Real food brought real results for Basil’s chronic itchiness

By Annie McCall


My Boston terrier Basil ate a popular brand of kibble from a big box store for years with no issues but began to develop severe food sensitivities when she was about five years old.

Her muzzle was very pink, she was constantly itchy, and she had huge hot spots on her belly. For the next couple of years, I would need to take her to the vet regularly to treat the hotspots because they became so large and infected. Each time, she was put on antibiotics and steroids.

Initially, I tried to address the potential dietary triggers by switching her to a lamb and sweet potato kibble, but that didn’t change things much. I later learned that feeding a limited ingredient kibble works only if you are lucky and switch to one that happens to contain just the foods that your pet tolerates. If you switch to a L.I.D. that is made from even just one ingredient that your dog is sensitive to, you won’t see much improvement.  

But how do you know what foods to avoid? Trial and error can be tough since it takes about three months for the food to be completely eliminated from the system. Eliminating one food at a time and waiting for months to see potential improvements was far from ideal.

I heard about the NutriScan salivary test for food sensitivities and gave it a try. I received a list of foods that Basil should avoid that included surprising results. She had some strong reactions to some common foods, yet she had no problem with some ingredients that are often thought to trigger sensitivities.

I took my list of “yes” and “no” ingredients to All The Best and found that Stella & Chewy’s frozen raw beef dinner patties fit her needs perfectly. The ingredients were completely different from the kibble I’d been feeding – they were made of nutritional powerhouses including beef, beef organs, and organic fruits and veggies. I learned that frozen raw food is the least processed pet food available, so it retains the most nutritional value.

I began to serve Basil the Stella & Chewy’s patties with Good Digestion enzymes and raw goat milk to help her digestive system heal from previously feeding her inflammatory foods. She loved her new food so much that she did a happy dance every time I served it. I made sure to buy some real food treats as well, including All The Best beef taffy, which she adores.

The turnaround was amazing. After having spent thousands of dollars treating hot spots, I have never had to take her to the vet for this issue since switching to real food. Today, at age eleven, Basil’s turnaround is still going strong. She is fit and happy, especially when we take her hiking. She goes on the trail for miles, and since she’s small and visibly grey, many people comment on her remarkable stamina. Feeding her real food has saved me so many expensive trips to the vet and has saved her from so much itching and suffering. Real food brought Basil visible, lasting results.   

  • MaryBeth Eldred

    September 4, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    All 3 of my pups eat Primal raw – our 2 14 yr olds are amazing – my 7 yr old had an allergy test – she is allergic to beef ( no more green tripe) , kelp , wheat and dairy-

  • annie

    September 4, 2019 at 5:12 pm

    That is so good to hear. Basil’s teeth are pearly white from raw and we suspect your pups’ teeth are as well. The list of benefits is quite long!