In this article I am going to provide you with some helpful information on some canine food allergies, the symptoms, some causes and foods that will help with these.
Common canine allergies
Statistics show that ten percent of canine allergies are caused from foods they eat. The most common dog food allergies are caused by certain meats, dairy products, grains and soy. Included in these meats are beef, lamb and pork. Others may come from chicken, rabbit or even fish. Unfortunately for your pooch, beef is the #1 food allergen. This is followed by dairy products, then eggs and then soy. This is not to say that your dog will have allergies to any of these products, I’m just letting you know what the top food allergens are. As I stated previously, only ten percent of his allergies come from foods. There are a couple of different things that can cause these food allergies and they are genetic disposition, being the most common and the other is environmental.
Signs and symptoms
The most common signals would be scratching their ears and chewing on their paws. Several other signs are vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss, chronic ear problems, under development in younger dogs, coughing and sneezing. It’s true that other things may be causing these symptoms as well. If any of these conditions persist, it is always best to consult your vet and give them as much information as you possibly can such as when you first noticed it and how often any of these symptoms appear.
Food sensitivity vs. allergy
Food sensitivity, or intolerance, means that your dog may by sensitive to a specific ingredient or ingredients in his food and is usually indicated by intestinal upset such as vomiting or diarrhea. Food allergies, however, affect the immune system and can range anywhere from mild to deadly. One thing that may help as far as the allergens go is Omega-3 fish oil. This will help to strengthen the dog’s skin and make it more resistant to the allergens.
Something you can try on your own, although could be a little expensive, is to replace what your dog normally eats with dog foods that are uncommon to him. This is called an elimination diet. This can be done switching him to dog food with meats such as ostrich, quail, bison, duck, alligator or kangaroo. These can be found in some specialty pet stores as well as some larger pet food suppliers such as Chewy.com. In making this substitution, it eliminates common meats and allergens from his digestive tract, allowing for a detox or cleansing of his system. This is recommended to do for two to three weeks at least. Then, you slowly reintroduce some of the previous meats, one by one, to determine which one caused the allergy. Now don’t be surprised, if after returning him to his regular meats, he might snub his nose at it. He probably will have enjoyed some of these less common meats. Your vet may also have some other diet ideas for you to try on him.
Dogs are susceptible to many environmental allergies just like humans. One for instance, is a form of hay fever. Dogs can be allergic to pollen just like we are. One thing that can help build up their immune system is honey. As spring starts, you can give your pooch a teaspoon of local, or organic, honey to help build his immune system to prevent the attack from such pollens as tree, grass and ragweed for when he goes outside for a romp in the yard or for his daily walks.
So you can see, dogs are susceptible to many allergies, like humans, including both food allergies and environmental allergies. There are many ways to treat/prevent many of the food allergies with either changes in their diets temporarily and also by some medications out there. As I stated, you can change his diet to some uncommon meats, for a short period of time, and slowly reintroduce the regular meats and foods, one by one to see which one he is allergic to. I have found that Chewy has some very good limited ingredient formulas that will aid in this process.
Best of health to you and your best friend.