Cat and Dog food – My Experience with Kirkland Brand and others – Allergies – What they mean.

When my 2 dogs started shaking their heads several times a day to shake their ears I decided to take them to my vet and find out what was in their ears?  

Vet said it is “allergies” what are you feeding them?  Both their ears were red and irritated looking.  The little one you can see her hair is white on her legs.  Both of her front and hind feet and legs were “reddish” and she constantly for about 3 years was licking them constantly unless she was asleep.  The big dog was licking his exposed skin areas too.

DSC02401Dozier (1/2 Akita and Dobie or Rottie) had been doing it for going on 2 1/2 years and I tried detoxing and supplements to very little effect and the head shaking became worse and more frequent.  All day long.

Dozier is 11 in April 2015. Princess is 13 Feb 2015. (1/2 Rat Terrier and Toy Poodle) Both rescued as puppies.  Dozier at 8 weeks. Princess at 1 1/2 yrs.


And then my little dog started doing the same thing this last fall.  That was it, 2 dogs with the same issue there had to be something they were both getting that was causing the problem.


Even though the Kirkland Dog food has great ingredients listed on the label.  There has to be something in the ingredients that is not healthy.  Some suggest it’s where the “meat” is being sourced from. Kirkland won’t say on their bag’s where it’s produced nor where the ingredients are sourced from.



I had been feeding Kirkland Dog and Cat food recommended to me by a local high end pet store owner, since the market crash of 2008 to save on shipping costs and to buy less expensive food but still safe food. Something changed in 2011 or 2012 as to where the ingredients were being sourced from or where being manufactured…..Or just the accumulation of toxins over the time they had been consuming this food.

So I immediately switched food.  I bought the Nature’s Domain Organic Dog food (green bag) at Costco.  In less than 30 days they both stopped shaking their ears and in less than 60 days the “reddish” skin disappeared on the little one’s (Princess) feet and legs.  All the constant licking stopped too. And everyone’s hair is back to silky smooth.

Also, does your dog smell?  That stinky wet dog smell that stays on your hand?  That is the “food” you are feeding, not your dog!  Dogs don’t smell and you don’t have to bathe them much at all, just to get the dirt out of their hair.  If you are bathing them to get rid of “so called doggie smell” it’s not your dog, it’s the food they are eating and it’s seeping out their pores.  Imagine what is going on inside them. Trust me.  Change their food to food that is actually good for their health and you will see within 30 days time they won’t smell anymore.  See my food recommendations below.

So even though the ingredients look good on the label, there can still be a problem of where the ingredients are being sourced from. Manufacturer’s are misleading us so we will buy their products because they don’t believe we know what is what . So beware.  You have to be buying from a manufacturer you believe has the best interests of healthy animals in their mission.   If you are seeing “allergy” symptoms then your pet’s immune system is being overtaxed by contaminants that are not healthy for them to be consuming. And an overtaxed immune system leads to life threating cancer and other diseases and illnesses due to a compromised immune system.  They don’t feel as good as they could either.  See for yourself, change their food to healthy food.  You will see within 30 days.

Normally 30 to 90 days is how long it takes for a body to detoxify itself when it is no longer consuming harmful substances.

Also 3 years ago, 4 of my 17 cats (4 of 5 litter mates) started loosing the hair on their underneath DSC02431and tender skin areas.  I tried with them detoxing, topical ointments, homeopathics, etc.  Thinking the food was good as listed ingredients were supposedly good on the label of the Kirkland Adult Cat food.

And they would lick as if their skin itched and I would find a tiny crusty or goopy spot here and there where it was irritated lesion like.  Their hair came back in and then happened again the next year. They were bald like this for several months the first time.

SHADOW and SWEETIE (below)

I had one of my My Fine customers ask me if I knew what the cause of this was as it was happening to her as well but I didn’t at the time realize it was the “food”.  Shadow and Sweetie (litter mates 2 of the 4 with this symptom).DSC02134

After I changed food to Nature’s Domain for Cats, all their hair started growing back in and was all good in 30 days or so. And everyone is back to beautiful silky velvety soft smooth hair coats.  It’s so nice to see and feel them not having dry dull hair coats again.  Imagine what is going on in the inside, if the outside is not good. Feeding healthy food, they will need less food, poop less and maintain a healthier weight.  They tend to get too fat on bad food. Do the best you can picking food for your pets. If you see a problem don’t ignore it, change to the best you can afford to feed them. It will ultimately save you money and heartache.

I also had this happen back in 2002 when I noticed my 1/2 Akita-Boarder Collie Kwai had tumors growing up one of his legs.  He had been on Pedigree for all the years I had him. He passed on at 13.  3 years prior he and his kennel mate Mandy started eating grass and throwing up every day.  I had also last couple of years thinking I was doing a good thing for them in their later years, gave them the Dog Combo vaccines (7way) to help protect them and they had never had any vaccines all their healthy happy lives before.  They stared the throwing up the very summer after I gave

kwainoye02them their vaccines.


All I managed to do was OVERTAX their immune system big time! Read Dr. Pitcarin’s book. Vaccines on top of Pedigree dog food.  Mandy passed on, but Kwai got surgery to remove the tumors, all were removed but some fibers on his shoulder.  Vet believed they would all be back in a month anyway.  I changed his food to ORGANIC and over 90 days he improved in health, stopped throwing up and got his energy back and there were no new tumors on his leg.  But the fiber on his shoulder they left continued to grow until it took his life over 6 months later. If they had removed it too as I insisted he may have lived another year or so.  But they didn’t believe that would happen.


Below are some interesting facts about what you don’t want in your dog and cat foods.

As well as to be aware of “allergy” symptoms indicating your pet’s immune system is being overtaxed by “something” unknown lurking in the pet food.

There are several good foods available.  A new one I was just turned on to by a friend and previous Health Conscious Pet Store Owner, Precise Holistic Complete Dog Food.  You can find it on Amazon.  My 2 dogs like it, small kibbles.  I also have the Life’s Abundance which I never had a problem with.  Also beware of too high protein content for a while I was buying 36% protein Organic and Holistic expensive pet store cat food.  In 2008 I had 3 of my 19 cats get liver overload and didn’t realize it.  They stopped eating and inside ears turned yellow etc. I was able to save 1 our 8 yo Burmese female Baby.  Baby lived healthy and happy on healthy wet food 10% protein till she passed 5 years later of kidney failure.  We took her in when her owner (our friend’s grandmother) couldn’t take care of her anymore and passed away as a 5 year old.DSCN4574




BABY (Daddy’s Desk and Computer Kitty)


But my 2 brothers of a litter of 3 I didn’t catch in time to save them.  I used a combination of Vet anitobiotics and Homeopathic liquid spray Heel Liver and Kidney and another couple of things from my Homeopathic Vet.  The two brothers were 8 Tuffy and Travis, one was a twin of one (Teddy) that wasn’t affected.  So weird things can happen to some and not to all.  When it’s something “we” caused as we are the ones “care taking and feeding them all” the error really hurts beyond words.


TUFFY, TEDDY & TRAVIS Brothers.  Abbey is their Mom not pictured here but a lovely long haired green eyed sable black with obvious Siamese due to the kittens.  I saw the “father kitty’ as he was leading his pregnant Abbey into eat where I put out food in the hay barn.  One day I was there and he was eating and then went out and brought her back in with him and sat back while she ate.  I was amazed and awed at this.  What a good provider and protector of his little family he was.

The next day when he brought her in I decided she was pregnant and didn’t want her having her kittens out side.  So I brought her in.  He hung around all summer and each day I saw him he looked at me like “where did you take my family I miss them”. It was hard but, I apologized and said I had them inside and they would have a loving home for the rest of their lives.  He finally disappeared that winter and I never saw him again.  He was a nice male.  The little Travis there looks like his Daddy Kitty.

Tuffy and Teddy together before Tuffy got sick. I’ll find a pic of Travis. These 2 were inseparable.Teddy still today looks for anyone who he can snuggle up to and lay on.


I hope my experiences here that I have shared are of some help to you and your beloved “furry family”.


Tuffy and Teddy

Savvy marketing people are also aware of what you’re trying to avoid!

Pet food companies spend a lot of time and money researching what you’re buying and what you’re looking for on the internet. And they’ve taken this information and figured out ways to disguise the pet food ingredients you’re trying hard to avoid. Their clever marketing teams have figured out how to dress up the label to hide cheap, unwanted ingredients on the packaging.

Pet food industry insider, Maria Ringo, has developed the following list of the five ingredients that should never be on the label of your pet’s food, in any quantity. And at the end, she’ll talk about the ingredients from China that are easiest to hide.

Here are the top 5 ingredients you need to avoid. . .


Pet food manufacturers claim that chicken meal is “just fresh chicken with all the water taken out” thus making it a supposedly super protein source. But meat meal, (and by this I mean meal made from any protein source), is made by boiling leftover animal by-products. These include meat or fish trimmings, carcasses, inedible parts and fetuses cooked for hours, at temperatures so high that “4D” animals (dead, dying, diseased or disabled) are allowable meal ingredients because even bacteria don’t survive the process. The resulting mixture is a heap of decomposed dust. Sure it has a high protein level, but so does shoe leather. Moreover, meat meal is missing many of the nutrients and amino acids (which are the building blocks of proteins), contained in real meats. And it’s illegal to use meals in human food, so if it’s not healthy for humans, it probably isn’t healthy for dogs and cats. Meals are used in pet foods to increase the protein content while keeping costs down. Avoid meals like the plague!

Wheat, Rye and Corn

Wheat and corn were the first to go on the naughty list years ago, so if the manufacturer is still adding these ingredients to your pet’s food he doesn’t care what you think. Further, to my knowledge wheat and corn are now mostly found only in highly processed, extruded products! Dogs get their protein from amino acids, and these old style protein replacements are missing many essential amino acids. This makes wheat,, rye and corn some of the least beneficial foods for your pet, especially if they’re in the top half of the ingredient list. Most often, only low quality of the parts of the plants are used, called middlings, bran, shorts and meal.

These are often the source of toxins including mycotoxins, which are a type of mold that can damage the liver and kidneys and are also very toxic carcinogens (cancer causing agents).

In addition to having very little nutritional value, corn especially can contribute to the many diseases linked to high sugar diets, including obesity, chronic inflammation, diabetes and cancer. Don’t be fooled: maize is corn, and maize gluten meal is derived from the making of corn syrup. Rye and triticale are both wheat. Rye also contains a compound called alkyl resorcinol, which at high levels can irritate the lining of the intestines and mouth. There are far better sources for the phytonutrients found in grains and there’s no excuse for including them in a quality pet food.

Usually rendered fats are identified as poultry but they could be from other farm animals.

Animal fats are rendered in the high heating process of making meal from meat packing waste, and then get further cooked and refined. Extreme processing makes these lipid heavy substances inherently unstable and therefore they go rancid very quickly. To be stored and used as pet food ingredients, they must contain heavy doses of chemical preservatives that are often not disclosed on the pet food label because they’re added by the renderer before delivery. So rendered fat is a Trojan horse for chemical preservatives including ethoxyquin! I don’t know which is worse, the chemicals or rancid fat, which is full of free radicals. Both wreak havoc on your dog’s immune system. And just like meat meals, rendered fats can’t be used for human food production.

No wonder! Some companies use synthetic antioxidants such as mixed tocopherols to reassure you that the fat is “naturally preserved” but these are still just chemicals. Moreover, the synthetic antioxidant used as a preservative gets all used up in the oxidation process after manufacturing, so it does your dog no good at all. So don’t be fooled into thinking that extra synthetic vitamin E might be beneficial. Due to the same problem with rancidity, be careful of vegetable oils too.

The canola, sunflower and other vegetable oils added to pet food must be preserved too, just the same as animal fats. Cottonseed oil may be labeled as vegetable oil. Cotton also happens to be one of the most heavily sprayed crops in the world. Providing your pet with good quality fats including omega-3 fatty acids is easy: just feed fresh meats and foods that haven’t undergone high-heat processing, and provide your pet with spoonfuls of fish oil or other healthy sources of healthy fats.

“Some companies use synthetic antioxidants such as mixed tocopherols to reassure you that the fat is “naturally preserved but these are still just chemicals.”

Digest is often sprayed on top of pet food, especially cat food, to make it palatable”

Sometimes listed as natural flavor, digest is a cooked-down liquid of by-products of unspecified animals which can include 4D goats, pigs, horses, rats, road kill, and even euthanized cats and dogs from shelters.

None of the dead animals thrown into large vats and cooked in a mixture of acid and water need to be from USDA inspected facilities. They can come from anywhere. Digest is often sprayed on top of pet food, especially cat food, to make it palatable. If your dog’s food is full of wholesome meat and vegetables, she’ll love the taste, so there would be no need to make the food palatable. Besides the fact that animal digest is disgusting, maybe even immoral, what does it say about the quality of the product if it needs to be there in the first place?

Most pet owners know to avoid soy products. What they might not know is that so can be disguised as protein concentrate, vegetable broth, textured vegetable protein, or hydrolyzed vegetable protein. Soy is found in pet foods because it can boost protein content without the expense of meat.

But soy is also an incomplete protein with a well known ability to create food allergies in both humans and dogs. This is because soy has very high concentrations of phytoestrogens (enough to disrupt hormonal balance causing all kinds of mayhem) and anti-nutrients (natural toxins that inhibit enzymes needed for protein digestion). Soy has been linked to deadly bloat in dogs and promotes the formation of urinary stones.

Synthetic vitamins and minerals are also known as the premix in most pet foods. I’ve given entire lectures on the difference between synthetic nutrients and real food nutrients, because it is so vital to health. Unfortunately, synthetic ingredients are the most common items on the label that consumers overlook and they are an easy way for pet foods to contain harmful ingredients from China without having to disclose the country of origin.

Just as with the foods we eat, vitamins and minerals provide true benefits for us when they’re consumed in their native form, that is, when they are consumed in the foods that naturally contain them. Nutrients found in whole foods are highly complex structures that combine a variety of enzymes, coenzymes, antioxidants, trace elements and many other known or undiscovered factors, all working together synergistically to enable the vitamin complex to do its job properly. Synthetic nutrients, on the other hand, are adulterated, isolated compounds completely lacking in all of the other vital components that are normally part of vitamin complexes in foods.

With prolonged exposure to one dimensional synthetics, the body’s supply of the other nutrients is depleted and a nutrient imbalance is created. The highly concentrated doses of synthetic vitamins used in pet foods containing premix hastens the development of nutrient imbalance in your pet, ultimately leading to poor health. A pet food containing premix does not contain enough real food to provide adequate nutrition without it.

There is a time and a place for vitamin supplementation, but it’s not in the daily diet we feed our animals their whole lives. This list looks pretty grim, especially that meal and digest stuff, but don’t despair. There are excellent foods out there from reputable companies and you can choose from baked, dehydrated or raw. Just keep reading those labels and stay one step ahead of the marketers.

 Also something to keep in mind about household cleaners and such.  

Exposure to household chemicals is another in thyroid issues.  The products I use to clean are Toxin-Free from our Forever Products Company EcoSense – Sol-u-mel stain, odor remover, Sol-u-Guard disinfectant, Tub & Tile Bathroom Cleaner, Clear Power glass cleaner, they all work as general cleaner and degreaser and vinegar.  (from a friend of mine) I think I may have mentioned to you that the Swifer/Clorox wet jet killed my cat.  The first and only time I used it and it killed my cat when he walked on the damp floor.  My friend has a Pomeranian.  Same thing happened with her dog.  They never made the connection until it killed my cat.  Household chemicals, even inhaling them, can cause the liver to become very toxic. 

If you have HORSES and other EQUINES  (donkey, mule) I don’t recommend most DSCN3192bandit08commercial bagged feeds for the same reasons as above. Distillers grains, GMO Beet Pulp, Soy, Corn, Wheat, etc...Here’s my feed mix and what I feed mix horses.   BANDIT


Best in Healthier, Vickie


Me with DOZIER & PRINCESS            Then TEDDY snuggled up to my girl TIGER