This month, Dr Al answers questions about skin problems for a Bichon Shitzu and food recommendations for an 8 year old Chihuahua.
Q: My 4 year old Bichon Shitzu, occasionally gets small hard bumps that eventually dry up, and I try to pick them off. My pet food store told me, Bichons are known to get ’skin allergies’ from certain dog foods. Which ‘type’ of dry food, should I feed him?
A: My guess is that this is not a food allergy. You have described it as an occasional situation and as long as the dog is eating the same food the problem would exist. In addition, food allergies usually cause increased itching and scratching especially at the feet, which you did not describe.
Those little black spots could be coming from the sebaceous glands down the back. At times they can produce excess secretions that dry up on the back. I would speak to your veterinarian about a specific shampoo that helps to reduce the secretions and keep the skin clean. As far as a diet goes, I would consider a recipe designed for small breeds such as the Holistic Select Small & Mini Breed Radiant Adult Health Recipe dog food.
Q: I have a chihuahua-beagle mix that is 7 and will be 8 years old soon, is that age considered a senior? What would be best to feed him?
A: Although smaller dogs are known to live longer than the larger canine breeds, that does not necessarily mean that their senior years come significantly later. While 7-8 years of age may be considered senior for a Great Dane, 10 years as a reasonable age to begin considering your Chihuahua a senior.
Of course, a lot depends on the individual pet. If your dog is beginning to slow down, gain weight, or have any symptoms of arthritis, heart disease or kidney problems, you could certainly consider it a senior and treat appropriately, including feeding Holistic Select Vitalize Senior Health Recipe Dry Dog Food. At 7-8 years of age, annual visits to your veterinarian become more important as early detection of any of these problems mentioned is essential in resolving or slowing the process in order to maintain a healthy, high quality long life for your dog.
If weight is not a problem and there are no symptoms of other problems, Holistic Select Small & Mini Breed Radiant Adult Health Recipe dog food is designed specifically for smaller breeds and contains ideal nutrients as well as additional supplement such as probiotics ( to aid in digestion and enhance the immune system), Glucosamine Hydrochloride (for joint health) and Omega fats (Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for skin and hair coat, heart health and immune support).