Human beings aren’t the only creatures to suffer from food allergies or intolerances. If you have a dog, learning what you should know about dog food allergies is vital.No doubt you want to keep your pet as healthy and happy as possible. Experts estimate that food allergies make up about 10 percent of all allergies seen in dogs. Dogs with food allergies or intolerances experience a reaction in their body when the allergen is consumed.Because your dog can’t choose or prepare his own meals, it’s up to you to ensure that what they eat is safe and healthy. Here's what you should know about dog food allergies.
1. Allergy or Intolerance?
There is a distinction between a food allergy or an intolerance. In some cases, a food allergy can be life threatening. In both conditions, discomfort is something that your dog shouldn’t have to suffer. Allergies usually cause itching and skin problems for your dog. A food intolerance usually results in vomiting or diarrhoea. You can eliminate these issues for your dog by changing their diet to food that contains a clear ingredient list so that you know exactly what is being eaten. This distinction is one of the top answers to what you should know about dog food allergies.
2. Common Food Triggers
Just like with people, there are some ingredients that most commonly result in allergy or intolerance symptoms. For dogs, these include dairy, eggs, corn, soy and wheat. Some dogs experience a reaction to meats like beef, chicken or lamb. Look for dog food that doesn't contain a bunch of additives, but that is made up of ingredients you recognize.
Before you can determine if your dog might have an allergy or intolerance, it’s a good idea to understand what symptoms you should be looking for. If you notice any of these in your pet, especially if they have just eaten, make an appointment to see the vet as soon as possible. The most common symptom of a food allergy will be itching, but you might also notice ear infections, hair loss, hot spots and skin infections. On the other hand, if your dog has a food intolerance, you will probably see a lot of vomiting or diarrhoea soon after eating. Your dog’s vet can help you determine of your pet is suffering from a food allergy or an intolerance.
4. Food Trials
Just as with people, your dog’s vet will probably recommend an elimination diet. This will help you determine which trigger is causing your dog’s symptoms. This will involve cutting out all potential allergens, then reintroducing them one at a time. You could, however, simply switch your dog to an allergen free dog food.
5. Choosing Dog Food
You want to do what’s best for your pet, which means paying attention to their diet and only serving foods that are wholesome and safe. Make a choice that is good for your dog and you'll both be a lot happier. Work with your pet's vet to figure out what the best options are.
You love your pet like your own children so it is obvious that you want them to eat the very best. How else do you care for your furry friends?