Everyone knows someone that is allergic to something. You may even have an allergy yourself, but did you know your dog can have allergies, too? The most common ingredients in pet food dogs are allergic to are proteins, corn, and additives. Allergies can occur even if your pet has been on the same diet for many years, in fact, they will especially occur after your pet has been eating the same thing for an extended amount of time. Knowing the symptoms of an allergic reaction in your dog and what to do if he has an allergy is essential to your pet’s health.
Signs of Dog Food Allergies
Assuming that your dog is healthy in all other aspects and is getting a well balanced diet, symptoms of an allergy are pretty prominent.
- Is your dog itching excessively?
- Did you change your dog’s food recently?
- Does your pet seem obsessed with biting his skin? Especially his feet?
- Have you noticed your pet licking one spot of his skin excessively?
- Does your dog have a rash or small red, raised bumps on his skin?
- Is your dog just acting differently than normal?
Simple Changes That Make a Difference
Here are some simple things you can do to help relieve possible dog food allergies:
- Switch to a lamb based diet. Dogs are less likely to be allergic to lamb than other meats. Additionally, you can try any food that your pet has never had. Has he been eating beef for three years? Try chicken. Has he been eating chicken for two tears? Try duck.
- Try making your own dog food. Do some research on homemade dog food and try it out. You can experiment a little bit with what you add in it to find out what it is your dog is allergic to.
- Consider a raw diet. Just like making your own dog food, this can help eliminate the allergen from your dog’s diet.
- Try organic food with no coloring, preservatives or additives. This is healthier for your dog anyways, and should be considered even for dogs without allergies.
- Try foods that are specifically made hypo-allergenic. These are formulated scientifically to reduce the chances of allergens irritating your dog.
- Look at the ingredients on the back of the food your dog is eating when the symptoms started. Give him a food that is grain free, or try beef instead of chicken. This might help you find out what it is he is allergic to.
- What treats or chews does your dogs get? Eliminate the rawhide bones, the greenies, and switch the treats you buy.
- Remember that your dog could appear to have allergies, but may actually have a protein or omega imbalance, that is why seeing your vet is critical.
Even if you think you know for sure that your dog has an allergy, always consult your veterinarian before changing your dog’s diet! You may even be able to get food recommendations from them.