Food allergies can make your dog’s life harder. This information will help you identify, treat and prevent food allergies for your dog.
Dogs can be allergic to a myriad of things, just like humans. We will explore in this article the types of allergies your four-legged friend can have, and how to treat them.
Many of the allergies that dogs have are due to the food they ingest. The symptoms may vary from ear inflammation, chronic diarrhea, to itching their paws. Unlike humans, dog allergies are genetic, and triggering them is based on exposure to the thing they are intolerant to. Unfortunately, most dogs are allergic to more than just one thing, and some of these are wheat, eggs, beef, dairy, and so on.
Differences between allergies and intolerances
It is essential to keep in mind that food allergies are different from food intolerances. Food intolerances are the result of poor digestion, which comes from a missing enzyme needed to digest an ingredient. Food allergies, on the other hand, causes the dog’s immune system to over-respond to a particular protein.
Also, some breeds are more prone to allergies than others, like retrievers or German shepherds.
How to tell whether it is an allergy or not?
When it comes to determining whether or not the dog has a food allergy or a different kind of problem, the process is fairly easy. The owner must take the dog off the food he is currently having and put him on a new diet. When the symptoms stop showing, the dog must be gradually put back on his old food diet to spot the ingredient that is triggering the allergies. This process usually takes a few days. Other methods of determining allergies are faces and skin samples for testing.
Prevention and treatment
While there is not much we can do to prevent allergies; we can help our dog to have a healthy mucosal barrier. The digestive tract is the path where the allergenic factor is absorbed into the dog’s system. If a protein penetrates the gut’s defence, the body’s immune system attacks it and treats it as a problem, creating a hypersensitivity. Every time the dog ingests the protein, the immune system reacts more and more, producing visible symptoms of the food allergy.
Identifying the source of the allergy
When it comes to finding the right food for a dog with skin problems caused by allergies, there are different solutions that one can try.
The first and most common method is to try different foods that contain different proteins to rule them out one by one. It is essential to give the diet at least a month to determine the right one correctly. Regular trips to the vet are also important to see how the skin progresses.
Recommended diets for sensitive dogs
When searching for food for this diet, look for the ones that contain real meat and are of high quality. Also, it is crucial to avoid giving the dog treats during the trial period.
Hypoallergenic dog food is also one to try for sensitive dogs, as the containing proteins are broken down into very small bits that won’t affect the dog’s immune system.
Things to remember: Always avoid foods that contain wheat; choose foods that mimic a dog’s natural food in the wilderness; proteins from chickens, salmons, and ducks are the most suitable for an allergic dog.