Dogs with Food Allergies:
Wheezing, coughing, sniffling, stuffy head. Humans get allergies, as do dogs. The most common symptom of a dog’s allergy is itching of the skin. While the respiratory tract can be impacted by coughing, sneezing or wheezing, the dog’s eyes and nose may also develop a discharge.
So how do you know if your dog is among the twenty percent of dogs in the US with an allergy? Whether it’s a food allergy, flea allergy, inhalant allergy, contact allergy, or bacterial allergy, the easiest one to detect is a food allergy.
Dogs, like people, can develop a sensitivity to food or additives at any time which could quickly result into a food allergy. The most common ingredients than can cause problems for a dog’s food allergy include beef, chicken, corn, eggs, and fish. (Click here to read more about bad dog food.) Among the common symptoms to determine if your dog has a food allergy? Itchy skin, in addition to asthma-like symptoms, behavioral changes, diarrhea, seizures, sneezing, and vomiting. If you detect peculiar behavior and think your dog might be allergic to specific food, consult with your veterinarian.
If the diet is determined to be the cause of your dog’s allergy, it’s time to start an elimination diet. This means eliminating all the food’s in your dog’s diet, such as beef, chicken, corn, eggs, and fish and feeding your dog a new diet consisting of ingredients the dog has never eaten before. For instance, this would be an appropriate time to introduce a raw food diet if he currently does not eat raw food. (Click here to read more about switching to BARF). Not only to reduce the allergens in your dog’s current diet, a raw diet increases the health, well-being, longevity, and reproductive capacity. A raw dog food diet may also minimize trips to the vet.
Whatever food you choose for your dog, it should be the only food the dog ingests during the elimination period. Essentially, eliminate the table scraps, dog biscuits, dog bones, rawhide chews, vitamins, minerals or chewable heartworm pills.
During this elimination period of your dog’s food allergies, if your dog’s symptoms improve during the elimination period, then you can slowly reintroduce each of the eliminated foods, one at a time. Each reintroduced food should be tested for about a week before another one is introduced in order to isolate your dog’s food allergy. This will help determine which foods may be causing problems if symptoms resurface as it relates to your dog’s food allergy. However, once the symptomatic food is discovered, besides eliminating it from your dog’s diet going forward, reading dog food labels going forward should help keep that particular ingredient omitted from your dog’s daily diet.
And keep in mind, even if you suspect your dog may have a food allergy, always consult with your veterinarian for input and diagnosis. At The Dog Bowl, nothing is more important than your pets’ health and well being. For more information about dog food products and to shop our online storefront click here.