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Dog Food Allergies – Scary Consequences

Dog food allergies have jumped to the forefront of the news recently due to the Menu food’s dog food recalls. What you feed your pet unfortunately can be the difference between life and death. Food allergies are typically associated with people but pets can suffer from adverse reactions and intolerance too.

As with young children that can not speak dog food allergies can be difficult to diagnose in pets because the biggest problem is the pet’s inability to communicate their symptoms effectively. The owner can also be confused by possible other ailments that their pet has. You want to be sure to know the difference between these symptoms and poisoning!

What are the typical symptoms associated with dog food & allergies?

  • ear infections
  • excessive scratching
  • hair loss
  • skin infections

Antibiotics sometimes are used to treat skin infections. It helps to clear them up , but they will reoccur when the antibiotics are stopped. Itchy skin is typically associated with airborne allergies, if an animal with itchy skin does not seem to improve with the use of antihistamines or steroids, they may be suffering from dog food allergies. A food intolerance causes different symptoms. These symptoms may include diarrhea or frequent bowel movements and vomiting. Fortunately, whether the animal is suffering from an allergy or an intolerance, once the proper diagnosis has been made, they can both be treated.

Nutrition is very important, since most canine meals are made from beef, chicken, wheat, eggs, soy and dairy products, it should be no surprise that most dog food allergies are caused by one of these ingredients. The pet nutrition industry has picked up on the need to provide pet owners different options. They have come up with hypoallergenic dog meals that are supposed to help with most allergies. They also have tried other dog food allergy recipes like lamb and rice formulations. Veterinarians usually tell you it is not that simple though.

What approach will your veterinarian recommend to verify dog food allergies?

First they will rule out other possible causes, such as flea bite allergies, intestinal parasites, yeast or bacterial infections. Something else to keep in mind is that they have access to the latest studies. One study that I’ve heard of has found an association to a certain breed of dog. Dietary change is the number one approach veterinarians recommend. They will recommend a new food source containing protein and carbohydrate that should be the only diet of the pet for at least 12 weeks. This will help to determine which of the ingredients in their old pet food was causing the allergic reaction. Dog food allergies can be tricky and you may need to try this a few times as you reintroduce your old foods to see which one your dog is allergic to. The foods that produce reactions need to be eliminated.

The last options is one this is tried and true. Making your pet their food at home seems to be the surest way to avoid dog food allergies. If you don’t have any you can always look up some dog food allergy recipes online. Don’t let the media scare you but be smart about what you feed your pet. If you have the time and talent cook if you don’t test. There is a path to safe eating for your dog.

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