Diesel's Journey to Raw Dog Food

August 24 2021 – Amanda Monsma

Diesel sitting in the grass
Diesel sitting in the grass

Below is an email I received from one of our community members, Stephanie.  I have been working with Stephanie for about a year now.  First with her dog Bailey and now with her dog Diesel.  Stephanie has graciously documented Diesel's journey to raw dog food and gave me permission us to share the story with the #granddograwpack .



Diesel lying in the grass

I wanted to share my dog's journey with you, to hopefully be able to give other pet owners hope that there is a solution. Diesel is a 5 ½ month old Purebred Fawn Boxer. He is beautiful, and so loved.

Unfortunately, Diesel’s issues started quite early, with a vet visit before he was 11 weeks old. Diesel has always been very low energy, which concerned us early because he is a boxer, they are known for having high energy. Diesel ended up having chronic diarrhea for 1 ½ months.  It was terrible to watch.  It took everything out of him, he couldn’t sleep through the night because he was up 4-5 times.

We tried a couple different food trials, nothing seemed to work. We finally tried boiled chicken and rice for 1 week and then hamburger and rice (plus pumpkin and carrots) . This turned it around and it seemed as though he was on the mend.

We started him on a lamb and rice formula, and he did well at the start. About 3 weeks into the kibble, we noticed he was starting to get little bumps all over.  They would appear, turn to pimple like lesions, then turn to scabs.  He had them all over.  We also found a large lump on the side of him, so we took him to the vet.  They pulled fluid from it, and sent it off to the pathologist.  It came back as non cancerous. They took skin scrapings of his bumps, and they came back as “allergies”. His blood work showed incredibly high liver levels, so he had to have an ultrasound, as well as see a cardiologist where they discovered a heart murmur.

By this time, I was feeling so defeated. Not knowing where to go, or what to do.  I felt like if I had to try another kibble, I was going to lose my mind. (We had to put our 7-month-old boxer down in February due to Epilepsy, so we couldn’t believe this was all happening, we spent so much time in vet offices with our boy who passed away it was like deja vu.)

The vet suggested a hydrolyzed formula, where the meat is processed differently.  She sent me some suggestions, I researched all the formulas and was so discouraged to see that the first few ingredients were corn starch, corn, soy, etc.  But I wanted to at least try.  Not even two weeks into this one he started chewing his paws frantically, they turned really red and then almost greyish and started to bleed. They became so raw and were causing him so much discomfort I knew I had to do something. 

Enough kibble. It was time to go raw.

How can I eliminate foods when there are 100 ingredients in kibble? I needed to start with one protein at a time and go from there. Amanda at Grand Dog Essentials was amazing.  We talked over the phone where she walked me through a plan that we were going to try with Diesel. She also gave me some tips for his poor paws, she was pretty sure he had a yeast problem. One thing to note about Diesel and kibble, he very rarely finished his meals.  He didn’t like kibble but if he was hungry enough, he would eat it. But there was always kibble left in his bowl.

So we started raw. We also did a yeast treatment that Amanda suggested called Four Leaf Rover Gut Guard. The first change I noticed; Diesel licked his bowl clean.  This was a great sign.  He was so happy and enjoyed meals times a lot now. Diesel has been on raw for over a month and I can say with 100% confidence he is a different dog.

His paws are healing, all skin issues dissolved, his energy is almost more than I can handle now (ha ha). He is a new pup. He has gained weight, and filled out nicely as well. I have learned so much about dog food in the last few months, I think I could write a book. Instead, I thought I would start here by sharing his journey and ours, and hopefully being able to help other pet owners who are on the fence about raw, this changed our dogs life, I was so discouraged and defeated at the start of this, but today I'm smiling and a bit exhausted from all his energy.

Knowing what I'm feeding him, and being able to say all the ingredients without looking up what they mean is a great feeling. I can trust that my dog's food is good for him. I truly believe in raw food, I have witnessed the drastic change in my dog within only a month.

Thank you Grand Dog Essentials, I believe Diesel has an incredible future ahead, thanks to you and your dog food. 

I have attached a few pictures to show the difference in his paws, and skin. 



Diesels PawsDiesel's Back


If you like this, you might also like: 

How Hayley Discovered Raw is the Answer to a Happy, Healthy Life for her Dogs

How to Transition to Raw for Dogs over a year old

Guide to Feeding Raw to Puppies



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