in bulk on Amazon. We kept him on the same food and put him on the probiotics to make sure it was not the food. The Fortiflora alleviated all the symptoms and I kept the food. It is not the same symptoms, but just like humans, the probiotic could not hurt.

  12. I’m sorry to hear about Rory. Our dog that we adopted had allergies and digestion issues. Our vet recommended a food that had more natural oil in it. He’s been on Natural Balance’s duck and potato for over 1 1/2 and his symptoms disappeared. Hope you find a solution!

  13. First, I love The Fashion Magpie. Her writing and product picks are both so thoughtful!

    Sorry to hear about Rory. We went through that last year with our golden retriever. Switching proteins does help, and I get that it’s frustrating to wait it out and see what works! We have loved the Nutro Limited Ingredient line. Our pup is on the salmon one right now, but they have venison and lamb as well. She’s had one eye infection since we made to switch to Nutro, which is great for her! You’ve probably done this already, but make sure his treats align with the new protein, too. Consider a fish oil supplement to relieve the itchiness. And I am going to sound ceazy here, but I swear the humidifier in our bedroom helps our girl!

  14. My little guy has serious digestive problems (pancreatitis being the most serious). After years of Royal Canin we landed on Hills Prescription foods (there are different types depending upon the problem). If they have a line specific to allergies, it may be worth trying.

  15. I’m going through the same thing with my dog right now. I’m in the process of taking him to a special vet to specializes in dog dermatology to try to get to the root of the problem. I will let you know how it goes.

  16. So sorry about Rory. My 8 month old wheaten terrier has had an ear infection since Thanksgiving (initially, the vet didn’t want to put the pup on steroids since she’s still so little but last week agreed that she needed medication). It’s the worst! She scratches her ear until she squeals and it is heart breaking. The steroids seem to be helping but we are also struggling to figure out if she has food allergies. Taking her off chicken/sweet potato-based food and moving her to lamb/sweet potato-based food didn’t seem to help but she is loving her new salmon and brown rice food.

  17. We went through the same thing with our goldendoodle last year and finally went ahead and did an allergy test through Vetco (they did it right at the vets office with a blood draw). Turns out he has food and environmental allergies. We haven’t pursued any treatments as we now just avoid his allergens and he has been so much less itchy! Hope Rory feels better soon!

      1. It did! It has a whole panel of proteins, wheat/grains, dairy and all sorts of pollen/weeds/grass. Well worth it and way less expensive than going to the vet every few weeks for new meds or food.

  18. Poor Rory! I work in veterinary medicine (I have 42 doctors on staff hah) so I hear a lot about these things – just as an FYI, it takes 12 weeks on a diet to see if it eliminates the issue, so a few weeks may not be long enough to see. If you can’t seem to figure it out though, ask your vet about Apoquel! It’s a great newer drug that we’ve seen great outcomes in dogs with skin allergies. Feel free to e-mail me if I can help answer anything!

  19. My Bichon-Poodle rescue has food allergies – he was constantly licking/scratching/giving himself hotspots. Switched his food (NO chicken/gluten/grain) to Merrick (Texas Beef and Sweet Potato) and he is much better. His treats are the Merrick little stars and his dental bones are Zukes (apple/berry flavor).

    Medicine: You can give your dog Benedryl to help with the itching. Up to 3 tabs a day. It makes my pup very sleepy, however, the vet cautioned it can vary with each pet, just like humans can either be sleepy or hyper on benedryl. My pup also was prescribed Apoquel by the vet for his licking/allergies. He takes one pill per day. I have a colleague who gives her pup with allergies Zyrtec (a bit more affordable).

    Hope this helps! Dog food allergies are a pain- but once you get them onto a new food regimen they are so much happier (and you will be too!).

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! Rory gets sleepy on literally half a Benadryl but the Apoquel is a huge help — I just wish we could get to the bottom of it and know which foods to avoid vs. treating the symptoms as they appear. I will ask our vet about the beef/sweet potato combo!

  20. Oh my goodness! We’re dealing with the exact same situation with our pup! She’s licked her paws brown, and is just generally itchy everywhere. We’re certain that it’s a food intolerance issue, and we’re about to start the elimination diet with her hoping to find the cause. I understand how you feel about just wanting your pup to be comfortable. Fingers crossed the situation is resolved soon for you!

  21. I hope you’re able to get to the bottom of Rory’s issues very soon! We have struggled with our own dog’s allergies and ear infections for nearly eleven years now, but switching to a grain-free diet (we feed him Orijen) was a game changer for us as long as we keep up with regular ear cleanings… which he hates. Wishing you all the best with this!

  22. Our wheaten had this issue a few years ago and we switched to fish and sweet potato food and it helped but then added Dinovite to his food for about 2 months
    Worked right away! We gradually stopped using it and have had no issues since