For 15 years, from 2006 to 2021 our family owned and operated a dog food store. A constant stream of dogs came through our store with allergies, yeast infections, digestion problems, skin problems, excessive scratching, and other conditions that required constant trips to the veterinarian.


Our customers repeatedly tried the solutions suggested by their veterinarian with little or no success. Relief was temporary at best.

The underlying cause of the problems was unknown and the solutions were basically aimed at alleviating the symptoms through the use of steroids and antibiotics which, over time, made matters worse.

The poor dogs were miserable, their families were frustrated with the situation, and I finally realized the symptoms were similar to those produced by Leaky Gut, a condition not widely understood or even acknowledged at the time, but one that I had personal experience with.



See the Blog article on Leaky Gut Syndrome in Dogs



I knew of Leaky Gut first hand because I had it myself some years before and recognized the symptoms in the dogs. The doctor who correctly diagnosed it in me was ahead of her time. The half dozen doctors I had seen over the years before her had no idea what the problem was and just gave me antibiotics which increased the Dysbiosis (imbalance of bacteria in the gut) that is one of the main causes of Leaky Gut to begin with, and the symptoms continued to get worse.

 She also accurately diagnosed me with Systemic Candida, a condition caused by Leaky Gut that usually accompanies it. The Candida Albicans yeast/fungus, present in every colon, leaks through the porous gut wall (Leaky Gut) into the blood stream and, fed by sugar from high glycemic carbs, becomes a fungus that spreads throughout the body.

The doctor put me on a strict diet of no grain, bread, potatoes, high glycemic carbohydrates, sugar, or anything with sugar in it and 6 months later I was a new man.

 Many of the dogs coming through our store had the same symptoms that had plagued me and I ran some initial feeding trials with grain-free food that was just coming on the market at the time. It helped a little but not for long because the grain was being replaced with white potatoes and sweet potatoes, so the symptoms returned.


Knowing what had worked for me, we sought out an animal nutritionist and were incredibly fortunate to find one with a Ph.D in gut biology, and decades of experience.

 We told him we wanted to make a kibble dog food to heal Leaky Gut and prevent it from developing in the future, that would be the healthiest, most nutritious kibble dog food possible.

 He had worked for 35 years formulating dog food, run numerous clinical research projects on dog nutrition, and had worked for nearly every major dog food manufacturer in the country and never once had he been asked to make a dog food better, much less make it the best it could possibly be.

 He was excited for the opportunity to manifest the full potential of his considerable experience and knowledge in nutrition and gut biology to design a kibble dog food that would do so much good. At one point, on a road trip to inspect a plant to produce our food, he spent two hours explaining how important it was to balance the nutrients to each other and to the whole, something no other dog food he was aware of had ever gone to the trouble and expense to do, and said if we would do that, along with using the healthiest whole food ingredients, we would achieve our goal.


Look for a dog food that comes as close as possible to the formulas we have used successfully to heal Leaky Gut and Systemic Candida for the last 15 years.


The solution on a dry matter basis has the following characteristics:

Protein 34% to 40% - (over 90% animal sourced protein, as opposed to vegetable protein)

Fat 16% to18% - Equal amount of calories for Fat (@ 9 calories/gm) and Protein @ 4 calories/gm.

                    Fat @ 18% x 9 = 162 calories

                           Protein @ 40% x 4 = 160 calories

Carbs 34% or less- Low glycemic carbs (Tapioca from Cassava root), peas, etc

Whole Cell Algae dried - pure source of Omega 3 DHA

Protected Encapsulated Probiotics (normal probiotics do not survive)

Long Chain Prebiotics (only feed the good bacteria, not the bad)

Digestive Enzymes (help ensure complete digestion and nutrient absorption, and help prevent allergies from forming until Leaky Gut is healed).

NO Ethoxyquin, chemical preservatives. or coloring

Only natural preservatives - Vitamin E, Rosemary Extract, and Green Tea Extract

Nutrients meticulously balanced to each other (probably not available).

NO grain, white potato, sweet potato, high-glycemic carbs, or sugar in any form. 

In 2008 we brought home the first batch of this dog food and began an informal feeding trial with a few dozen customers that quickly grew into a few hundred.


There is usually an immediate improvement in the symptoms within a couple weeks; and another level of improvement as Leaky Gut heals and the gut lining no longer allows fecal matter and partially digested protein to leak into the blood stream, triggering an immune response similar to an allergic reaction.

 An additional level of health and vitality is restored as the mucosal lining on the inside of the gut wall is regenerated and restored to full function, since 80% of the immune system is generated in the mucosal lining.

Over the next 3 to 6 months the Candida Fungus in the blood stream dies off in stages due to lack of sugar from high-glycemic carbs to feed it. Eventually the Systemic Candida is so weak, the restored immune system is able to completely remove it  from the blood stream, and full health is restored. 

Our customers were thrilled to see their dogs return to robust health and while shopping would often tell other customers how it had restored their dog to health and within 6 months we were selling more of it than all the other dog food in the store combined.

It has been fifteen years since we introduced the Brothers line of dog food. The formulas have not been changed and the theory that "diet is the cause - diet is the solution" has stood the test of time.

The theory that dogs are omnivores that are capable of eating any amount of carbohydrates and remain healthy has not.


It has been twenty five years since I was diagnosed and recovered from Leaky Gut and I don’t think the doctors are much further along in understanding it; and, as a consequence, sadly, neither are most of our Veterinarians. Hopefully some intrepid Vets will lead the way and begin treating it with a diet that has been proven effective over the last fifteen years. The Cause is Diet - The solution is diet.

The following is content quoted from an article that was just published in Web MD Feb 20, 2022. See Footnotes.

Leaky Gut Syndrome: What Is It?

“From an MD’s standpoint, it’s a very gray area,” says gastroenterologist Donald Kirby, MD, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the Cleveland Clinic. “Physicians don’t know enough about the gut, which is our biggest immune system organ.”

"Leaky gut syndrome" isn't a diagnosis taught in medical school. Instead, "leaky gut really means you’ve got a diagnosis that still needs to be made,” Kirby says. “You hope that your doctor is a good-enough Sherlock Holmes, but sometimes it is very hard to make a diagnosis.”

“We don’t know a lot, but we know that it exists,” says Linda A. Lee, MD, a gastroenterologist and director of the Johns Hopkins Integrative Medicine and Digestive Center.

“In the absence of evidence, we don’t know what it means or what therapies can directly address it.”

“Diet likely plays a big role in having a leaky gut, Lee and Kirby agree. So if you have symptoms of leaky gut, you would do well to see a gastroenterologist who is also trained in nutrition."

                       - END OF EXCERPTS FROM THE ARTICLE -


I have always been fascinated by the world and curious to understand it. Theories are great, and many of them turn out to be true, but I like to check them against empirical evidence in the form of observable reality whenever possible to see if real world results confirm the theory, or diverge from it.

There is a theory, originally generated by billion dollar dog food companies whose interests it serves, that domesticated dogs have evolved from carnivores into omnivores, as a result of hanging around people and eating their food for a couple thousand years. They are specifically referring to dogs being able to eat carbohydrates, like the kind they are filling dog food with these days.

 Most families that fed their dogs over the last thousand or so years were probably sensible enough to give them meat and bone scraps, as our family of did with our dogs, under the direction of my sensible Missouri born mother.

 My point is that dogs were probably not fed carbohydrates like the ones being put into dog food these days, over the last thousand years, so it is not likely that they have evolved into omnivores based on that theory.

They have adapted a little over the years and their ability to produce the enzyme Amylase (that breaks down carbohydrates) has increased slightly but that does not mean that the other energy pathways and biological functions involved have adapted as quickly, if at all.

Feeding dogs high glycemic carbohydrates did not really start in earnest until after World War II when food manufacturers found themselves with a huge surplus of grain from the war effort and decided dog food would be a good place to use it up.

That is hardly enough time for Mother Nature to change a carnivore into an omnivore, capable of eating carbohydrates like people.

It is probably accurate to classify dogs as Facultative Carnivores since they do have the capacity to eat something other than meat and fat, but the fact remains that the diet they are designed to thrive on is predominantly animal sourced protein and fat.

It is one thing to say that a dog can metabolize a few carbohydrates and yet another to say it is healthy for their diet to contain 46% to 74% carbohydrates, which is the trend in dog food these days.

Mother Nature gave dogs a sense of smell to guide them regarding what they should eat, which is why the grain and potato in dog food is flavored to smell and taste like meat. Offer a dog grain and potato in its natural form and they will sniff it and leave it, which tells you what Mother Nature recommends they eat.


Some of the problems associated with Leaky Gut and Systemic Candida can be caused by other situations but in the vast majority of cases after three to six months on Brothers Dog Food everything listed below was usually resolved. That is a major claim but it is our actual experience with hundreds of dogs over the years.

What I said earlier bears repeating:

It has been fifteen years since we introduced the Brothers line of dog food. The formulas have not been changed at all and have resolved Leaky Gut and Systemic Candida 100% of the time when followed as suggested (not feeding the dog any high-glycemic carbs or sugar in any form).

The theory "diet is the cause - diet is the solution" has stood the test of time.

The theory that dogs are omnivores and can eat any amount of high-glycemic carbohydrates and remain healthy has not.




 Dry itchy skin, Constant scratching

 Licking and gnawing of paws

 Yeasty ears, Ear infections

 Dry hair, Hair loss, Hot spots

 Red irritated skin, hives

 Weepy eyes, staining

 Dull, Brittle hair

 Lack of energy, Listless



 Joint pain



 Excessive shedding

 Butt scooting, itchy butt

 Hazy, cloudy eyes

 Stomach upset

Written February 2, 2023

by Richard S Darlington, CEO

Brothers Dog Food, LLC


WebMD, Online, Digestive Disorders, Feature Stories. Leaky Gut Syndrome: What Is It? 



HEALING LEAKY GUT SYNDROME IN DOGS https://brothersdogfood.com/blogs/blog/healing-leaky-gut-syndrome-in-dogs

Leaky Gut Syndrome in Dogs https://brothersdogfood.com/blogs/blog/leaky-gut-in-dogs

FOOD ALLERGIES Caused by Leaky Gut 


Probiotics and Beneficial Bacteria in Dog Food




[1] Less is more? Ultra-low carbohydrate diet and working dogs' performance


[2] Altered Immunity & Leaky Gut Syndrome

Dr Zoltan P Rona MD, MAc



In vitro fermentation and prebiotic potential of pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.) flour


[4] Dogs Naturally Magazine


[5] Wiley Online Library

Cassava-enriched diet is not diabetogenic rather it aggravates diabetes in rats.


 [6] Dog Food Advisor

Are High Protein diets good for overweight dogs?


 Dog Food Advisor

Best Dog Foods for Weight Loss


 Dog Food Advisor

Best Dog Foods for Allergy