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My Biased Review of Glacier Peak Holistics Pet Sensitivity Testing; I ordered a sensitivity test from Glacier Peak Holistic and tested my allergy prone, raw fed dog and this is what I found.

Four years ago (or maybe five), Rodrigo had a setback with his health. He went from a dog that occasionally had loose stool and diarrhea to a dog that couldn't form a solid poop if treats were on the line. He lost weight quickly and I was freaking out.  I was feeding my dogs a raw diet, everything had been great and then it wasn’t.  Sound familiar?

The Raw Feeding Honeymoon Period

Often raw feeders, myself included, speak of how quickly our dogs’ health improves after switching to a raw food diet.  We seem to forget the many times we switched to a new kibble and our dogs seemed to do better at first.  So is raw that miraculous cure to health issues or is the diet change from a “bad” food causing the improvements? 

In an interview, I conducted with Rodney Habib for National Raw Feeding Week 2019, I learned about The Honeymoon Period.  This is a period where our dogs seem to thrive and improve and we’re so happy and relieved, convinced that raw was the answer all along.  And then the dog’s health issues rebound big time and we freak the hell out.  Some people return to kibble because obviously the raw is causing the problem.

When a Raw Fed Dog Has Diarrhea

Because I brought up “diarrhea,” I want to address how I handle it when my dogs have loose stool.  This week, Rodrigo has loose stool and diarrhea.  Not the wet kind of diarrhea that can lead to dehydration quickly; he has thick, soft serve (sorry for the graphic description) poop that started Sunday and slowly improved over the week (he had solid poop on Wednesday).  After six years of feeding a raw food diet, diarrhea doesn’t freak me out unless it’s explosive diarrhea, which brings a risk of dehydration quickly (and it's gross; that sound, yuck).  Some soft stool here and there is going to happen and it’s not the end of the world.

I look at diarrhea as the body trying to get rid of something quickly, but I still pay attention.  If the diarrhea lasts for more than a couple of days, I switch the dog (in this case, Rodrigo) to a bland diet of chicken and rice (recipe below) to allow their inflamed gut to settle down and relax.

Chicken and Rice Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4-8 boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 cups of brown rice

Directions:

  • Add brown rice and chicken (add rice first) to your pressure cooker; no need to add water because it'll come from the chicken.
  • Cook for 2 hours, allow to sit for 30 minutes.
  • Mix chicken and rice, tearing chicken as you mix.
  • Allow to cool.

I feed my dogs based on weight. Rodrigo eats 15 ounces per meal, so I add 15 ounces of this mixture to his bowl. I don't worry about the nutrients because this is a bland meal to help his gut relax.

You can also fast your dog to give the gut a break; I choose not to do this because I feel badly that the other dogs are eating.

Why this is a Biased Review

When I do a product review, I use “bias” in the title because I’ve been accused of being biased.  After giving it some thought, I realized that “Yes! I am biased.”  These are my dogs (my babies) and I am trying to keep them as healthy as possible so I’m going to be a bit biased about the products I purchase for them. Despite my bias, I am always honest because I know first hand that raising dogs can be expensive and I'm not going to encourage you to buy a product if it's not worth the investment.

Sensitivities vs. Allergies with Dogs

Before I jump into the review, I want to explain the difference between sensitivities and allergies.  We often use the terms interchangeably, but there is a big difference.

With a Sensitivity (or an Intolerance), the gut reacts and this is when our dogs have gas, loose stool, or diarrhea.  With an Allergy, the immune system reacts and that’s when we see hives, rashes, and itchy skin.  Rodrigo has several food sensitivities that result in digestive upset and he lives with environmental allergies that result in itchy paws.

Glacier Peak Holistics Sensitivity Testing Review

Out of all of our dogs, Rodrigo is the only one that has a list of issues with food and environment that cause me to make adjustments to diet.  I’ve always wanted to have him tested but didn’t think it was worth the expense since I’m pretty confident about his list of triggers.  However, my curiosity got the better of me and I purchased a test, swabbed his cheeks, and sent it back and awaited the results (which came quickly).

Glacier Peak Holistics provides a complete report that highlights the pet’s triggers. There were many things on the report that weren't surprising, and a few things that were eye-opening.

For instance, Rodrigo has an intolerance for grains – yep, not surprised.  Carrots, pine trees, and chicken eggs also land on this list of his sensitivities/allergens – shocker!

All in all, I found the results to be eye-opening, although overwhelming.  I can understand the people who complain that their dog is allergic to everything after receiving this test.  What kept me from being discouraged was a follow-up consultation with someone from Glacier Peak Holistics, who took the time to go over all of the results and answer my questions. The best part was that the rep followed up with me in a week with more information (for the questions she didn’t have answers for during our call).

Pros of the Glacier Peak Holistics Sensitivity Test

What I appreciate about the test is that I now have a clear understanding of what is triggering my dog.  One of the benefits of feeding a raw food diet is that I can control the ingredients in Rodrigo’s bowl.  And while I feel that I have his diet close to perfect there are still triggers that impact his gut and this test helped me narrow down that list so that I can make immediate adjustments. 

Sensitivities Can Change Over Time

I also learned that adding an ingredient to my dogs' diet daily can result in a growing sensitivity over time.  I knew this for myself because as a child, I developed an allergy to shellfish after only eating crab on a vacation.  The same happened to me with melons, cherries, and sunflower seeds.  I’ve read this can happen to dogs too, but never gave it much thought until I was reading the results of the test.  The good news is that just like with many of the foods I developed an allergy or intolerance to, the reaction may eventually decline or go away (I still can't eat cherries). 

On Rodrigo’s test, he came back with a sensitivity to oysters (which I add for zinc) and carrots (I add Olewo carrots to soothe his gut).  I was advised to alternate the oysters with another source of zinc and not to use the Olewo carrots daily.

No Need to Panic About Things We Can’t Change

I was bummed about seeing pine trees on the list.  We live in the Pacific Northwest and have been planting 10-20 pine trees a year to replace the trees that came down (or posed a hazard) after storms.  And now I learn my dog is allergic to pine trees?  Yikes! 

No need to panic. 

When it comes to things we can’t change, there are solutions.  Glacier Peak Holistics offers supplement recommendations to help boost our dogs’ immune system so that they can continue to live a healthy life.  BUT THEY DON'T DO A SALES PITCH, FOLKS!!!

Glacier Peak Holistics has their own line of supplements, but there is NO hard sell.  If you want to purchase their supplements, they’ll help you choose the right combination, but there is no pressure to buy their supplements.  Sorry that I keep repeating this, but I was impressed. The test comes back with recommendations of general supplements allowing us to choose a brand that we like.

The test results, follow-up consultation, and lack of a sales pitch made test well worth the investment to me.

To order a test for your dog, visit Glacier Peak Holistics Today!

Cons of the Glacier Peak Holistics Sensitivity Test

This isn't really a “con,” it's more of an FYI if you choose to have this test.

There were some things that the test combined that I don’t think should be combined.  For instance, chicken and eggs shouldn’t be on the same line.  A dog can have a sensitivity to chicken and do well on chicken eggs.  Pheasant and quail shouldn’t be combined either, these are two different animals.  Rodrigo has trouble with chicken, turkey, and pheasant; however, he does great on duck and quail.

That being said, combining these foods may make sense for most dogs and just not my dogs. I don’t know. I add this to the “con” side only because it can be confusing.

To order a test for your dog, visit Glacier Peak Holistics Today!

Warning About Sensitivity Tests for Dogs

This year, I invested in a lot of tests for my dogs:

As I've been writing up reviews for all of these tests, one thing came to mind that I want to address here. Please do not use any of these tests to diagnose your dog or in place of a veterinarian visit. If you're concerned about a health issue, speak to your veterinarian before investing in one of these tests. I say this because the results can make you panic. Your veterinarian can compare the results with the health history of your dog and help you take the proper steps. Or your veterinarian can make a recommendation that will make the test unnecessary. Keep your vet in the loop.

Don't have a veterinarian who will help you with these tests? My friend, Dr. Laurie Coger, offers holistic pet consultations. She has over 20 years of experience as a holistic veterinarian, graduated from Cornell University, and has decades of experience feeding a raw diet to dogs.

To order a test for your dog, visit Glacier Peak Holistics Today!

Rodrigo's Sensitivities List

The following is a condensed list of Rodrigo's sensitivities. I'm only including foods and other items that he would be exposed to…

  • PROTEIN: goat, chicken, pheasant
  • FISH: mackerel, pollock, shellfish
  • LEGUMES: peanuts
  • VEGETABLES: brussel sprouts, carrots
  • GRAINS: the entire list was highlighted, including white and brown rice
  • DAIRY: cheese, cottage cheese, whey, yogurt
  • FRUIT: bananas, cranberries, dates, honeydew melon
  • NUTS/SEEDS: almonds
  • SPICES: coriander, nutmeg
  • OTHER: casein, carob, gluten, malt, molasses, tapioca

To order a test for your dog, visit Glacier Peak Holistics Today!

Disclaimer: I WAS NOT compensated in any way for this review. I purchased the test from my own budget.

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