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Dog Food Allergies

Most common food allergies

  • Beef
  • Dairy
  • Chicken
  • Chicken eggs
  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Various proteins

Symptoms

Itching, scratching, excessive and compulsive foot licking, or chewing and biting other parts of the body, and upset stomach may indicate that a dog allery to certain foods exist. More subtle changes can also occur including hyperactivity, weight loss, lack of energy and even aggression. Quite often, some of these symptoms may occur and not necessarily be a true food allergy. For example, an upset stomach may just be a mild gastrointestinal upset. Or excessive itching and scratching may be caused by dry skin due to indoor heating or a lack of Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids in their diet.

Dog Food Allergies

Diagnosis

How to diagnose if your dog has a true food allergy? The only two options I found in the literature is an elimination diet or a blood test from your veterinarian. One source claims that this blood test is accurate, but I couldn’t find anything else to back up this statement. An elimination diet can take up to 12 weeks to diagnose. You must eliminate your dog’s current diet and start a diet with totally different ingredients (grain free) to assess their toleration. Slowly reintroduce protein foods one at a time at weekly intervals and again assess toleration. If all goes well, than most likely the allergy is due to one of the grains.

Treatment

Some individuals may want to try a dog medication, but avoidance, plain and simple is the best solution. Once the offending food has been identified, it must be eliminated from your pet’s diet. It is a matter of reading the labels of any commercial dog food to confirm that it doesn’t contain any food(s) that has been determined to cause the allergy. This can be quite costly. The other alternative is to make your dog’s food yourself. A homemade diet allows you flexibility in selecting the permissible foods. Avoid dog food that contains chemicals, preservatives, dyes, and fillers. Caution: please consult the toxic food list.

If you think your pal may have a food allergy, than please refer to the following references and consult your veterinarian.