I know I usually write about cookbooks, cooking, recipes or restaurant adventures, but I am going to digress a little by special request and discuss dog food. Tracy and I have two Toy Fox Terriers, Duke and Lucky. When we call the pack, they are collectively known as “LuckyDuke” (one word). Our friend and book cover designer, Suzanne Brown, has a friend with two pugs, one of which has a problem with chewing it’s feet. It is almost certainly a food allergy. Through no fault of my own, I was forced to learn more than I ever wanted to know about dog food allergies and how to treat them.
A little history. When we went to pick up Duke from the breeder, (better markings) we found out that no one had taken Lucky and he was going to be an orphan. It was an “aaawwww moment”. Tracy and I looked at each other and said “aaawwww” and took the poor orphan, hence the name Lucky. When we took the dogs in for their first shots, the nice lady vet said that they were taught in veterinary school to never, NEVER, NEVER, name a dog “Lucky”. Through Lucky, we have learned about broken toes, stitches for dogs and have even had the pleasure of meeting a doggie ophthalmologist. Lucky climbs trees in the back yard to see over the 6 foot fence. Then we noticed one day that he no longer had fur on his feet or lower legs. He had chewed it all off. It must have been very difficult since he had two of his front teeth knocked out. He is nothing if not determined.
We took him to the vet and got potions and salves and pills. Nothing worked. I did some research online and found out that it was almost certainly a food allergy. We tried buying exotic dog food. Stuff like salmon or buffalo. It didn’t help. Finally in desperation I made up my own recipe. His feet cleared up right away, but Duke died. Just kidding. Duke loved it also. Fortunately after about 6 months we were able to switch him back to regular dog food and the allergy has not re-appeared. I hope it works for Suzanne's friend’s dogs also. The recipe follows.