So you’ve noticed that your dog is itching like crazy and shaking his head repeatedly. You went to the vet to find out what was wrong with your dog and he told you it could be a food allergy. What does that mean?
Likewise, human food allergy can cause a variety of symptoms in dogs as well. The most common symptoms are gastrointestinal problems such as gas, excessive gas, a sensitive stomach, vomiting, or even diarrhea. It may also have other symptoms such as itching, sneezing, compulsive licking, rashes, and paw biting.
In diagnosing your puppy’s condition, it can be helpful to learn that there is a difference between a food allergy and simple food sensitivity or tolerance. Your dog can experience both, but without the understanding of a veterinarian, it can be difficult to tell them apart.
Food allergies or hypersensitivity are one of the most common known allergies to dogs. This means that your dog’s immune system will react to an allergen in the food and produce antibodies that can attack it and damage your dog’s tissues.
However, food tolerance or sensitivity does not affect the immune system. It simply means that your dog’s body cannot digest a certain ingredient or food. If food allergies are found, your pet’s vet may recommend hypoallergenic dog foods for your pup.
What is Hypoallergenic Dog Food?
Basically, hypoallergenic dog food is intended for dogs that are allergic to normal dog food. This type of dog food doesn’t contain common allergens that can upset your pooch’s stomach or coat. But as the term “hypoallergenic” suggests, it means “little chance of causing an allergic reaction”. This means that it is only used to limit your dog’s exposure to ingredients that can cause an allergic reaction. Therefore, a hypoallergenic diet was developed so as not to cure allergies in dogs.
Hypoallergenic dog food can also be hydrolyzed, which means it goes through a process of breaking down proteins so they are too small for your pet’s body to identify as allergens.
Also, with so many pet food brands and formulas in the market claiming their products are hypoallergenic, you should also be in doubt whether they are real or just trying to increase sales. There is no official list of pet food ingredients that are classified as hypoallergenic. However, a true hypoallergenic dog product does not in fact contain any processed chemicals, additives, preservatives, or artificial colors or flavors that will harm your dog’s health.
This type of dog food should also mimic the food that dogs would eat in the wild, e.g. B. Healthy and natural food to provide the purest nutrition your dog’s body needs. Likewise, it is important that you consult with the canine doctor before making radical changes to your dog’s food choices.
What Causes Food Allergies in Dogs?
Unfortunately, while researchers mentioned that food allergies affect an overreaction of the immune system, there is still no concrete study of what makes some dogs susceptible to food allergies. Many factors take into account why this phenomenon occurs, such as genetic problems, environmental factors, or likely antibiotics that were given early in the puppy’s life.
However, researchers are certain of one thing: allergies occur in response to repeated exposure to a particular allergen and often take time to develop. For this reason, veterinarians recommend limiting the number of proteins you feed your puppy throughout their life.
Some of the animal ingredients in most animal feeds that contain sources of protein are beef, chicken, dairy products, eggs, pork, lamb, and fish. But others are also vegetable sources such as wheat and corn. It is necessary to be familiar with these sources of protein in order to make your selection of a safe source of food for your pooch, such as: B. Wild dog food, drastically restrict.
Benefits of hypoallergenic dog food
Since it can be quite difficult to narrow down what specific ingredient your dog may be allergic to, it can be difficult to decide what to feed. In order to rid your pup of these terrible symptoms, it is usually helpful to offer them hypoallergenic dog food, especially when traveling. If you want to find out about the most important things to keep in mind when traveling with your dog, you can navigate this website to find out more.
Switching to hypoallergenic dog food offers numerous benefits. One of the obvious ones, of course, is to remove any allergens from your dog’s food that could potentially trigger an allergic reaction.
In addition, a properly hypoallergenic diet for dogs will result in a number of benefits for your dog, such as: B. significantly reducing the risk of various health problems such as obesity, arthritis, congested anal glands, periodontal disease, digestive problems, heart disease, and some other kidney diseases.
Aside from what can benefit your dog from hypoallergenic dog food, it is remarkable to know that there is some financial benefit from it too. Nowadays, since most dog diseases are likely due to their diet, we can’t avoid the fact that a veterinarian’s bill can be high. So switching to an excellent hypoallergenic diet for your dog can save you a significant amount of money.
Hypoallergenic dog food options
For example, let’s say you want to know if your dog needs a hypoallergenic diet. You can make an appointment with your dog’s vet for an accurate diagnosis, as determining allergies can be tricky. Often times, you can diagnose food allergies with the help of an elimination diet. This food study consists of feeding your puppy a novel source of protein (e.g. bison, kangaroo, and pheasant) and carbohydrates (brown rice or sweet potato) for 12 weeks – or often labeling it as a limited-ingredient diet.
While food allergies are rare in dogs, it sometimes seems to be common in certain breeds such as Lhasa Apso, West Highland White Terriers, Dachshunds, Cocker Spaniels and Boxers, Dalmatians, German Shepherds, Retrievers, and Miniature Schnauzers. So if you happen to own one of these breeds, consider buying hypoallergenic dog food options recommended by your veterinarian, such as Buffalo Basics Duck & Potato and Merrick Limited Ingredient Real Salmon & Chickpeas Recipe.
Keep in mind that if you are switching to new dog food, you will need to mix some of it with your pet’s old food to gradually switch them over to the new diet. If your pup continues to have problems, it is best to see a veterinarian.
Curing allergies may or may not be possible. However, the best way to treat allergies is to avoid the cause and the allergens. If you think your dog is still suffering from a food allergy, consider following the advice of a canine medical expert who can help your four-legged friend continue to lead happy, healthy, itch-free lives.