Dog Food Allergy Elimination Diet
How to figure out dog food allergies is a common question asked by many owners who arent sure what their pooch is intolerant to. Commercial dog foods often have a very long list of ingredients, so finding out which ingredient your dog is sensitive can seem daunting.;
The dog food allergy elimination diet is one of the best methods for figuring out your dogs food sensitivity. Vets will often prescribe a special diet that doesnt contain the food or ingredient they suspect your pooch is allergic to.;
For example, if you think your dog has a chicken allergy, then you should feed them a diet that contains a different source of protein.;
To start the food elimination diet, try to think of all the types of food you have fed to your dog since their symptoms first appeared. You should then write down the ingredient lists from all the commercial dog foods and treats you have given your dog.
This can be quite a time-consuming task, but itll make things easier for when you choose the foods that need to be eliminated from your poochs diet.
If you or your vet arent sure what your dog is allergic to, then a homemade diet or commercial food that contains a protein source your dog has never eaten before is typically advised.;
Elimination diets normally contain other ingredients less likely to trigger an allergic reaction such as sweet potato and rice.
Having Your Dog Examined By A Veterinarian
Dog Food Allergies Vs Intolerances
First of all, not every food or ingredient that causes symptoms in your dog counts as an allergy. Many times, an adverse reaction can be caused by a dog food intolerance.
Whats the difference? It has to do with whether or not theres an;immune response to the food.
A dog food intolerance is when a certain food isnt processed or digested correctly or just doesnt agree with your dogs digestive system. This is what is often happening when a dog experiences lactose intolerance.
But with true food allergies, your dogs immune system is actually attacking one or more specific ingredients in the food. This response triggers the release of chemicals such as histamines within your dogs body, resulting in allergic symptoms, including itching.
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Dog Breeders State That Some Kinds Of Dog Food Really Contain Less Protein Making Them More Suitable For Smaller Dogs Than Big Dogs It Is Also Possible To Find Some Pet Foods Which Are Particularly Created For Smaller Dogs
Another element which needs to be taken into account when you are choosing your pet food is the amount of fat material. Dog foods that contain low to moderate levels of fat are perfect. However, dog owners are able to choose between low and high quality dog foods too. Dog owners who are not familiar with this matter should consult a vet. The vet will advise you if the pet food you are considering buying is okay for the dog or not.
Whenever you are picking dog food, remember to look at the ingredients. Be sure to read the label carefully so you will know precisely what you are feeding your dog.Finally, you need to think about the frequency of feeding on your dogs food. If your dog wants a lot of meals at the same time, you could think about purchasing dehydrated food.
So now that youre aware of the fundamentals of dog food, its time for you to decide on the right type of dog food. But if you would like to take the next step and start your own household, remember that it is not the food that you feed your pet, but the way you care for your dog that counts. It truly is up to you.
Dog food can be a very stressful thing to consider. But, when youre ready to buy pet food, be sure you do your research first.
If youve just brought home a new puppy, you may feel concerned about the idea of feeding it. But, if youre patient and persistent, you then are going to see how simple it is for you to nourish your puppy food. Just follow these tips.
What Causes A Food Intolerance
It is often unclear why a person is sensitive to certain foods.;
If your symptoms happen after eating dairy products, itâs possible you may have;lactose intolerance. This means;your body cannot digest lactose, a natural sugar found in milk, yoghurt and soft cheeses.;A GP can usually diagnose lactose intolerance by looking at your symptoms and medical history.
Some people have trouble digesting wheat and;experience bloating, wind, diarrhoea, being sick and stomach pain after eating bread. Read more about;wheat intolerance .
Otherwise, the culprit may be a food additive, chemical or contaminant, such as:
- monosodium glutamate
- toxins, viruses, bacteria or parasites that have contaminated food
- artificial food colours, preservatives or;flavour enhancers
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How To Feed A Dog With Food Allergies
Once youve determined the offending items in your dogs diet, the next step is avoiding them as much as possible. You can use prescription food from your veterinarian, make your own food from scratch, or you can try a limited;ingredient diet. A roundup of quality;limited-ingredient foods for dogs;with allergies can be;found here.
You can also keep a look out for dog food using hydrolyzed proteins, which is a fancy way of saying that the protein is broken down molecularly so theres nothing left of the potential allergen.
How To Spot A Food Allergy
Reactions to a food allergen typically occur immediately or shortly after the ingredient/food is eaten, and the symptoms are often severe.
The primary dog food allergy symptom is itchy skin. In fact, food-related skin irritation is the cause of about 20% of the itching and scratching in dogs. Their scratching and chewing may be limited to a single hot-spot or a full body irritation.
You may notice your pup chewing or scratching excessively, rubbing their face with their paws or against furniture, or excessive licking and chewing their paws till theyre swollen.
However, there are a few additional signs that could point to dog food allergies.
One is that your dog has recurrent ear problems, particularly yeast infections. Another tip-off is if their itchy skin doesnt respond to steroid treatment, or they have skin infections that respond to antibiotics but reoccur after antibiotics are discontinued.
Other dog food allergy symptoms include:
;Red, itchy, inflamed ears, frequent head shaking;Hair loss;Hives, skin rash, or inflamed skin;Open sores or hot spots;Coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath;Runny, red, or itchy eyes;Runny or stuffy nose, sneezing;Odor from feet or ears ;Stomach upset, gas, vomiting, diarrhea
Some pups may have an increase in bowel movementsup to 3 or more times per day, though this is a less common symptom.
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How To Help Your Pet Manage Seasonal Allergies Naturally
Some dogs are born with fall allergies while others develop them as they get older. Treatment for an allergic reaction often requires Vet intervention and a little help from pharmaceuticals. But, in addition to the treatment plan your dogs Vet recommends, there are some things you can do to support your allergy dog at home, too. Here are some natural ways to help your pet find seasonal allergy relief:;
When Do Dogs Develop The Chicken Allergy
The chicken allergy in dogs is possible to develop at any stage of your dogs life, including when they are older.; This is similar to humans who have allergies to peanuts when they are younger, but may go away as they get older.; Dogs can experience the same allergy reactions, and they may be present when they are younger or older.
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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.
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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.
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Most Common Food Allergies In Dogs
While it has become common to watch out for the signs of life-threatening food allergies in young children, it still comes as a surprise to some dog parents that their four-legged companions can also suffer from food allergies.
Just like in humans, a food allergy occurs when a dogs immune system mistakenly believes a specific food is harmful. The dogs immune system responds with antibodies, which triggers a series of dangerous symptoms.
Many seemingly random symptoms can be signs of a food allergy in a dog. These include:
- Chronic ear inflammation
Other symptoms more closely mimic symptoms seen in humans with food allergies, such as:
- Skin rash
- Chronic gas
If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, it is extremely important to have them checked out by a vet to determine if the symptoms are indeed signs of a food allergy.
The more the dog is exposed to the allergen, the more severe the reaction will become. Even if your dog is only irritated by the symptoms initially, they could be life-threatening the next time they eat the problem food.
Kinds of foods to watch out for
Dogs can be allergic to nearly any specific food ingredient. However, there are certain meats and grains that are more likely to cause an allergic reaction in your dog. These include:
If your dog is allergic to one ingredient, shes likely allergic to other ingredients as well.
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Are Some Dog Breeds More Likely To Develop Food Allergies
This question is more difficult to answer. Rather than some breeds of dogs being more likely to exhibit food allergies, more often there are certain genetic lines that are predisposed to the condition. That being said, breeds that seem to manifest food allergies more often than others include:
- German Shepherds
If your dog is suffering from one or more of the symptoms listed above, they may be exhibiting a food allergy. Learning your dog has a food allergy may seem overwhelming, but with the help of your veterinarian and a customized nutrition plan you can help your pup live a happy and healthy life.
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, DVM.;”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 dog food intolerance, on the other hand, doesn’t involve an immune responsebut the signs of dog 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.
Signs Your Dog Has A Food Allergy And Not An Environmental Allergy
Allergy symptoms can be the same whether its caused by food or environmental allergens like fleas. Here are some signs that your dogs allergic reaction is more likely to be from food and not from other external factors.
The first factor is the age of the dog. Puppies less than one-year-old are almost never allergic to environmental factors. But they may still experience food allergies.
Also, environmental allergies are often seasonal. If the dogs allergies happen all the time or dont follow a seasonal pattern, they are more likely to be a food allergy.
Insect-bite allergies to fleas, ticks, and other biting insects are also worse during warmer weather. Youll often see evidence of flea or tick bites. All dogs should be on a year-round parasite preventive that protects them from heartworms, fleas, and ticks.;;
If the dog is experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms and skin symptoms at the same time, its more likely a food allergy than an environmental one, although it could be both. Lastly, most environmental allergy flareups subside with corticosteroid treatments while food allergy flareups do not respond as well.
Licking Frequently Or Skin Chewing
If your dog chews or licks his skinespecially his feetfrequently or seemingly nonstop, this is a sign hes dealing with some form of allergies.
The problem could come from exposure to irritants in the backyard or on walks, but it may also be a symptom of food allergies in your dog. Although the problem isnt an emergency, youll need to go to the vet in the coming weeks to determine how to treat it and what the underlying cause might be.
But What Exactly Is A Food Allergy
Food allergies are different from food intolerance. Food intolerance is the result of poor digestion, such as lactose intolerance. People and dogs with lactose intolerance are either missing or have low levels of the milk digesting enzyme lactase.
Food allergies are the over-response of your dogs immune system to an invading protein. In the case of a food allergy, this protein is contained in your dogs food. Proteins are present in most of the foods your dog eats. While most people recognize that meats are a source of proteins, there are also proteins present in grains and vegetables. Any one of these proteins has the potential to cause a food allergy.
Antihistamines And Other Treatments
Your vet may prescribe Benadryl for the itching. Topical anti-itch shampoos and ointments can help as well just make sure they are approved by your vet. Your vet may prescribe an antibiotic or antifungal treatment like cephalexin or ketoconazole. These are often helpful in the short run but may not be very effective long term. Anti-inflammatory medications like steroids are not helpful when it comes to canine food allergy symptoms.
If your dog is experiencing severe vomiting, diarrhea or other clinical symptoms, he or she may require hospitalization for intravenous fluid administration, antibiotics and supportive care.;In most cases, your dog will not need hospitalization.
What Exactly Are Allergies In French Bulldogs
Allergies are a response from your dogs immune system as a result of exposure to an allergen or other foreignsubstance.
The severity of the allergic response can vary from just mild discomfort to severe hives, facial swelling, andrarely anaphylactic shock. Severe reactions such as anaphylactic shock which would require immediate veterinariancare are pretty rare, and could be caused by things such as: vaccines, drugs, foods, or a bee sting.
There are many types of allergies, but skin allergies and food intolerance are the most common in Frenchies.
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