Just like humans suffer from food allergies, dogs also suffer from food allergies. Usually, when a dog is allergic to certain foods, it indicates that its immune system has identified that the specific food is allergic or harmful. While on the course, the defensive antibodies within the host body will attack the invading particle, and this immune mechanism will make your dog to become sick. Nearly, 10 percent of dogs are suffering from food allergy at some point. Moreover, they are difficult to identify first, but once, it has identified, it would be very easy to treat.
Difference between Food Allergies and Food Intolerances in Dogs
Usually, dogs might get vomit or suffer from diarrhea for a while, at the moment they ate food that is allergic, such as dairy products. And many pets have suffered with food intolerance, which means, a kind of heartburn or indigestion immediately after eating a spicy food, just as experienced by humans. Since, this condition can be uncomfortable, hence, it is better for a dog to stay away from these kinds of foods that causing allergies and as well as the one which is intolerant to their digestive system.
If dogs might have happened to eat a food, which can cause allergic to them, then they will undergo some common symptoms such as rashes on their skin. Sometimes, if a dog has prone to be allergic, then most probably they had been inherited with a certain kind of genetic pre-disposition to acquire those allergies.
Difference between Cause and Triggers
Usually, many pet parents have said that eggs can cause allergies in their pet, but, actually eggs are the triggers. But the most common reasons for allergies in dogs are inheriting allergies and environmental allergies. Meanwhile, given antibiotics at the younger age of dogs can even be one of the main causes of food allergy, because, in this case, those antibiotics might have destroyed the bacterial flora in the digestive organs, which is consider as the largest immune system of the body.
Some of the most common food allergy triggers in dogs are
- Dairy products.
- Chicken eggs.
Unfortunately, in many of the dog’s food these common triggers are playing a crucial part. Hence, to avoid these conditions such as intolerance or an allergy, then dogs are need to be offered with rice along with some other favourable foods. Moreover, make use of the availability of hypoallergenic dog foods, which doesn’t include these allergy triggers.
Symptoms of Dog Food Allergies
Food allergy symptoms in dogs is also similar to the allergic reactions of others causes, so, your dog may experience, itchy skin on the face, ears, feet, armpits, forelegs and the anus. Hence, in order to relieve from itching, usually, dogs will move their head up and down against any rough surface or any furniture to scratch. Sometimes, severe scratching leads to irritation and discoloured skin. Moreover, often it leaves bald patches on the skin. Meanwhile, other symptoms which includes:
- Chronic ear infections.
- Hot spots on the skin.
- Hair loss.
- Excessive scratching.
- Increased amount of bowel movements, usually up to 5 a day.
- Yeast infections.
- Severe skin problems, especially in puppies.
- Skin infections may respond to antibiotics, but, again appears, once the antibiotics are stopped.
Diagnosing Food Allergies in Dogs
In order to analyse whether the allergy is caused by a food or atopy or flea bites or intestinal parasites sensitivity, then the dog should be engaged in a food trail. Typically, this trail will last up to 12 weeks, where the dogs are been offered with variety of protein and carbohydrate foods that they never had before, which is called as novel diet. So, you can easily figure out the combinations, which have been found to be hypoallergenic for dogs.
During a food trail, your dog is not given with anything other than the trail food. This also includes no treats, no flavoured medication, and no chewable toys. Despite everything, it is advisable, while on a dog food trial, the dog should be kept out of the room during mealtime. Because, even eating a small scrap that falls out of the table can be more enough to spoil the food trial and thus will make the results to go useless.
After the 12 weeks of the food trial, the dog will be offered with regular diet. Perhaps, again if you look for any of the symptoms of a food allergy, now making the proper diagnosis would have been easier.
Treating Food Allergies in Dogs
Treating food allergies is rather easy in dogs than diagnosing them, because, you can completely avoid the food stuff that cause allergies. In general, a vet may prescribe antihistamines, fatty acids and steroids, when the dog is suffering from an irritated skin and other allergic symptoms. But the reactions will get stop only after the food is kept away from the dog completely.
Similarly, avoiding commercially available dog foods are also recommended, because, these kinds of foods would also be the real cause of allergies in dogs. Hence, it is better to opt for homemade food for providing pets. For that, you can start offering with a very mild diet and gradually add other nutritious ingredients for the dog, in order to make it more balanced as well as appetizing. Remember, while adding extra supplements to your dog diet, you should consult with your vet prior making their meals even more nutritious.
Dog food allergies are common for any breeds, hence, and it will show up at any time. Hence, if you suspect for any allergies in your dog, it is vital to take them to the vet immediately. Even though, the allergies aren’t life-threatening in any way, but, eliminating certain allergy causing foods in their diet will help them to lead a healthier and happier life.
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