Is your pet pooch scratching and itching itself? Does it have a poor coat quality and does it suffer from frequent ear infections? What you’re feeding your beloved dog could be adding to its distress if you don’t know what he or she is allergic to. Today, food allergies are a rising common concern among dog owners, with more and more dogs seeming to suffer from them. Here’s all you need to know about dog food allergies:
Sometimes, allergies are a genetic problem, and when they are triggered, it is because the dog is exposed to the allergen in some or the other way. Some of the common allergens include fish, rabbit, pork, soy, lamb, chicken, egg, wheat, dairy, and beef. Usually, dogs are allergic to more than one of the above. Allergies are caused due to multiple factors, including genetic predisposition, environment, whatever the immune system is exposed to when the dog is a puppy.
Dog breeds and allergies
There are certain breeds that are more prone to food allergies. However, it also differs from country to country, or even different regions in the same country. According to research, breeds that are more commonly affected are Cocker Spaniel, Dachshund, German Shepherds, and Retrievers.
Diagnosing food allergies
The only method to diagnose food allergies in dogs accurately is via an elimination challenge and diet. The dog needs to be taken off of all the food it was eating and needs to be put on a diet it has never had before. Once the dog’s health improves, begin reintroducing the old foods which could have caused the allergies earlier. If the dog suffers from a reaction, then you will know that it has a food allergy. Other specific testing methods include testing a discharge sample from the ears or skin testing.
Treating dogs with food allergies
Changing food habits via the elimination diet is one way to get rid of a dog’s food allergies. Cooked diets are great because you know the ingredients you include in the dish. However, in such cases, the dog could be starved of many important supplements. When it comes to raw diets, every dog’s requirement is different. So, the best way is to single out the food the dog is eating and figure out a way to change its diet.
Sudden food allergies
There are chances that your dog could suddenly develop a food allergy to something that it’s been eating for years with no problems. Dogs need to be sensitized to food, and that cannot happen overnight; it requires three to four months. If the elimination diet improves the dog’s clinical signs and health, then doctors recommend rotating the diets every two to three months.
Avoiding food allergies
In the end, food allergies cannot be prevented. Vets will tell you to provide a diet to your dog with a healthy amount of nutrition. With a natural rotation in food, the dog’s gut health can be maintained.