Next to flea bite allergies and allergies to inhalants, allergies to dog food is the most dreaded by pet owners. They are also one of the most prevalent form of allergies among canines and unfortunately they make life extremely difficult for both the dog and the owner.
Although experts have conducted extensive research to try to unravel the mysteries surrounding food allergies in dogs but despite of all their efforts, they only came up with a list of symptoms to dog food allergies which are critical in giving accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Allergy causing dog food
Studies reveal that certain dog foods include ingredients with higher potential of causing an allergic reaction. These food ingredients which are now viewed as common allergens are lamb, chicken, beef, fish, wheat, eggs, corn and soy. The long list seems to capture everything you are giving to your dogs.
Signs of food allergies
The most prevalent sign of food allergy among dogs is itchy skin usually occurring in the face, ears, forelegs, armpit and anus. This is actually similar to other type of dog allergies. Other symptoms include recurring infection in the skin and ears, hair loss, hot spot and excessive bowel movement.
Identifying food allergies
By sharing similar symptoms with a range of dog ailments, it is doubly hard to make diagnosis and propose prevention and cure. Thus, your veterinarian will need to employ the process of elimination to rule out other causes of the allergy. Your dog is likely to have to undergo a series of “food trials” to test what type of dog food would trigger the allergy. It’s quite a tedious process that requires conscientious monitoring on the part of the dog owner in order to yield accurate results. It is also preferable to avoid processed food as there is risk that it includes unwanted ingredients that could cause a reaction. Ideally you prepare the food yourself, so that you know exactly what your pet is being fed.
Avoidance remains the best cure for dog food allergies. If you have already identified the food allergens, be sure not to let your dog take that food. Make sure other members of the household, and friends are aware of the situation so that they will not mistakenly feed your dog the offending food. Maintaining a healthy dog can takes a lot of time and patience, but like any member of your family, it is always worth the trouble – there’s nothing worse that seeing your pet suffering unnecessarily.