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  • Laura Simonson

Archer's Story: Canine Skin Issues & Plant-based Foods

Updated: Mar 28, 2022

Did you know that plant-based foods for dogs can offer powerful solutions for food sensitivities? Horrible skin or puzzling and worrisome digestive issues may be caused by denatured animal-based foods or other nutrition-related issues caused by a typical North American dog diet.

Dog scratching due to skin issues that may be relieved by plantbased food by Virchew in Vancouver BC

"The diseases we are treating is the food we are feeding.” - Bill Pollak, DVM

From the inception of Virchew (and based on several years of research and development), we felt that our foods would provide very exciting solutions for dogs dealing with food sensitivities. Now, since our launch in fall 2020, we KNOW without a doubt that Virchew's LOVE Bowl has been a recipe for results. These results have been most profound with skin, digestive, and senior customers.

This success and the results from our first LOVE Bowl formulation have spurred the development of another exciting new formulation that will specifically target dogs that suffer from food sensitivities that result in skin and GI issues. This new formulation, similar to the LOVE Bowl formulation, will be another Virchew first of its kind in the industry.

Throughout our journey, watch for the stories of many pawrents and dogs who are finding relief from food sensitivities through Virchew's meals and treats. We are excited to share Archer's story below. He is a very active farm dog - running all over different terrains - and needed, not only relief from his hot spots and ear infections - but enough calories to keep him at his best weight.

Archer: Skin Issues & Ear Infections

"Archer had skin troubles and ear infections, as far back as we can remember. We cycled through so many different foods. From kibble to exotic meats, home-made with venison, raw food, and at one point, we were so desperate to heal his skin, he was eating special order quail eggs.⁠

Archer in Alberta, 4 years old mixed breed, 115 lbs

The hot spots were particularly bad on his back, legs, and under one ear. The pain he was in made our hearts hurt. Nothing worked. The vet visits, the medicines, and the feeling of helplessness, became unbearable. Our beautiful boy was never healing.⁠

Hot spot on leg and underside of Archer's tail

We heard about Virchew through a relative in Vancouver who lives plant-based. We are pretty self-sufficient, hunting and fishing, and were reticent at the start when it was suggested to try this new food. All veggies with algae? Dehydrated? What? But we were at the end of our rope and accepted the first box. ⁠

Archer took to it within a few days and has been on it for a few months now. We are ecstatic to share his skin is completely healed and he hasn't had one ear infection since. He hasn't lost weight on his all-veggie diet and is thriving. His energy and sleeping are great. We are so happy!"⁠

Animal-Based Proteins: Reviewing the Literature on Dietary Allergens

A literature review from 1967 to 2007 found that beef and dairy were the most common dietary sensitivities for dogs in cases where the problem ingredients were clearly identified, contributing to 34.2% and 19.8% of the 278 cases respectively.

Wheat was identified in 15.1%, chicken in 8.6%, egg in 6.5%, lamb in 4.7%, and soy in 4.7%. Corn, pork, fish, and rice contributed to less than 3% each (2).

By switching to high-quality, gluten-free, plant-based proteins (which could certainly be called 'novel'), Virchew is receiving reports and testimonials from dozens of dog customers that their dogs have received relief from itching, redness, swelling, diarrhea, bloody stools, and mysterious vomiting. After a few weeks or few months, most have experienced a complete reversal and have continued showing no signs of symptoms at all.

Food Sensitivity Check List

Dog scratching due to skin issues that may be relieved by plantbased food by Virchew in Vancouver BC

Signs to watch for that could be a food sensitivity*:

  • Inflamed, reddish skin (paws or skin at belly region)

  • Persistent itching

  • Dandruff or excessively dry skin

  • Persistent licking

  • Fur loss

  • Eye infections and inflammation

  • Waxy buildup in ears

  • Smelly, crusted ears

  • Facial swelling

  • Abnormal defecation

  • Diarrhea, gas (flatulence)

  • Abnormal stool or abnormal numbers of stools per day (1 - 2 is considered normal)

Breeds predisposed to developing food sensitivities and allergies include Chinese Shar-Peis, Wirehaired Fox Terriers, Golden Retrievers, Dalmatians, Boxers, Bulldogs, Bull Terriers, Boston Terriers, Labrador Retrievers, Lhasa Apsos, Bichon Frise, Brussels Griffon, Scottish Terriers, Shih Tzus, Maltese, and West Highland White Terriers.

Want to learn more? Fetch it on our blog post.

Watch for many more upcoming testimonials here on our blog or our testimonials page and on our social media pages. Please share Virchew with your furiends - it could make a world of difference for thousands (and millions of dogs).

*IMPORTANT: It's important to note that any one of the above symptoms could also be clinical signs from other underlying conditions. You should always consult your veterinarian before making the decision to change your dog's diet.

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