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.
Treatment For Food Allergies
The treatment for food allergies in dogs is to feed a hypoallergenic diet for 8-12 weeks. This is the only way to determine if your dog has a food allergy.
Hypoallergenic diets either have limited ingredients with an uncommon protein source or are processed in a special way to be less likely to cause allergic reactions. The concept is that a dog cannot be allergic to a food that it has not been exposed to before.
Consult your veterinarian to choose the proper diet. Over-the-counter foods are not recommended for a proper food trial. Treats, flavored medications, and human foods may also have to be eliminated during this trial period.
Other allergy treatment for dogs are aimed at reducing the symptoms while waiting to see if the diet change is helpful. Cytopoint, Apoquel, or steroids may be used to help control itching while waiting to see if a hypoallergenic food trial results in improvement of your dogs allergy symptoms.
Intolerance Is Not The Same As Allergy
First of all, it is important to know that it is not the same that our dog suffers from an intolerance than an allergy. And is that if a dog has eaten and has itching in some parts of its body such as the legs, chest or ears, it may be a food allergy.
That your dog has an allergy to a food does not mean that he feels bad, but quite the opposite, in the same way that if a food feels bad for your animal we know that we are facing a case of food intolerance .
A study has shown that some foods are more likely to cause allergies than others , including dairy, lamb, chicken, corn, wheat, fish, chicken eggs , therefore we must avoid giving this type of food that contains these components or the product itself . It is of primary importance that we avoid at all costs that our dog does not rummage through the garbage so that in this way we can avoid allergies and consequences.
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How Can A Fresh Food Diet Help
Commercial kibble and canned food have so many ingredients it is hard to do any kind of an elimination diet. For example, my German Shepherd is allergic to preservatives. If I had kept trying to do elimination diets with kibble or canned food, which are full of additives, he would have never gotten better. Most commercial kibble and canned foods contain common allergies such as wheat, corn, eggs, and soy. Companies add fillers, like potatoes which are starches, in their food, and not biologically appropriate for dogs. Overtime those foods end up putting pressure on the immune system, lead to allergies developing in dogs.
Raw and fresh food diets also have many more single protein options. All Cali Raws adult formulas are single animal protein, with the exception of added salmon oil for Omega-3s. Cali Raw is made with human-grade ingredients and manufactured in a USDA facility. There is a strong emphasis on purity and quality within the fresh and raw food community, unlike commercial kibble Cali Raw uses human grade meats, not rendered meats or low-quality sources of protein. I always like knowing exactly what I am putting in my dogs bowls, but knowing what I am feeding them is exponentially more important when you are dealing with allergies.
The first step if you think your dog has allergies is to speak with a veterinarian. You can find a holistic veterinarian here.
Causes Of Fish Allergies In Dogs
If your dog has allergies, it is his bodys way of protecting itself from something it thinks will harm it. While the item in question is actually harmless, the body doesnt recognize it as such. The body finds it dangerous and mounts a protective response to the threat. Your dogs body produces an immune response to the fish ingredient. This allergic response may develop quickly or may develop over a period of years. Many food-related allergies happen after the dog suffers from an infection involving the stomach or intestines.
Since many dogs have allergies to other protein sources such as beef and chicken, fish is becoming one of the more popular protein sources in dog foods. As a result, more dogs are developing an allergy to fish which means one less protein source you can safely feed your dog. However, there are some foods that specify the species of fish they are using. By feeding your dog one of these foods, you know exactly what you are feeding him, and if he develops an allergy to one specific fish, you can potentially try him on another. Take note If sensitive to one type, it is not uncommon to be sensitive to all types. Those with food allergies tend to benefit most from a hypoallergenic diet.
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How To Help Dog Allergies And Allergy Medicine For Dogs
Obviously, figuring out the exact cause of your dogs allergies and helping them avoid whatever that is is the best way to treat them. But even then, you should probably keep up with preventative measures to stop your pups itchiness for good. Finding the source of your dogs allergy and discussing a specific treatment plan with your veterinarian is recommended, Klein says.
Here are the ways in which dog allergies are most often treated:
Antihistamines: Yeah, like Benadryl vets often use it for dogs with mild allergies. This treatment is generally inexpensive and safe with little side effects, but different types can have variable effects and dont work on all dogs, Klein says. Just make sure to contact your veterinarian before giving your dog any form of medication, so they can guide you on the right dosage and whatnot.
Flea Prevention: Flea prevention is obvious, relatively easy and will help dogs who suffer from allergies to fleas, Klein says. Seriously, flea prevention is super easy to keep up with even if only for the sake of keeping your home free of fleas and there are tons of great products out there.
Environmental and External Aids: Air purifiers can help reduce certain molds that may trigger allergies in dogs, Klein notes. Dusts and pollens are best controlled by using an air cleaner with a HEPA filter. An added bonus of having an air purifier: You get to breathe fresh air, too!
Anything for our pups, right?
What Is The Allergic Reaction To Pollen
If you have been told you are allergic to pollen, you are having an allergic reaction to particulate matter extracted from the stamens of flowering plants. A true pollen allergy, also called hay fever, is caused by the spread of pollen in the air. Because pollen is thin, it can be carried in the air stream over long distances.
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Diagnosing Environmental And Food Allergies
Just like in people, diagnosing food and environmental allergies in dogs can be a challenge.
When it comes to diagnosing food allergies, the best and most accurate method is to use an elimination trial. An elimination trial is when you feed your dog a hypoallergenic diet for eight to twelve weeks to test whether their symptoms improve. The diet must not contain any ingredients that the pet has eaten in the past including treats, foods, or supplements.
In addition to elimination diets, your veterinarian may be able to perform a blood test to help determine whether your dog is allergic to specific foods. These are known as serum IgE tests.
Diagnosing environmental allergies in dogs can be performed using two techniques: RAST testing or intradermal skin testing.
Best Hypoallergenic Dog Foods: Feeding Advice
When your dog becomes allergic to certain foods, the solution is often a diet change. You can choose to make dog food at home or buy packaged food. Homemade food is great if you have the ingredients and time to prepare. Besides that, it might be a cheaper option for some. Such an approach also allows you to monitor what your dog is eating.
But not everyone can make dog food at home. Some may prefer buying processed dog food. Either way, food allergies for dogs require you to be more concerned about what youre buying.
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So, how do you know which food is right for dogs with allergies?
Weve prepared a list of the best hypoallergenic dog food for allergies. But first, lets see how you can tell if your dog has food allergies.
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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.
Dog Food For Allergies Petsmart Info
Dog food for allergies petsmart info
Dog food for allergies petsmart. Powerful booster in a bottle. A vet can determine if your dog has a food allergy or intolerance. Some dogs who are allergic to chicken have thrived on this lamb and oatmeal recipe. You can find freshpet vital recipes at petco, petsmart, and other pet specialty stores.
The best grain free dog food for skin allergies will always be labeled as grain free. 4.5 out of 5 stars. We set out to redefine better in pet food through the pure, real nutrition of raw. Who we are about us and why we do what we do. It contains all natural ingredients and most pet parents say that they found that it offers positive results. A good starting dose is ¼ teaspoon daily for small dogs up 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon daily for big dogs.
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Can I Get Allergy Testing For My Dog
Yes! In fact, as its very difficult for owners to differentiate between environmental and food allergies themselves, a vet visit should be the first step in treating your dogs allergies.
Once you bring your pup into the clinic, the veterinarian will ask you some questions about your dogs diet and medical history. Then the vet may recommend intradermal skin testing and/or serologic testing to try to identify what, exactly, is triggering your dogs allergies.
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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What Is An Elimination Diet
Often when people think their dog is suffering from allergies they will try an elimination diet.
What is that?
An elimination diet is a process when you feed your dog an entirely new food for 6-8 weeks. Refrain from any treats or table scraps. It’s recommended that this new food has a single animal protein. This allows you to see how your dogs body responds to the food and if their allergy symptoms increase or decrease.
If the symptoms increase, you can try again with a new animal protein and repeat the process until their allergies decrease or disappear. You want to stay with one protein source for 6-8 weeks before switching unless your dog is having a severe reaction.
The body will take a few weeks to clear everything out from the last food or protein source, so you may not see results right away. Patience is key during this process so hang in there!
We recommend to do an elimination diet with raw dog food, like Cali Raw Dog Food. A biological appropriate food is only going to have ingredients in the food that nourish your dog. An over-processed kibble is packed with grains or starches as well as unpronounceable preservatives and additives.
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When you are trying an elimination diet, be sure to read the label carefully. Often kibble companies will label food as Salmon Recipe that will contain salmon but often has other proteins included as well such as chicken, or chicken fat.
Symptoms Of Fish Allergies In Dogs
Symptoms of fish allergies in dogs may appear quickly once he starts eating a diet consisting of it, but in other cases the allergy may take months or years to develop. Allergies typically present between the ages of 1 and 5. Symptoms of fish allergies may include
- Itchy skin
- Hives, swelling or anaphylactic shock. These would occur with an IgE mediated allergies, which are much less common than sensitivities)
A life-threatening allergic reaction such as anaphylactic shock is rare but possible. If the allergy is severe enough, your dog will go into anaphylactic shock immediately after ingestion. If this happens, it is a medical emergency and your dog needs to be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
The terms fish and fish derivatives found on dog food labels are very broad. These terms come with a lot of criticism, but it does not mean that the quality is bad. The terms can vary due to certain countries having laws and customs that may not allow something more specific.
In other cases, using a broad term allows the species of fish in the food to be altered without having to change the bag. As seasons change and overfishing occurs, dog food companies may change the species of fish they are using in their food, but since it is listed as fish they do not have to change the bag.
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Treating Your Dog’s Food Allergy
Once youve determined, to the best of your ability, what your dog is allergic to, you can start to make daily dietary changes. Keeping them away from any known allergens is the only way to prevent a flare-up.
Generally speaking, feeding your dog a well-balanced diet is the best way to maintain a healthy system. When it comes to the dog food itself the fewer ingredients and additives the better. Make sure your dog cant access another household pets food and dont let anyone in the house give it table scraps. Check treats and chew toys thoroughly before letting your dog have a turn at them.
There is also some evidence to suggest that feeding puppies probiotics when they are young can help keep their digestive systems supplemented with enough good bacteria to ward off possible allergies that can develop later in life. Adult dogs may want to adopt a regimen of prebiotics to help feed these good bacteria and keep their systems regular.
How To Help Your Dog Feel Better
If your dog has ongoing symptoms, you notice a change in their behavior and/or you just feel concerned, we always recommend taking your little one to the vet.
With environmental/seasonal allergens it can be difficult if not impossible to identify and remove triggers.
Over the counter antihistamines such as Benadryl , Claritin , Zyrtec have been used. Frequent bathing can help as well, and of course, for severe allergic patients, prescription medication is used for itching like Prednisone, Cytopoint, Apoquel and antibiotics/anti-yeast medication for secondary infections, said Carvalho.
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What Food Is Best For Dogs With Skin Allergies
Once you’re sure that your dog has food allergies through an elimination diet or a vet, the next step is to give your pet the right food. Avoid food with ingredients that trigger any symptom.
You can use prescription dog food from your vet, make food from scratch, or try various types of allergy-safe food until you find what’s best for your pup.