Easing the Symptoms of Dog Food Allergies

Every year, thousands of canines become sick as a result of dog food allergies, with a few intestinal illnesses even leading to death. Unfortunately, these allergies are not usually detected until after a severe reaction to certain foods. Although not common, any breed can be affected. It is best to be aware of what your pet is eating and note any unusual symptoms immediately.

Common Causes

Many dogs are known for being able to ingest anything, from a week-old snack found on the sidewalk to a large piece of meat from the dinner table. For these lucky canines, various foods are not a problem. However, for a small portion of the dog population, certain foods are just not acceptable. This includes beef, chicken, dairy, corn, wheat, soy or yeast. In addition, spices added to meals, or additives found in commercial products, may cause allergies.

How to Spot a Reaction

Severely scratching after a meal is a good sign that your dog is negatively responding to what it just ate. A food allergy is most likely the cause if itching is not alleviated with corticosteroids and other medications. Shedding may also be a problem, along with runny noses and watery eyes. Vomiting and bile, changes in behavior or a loss of interest are other signs. An appointment with the veterinarian is advised.

Solving the Problem

Once a vet has determined that other causes are not the problem, it is time to consider allergies. In order to figure out exactly what dog food allergies your pet may have, eliminate all existing foods.

For the next three months, feed your dog an entirely new diet. This refers to food your dog has not previously eaten on a regular basis. The new food must also consist mostly of carbohydrates. So for example, if a serving is 100 grams, only 20 grams should be protein. This may be a good time to try out some recipes for dog treats and food. By having total control over what goes into your dog's diet, you will likely be able to get to the bottom of the problem even sooner.

If symptoms are alleviated, return to serving the original dog food. If symptoms flare up again, ingredients from that dog food are the culprit. Should your dog not improve after three months, repeat the process with a new diet until the problem ingredients are narrowed down. This may be a long process to determine exact dog food allergies, but once the culprit found, your pet will be healthier and happier.

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