The Truth About Pet Food Allergies

One of the common problems that dog owners face in caring for their dogs is a food allergy. While some people immediately panic if they see their pets start itching, others seem to show no apprehension at all. To help you make more informed decisions about the kind of food to give your pooch, study the key points below.

What You Need to Know

· Food allergy is rare. There is only a 1 in 100 chance that your dog will develop a food allergy. Among all the various types of dog allergies, hypersensitivity to food is found to be the least common; ranking after flea and inhalant allergies.

· Food allergy takes time to develop. It is very uncommon for puppies aged below seven months to have a particular kind of food allergy. Normally, it takes six months to one year of eating the same dog food over and over again for a pooch to develop an allergy to it.

· Allergy symptoms do not include vomiting and/or diarrhea. Indications of any dog allergy mainly take on the form of itching as demonstrated by scratching, chewing, rubbing of the face, biting of the axilla, groin, or base of the tail, licking of the paws, and development of red inflamed eyes and skin or ear infections. Vomiting, diarrhea, and regurgitation, on the other hand, are symptoms of gastrointestinal problems generally resulted from food intolerance, which is a totally different thing.  It has nothing to do with allergy, and it only means that a particular or a combination of food does not agree with your pooch’s digestive system.

· Dogs are allergic to a specific food. If your dog has a food allergy, this means that he is sensitive to one or more particular ingredients; not to all of the constituents of a certain food. The most commonly identified food allergens for canines are chicken, beef, wheat, corn, and soy. If your pooch is allergic to chicken, he would be showing signs whether the chicken’s cooked or not. It is the specific combination of proteins in a food that triggers a dog’s allergic reaction; not the brand of dog food or the way of cooking.

· There remains no reliable medical test for food allergy in dogs. Blood testing has not been proven to be accurate in food allergy diagnosis in dogs, and scratch tests are never done for foods. The only reliable way to determine whether or not your pooch has a food allergy is to perform food trials. This means eliminating chicken, beef, corn, and wheat from Fido’s diet and then feeding him a restricted regime using protein-based alternate nutriments such as fish, duck, or venison, usually mixed with potatoes or rice, for about three months. The diet consists of everything that your dog consumes; including all his food treats. If his allergic symptoms go away, you may start adding chicken or beef back in gradually till you can clearly identify what particular allergens your dog is sensitive to.

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