Saturday, June 15, 2024

How To Tell If Your Dog Has Food Allergies

Antihistamines And Other Treatments

How To Find Out If Your Dog Has Food Allergies | Hair Testing

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.

Rubbing Face On Things

A dog rubbing their face is sometimes related to excessive licking. Oftentimes, rubbing will be on the carpet, pillows, or couch. Some dogs will try to rub their entire body across a surface to ease the itchiness caused by an allergy. This rubbing is due to histamines, which are chemicals in the immune system triggered by allergies.

Try To Find Out What They Are Allergic To

Once your dog is settled without symptoms on a special diet, your vet may recommend adding ingredients back into their food to try and find out what they are allergic to.

If your dog doesnt show any symptoms, this is a safe food. If your dogs symptoms come back after eating a certain food, its likely they are allergic to it. This will help you select a dog food that only contains safe foods.

Food trials and exclusion diets can be tricky and take a lot of time, the alternative is to keep feeding your dog a special veterinary diet for life.

Some dogs with a food allergy will also have allergies to things in the environment, this may cause allergic skin disease . In this case, they might improve a bit on a special diet but they may need some other treatments as well to help keep their skin symptoms controlled.

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Is It Likely That My Dog Could Develop Other Food Allergies

Dogs that have developed an allergy to one particular food may develop other food-related allergies in the future. In addition, many dogs with food allergies have other allergies, such as atopy or flea allergy.

“Dogs that have developed an allergy to one particular food may develop other food-related allergies in the future.”

If you think your pet may have a food allergy, you should discuss this with your veterinarian, who can help your pet resume a healthier, itch-free life.

Contributors: Catherine Barnette, DVM Ernest Ward, DVM

Diets For Dog Food Allergies

Does my dog have a food allergy?

Here are a couple of different approaches to treating food allergies in dogs.

This approach involves feeding proteins that your dog has likely never been exposed to in an effort to avoid an allergic reaction. Rabbit, venison, and other novel ingredients are used in place of more common protein sources. Allergy-friendly foods must be completely free of your dogs triggers.

Hydrolyzed Proteins

Rather than changing which proteins are used, hydrolyzed protein prescription diets break proteins down so that the immune system no longer recognizes them as a threat.

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When To Contact Your Vet

Make an appointment with your vet if you notice any of the symptoms above or you think your dog may have a food allergy. There are many other conditions that can cause these symptoms as well as a food allergy.

You know your dog best. If they dont have the symptoms listed above but you are still concerned its always best to contact your vet.

Treatment For Seasonal/environmental Allergies

If allergy testing has not been performed, then the treatment is symptomatic, meaning that it aims to reduce or eliminate your dogs symptoms. Treatments can include:

  • Oral medications, such as Apoquel, Atopica, or antihistamines

  • Injectable medications, such as Cytopoint

  • Fatty acids

  • Steroids

  • Frequent bathing

Steroids should not be used long-term in the management of allergies due to the risk of significant side effects.

If an allergy test has been performed, then the ideal allergy treatment for dogs is avoidance of the allergen. This is possible in a few, select circumstances, but most dogs are allergic to a variety of substances that can be difficult to avoid completely.

Other treatment can include an allergy vaccine, also known as immunotherapy, which is given either by injection under the skin or by mouth. The goal of immunotherapy is to make the immune system less reactive to the allergy-causing substances.

The success rate of immunotherapy is 60-70%. This is the best long-term approach to allergy control, especially in younger pets that experience symptoms most of the year. Symptomatic treatment can and should be given while starting immunotherapy. It may be many months before any improvement in symptoms is seen from immunotherapy alone.

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Can A Dog Have An Upset Stomach From Food Allergies

When people think about pet food allergies, they often jump to gastrointestinal issues. However, food allergies in dogs may or may not come with an upset stomach. The most common symptoms of food allergies in dogs actually show up as reactions in their skin. Skin problems are common in dogs with food allergies.

Dog Food Elimination Diet

How To Determine What Type Of Allergy Your Dog Has And How To Treat It

The most reliable way to determine if your dog is allergic to a food item is to conduct an elimination diet. During an elimination diet, feed your dog a new protein and new carbohydrate for 8 weeks. This means the foods have to be something your dog has never eaten before, such as venison and potato, rabbit and pea, fish and potato. Another option is alligator and coconut.

During the 8 weeks of the elimination diet, you cannot give your dog any other foods. No table scraps, no treats, no supplements of any kind. Once youve completed the 8 week elimination diet, you will reintroduce the foods your dog was eating before. If your dog has a reaction or breakout, its a pretty good indication your dog was allergic to that food.

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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.

These Are The Signs That Show That Your Dog Might Be Allergic To His Food

A responsible dog owner considers their furbaby a member of the family. Just as with a child, you must have a certain level of patience in understanding all of your pet’s quirks while you nurture and train them so you can better care for them as they grow up. One way you can keep your dog healthy is as simple as observing any unusual behavior they might display. There may be a myriad of behavioral abnormalities in dogs but none more common than those caused by food allergies and intolerances.

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Signs Your Dog Is Suffering From Seasonal Allergies

Its that time of year when environmental allergies are at their peak. Is your dog suffering? Dog allergy symptoms could arise without you even knowing the reason. Pollen, grass, fleas, weeds, and mold could all cause reactions for your pup. So, its important to pay attention to your dogs behaviors as the seasons change.

Here are 11 signs that your dog may be allergic to all that springtime beauty. If your dog has any of these signs, take them to the vet to get them some relief.

How To Help Prevent An Allergic Reaction

If your dog has symptoms of allergies, your dog food might ...

Unfortunately, theres no cure for allergies. You cant prevent your dog from having allergies.

However, there are things you can do to help keep their symptoms and discomfort under control.

First, you have to identify the underlying cause, be it seasonal, food, flea, etc. From there you can help your dog avoid those allergens.

Carvalho explained that sometimes a prescription diet could be necessary along with using flea/ectoparasite control all year round. Pet owners should also keep an eye out for and treat any itches so that they dont lead to inflamed and infected skin and ears.

Because good health for your canine companion is always in season .

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Pay Attention To Vomiting

If your dogs body recognizes that something is wrong, it will likely start trying to expel the food that is causing the allergic reaction. One of the most common ways it does this is through vomiting.

While dogs may occasionally vomit if they eat too quickly or eat something that disagrees with them, dogs who vomit frequently are likely actually sick.

If you notice that your dog is vomiting frequently, it is time to take a look at the ingredients in his food and see if there is something he could be allergic to.

Food Allergy Testing For Dogs

If you suspect your dog is suffering from a food allergy, the first thing to do is talk to your vet about how to pinpoint the allergen. There are commercial skin and blood allergy tests on the market, and your vet may recommend starting there. You can read about one owners experience of this testing here.

However, theres no evidence yet to show that these tests are accurate, so the most thorough way to discover which foods your pet is allergic to is an elimination diet.

The process goes like this, according to Dr. Susan Wynn, a veterinary nutritionist, in an interview with PetMD.

What we do is take the dog off all the foods its eating and we put him on a food that hes never had before. Ive sent people out for alligator and yak. Once the dog has improved, we start reintroducing the old foods that we think caused the problems in the first place. If he has a reaction, which usually takes a few days to a few weeks, then we know he has a food allergy.

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General Information About Pet Food Allergies

Food allergies are a common health problem in both dogs and cats. Diagnosing food allergies in pets can be challenging, especially because many times food allergies manifest themselves in the same way as environmental allergies. Still, determining whether your pet has a food allergy is very important.

Are Golden Retrievers Hypoallergenic

Explaining Dog Food Allergies and Diet Trial

No, golden retrievers are not hypoallergenic, even though they are the perfect family dogs in literally everything but they might be not the best option for a family that has someone that is allergic to dogs.

However, you need to know that there really are absolutely no hypoallergenic dog breeds. This is a myth that has surprisingly stood the test of time.

But if there are no hypoallergenic dog breeds, how are so many people that are allergic to dogs still able to live with dogs? Well, while its true that there are no hypoallergenic dog breeds, there are some dog breeds that are less problematic in that matter than other breeds and are less likely to trigger a strong allergic reaction in humans.

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Treatment Of Dog Food Allergies

The main treatment for a food allergy is to no longer feed your dog what they are allergic to. It is unusual to have new food allergies develop with age. So, once the foods causing the allergy are identified, they should be avoided long-term.

When you remove the food that triggers the allergic reaction, there should be no more reason to have to treat specific symptoms. Feed your puppy or dog high quality foods they arent allergic to, and help them have good gut health with the use of prebiotics and probiotics.

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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What To Do If You Suspect Your Dog Is Suffering From Food Allergies

First and foremost, make an appointment to take your dog to your veterinarian if you suspect your dog has a food allergy. Food allergies symptoms can mimic other diseases, so its vitally important that you have your dog checked out by a professional.

Treatment of food allergies in dogs may include medication, topical creams, dietary changes or a combination of any of these three remedies.

In rare cases, a life-threatening allergic reaction may occur and your dog may not be able to breathe. If this happens, call an emergency animal hospital right away.

Environmental Allergies And How To Treat Them

5 Signs Your Dog Has Food Allergies

Golden retrievers, and most other breeds, can suffer with allergen agents. What makes it difficult to spot in golden retrievers though, is their thick coat. It can actually hide any skin reactions they have.

Atopic dermatitis is a genetic condition that can affect some golden retrievers. It causes them to develop inflammation and reactions to things like:

  • grasses
  • tree pollen
  • dust

To spot an allergic reaction in golden retrievers, there are some symptoms to look out for. Keep an eye out for:

  • hot spots
  • lesions
  • scratching

If left, this can result in infections or eczema forming. So, if you spot anything like the above, its important you speak to your vet. You want to try to narrow down whats caused the issues and start treatment.

The first thing you can do to treat skin allergies is to bath your golden retriever on a regular basis. Every 4 or so weeks should be good for most goldens.

This will help relieve the itchiness. Be careful not to bathe them too often or youll strip the skin of essential oils and dry out the skin further. If after a monthly bath your golden retriever is still itchy, talk with your vet.

When your golden retriever goes out, wipe them down with a damp cloth after. This will remove any allergens from their coat and skin.

That thick coat is beautiful but is also vulnerable to skin irriations

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How To Spot A Food Sensitivity

Food sensitivities are chronic reactions that typically build up after repeatedly eating a specific food/ingredient. It usually takes months, or even years, before the signs appear.

Though dog food allergy and food sensitivity share many of the same symptoms, more often than not, a food sensitivity will produce a gastrointestinal reaction: diarrhea, vomiting, gas, lack of appetite, and weight loss.

One reason a food sensitivity causes gastrointestinal issues is that your dogs system is not able to process that ingredient properly for various reasons. Other times we may think our pup has a food sensitivity, but it could be a result of simply feeding them the wrong ingredients, like milk. All dogs are lactose intolerant their body is unable to process lactose in milk products properly , which leads to issues like diarrhea. This is common across all dog breeds. So skip letting your pup lick the leftover milk out of your cereal bowl.

Seek Help From A Vet Or Speak To A Pet Nutritionist If It Is Too Much To Handle

The above tips can be useful for any pet owner who experiences a potential dog allergy reaction towards food. . Remember, switching food quickly is counter-productive! Also, if you have a persistent dog scratching issue and feel that it is too overwhelming, consider seeking professional help immediately. Please seek advice from a nutrition-trained vet or a pet nutritionist. We have written a short article on common veterinary or pet nutrition treatment and testing for dog food allergies, such as elimination diets and hypoallergenic dog food. You can read up here to get a quick understanding of what may happen inside a clinic.

About Pawmeal Team

We love our pets and want to share our experiences and stories with you. Together, we took a pet nutrition specialist course to understand our pets’ diets better. We also make fresh, gently cooked food that can let your pet become healthier, happier and live longer. Our cooked food helps keep picky dogs excited and interested longer than other foods.View all posts by Pawmeal Team

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Tips For Making Your Own Dog Food At Home


Making your own food from scratch is hands-down the most reliable way to ensure your dogs diet has not come into contact with anything theyre allergic to. Weve got some healthy dog food recipes to share with you and some great dog food recipe hacks to make cooking for your dog less of a chore.

We hope this guide to dog food allergies helps you find a solution to your dogs symptoms. As a reminder, please always talk to your vet before introducing your dog to a new food.

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