Friday, August 17, 2007

PRODUCT REVIEW: Dinovite, a dietary supplement for dogs

The day the vet told me that both of my dogs were allergic to flea bites, I felt that I had been singled out for a great hearty joke played by Mother Nature. How could dogs be allergic to fleas? Don't dogs and fleas go together like peanut butter and jelly? Like Martin and Lewis?

Or maybe more like Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock.

But anyway. The vet assured me that the most common canine allergy is to flea bites. The flea bites cause a reaction that is manifested by constant scratching, biting, chewing, digging, rolling and general malaise. Wimzie, whose skin is more sensitive than Hershey's, generally gnaws all the hair off her hind legs and her girl parts and just looks defeated and miserable: Her button-bright eyes get dull, she drags along on her walks -- usually the joy of her day -- with no energy and her personality becomes notably more unpleasant. I can't really blame her for being short-tempered. It would be awful to itch and itch and itch all the time.

Before this July, the only thing we could do to stop the scratching, digging and biting was dose the dogs with prednisilone, the canine version of the steroid prednisone. I absolutely hated giving her those pills. The side effects in dogs are generally the same as they are in humans and I know people who have been knocked cock-a-hoop by taking prednisone for various ailments (most notably my friend Martha and my grandpa, both of whom used predisone for their fibromyalgia.)

The steroids worked, but at what price?

And speaking of price, they weren't cheap. Wimzie's medication was costing almost as much per month as a medication that I take. Only I have health insurance and she doesn't.

Other than the pills, the only therapy the vet could offer was a cortisone spray meant for "hot spots," which are random places with a super-itch where a dog can bite in one spot until she bleeds. This spray was about as effective as spritzing her with the morning dew. It did nothing to alleviate the itch. All while costing a pretty penny; $12 for a tiny spray bottle. Between the two dogs, we could have easily used four of those bottles a month.

Since moving to this house where we have no yard, our dogs don't suffer as much from flea trouble as they used to when they had an enormous suburban yard to run around in. Back then, we bought Frontline or whatever that stuff is called. It does stop the fleas from breeding and infesting the house, but it doesn't stop them from biting. And biting is the problem.

But still we have the biting. Scratching. Digging.

I listen to talk radio a lot and in the past few months, I've been hearing a commercial for a product called "Dinovite".The claim is that this product will stop all the above symptoms by improving the dog's diet with minerals, digestive enzymes, vitamins, etc. The spokesperson relates that dog food is cooked in the factories at very high temperatures and that all the good stuff is zapped out of it. This is all stuff I can understand, but I don't really "get" how all that is supposed to stop dogs from being allergic to flea bites, so whatever.

I started doing some online research, going to the Dinovite website and also doing searches of product information and consumer reviews. I felt that I was reading a lot of positive things and frankly, it unwinds me so much to see my pets so miserable that I was willing to try a little snake oil if I had to.

So I bought the smallest size available, which was about a three week supply for both of our dogs. The website made the h-u-g-e disclaimer that I'd have to wait for three months to see the full benefits of Dinovite, which I cynically felt was long enough for the manufacturer to soak me and a bunch of other rubes for $90 each and then peacefully retire to the country to grow cantaloupes.


Our container of Dinovite arrived while the girls were still vacationing at the lake. I was anxious to see what this stuff was all about and I opened it, finding a dark greyish-brown powder, slightly grainy in appearance, that actually smelled very pleasant.* Like brewer's yeast. I was surprised, because frankly, I thought it was going to smell like road kill.

The instructions said to sprinkle it directly on the dogs' dry food, four tablespoons a day for Hershey and one-and-one-half tablespoons a day for Wimzie. I gave it to them like that and both of them backed away from their food bowls with accusatory looks, as if I'd just given their kibble a dusting with Barkeeper's Friend.

I'd read something on the website about using beef broth to moisten the Dinovite and the dog food and tried that; Hershey ate it happily, but Wimzie (the dog that I was most interested in seeing ingest this wonder product) stalked off in a huff and went behind the couch, refusing to come out even for cheese.

Cheese! Cheese might work, I thought. So I sprinkled some shredded cheese on her bowl of kibble, Dinovite and beef broth and set it on the floor. She came running as if she just knew, the little brat, and gobbled down the whole bowlful, looking up at me soulfully afterwards. I rolled my eyes at her and left her trying to lick the glaze off her ceramic dish.

The dogs have been eating the stated amount of Dinovite since the first week of August, and although there is still some scratching and biting, it has dramatically decreased. DRAMATICALLY. For the past two years, Wimzie's hind legs and bottom have been denuded of hair by this time in August, yet her her little rear is still furry. Hershey has completely stopped rolling on the floors, trying in vain to scratch his poor back. There is still some scratching and biting, but after not-quite-three weeks, there has been an amazing improvement.

The Dinovite seems to be working. It is working and it is NOT costing as much as the prednisilone that I hated to give them. I am cautiously ecstatic. Wimzie's eyes are still bright and she has energy and an appetite and she obviously isn't suffering from her "summer complaint" as much as she has in the past. And as an added bonus, her breath isn't bad anymore. And considering that her pre-Dinovite breath could fell an ox at thirty paces, that is kind of a big deal.

I think I may be onto a good thing.

*Dinovite details (courtesy of ; scroll down)

Dinovite Canine is a nutritional supplement designed to promote
your dogs good health. Dinovite Canine is a coarse powder, the consistency of
ground pepper or coffee, made from all natural ingredients including: omega 3
fatty acids, trace minerals, antioxidants, digestive enzymes, spirulina,
diatomaceous earth, montmorillonite clay, zinc and beneficial bacterial

Ingredients: Ground flax, kelp meal
(Ascophyllum nodosum), yeast culture, ground grain sorghum, diatomaceous earth,
zinc methionine, montmorillonite clay, yucca schidigera, alfalfa meal,
spirulina, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation
product dehydrated, Lactobacillus casei fermentation product dehydrated, Bifido
bacterium bifidium fermentation product dehydrated, Streptococcus faecium
fermentation product dehydrated, Aspergillus oryzae fermentation product
dehydrated, zinc sulfate, vitamin E, folic acid, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12.

Recommended dosage is 1 to 2 tablespoons of Dinovite per cup of dog food
fed to your dog.


TS said...

Great review on Dinovite. I am glad your dogs have gotten better. I lost my dog Shasta and did a great deal of research regarding diets. I found that all but one brand have meat by-products and corn, wheat, and soy glutens. This product is called Blue Buffalo. My new dogs are super healthy and have zero signs of allergies.

bh1980 said...

Great review! I was searching for info on Dinovite and came across your blog. I, like TS above, also did a LOT of research on dog food and switched my pup to Blue Buffalo last year. I highly suggest it for dogs with allergies. Its great stuff!

Blahsay said...

I was having the same problem with one of my dogs. He was costing us a great deal in vet bills yearly and we were considering having to have him put down...tearfully. His allergy isn't to fleas, but the vet hasn't been able to figure out what as yet, but feels the basis is a compromised immune system. Anyway...the dinovite has really worked well. He has had the fewest vet visits since being on the dinovite (2 years now) seems the makers of dinovite are now getting greedy, the price has jumped dramatically in the past few months. The bucket that was costing me $80.00 for him, now jumped to $118.00.. plus shipping. I'm now searching for a reasonable alternate to the dinovite.

Alane said...

My son and daughter in law adopted a rescued dog, Levi, that, after months of costly vet visits and misery (scratching, biting, etc), they took to a dog dermatologist and found out he has allergies of all sorts. Since your Dinovite review was posted in 2007, I wondered if you're still using the product?

Alane said...

Forgot to check that you can e-mail your follow-up comments to me! BTW, I, too, am a horrible housekeeper, kill indoor plants (although my gardens outside are flourishing!), and I'm a nightowl! I grew up in NW Ohio (Defiance), but now live in Georgia

Lover of Dogs and all things Natural said...

I use Dinovite for all the reasons stated. My dog was itching all nite long, keeping me up. He stunk even after a bath. He shed so much I thought I could start a dog hair business knitting scarves or something. YUCK! But, we've been on Dinovite for over a year now and WOW, WOW, WOW is all I can say. Now I don't have to spend money at my vet for crap that doesn't work. Instead I invest in Dinovite stuff. I use a few of their products, the powder supplement plus an omega 3 Lickochops supplement and now I use the shampoo and give it away to friends for their dog's birthdays, christmas, etc.

I don't think it's too expensive. I have a big dog and of course, everything we buy for him has to be supersized, including the dog food. I buy a good dog food and dinovite stuff. That's about all I have to buy for the dog. ANd, I added up my vet bills from 2007 vs. what I spent on dinovite for 2008 and I saved over $300 for the year. Plus the vet filled my dog full of stuff that didn't even work for him. and the dinovite has worked great! And, the omega 3 comes free with the powder. I love it and LOVE the people there. Can't say enough good stuff about this!!!! Just go try it yourself and you will see!

Melissa's Pictures said...

I ran across your blog when searching for information on Dinovite. Thank you... I see improvement in our Beagle in just a week. Drastic improvement!

AquariumFish said...

Honestly dinovite works depending on your dogs problems and current diet. It's not a "miracle powder" but has helped many dog owners over the years increase the overall health of their pets.

The problem is usually the dog's food. Basically, dog food has had the life cooked out of it. Dry and canned dog foods are subjected to extreme heat in the production process. This heat destroys or seriously damages the digestive enzymes, beneficial vitamins and fragile nutrients every dog needs to maintain good health and a strong immune system. A dog's "good health" is always running at a deficit because his diet is full of deficiencies. These deficiencies or gaps cause real issues with your dog's digestive tract and immune system. Over time, these issues in your dog's body can show up as symptoms such as itchy red skin, hot spots, ear infections, excess shedding, dull coat, allergies, funky odors, and on and on. Dinovite helps fill these nutritional gaps.

Here's where I buy mine: