Dog Food Allergies: When Food is Foul

Due to a lot of factors, (different climes, seasons gone haywire, food ingredients, complicated food stuffs) food allergies happen. And as often as it occurs to humans, it occurs in dogs too. In fact, food allergies take the third spot in the list of allergies dogs are most likely to develop, preceded only by allergies to fleas and airborne chemicals or organisms. Even the symptoms of human and canine food allergies can run parallel – scratching, swelling, sneezing and rashes can spell a heck of a miserable time for dogs.

It is common for dogs to develop an allergy to a specific food component: in fact, a type (or two) of dog food allergy does spring up between age two to six. And it generally happens across all builds and breeds and routines – even the process of spaying or neutering can trigger rare food allergies. It can also manifest suddenly (dogs which have been eating a particular brand of dog food can – for some systemic reason – develop an allergy to it. Some pinpoint the protein component of the dog food.

At any rate, over the years – across symptoms and triggers – vets have come up with a list of which or what in dog food brings about allergy cases. These are the additives in commercially-prepared kibble, food stuffs with milk and/or eggs, wheat grains or soy beans, whey, and for some dogs, a specific kind of meat (for example, fish or chicken), or vegetable (usually corn).

And the symptoms are very much clear. The dogs wheeze and sneeze a lot, and their scratching habits rise to fever pitch. Added to the scratching, you can also see your pet picking at his toes or chafing his muzzle or face against their paws or a rough surface. The form and smell of dog feces also provide telltale signs that their food needs to be changed: a negative effect on digestion usually manifests via loose to irregular bowel movement. It also helps if you are very familiar with the context and nuances of your dog: his seasonal triggers, his response to specific medicines, his sensitivity to chemicals, pollutants, organisms and even skin ailments. Other symptoms can occur (symptoms that could also indicate mange or flea infestation) such as ear infections.

When these happen, try food swatches and switching: choose to isolate the different ingredients and observe your dog’s reaction to these components. It could prove trickier with commercial food, as there may be components that are already mixtures. One way to resolve this is by having homemade dog food ready. See how your pet is after an intake of a specific meat: chicken, beef, or lamb. Inasmuch as it sounds easy, it requires a lot of effort, and such an experiment could last up to several weeks.

However, it will all be worth it. This could address a two-pronged problem: you will finally discover the allergen, and by that time, your dog might have developed the resistance to such triggers. Along with this, never forget to take into consideration any advice that your vet will give: whether there are supplements to compensate for anything missed by the homemade preparation.

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  5. Skin Allergies in Dogs

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