Top 5 FAQ’s About Dog Food Allergies

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Top 5 FAQ’s About Dog Food Allergies

Does your dog suffer from food allergies?

Did you know that dog food allergies are very common?

What are the symptoms of dog food allergies?

They represent about 10% of all the allergies in dogs.

If you really care about your pup’s health you should read this article where you’ll find some answers to the top questions about this issue.

Here they are:

dog food allergies

1. What are food allergies?

Food allergies affect both male and female dogs.

Several dogs with food allergies also have simultaneous inhalant or contact allergies.

The immune systems of dogs with food allergies begin to identify certain everyday substances (allergens) as unsafe.

These allergens are included in most dog foods and are not dangerous to the majority of dogs; a dog with allergies will develop a tremendous reaction to them.

Allergens can cause a variety of skin, digestive and respiratory symptoms when:

  • Inhaled
  • Ingested
  • Contact with the skin

Food Allergy versus Food Intolerance

Food allergies are true allergies caused by an immune response characteristic from allergies and manifest by typical symptoms such as itching and skin problems.

Food intolerances can cause diarrhea or vomiting and do not induce a typical allergic response.

2. What are the dog allergies symptoms?

The main symptom is itchiness.

There are certain signs that augment the suspicion that food allergies may be present such as recurrent ear problems and persistent moderate or severe skin problems.

Some dogs with food allergies have gastrointestinal signs.

If your dog presents chronic gastrointestinal problems in addition to non-seasonal itchiness, a food allergy is a potential diagnosis.

The following list includes the most common skin and gastrointestinal symptoms seen in dogs with food allergies:

  • Itchy, red and moist skin
  • Scratching
  • Itchy, runny eyes
  • Itchy ears and ear infections
  • Sneezing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Paw chewing
  • Swollen paws
  • Constant licking
  • Secondary bacterial or yeast skin infections

If you suspect that your dog suffers from a food allergy, consult your veterinarian to help you find the right food to keep your dog’s symptoms controlled and at the same time providing a balanced and complete nutrition.

3. What are the more common foods that cause dog food allergies?

Scientific investigations have shown that some ingredients are more likely to origin food allergies.

The most common food allergens in dogs are:

  • Beef
  • Dairy products
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Fish
  • Chicken eggs
  • Corn
  • Wheat
  • Soy

Dogs are allergic to specific ingredients, not to brands or types of food.

This means that if your dog is allergic to chicken he will not tolerate any food that contains chicken.

My advice is:

You should pay attention to the ingredient list; it will include various protein and carbohydrate sources. .
It is not easy to presume properly the ingredient that your dog might be allergic to. So veterinarians typically advice foods with original ingredients like venison and potato, or specially processed formulas, like hypoallergenic foods.

4. How can dog allergies be treated?

The treatment for food allergies is basically avoiding the food allergen.

Once the allergen has been identified through a food trial it should be completely eliminated from the diet.

The owner can decide to feed the dog a special commercially prepared diet or a homemade diet.

In addition fatty acids supplements, antihistamines, and steroids may be administered.

If homemade diets are used, you should make sure that they are nutritionally completed and balanced, with a correct amount of ingredients, vitamins, and minerals.

Homemade diets, based on hypoallergenic dog food, should be developed by a veterinary nutritionist.

5. Are some breeds more susceptible to food allergies?

Food allergies in dogs can appear at any age, lots of cases are first seen in dogs under six months of age, or in those six years of age and older.

In my experience some breeds may be genetically predisposed to food allergies:

  • Golden Retrievers
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Shar-Peis
  • Dalmatians
  • Poodles
  • German Shepherds
  • Boxers
  • Bulldogs

There is no straightforward, rapid test to diagnose a food allergy.

An elimination diet feeding trial advised by your veterinarian is an efficient and consistent method that can help confirm a diagnosis.

It requires commitment and time, but if your dog gets well it worth the effort and can help you find the appropriate dog food for your dog’s allergies.

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About the Author:

Hi! I'm Dora Mancha, DVM. I am graduated for the Veterinary Medicine Faculty of Lisbon (2009). My degree is recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). I completed my degree in Veterinary Medicine in July, 2009. Over the first years as a veterinarian my work was closely related to the animal health field. I have gained some average experience having worked in Barcelona University (UAB) Equine Hospital and by working with veterinarians in Portugal. In addition, in 2009 - 2010 I was in Madrid at the University Alfonso X el Sábio doing an internship in the equine service. I am also very interested in small animal medicine and surgery. In fact I worked in several small animals clinics in Portugal improving my knowledge about small animal behavior and health. Dogs always have been present in my life, since I was a child. At the present moment I have four dogs a Labrador, a Epagnheul Breton, a Whippet and a mixed breed dog.

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Why was the Dog Food Selector created?

Each dog has unique needs... The approach "one food for all dogs" isn't the more suitable. Dogs have different sizes, different life stages, unique breed characteristics, health conditions and a few other factors... Choosing the right food for your dog may help him or her life a longer and healthier life! We exist to make that task easier for you.

How does the Dog Food Selector work?

It's quite simple... It's a 1-2 step process. You just have to fill in the form with your dog's characteristics, like gender, age, size, activity, health conditions and a few other important data and click "search". Then, you'll see a list of dog foods with the highest review score. If you wish you can see all the detailed review of each individual dog food.