The Fussy Dog — Crocodile Treats

Dog Food Trail with Salmon

Not a product post. 🤣  Actually just posting this here to update what Guinness is eating as a log and also give some ideas to any other doggo on food trail for allergies.

I really prefer Guinness not to be on medication, so luckily his paw & skin itch has settled to a comfortable state after his flare up where he didn’t want to walk at one point. He’s been on crocodile and tapioca for the last few months and it’s not something he loves to eat so it’s been challenging to both get him to eat his meals and medication.

The Fussy Dog — Skin Allergies, affected dog paws

His paws currently—off Apoquel and currently on food trail.

A little background on Guinness’ allergies

Just as a background, we are in consultation with our vet. We’ve changed vets 2 times and the vet clinic once. The clinic we’re consulting with now is Hillside Veterinary Surgery which is 100% better than another clinic we were consulting with previously. With his previous vet, his allergies got worse under their advices and they ignored my initial attempts to tell them that Guinness might be sensitive to steroids (he gets insomnia and gets breathless)—That’s for another post.

We are suspecting he has both atopic environmental and food allergies. The initial phase of giving him Apoquel was to stop his itching as it got so bad at one stage, he refused to eat, drink and leave the house. He’s a grass trained dog that only relieves himself outdoors, so it poses even more issues when he doesn’t want to step out.

He’s been off Apoquel for the past few weeks and his itch is a little worse but at a comfortable level where he only really bites at it once or twice a day, though I feel bad cos his paws are more red again. It’s never easy to look at your fur baby’s affected paws and not feel sad and helpless.

He’s called The Fussy Dog for a reason…

Feeding Guinness has been an issue all along as he’s a very fussy dog! He hates the smell of all fruits, vegetables, raw meat, pre-cooked food (cooked and refrigerated) and a lot of foods/treats. He also eats based on mood! He’s less motivated by food in the mornings till late afternoon, he’ll even reject his favourite treats. So changing his diet and finding something that we want him to eat Vs. he wants to eat is a huge issue. His longest food strike has been 5 days also brought on by his allergy flare up and this caused him to not get the medication he needs too.

I’ve actually already been food trailing him since January 2020, but probably due to his environmental allergies, was never really able to find a protein that I thought was 100% suitable for him.

So his allergy situation is now:

  • off Apoquel
  • stabilised in terms of biting/scratching
  • paws slightly redder than when on Apoquel
  • been on crocodile and tapioca for past few months
  • now on food trails

Maybe he’s allergic to pork

We tested pork the previous week, but he had small flare ups occasionally. Can’t really tell if it’s the pork or from walking around outside as he tends to flare after coming back from long walks outdoors. But just to be on the safer side, we’ve stopped pork completely to his disappointment.

We reset and had crocodile for awhile and now we’re testing salmon.

Salmon for food for dogs

This boy has expensive taste! And I had a stash of Wellness 95% Salmon I bought on sale before his food trail started. He loves this canned food. I’ve tried other brands and he would reject those. This is what I give him when I need him to take medicine too cos it covers up the smell.

Also after he came to stay with me, I was giving him Salmon oil and it improved his coat A LOT! I still have a big bottle of it hence another reason to test salmon first. Salmon oil also helps to hide the smell of medicine well incase he does need to take any.

I also had leftover of this Balanced Life Air Dried Raw Salmon mix that’s single meat and includes a bunch of beneficial ingredients. This REALLY comes in handy when I don’t have time to cook for Guinness from scratch (he usually rejects food that’s been in the fridge 🙄). It’s dehydrated and just needs water to rehydrate and you can choose the right consistency for your dog. This is not his favourite food! It smells really fresh and the coconut, alfalfa and kelp gives it a very “green” smell (Guinness hates all fruits and vegetable smells 😬).

The Fussy Dog — Salmon Dog Food Trail

Guinness’ usual reaction to food—life with a non-food motivated dog…

How I prepare food for my fussy dog

To get Guinness to eat the salmon dog products I mentioned above, instead of adding water straight away to the Balanced Life dehydrated food… I smash in his Wellness 95% Salmon and add in his salmon or coconut oil. The dehydrated mix soaks up the flavour of the wet food and oils first then I add in some water to make it the consistency Guinness would eat. This makes Balanced Life mix a lot more palatable for Guinness.

I used to mix the dehydrated mix with water first then after it was rehydrated then added the oils and wet food. Half the time he would reject this food—he’s really wasteful and will just ignore food he doesn’t want even if you keep refrigerating and bringing it out for him again. He’d rather starve himself!

Finally I found a mix that works for Guinness…

So I finally found a mix that Guinness will eat and *fingers crossed* his allergies don’t flare up and I can keep feeding him this. When he does reject this concoction, I’ve managed to keep it in the fridge. I steam it to heat it up a little then add a bit of wet food on top to get him to start eating. Once he starts he usually finishes everything, so the challenge is to get him to have a taste of the food. Another trick to make him more interested in his food is to top it with some home-made dehydrated salmon which he loves.

That being said, he doesn’t jump up and down crazy for his meals. He will still linger and pretend he’s not interested till I walk away or pretend to do my own things, then he’ll go up to his bowl for a sniff of the food. 

The Fussy Dog — Salmon Dog Food

Balanced Life Salmon Air Dried mix and Wellness 95% Salmon canned food


Guinness’ skin allergies have settled down after taking Apoquel. I’m now feeding Guinness a range of salmon dog food to test if he’s allergic.

Products I’m testing with Guinness: Wellness 95% Salmon, Balanced Life Air Dried Salmon, Salmon Oil.

Hopefully Guinness doesn’t get more itchy and we can test more proteins soon.

Follow Guinness on Instagram for updates—The Fussy Dog.