Dogs and Food Allergies

Dogs and Food Allergies
February 13, 2019

Dogs and Food Allergies

Just like us, dogs can have allergies. The allergies in dogs are mostly caused by insect bites, dust mites in the air, particular sensitivity to some ingredients which are found in their food and atopy (asthma). 

Your dog has the potential to be allergic to pretty much whatever it comes into contact with in the same way people can suffer from a large variety of allergies. This makes it tricky to pinpoint the determining factor of the allergies and assess the severity of the situation. For example, there is a difference between a dog with food allergies and a dog with food allergies. 

If you are looking for puppies for sale, don't worry – food allergy is not a genetic problem, so your new pet can't inherit it from his parents. Allergies tend to develop in later stages of life, so it is important to always keep a watchful eye over your dog. And yes, this will include examining their faecal matter after they have defecated. It’s not the most pleasant aspect of dog ownership, but no one ever said it was easy.

We’ll go through the common allergies and show you what you need to look out for to keep your dog healthy and happy. 

Food Allergies 

The most common symptoms of a food allergy are scratching and skin issues. Which may lead you to believe that they must have come into contact with an external irritant, however food allergies can cause a whole manner of noticeable external problems. 

These include recurrent or perpetual ear infections, balding or loss of fur in certain areas of the skin, in more severe cases you will start to notice lesions and rashes on the surface of the skin.

Yeast infections can be a sign of food allergies too. Now and then, dogs with food allergies will defecate twice as much, or more than normal, which is around 1-2 times each day. Yeast infections are only difficult to spot if you don’t know what to look out for.
 With food intolerance, the symptoms are mostly vomiting and diarrhoea. If your dog has frequent bouts of diarrhoea which lasts for longer than 24 hours, always consult with your vet who will help to ascertain which foods your dog is allergic to. The simple resolution to this problem is to stop giving the food that causes them the intolerance. There are plenty of different nutritional options for dog food which you can pick up in the supermarket, pet stores, however, in extreme cases, your dog may need to be fed on a prescribed diet. 

Additives and fake ingredients can be found in dog food and many people would rush to point them as the main reason for allergies, however, the allergens can potentially be any ingredient in the food. There are a few steps you can take to find out whether your dog really has a food allergy.

It is hard to pinpoint food allergies because these physical indications can be seen in puppies that have atopy. On the other hand, if your puppy has the continuous ear issues, intense skin infections and symptoms that does not go away after a year and does not react to steroid treatment, he presumably has a food allergy. Living with any form of allergy can be insufferable for any animal, always ensure that you are quick to act at the first sign of distress of discomfort.

To determine if your dog has food allergies, you can do a food trial. In this strategy, you should give your dog another set of food that he has never consumed before. For 12 weeks, you shouldn't give the dog any treats such as cow hooves, rawhides, pig ears and anything that is flavoured – and especially hold off giving them human food! You can write a day by day record of what happened to your puppy, and what he consumed during the day. After looking over what worked best for your dog, you can always then go back to that diet. It is very much a case of trial and error with a dog with food allergies.

 You can take a try giving your dog food that he hasn't had in the recent past, typically a mixture of a protein and sugar. A few alternatives are duck, rabbit or potato, rice or rutabagas for the sugar. You can attempt different alternatives, yet the fundamental thing is the strict eating routine - the puppy can devour nothing else for a set of time - 8 to 12 weeks would be perfect. No treats, even.
 If you see any changes in the dog's behavior, give him the old food once more. This will confirm that your results are legitimate and not simply the placebo impact. If you don't see any change, you can take a go at changing to an alternate protein-carb blend once more.

 Despite the fact that veterinarians suggest a three-week diet for puppies, there are new studies now that back up the 12 weeks diet because just 26% of dogs will show food allergy indications by day 21. Blood testing can be done as well as the food trial, however, for immediate resolution, a trial diet should be started immediately. 

As well as making sure that your dog has a new diet, you will want to make sure they adhere to a strict eating routine at home. While some dog foods may have been specially formulated for dogs with allergies, making your dog’s meals at home is also an option. It is a considerable amount of work to prepare the food by yourself, however, most dog owners would agree that their pet is worth the trouble!
 If you have officially figured out what food causes the allergy, exclude it from your puppies eating diet. Unsaturated fats, antihistamines, and steroids will just give brief comfort from their allergies, yet eliminating the allergens is the best decision. If you decide to start a custom-made diet, let the dog consume new sets of food and figure out what is the reason for the allergy. Simply verify that the new diet is well balanced. Observe carefully your dog's reactions to the new food, because it might cause allergies too. In that case, you should bring it to the veterinarian.

Atopic Dermatitis 

Just as with food allergies, contact allergies can cause scratching, excessive itching, rashes, sneezing, watery eyes, skin inflammation and paw chewing. 

Atopic Dermatitis is a severe form of allergies which can manifest in a wide range of severity, but for some pets, the inflammatory condition can cause a skin disease. 

The irritants which cause the allergy will be relatively harmless, such as mould, grass, dust, and anything else your pet comes into contact within their home or outdoor environment. 

The allergies will usually start to appear when the dog is between three months and six years old, however, you may not spot the symptoms until long after it has already started to affect your pet. 

As the symptoms worsen with time, you will need to ensure that treatment is sought as soon as possible. This is why it is vitally important to regularly give your dog a once over. This will include checking their ears, wrists, eyes, and in between their toes for signs of rashes, infection, or irritation. 

At the first sign of irritation, your dog will need to have a physical examination from your vet, which may be followed up with allergy testing. 

Treatment options vary and will be prescribed in accordance with what is affecting your dog’s skin. Hypersensitization can usually clear the symptoms for atopy, which is a process of injecting the dog to the irritants which they are allergic to. Even though this is effective in reducing itchiness by up to 80%, it may take six months to a year for the treatment to be fully effective. So, in the meantime, corticosteroids and antihistamines can be given to your dog. Sprays can also be used to control the itching. 

For instant relief, you can always give your dog a soak in the bath with medicated shampoo, however, always check with your vet that it is safe for use with your dog’s allergy condition. Your dog will need to visit the vet every three to twelve months to make sure the condition is being managed as effectively as possible.