Food Trials Must Be Strict
The most important rule of a food trial is to feed ONLY the limited ingredient diet for the time period recommended by your vet . Do not feed ANY other foods or treats unless they are made of the same exact ingredients.
Be sure everyone in your home is aware of this rule. In most cases, it’s best to feed all dogs in the home the same food or separate them while eating. Make sure any other foods are kept completely out of reach.
You may notice your dog’s skin problems begin improving early in the trial period. Report these results to your vet, but do not stop or alter the food trial unless instructed to do so by your vet.
At the end of the recommended trial period, your vet will assess the outcome. If your dog showed an improvement, the vet may recommend feeding the old diet for a week or two to see if it causes signs to recur. Or, the vet may simply recommend gradually adding additional protein ingredients to your dog’s diet to watch for a reaction. This can help you determine what foods your dog can and cannot tolerate.
Some dogs will need to remain on special diets for life due to food allergies. However, you may find that your dog is only allergic to one or two proteins and can eat all others without reactions. Again, work closely with your vet to choose the right dog food and manage your dog’s allergies. Be sure to visit the vet for routine wellness exams every six to 12 months, or as recommended by your vet.
Check If The Allergy Is Food
Start by changing your dogs food to a basic protein plus carbohydrate mixture they have not previously eaten. Read the label to identify the protein sources you need to stay away from. You may have to switch to something exotic like a rabbit or venison. The same goes for carbs.
You can search the internet for specialized elimination diet recipes that are designed to limit allergic responses, or you can make a special mixture at home where you can closely monitor all the ingredients in the mix. Doing it yourself is more recommended since you know exactly what goes into the bowl, and it has to be done only over a limited amount of time. Once you know what is triggering your dogs allergic reaction, you can go back to a new kibble free of these food allergens.
Feed your pup the new formula for 3 to 12 weeks. In this time the dogs digestive system will reset. Be careful, though! This also means no treats, table scraps, rawhides or bones. Even medications should be avoided unless theyre medically necessary. Only feed the dog with your preferred limited antigen food of choice and fresh water!
Next, monitor your dogs symptoms. Note whether they become reduced or eliminated entirely on the new diet. If so, reintroduce your dog to their original food and watch to see if issues return. They should present within a few days if it is a true food allergy. Once they do, youll have confirmation of food intolerance. Some vets refer to this process as provocative testing.
The Most Common Food Allergies In Dogs
Maybe youve heard one of your friends talking about the most common food allergies in dogs and its made you wonder why Fido is always scratching and itching.
Could your dog be suffering in silence from a food allergy?
Well walk you through this issue today so you have a solid understanding of the most common culprits among canine food. Well also point out how you can get food allergies in your dog diagnosed, as well as showing you how to go about fixing the issue.
In This Article:
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Finest Canine Meals For Choosy Yorkies
A few of the greatest canine meals for Yorkies whore choosy about their meals embrace Royal Canin Breed Well being Vitamin Yorkshire, Stella & Chewys Freeze-Dried Uncooked Stellas Tremendous Beef Dinner, Very important Necessities Freeze-Dried Mini Nibs Grain-Free Restricted Version Canine Entree, and Eukanuba Breed Particular Grownup Canine Meals.
All of those meals are tasty and supply your canine with scrumptious meals that they gainedt develop uninterested in consuming.
Genetic Predisposition To Dog Food Allergies
Wondering whether your dog might be predisposed to food allergies or intolerances? Certainly there’s some evidence that if a parent has an allergy, their offspring is more likely to inherit it. So in that way, genes do play a role. But what doesn’t seem to be a factor is a dog’s breed. In fact, science has never confirmed that any one breed is more at risk for food allergies than another. “It can happen in any breed and in any dog,” says Shmalberg.He also notes that some breeders and owners may have the view that deviating from the ancestral diet of certain breeds might predispose to allergies. For example, Huskies are accustomed to fish diets in their natural habitatso could feeding them poultry lead to an allergic reaction?
In short, no. “There is no evidence to support that theory. Most dogs seem pretty adaptable to a range of foods,” says Shmalberg. The age or sex of the dog also appears to have no relevance to food allergies or intolerances. Some vets do report that food allergies have been found in dogs less than 1 year old. So even young puppies can be affected .
Here are the top 10 breeds most frequently Googled along with the term “food allergies” or “dog food allergies”:
Keep in mind, food allergies can happen in any breed, and, of course, some breeds may be searched more frequently just because they’re more popular in general.
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Treatment For Flea Allergies
Treatment for flea allergy dermatitis is aimed at reducing the symptoms of itchy skin and irritation until the fleas are eliminated. To eliminate allergy symptoms in a flea-allergic dog, strict flea control is required.
There are many highly effective flea control products and medications available. Some are topical and come in the form of a liquid that you squeeze onto your dogs skin, such as Advantage, Revolution, or Vectra. Others are given orally in the form of chews, such as Simparica, NexGard, or Comfortis. Consult with your veterinarian to determine your best option.
In severe cases, a dogs environment must be treated for fleas as well. Vacuum thoroughly to remove eggs, larvae, and pupae, and discard the vacuum bag. You can use insecticides inside and outside your home to treat all flea life stages.
It is important to use an insecticide containing an insect growth regulator, such as methoprene or pyriproxyfen, to halt the development of flea eggs and larvae. You can hire a professional exterminator, but you should specify that the treatment is for fleas.
Does My Dog Have A Food Allergy
Many dog foods on the market make claims about being good for allergies, but how well do these claims hold up? How common are dog food allergies? And is hypoallergenic dog food right for your dog? To learn the truth about food allergies in dogs and what hypoallergenic dog food really means, keep reading.
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Wild Earth Dog Supplements
Why do dogs need supplements? Age, environment, pollutants, and the stressors of daily life can all lead to less than optimal health for your dog. Weve created a family of supplements to provide support in the areas your dog needs it most. All without the use of animal ingredients. Learn about Wild Earths dog supplements.
Signs & Symptoms Of Food Allergies In Dogs
Food allergies and sensitivities often don’t appear until the dog reaches their first birthday, although they can develop in dogs of any age.
If your dog is displaying any of the following symptoms they may be suffering from a food allergy and should be examined by your vet to determine the root cause of the symptom:
- Rashes on the ears and feet
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Dog Food Allergy Symptoms
Sneezing. Ear infections. Chronic Diarrhea. Restlessness. Dog food allergy symptoms run the gamut from skin reactions to gastrointestinal troubles to behavioral issues. Below you’ll find a full list, broken down by category, to help you identify whether your pup might be suffering from a food allergy or intolerance. Note, it’s estimated that about a quarter to a third of dogs with a food allergy also has an environmental allergy, which “has similar and at times indistinguishable, symptoms,” says Shmalberg.
Most Common Signs of Food Allergies in Dogs
These are the signs you’ll see most often with a food allergy, says Shmalberg, starting with the single most common symptom: itching.
Rarer Symptoms of Food Allergies in Dogs
These symptoms aren’t as common as those above but may occur in some dogs.
- Nasal discharge
- Secondary urinary tract infections
- Weight loss
Dog Behavioral Issues from Food Allergies
The symptoms below are also rarer, and usually secondary to or linked to discomfort from symptoms listed above.
- Frequent scratching of self on furniture, owner’s legs, etc.
- Frequent shaking ears or scratching ears
- Biting at paws, rear end, and/or tail
- Withdrawal or reduced interest in playtime
- Anorexia, or disinterest in or refusal of food
What To Do If You Suspect Your Dog Has A Food Sensitivity
The first step in providing the proper relief to dogs with food sensitivities is to consult with your veterinarian to accurately identify the problem. There are tests available to help in the detection of the causative agent. With this information, you and your veterinarian can begin to find a feeding plan for your dog with a diet that agrees with his body.
If your primary veterinarian is unable to resolve the issue, you may be referred to a veterinary dermatologist. Finding the right answer may not happen quickly, but it is worth the effort over the life of the dog.
Dr. Jerry Klein is the Chief Veterinary Officer for the AKC and is an emergency and critical care veterinarian who has been a valued member of the Chicago veterinary community for more than 35 years. In addition to his work as a vet, Dr. Klein is a licensed judge for the AKC and has judged shows both nationally and internationally.
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How To Treat Dog Food Allergies
Allergies can affect both humans and animals. In general, most allergies are caused by environmental factors like pollen and grasses, insect bites, medications, or by certain foods. In dogs, environmental allergies are very common. Food allergies may occur on their own or concurrently with other allergies.
What Are Dog Food Allergies
A dog can develop an allergic response to ingredients based on his immune system. Some dogs, and people, have an immune system that sees certain ingredients as “attacking” the body as a virus or bacterial infection would. Even though the ingredient itself may be completely harmless, the body doesn’t see it that way and creates an allergic response to protect itself. This response involves the common symptoms found with food and other allergies.
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Sensitivity Or Allergy: What’s The Difference
A food sensitivity, also called a food intolerance, means your dog cant properly digest a particular food. Typically, a dog with a food sensitivity will show symptoms within an hour of eating the offending ingredient. One example is lactose intolerance, an inability to digest milk products well, which tends to cause diarrhea, gas, and/or vomiting. In dogs that cant process the nutrients necessary for healthy skin, food sensitivities may also cause itchy skin or ears, and repeated scratching can lead to hair loss and repeated infections. A food allergy, though it may cause similar symptoms, is a different condition.
An allergy is an immune response to something the body mistakenly perceives as a threat. This response requires extended exposure to the trigger, so symptoms may take a long time to show up. Many dogs suffer from flea allergy, for example, in which the body reacts to flea saliva with intense itching. Allergies to environmental factors, such as pollen, dust, and mold, are also relatively common in dogs.
Food allergies, however, in which the immune system reacts to an ingredient in the dietusually a proteinas though it were a dangerous intruder, are actually not very common. A 2016 study published in the journal BMC Veterinary Research found that true food allergies occur in only 1%2% of dogs.
Diagnosis Of Food Allergies In Dogs
The symptoms that your dog will be showing due to an allergic reaction will prompt your veterinarian to collect skin scrapings from any affected areas for cutaneous cytology. Cutaneous cytology is the microscopic evaluation of the skin cells to look for problems like mites, yeast infections, or signs of disease. When these are not found on the dermal cells, then a food allergy may be suspected. In order to confirm the allergy, an elimination diet is usually implemented. An elimination diet usually involves changing the dog’s food to either a reduced ingredient commercial food or a diet of bland human food, such as a boiled protein and a simple carbohydrate like rice.
- Cow hooves
- Flavored medications or supplements
- Flavored plastic toys
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Dog Food Allergy Treatment
Dog food allergy treatment boils down to one underlying principle: identify foods your dog is allergic to and avoid feeding him those. “That’s why the elimination diet and trial period is so essential,” says Shmalberg, “as it’s the only way to identify which foods, and food proteins, a dog can tolerate and which he can’t.” Now, if it’s a food intolerance rather than an allergy , a food trial is still helpful, but a simple change of diet can be just as effective. “A diet with a different composition from the one currently being fed is often enough to improve symptoms,” Shmalberg explains.
Unless formulated well, with the advice of a veterinary nutritionist, many homemade diets are deficient in certain critical nutrients.
Aside from that, there are a few other tactics that come up in dealing with food allergies and intolerances. Here’s a brief overview, plus considerations, pros, and cons for each.
Antihistamines and Other Medications
Homemade Dog Food Diets
Homemade diets are sometimes used for elimination diet food trials, and for dogs with food intolerances or allergies. It’s easy to see why they’re effectivethe owner has total control over the ingredients. But there’s an issue with homemade dog food diets. “Unless formulated well, with the advice of a veterinary nutritionist, many are deficient in certain critical nutrients,” says Shmalberg, “and those deficiencies could cause issues in the long run.” The preparation is labor-intensive for the owner, too.
How To Keep Your Dog As Healthy As Possible
Knowing the right tools that you can turn to if youre experiencing an issue is only half of the battle. Keeping your dog as healthy as possible can help reduce the likelihood that youll have to turn to those techniques in the first place, which is why we focus so much on pet health and wellness here at WINPRO Pet.
It all starts with a focus on maintaining a healthy diet. Feeding your pet the right food in the right amount can help prevent obesity and tummy troubles before they start. And as always, supplementing with supportive products that address your pups specific needs may also be recommended.
Paying close attention to your dog so that you know when things are out of character for them is also extremely helpful. Those small changes, like sleeping more or drinking more water than normal, may not be noticeable to other people, but they are easily spotted by a loving owner.
Things like hip discomfort arent as obvious as you might think, especially in the early stages, so catching them before they get more advanced can also increase the ways they can be treated and the success youll have. Never feel bad about taking your pet to the vet, even if you arent sure its a big deal. Vets love pets just as much as you love your dog, so theyll be happy to check them out and relieve your concerns!
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Are Certain Dogs More Likely To Develop Seasonal Allergies
Any dog can develop seasonal allergies, but certain breeds are more known for dealing with them than others. These allergies usually start to show up between six months and three years of age.
Golden Retrievers, Boxers, Dalmatians, Labrador Retrievers, Shih Tzus, and Boston Terriers are just a few of the breeds most known for developing allergies.
How Are Dog Food Allergies Diagnosed
Diagnosing food allergies in dogs isnt always a straightforward process. Its not like theres a simple test that can instantly tell what your dog is allergic to or, if indeed, he has food allergies at all.
You have to start at the beginning, with the help of your veterinarian, to know for sure whether your dogs skin or ear issues are caused by food allergies.
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Causes Of Food Allergies In Dogs
Allergies of all sorts are due to an abnormally strong defensive response to a protein that the immune system considers to be an invasive substance. It is estimated that around 60-70% of our immune system cells actually reside in the digestive system, and the same applies to our canines. The process of digestion is designed to break down our foods into their smallest parts, which are known as amino acids. These amino acids are then absorbed by white blood cells called enterocytes. When proteins are not properly broken down during digestion, these enterocytes see them as intruders and attack. Over time the response of these cells becomes more aggressive, and symptoms intensify.
Although any food can become an allergen, some foods are more likely to generate a reaction than others. Frequent offenders for canines can include: