July 26, 2014

Dinovite Dog Food Supplement

Dog Food Supplement
When I rescued Heidi 3 years ago from Guardian Angel Basset Rescue her paperwork showed that she was being given medication monthly for allergies. At the time I picked her up her skin and coat were in great shape and no signs of raw spots, chewing nor hot spots.

Within a couple of months she was back to chewing her skin again around her feet, to the point of making the skin red and raw. I had taken all the paperwork to my vet the first few days I had her so her medications could be added to her record.

Over the years I noticed that most of her allergies were not food related but seasonal. I have always fed what was rated as high grade dog food, always tracked the ingredients and a few times went to 'no grain' food to see if that would help her.

It didn't seem to make any differences in quality of dog food, the allergies would show back up. The back of her back legs would become swollen, red and in some spots raw. For about a year, the previous medication worked in the pill form. Eventually those pills stopped doing anything so the vet recommended shots. Those also worked very well for a while for a year or so but by this past spring, the shots were not lasting for more than a week instead of a month as they had before.

I didn't see how giving her that many shots or pills over the period of years could be good for her. So, after some searching on the internet, reading some basset forums, reading the manufacturers website along with comments on their FAQ page. I googled for reviews which led me to Amazon customer reviews, all highly ranked ... I decided that Dinovite food supplement might be worth a try. It came with a 100% money back guarantee.

The cost spread over 90 days was much cheaper than the $18 dollar office visit every month in addition to the cost of the shot, that was also a plus.

I was willing at the time to try the full 90 days to see if it would work. Since all dogs are different, dog food is different for different dogs, the manufacturer suggested that it might take the full 90 days to show any kind of improvement.

I started on Day 1 following their instructions and for the first 14 days I didn't see any improvement but her skin condition around her feet and stomach was not getting worse. Could I consider that as sign that the product was working?

It wasn't the supplement that started to irritate me but the company stock emails from 3 different people saying all the same thing. They suggested the food I was feeding was not good enough and that I should go to Dog Food Adviser to see where my food ranked and/or find a different food. I explained to them in a reply email that I have used Dog Food Adviser for the past 8 years, deciding what to buy when I did think of switching dog food. I also let them know the dog food I was using was not only rated 5 stars out of 5 stars but I was already feeding her 'no grain' dog food.

From the replies from the customer service department it didn't sound like they had read one word of my email. I felt my blood pressure rising as I read their reply.

After going through their website's FAQs, customers were asking the same questions I was and they were getting the same 'standard company' reply. I started to get a bad feeling about this company.

From comments on their site, from other hound forums and replies to my own emails the general direction they suggested seemed to head to ... no matter how highly rated your dog food wasn't good enough, all of us should consider going to a 'raw' diet that consisted of raw hamburger, hard boiled eggs shells and all and white rice then add in THEIR product for the Omega's 3 and 6 along with the supplement I was using now. They stated it was the carbohydrates and grains that caused most allergies in dogs.

I asked myself ... why not pollen? Why not the same environment things here in the Midwest that cause my own allergies to increase?

Do you see where this is going?

Well I emailed a question about them adding rice to THEIR raw diet recipe because in all their other information they were saying that any kind of grains (white rice) was not good and was one of the leading causes for my dogs problems.

What kind of reply did I get for that question?

You wouldn't believe it ... the same standard company stock answer!!!  To check Dog Food Advisor so see if the dog food I was using was highly ranked and good enough.

By this time I am getting pissed. One of their customer service reps was replying and by her answers you could tell she either had not read a word I said or wasn't paying attention. Two days later I received similar company stock answers from 2 other people in their company.

So as a warning to the pet owners that read this blog that may be interested in using the product ... their Customer Service Dept simply sucks! I'm trying to be "politically correct" when I say that.

I found other readers making comments on their site saying they had used all the recommended products in addition to the 90 day supply of supplements and after 90 days their dogs showed zero improvement. Those commentators were receiving the same answers I was getting.

Like any other company there is always a difference in opinion, so there were other pet owners that raved about the products.

So I requested a return authorization number and received it. I also can use the product for 90 days and then if I am still not satisfied I can mail them back my empty box for a 100% refund as long as they receive my package within 180 days from the date of purchase.

So as a test, after 18 days of using the product and not seeing improvement but not seeing her condition worsen, I stopped the supplement for 6 days. Her condition quickly changed to raw skin, chewing her feet and the back side of her ankles were swollen and red. Is it due to not giving her the supplement or a change in weather conditions?

I decided to ignore the emails I had received, ignore the customer service people I didn't care for and just focus on the product ... nothing else.

I started giving her the product again a few days ago and will monitor the conditions to see if they  improve. If they don't, then I will have to decide whether to go the full 90 days using the product or mail the product back now for a refund.

It's disappointing. I was really hoping the product would work and I could stop the shots she would be taking. I also felt I should be seeing some sort of improvement after just 14 straight days, but didn't.

For those readers that have emailed me asking for updates, I can either email you as I go along or wait another 30 days before I post about it again.

I forgot to add that Winston and Sadie both eat the same food as Heidi with no sighs of issues with their coat or skin. Also Heidi's problem is only around her feet, back of her back legs and at times her stomach.

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