Whenever a dog experiences any skin problems, people don’t immediately think that they can be an allergic reaction to the food they eat or are sensitive to what they take in. Since a lot of dogs keep on eating the same kinds of dog food for years, the food they take in is rarely suspected. However, dogs, just like humans, could also develop sensitivities to any food or additives at any given time. Recent studies have estimated that 10 to 15% of every allergic skin disease in dogs is caused by a food allergy. In these cases, they need to be served allergy dog food or food that doesn’t cause allergic reactions.
What’s in Allergy Dog Food?
Since dog food is composed of a number of ingredients, it can be quite difficult to know what ingredient causes the allergy. The most common of the ingredients that could cause allergic reactions to your dog include beef, corn, fish, milk, pork, wheat, chicken, eggs, lamb, preservatives and whey.
The main symptom that appears in your allergic dog is having itchy skin. Other symptoms might include itching in your pet’s anal area, hair loss, appetite loss, head shaking, licking of the front paws and face rubbing. There are times when asthma-like symptoms, diarrhea, seizures, vomiting, changes in behavior, flatulence and sneezing can also be noticed.After you have consulted your veterinarian and have concluded that the food might be the original cause of your dog’s allergic reactions, you can start your pet on an elimination diet. Discard all of the food items that are included in the aforementioned list from your dog’s diet and provide your pet with allergy dog food, which might be either commercial or homemade and made up of ingredients that you dog has never had before.
Your homemade allergy dog food should be made up of one part protein and two parts starch. Duck, rabbit, soy, venison and salmon can form the protein part while rice and potatoes for the starch. However, soy as well as rice can’t be always called as safe substitutes. Certain animal medical centers recommend making use of duck and potato-based foods as allergy dog food.
Commercial Allergy Dog Food
You could also go for commercial food blends as allergy dog foods. As your homemade variety may not be nutritionally complete, you shouldn’t continue feeding yours to your furry friend for more than eight weeks.
Whatever allergy dog food you pick for your furry friend, it should be the only one that your pet takes in during the elimination period. So, say goodbye to table scraps, dog bones, vitamins, minerals, chewable heartworm pills, dog biscuits and rawhide chews.In case symptoms improve during the elimination period, you could reintroduce the eliminated foods one at a time. Every one of the foods should be tested for one week before another one is introduced. This is going to help you know which of the foods might be causing problems in case symptoms resurface. Once you’ve known the food that your dog’s allergic to, it’s going to be easier for you to pick the right allergy dog food for your pet to eat.