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.
Itchy Skin Red Underbelly And Dull Coat
Together, these signs can indicate an allergy. Your dog itches constantly without relief, possibly causing hair loss in the affected patches.
What It Looks Like: Skin underneath the hair is red or pink, dry, and inflamed. No relief with baths, conditioners, or over-the-counter allergy medications. Excessive, near-constant scratching.
What It Means: Environmental allergies or food allergies.
But First! Rule Out
Shampoo residue on your dogs skin is a leading cause of contact dermatitis, and often resolves by switching to a milder shampoo and rinsing thoroughly. Try this trick: Shampoo your dog, and rinse him until you think you are done. Then, rinse two more times to be safe!
Shampoos containing artificial colors , sodium laurates, phthalates, mineral oil, and fragrances can all cause irritation. Try switching to a species-appropriate, all natural rinse for your dog, such as ones that contain apple cider vinegar or coconut oils.
Pollen Allergy: Your dog may also have a pollen allergy: try wiping him down with a cool, damp cloth every time he comes inside to eliminate exposure to pollen.
Fleas: Make sure your dog does not have fleas, as flea allergy dermatitis will also cause irritated skin.
Budget Pick: Just 6 By Rachel Ray Nutrish
Made under the banner of celebrity chef Rachel Ray, Just 6 by Rachel Ray Nutrish is a great grain-free, limited ingredient dog food choice for those who are looking for a budget-friendly pick. Each bag contains just six natural ingredients, along with a mixture of vitamins and chelated minerals to help keep your pet in optimal health.
Pet parents appreciated that they could purchase this dog food at their local grocery store and big box retailer. Several also commented about the large size of the kibble, saying it was ideal for giving as treats to their pet, or topping up another food choice.
With an MSRP of $17 for a 14-pound bag, this food is a solid choice for those looking for an allergy-friendly option on a budget. It has a rating of 4.2 on Amazon with over 800 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing pet owners that this budget-friendly pick is just as good for dogs with allergies as its more expensive counterparts.
Just 6 by Rachel Ray Nutrish Key Features:
- Available in a choice of two flavors
- Available in a choice of bag sizes
- Contains no corn, wheat, soy, or gluten
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Food Allergies Questions And Advice From Veterinary Professionals
my dog is 8 years old and 2 months ago or 3 started with food allergy problems and I knew it because minutes later to eat, hives started to appear on his legs, face, everywhere, he started to liking, run as crazy. we change his food to hipoallergenic for an entire month 1/2 and nothing change, we checked again fleas, deaworm, citology was made, probiotics…..etc and is kind of crazy he can´t eat meat, toast, crackers, dog food…… just veggies he is always with hives. obviosly he needs meds inyected and sometimes pills, his problem is severe
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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Skin And Ear Problems In Dogs With Food Allergies
Skin problems are common in dogs with food allergies. At first glance, this seems kind of odd, but it makes more sense when you think about how people react to food allergies.
Dogs with unchecked food allergies may also have trouble with their ears.
Some of the most common health issues associated with legitimate dog food allergies are:
Similar symptoms may be caused by environmental allergies to triggers like pollen, mold, and house mites, but these, at least to start with, are often seasonal.
For this reason, its important to track whether your dogs symptoms ebb and flow with the changing of the seasons.
What Are The Signs Of Food Allergies In Pets
- Itching including licking, scratching, biting and rubbing of the skin of face, paws, back, limbs, bum and ears
- Redness of skin and ears
- Dryness of skin
- Sneezing and/or reverse sneezing
- Swelling of eyes or face
Most of the signs associated with food allergy are also signs associated with other more common allergies, including environmental allergy and flea bite allergy. Thus, the suspicion of food allergy should also be accompanied by other allergies, until the pet is comfortable and the cause determined accurately.
Only about 10-20% of all allergy cases in dogs and cats are due to food allergy. Despite food allergy not being very common in pets, food changes and evaluation of food allergy is often recommended. If a food change is recommended, it is not a diagnosis, rather a test to assess for food allergy. Knowing this and performing a good food work up can help prevent frustration and confusion as a pet parent. The information below should help understand the why and how of food changes, and help prevent an unending series of food changes for your pet.
Some pets may be affected by a combination of food allergy with other allergies. Thus, diagnosis of a food allergy does not rule out other possibilities.
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Bronzing Around The Lips
This is most noticeable, again, in breeds with white coats. You will notice their lips, feet, or skin are pink and inflamed. This can indicate a yeast colonization, often triggered by an allergy.
What It Looks Like: Lips, jowls, and toes may be red, pink, and inflamed. Dog will itch often.
What It Means: Yeast-based infection or food allergy.
But First! Rule Out Yeast infection or sunburn
- Wipe the area with a 50/50 mix of purified water and organic apple cider vinegar.
- You can also add apple cider vinegar to your dogs water or food to reduce acidity and discourage yeast.
- Avoid many veterinary-grade solutions such as benzoyl peroxide-based products, which can dry out the skin, increasing irritation.
The Difference Between Food Allergies And Environmental Allergies In Dogs
Written bySmall Door’s medical experts
If your pup suffers from itching, hair loss, skin infections, or ear infections, she may have allergies. But does she have a food allergy, seasonal allergies, or both? The symptoms may be similar, but they require different treatments, so read on to learn more about how to identify and deal with canine allergies.
In This Article
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How Can I Treat My Dogs Allergies
You can alleviate your dogs allergy symptoms by treating them with anti-allergy medication, preventing exposure to allergens, and treating secondary skin infections with antibiotics, antifungals, and/or ear medications.
Allergic responses like itching can be reduced with antihistamines, steroids, or other immune-modulating drugs. Your vet will prescribe the best treatment based on your particular dogs needs and considerations. Another option? Allergy shots, just like people get! Vets can use the data from allergy testing to create a custom treatment that helps desensitize your dogs immune system.
Preventing exposure to allergens can be a little more involved than simply giving a pill to your pup. It may mean limiting walks through woods or parks when pollen levels are high, dusting and vacuuming more thoroughly to minimize dust mites, and cleaning your dogs bedding more often. A monthly flea preventative is the best way to eliminate fleas as an allergy vector.
Food allergies are more complicated. Identifying a food allergy and changing a dogs diet to treat it takes time. First of all, remember that easing your dog to a new type of food needs to be done gradually to minimize gastrointestinal distress. Dogs that are allergic to chicken or beef may need to eat a novel protein, such as rabbit, venison, or turkey. It can take up to 12 weeks for symptoms to resolve themselves after changing your dogs diet.
Does Your Dog Really Need Lamb Bison And Other ‘hypoallergenic’ Dog Food Proteins
In order to identify what is the best dog food for dogs with food allergies you must first understand what are food allergies and what causes them.
Many different terms are used to describe abnormal reactions to food. The terms allergy and hypersensitivity describe an immunologic reaction to food allergens and requires previous exposure to the allergen to bring about symptoms. In contrast, a food intolerance does not involve the immune system and can occur with the first exposure to a certain food. Both reactions produce similar symptoms and may be difficult to tell apart without veterinary guidance.
In fact, according to Dr. Adam Patterson, clinical assistant professor and Chief of Dermatology at the Texas A& M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Small Animal Clinic, Food allergies in dogs present themselves quite differently than food allergies in humans. For instance, a person who is allergic to shellfish may experience throat swelling and possibly a critical or fatal reaction, but in dogs, the allergy is expressed through the skin and seen most often as itch.
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You Notice Recurring Hot Spots
Like ear infections, hot spots can arise on their own, or they can be secondary to underlying allergies. If you feel like youre always treating a new hot spot on your dog, talk to your veterinarian about allergies.
Video Answer: Food Allergies In Dogs: Holistic Answers
Tablets with an enteric coating and capsules are usually meant to be absorbed further down in the GI tract. Even if you can crush a pill without affecting its potency, you may not be able to get your pet to eat it.
However, if your pet has a food allergy, that may present itself through itchy skin as well.
Signs of dietary sensitivity also include chronic ear problems, vomiting, flatulence, or diarrhea, and coughing, wheezing and sneezing.
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Food Allergies Vs Seasonal And Environmental Allergies In Dogs
Environmental allergies and food allergies often present similar symptoms which include:
Itchy skin that flakes
The main differences between food allergies and environmental allergies are:
Environmental allergies may come and go with the seasons
Food allergies can cause gastrointestinal issues that include chronic gas, diarrhea, or vomiting
Since so many symptoms overlap between each type of canine allergy, its best to check with your veterinarian instead of assuming allergies may be one or the other.
Dog Food Allergies Vs Dog Food Intolerances
“What most people think of as a dog food allergy is more appropriately called a cutaneous adverse food reaction or CAFR,” says Dr. Justin Shmalberg. “It basically means there’s some association between a food and a certain group of symptomsusually skin problems or gastrointestinal problems.”
In a true dog food allergy, according to Shmalberg, the culprit is often a food protein that triggers an adverse immune response, which then causes cells in the body to release histamines or compounds that lead to itching and many other allergic signs.
A food intolerance, on the other hand, doesn’t involve an immune responsebut the signs of food intolerance can look pretty similar to the signs of a food allergy. One example is a lactose intolerance, which happens when a dog’s body just doesn’t process lactose in milk products well, leading to gastrointestinal problems .
Both allergies and intolerances fall under that category of CAFRs, or, in more general terms, adverse food reactions. So, how prevalent are adverse food reactions in dogs? One 2017 research review published in BMC Veterinary Research examined just that. The findings suggest that, of dogs seeing vets for any diagnosis, 1 to 2 percent have food intolerances or allergies among dogs with skin diseases, the number jumps up a bit, to about 6 percent. For dogs with itching and allergies, even moreabout one in fiveshow signs of adverse food reactions.
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Diagnosis Of Grain Allergies In Dogs
When you first arrive at the veterinary clinic, the veterinarian will start with a physical exam. This will allow her to take note of all your dogs symptoms. If your dogs skin is irritated, the veterinarian may take a skin scraping and swab to check for external parasites or bacterial overgrowth. If your dog has watery eyes, the veterinarian may perform fluorescein staining to check for a scratch on the eye that could possibly cause the watering. They should also measure tear production to ensure it is adequate. Ears will be examined with an otoscope and any excess discharge should be sampled and examined.
Blood work will be performed to give the veterinarian a broad look as to how the internal organs are functioning and to rule out other possible causes. A complete blood count and chemistry panel will provide the veterinarian with needed information for proper assessment. If your veterinarian feels it is necessary, she may also perform a urinalysis for further evaluation.
Your Dog Has Red Eyes
Its less common for dog allergies to manifest in their eyes, but it is possible.
When certain parts of the eye become red and inflamed, especially if both eyes are affected, an allergy may be at play. The term for this condition is allergic conjunctivitis.
The redness may be accompanied by squinting or pawing at the face.
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What Ingredients To Avoid In Dog Food
If youre a dog owner, you probably know how difficult it can be to find the best dog food for your pet. The problem is, you may not know which ingredients to avoid when looking for the best dog food available. This list is a great start to help you find the best dog food, but there are a few things you should always consider before buying.
A balanced diet for your dog should be comprised of a variety of ingredients. These are the ones you should avoid in dog food: artificial flavors, preservatives, and colors. Artificial flavors can cause diarrhea and upset stomach, and some preservatives can cause skin rashes and vomiting. Coloring, on the other hand, can be good, but if too much is used it can turn into a problem.
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Why Would My Dog Need To Eat The Best Dog Food For Dogs With Allergies
There are a few reasons. First, if your dog has allergies, he may have sensitivities to certain ingredients in his food. Second, the best dog food for dogs with allergies will be free of any potential allergens.
And third, the best dog food for dogs with allergies will be packed with nutrients that can help to support your dogâs immune system.
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Most Common Dog Food Allergens
“Meat, dairy, and eggs are often thought to be the most common dog food allergens,” says Shmalberg. “Yet generally, it’s the protein part of those foods that tend to be problematic, rather than, say, the meat itself.” Keep in mind, veggies can contain protein, so they’re not automatically safe.
That same review BMC Veterinary Research identified some of the most frequently reported dog food allergens involved in adverse food reactions. Here’s a look, from most-reported to least-reported.
Top Dog Food Allergens
|Dog Food Allergen
Shmalberg calls out two important caveats to keep in mind here.
More facts about dog food allergens that are helpful to know: