Food allergies in dogs
Any breed of dog at any age can develop allergies. Itchy skin, excessive licking, scratching, vomit and diarrhea are common symptoms of allergies. Only 10% of the time allergies are food related and the most common allergens are ingredients usually found in commercial dog food. Balanced homemade diets are a good alternative to dog food allergies when using natural and fresh ingredients. Real and unprocessed food helps to boost your dog's immune system and a strong immune system aids on fighting all type of allergies!
Dogs show allergic symptoms when their immune systems begin to recognize certain substances -or allergens- as dangerous. A variety of skin, digestive and respiratory symptoms may appear. Any dog can develop allergies at any time during its life, but allergic reactions seem to be especially common in Terriers, Setters, Retrievers, and flat-faced breeds such as Pugs, Bulldogs and Boston terriers.
The general symptoms of allergy are:
• Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin
• Increased scratching
• Itchy, runny eyes
• Itchy back or base of tail (most commonly flea allergy)
• Itchy ears and ear infections
• Snoring caused by an inflamed throat
• Paw chewing/swollen paws
• Constant licking
Food allergies account for about 10% of all the allergies seen in dogs. It is the third most common cause after fleabite allergies and atopy (inhalant allergies). However, food causes 20% of itching and scratching symptoms in dogs.
There is a distinction between food allergies and food intolerances. Food allergies are true allergies and show the characteristic symptoms of itching and skin problems. Food intolerances can result in diarrhea or vomiting.
The most common offenders in dogs are processed beef, chicken, lamb, fish and eggs, food fillers like corn, wheat, and soy, and dairy products.
The most common food allergy symptoms in dogs are:
The best way to diagnose the food that is causing the allergy is to feed a prescription or hydrolyzed protein diet exclusively for 12 weeks and then feed an elimination diet. Another way to diagnose is with an intradermal skin allergy testing.
Some ways to treat allergies (always ask your veterinary first):
Real food for Dogs is a human-grade dog food with no preservatives, by-products, fillers, artificial colors, flavors or additives. It is freshly made with highly available sources of nutrients. Real food is the foundation of life, and that is true for dogs too.
Disclaimer: Articles are based upon the opinions and experience of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified pet health care professional and is not intended as medical advise. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of the author. We encourage you to make your own pet health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified pet health care professional.
About the author
Giselle Baba was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and adopted Dallas as her home since 2013. She is a certified Companion Animal Nutritionist from Southern Illinois University and the founder and president of Real Food For Dogs. She holds a MBA from the University of Barcelona, a Master in Marketing, a Master in Management, and a Bachelors in Advertising. She also has over 15 years of experience in business and marketing with Fortune 100 global companies.