Food Allergy in Dogs
Does your dog constantly itch and scratch? Does your dog have recurrent ear infections or a really dry coat? You could be contributing to this without knowing it if your dog is allergic to something you’re feeding them.
What are some signs of food allergy?
- Dry itchy skin
- Excessive scratching or licking
- Pulling of fur
- Bald patches
- Ear infections
- Skin infections
What are the most common food allergens?
Finding a brand of dog food that is free of these ingredients can be difficult. Commercial foods are usually made with a lot of fillers mostly wheat, corn and soy. Funnily enough, the most common offenders of dog food allergy are the most common ingredients in dog foods. This correlation is not a coincidence. The incidence of allergic reactions are probably associated with the amount of exposure. Pay attention to the labels and opt for foods that don’t contain these ingredients.
But what exactly is a food allergy?
Food allergies are different from food intolerance. Food allergies show the characteristic symptoms of itching and skin problems. Food intolerance is the result of poor digestion, such as lactose intolerance, and can result in diarrhea or vomiting. Both food intolerance and allergies can be eliminated with a diet free from these offenders.
A food allergy occurs when the immune system mistakenly interprets the proteins in your dog’s food as a harmful substance. When a dog with this allergy eats the food, the body produces antibodies to fight the harmful substance, and this is what triggers an allergic reaction. Proteins are present in most of the foods your dog eats and while meats are a source of protein, there are also proteins in dairy, grains and vegetables. Any of these proteins has the potential to cause a food allergy.
What do you do?
The first thing you should do is talk to your vet to make sure that your dog’s symptoms are actually from a food allergy and not something else. The treatment for food allergies and intolerance is avoidance. Once you determine the offending foods they should be eliminated from your dog’s diet. Fatty acids, antihistamines and steroids provide short term relief but elimination of the allergy offenders from the diet is the only long-term solution. If your dog does in fact have a food allergy, your vet will most likely recommend that you try an elimination diet. This diet will involve you to eliminate all possible allergens and feed a homemade diet with a food your dog has never eaten before.
Eliminating food allergens will benefit your dog’s comfort and well-being and make for a happy and healthy pup!
For this reason, our treats are made with a low allergy risk formula with no dairy, no wheat, no corn, no soy, no preservatives, no chemicals, nothing artificial, no nasties! This means that Treats à la Bark biscuits are perfect for dogs with allergies and sensitive tummies! Just delicious handmade biscuits using only human grade, Certified Organic ingredients! Yum!