Description: Learn everything you need to know about food allergies in dogs. We give a complete rundown of causes, symptoms, and methods to cure them! Read our comprehensive guide to find out everything in detail.
Food allergies in dogs present themselves in several different symptoms. Your dog could be scratching, itching, nipping at itself, or crying for no reason. They could have tummy aches, upset stomachs, or go silent.
Dogs can’t exactly talk and communicate that they’re reacting. That’s why it’s up to owners to know what’s going with their pets’ food and what potential chemicals may cause a severe reaction. In this article, we will be listing what you need to know about dogs and food allergies.
What Are Food Allergies in Dogs?
Food allergies are a stronger version of food intolerances. Just as how some humans are sensitive to gluten or other chemicals, some are allergic and will have an allergic reaction. Your pet is the same way. They will have an allergic reaction, but their symptoms may slightly differ from human responses.
Common reactions of food allergies in dogs include itching and redness of the skin. They may also start acting abnormally or whining while staring at you for extended periods. Pets do not know how to react, and they only know something is wrong.
If it comes down to anything, it’s best to take your pet to the vet so that they can get treated immediately. Some food allergies can be deadly, mainly if your pet ate a large amount of a substance they are allergic to.
Also, an allergic reaction is different from toxic or poisonous substances. Pets may not be able to stomach individual flowers, shrubs, or fruits. This is due to specific chemicals inside the plants that are poisonous to the dog species as a whole.
Can Dogs Develop Food Allergies Later in Life?
Dog allergic reactions can develop any time in their lives and may not affect the whole species. Individual animals are prone to have allergic reactions to specific foods groups, while others may flourish on them. It’s tough to pinpoint which foods cause allergies due to the diversity in responses.
What Do Food Allergies Do?
Food allergies in dogs are a reaction to specific types that attach your pet’s immune system and cause an excess gain in protein. The protein leads to an over-reaction which can result in a whole host of reaction. Protein isn’t just found in meats, but also small doses of grains and vegetables. Any of these picks have a chance to trigger a food allergy in your dog.
So, what are the signs of food allergies in dogs? Dogs are known for having strong stomachs, so it doesn’t exactly make sense that they would be sensitive to certain snacks. You’ve seen your pets digging through the trash, eating moldy leftovers, or even their poop. Your animal’s gastrointestinal system does most of the work to prevent allergens from being triggered each day.
But what causes food allergies in dogs? The intestinal tract of a dog does an excellent job of breaking down food as it moves from the stomach to the intestines. The food is digested and broken down into amino acids which are then absorbed into the body through enterocytes. When a food the pet is allergic to is consumed, that’s when the animal will start to feel symptoms. If you still need more detailed information, we recommend that you check out pets advisors.
What Are the Major Causes of Food Allergies in Dogs?
It may be a while before your pet tends to develop an allergic reaction to specific types of bites. However, as the animal ages, it will then become allergic and react negatively to the food consistently. That’s why it’s essential to avoid edible snacks after an allergic reaction has happened.
The most common food allergies in dogs that trigger an allergic reaction over time are beef, dairy, and grains. No matter what form they are in, pets generally tend to develop allergic reactions to them. This includes additives to kibbles or even pure chunks of beef.
By ingesting these products over time, an animal can develop inflammation, infections, and even get to the point where surgery is needed. A dog of any age may experience allergies, but it’s more common amongst middle age to senior dogs. Some breeds may also get food allergies to specific groups. It’s best to do your research, as it will give you a good idea of what additives to avoid.
What to Feed Dogs with Food Allergies
Dogs with food allergies will need to be fed with specific brands. An excellent method for determining what is best in your case is to ask your vet for the best dog food for dogs with allergies. Alternatives are to check brands and read the ingredient list and nutrition labels.
The only downside to using that method is that there are a lot of hidden ingredients. Hidden ingredients tend to use other words to describe what they are. So for example, “beef” may be listed as “meat meal” rather than explicitly stating that it’s beef. This can be confusing as you’d think it may be chicken or pork.
The safest way is to ask your vet for the best dog food for dogs with allergies or try in small doses and see what happens. Researching all of the ingredients is suggested but may take up most of your time. If all else fails, then creating your mix can help prevent any allergic reactions.
However, making up your meals is not recommended because you may accidentally leave out essential nutrients. It’s best to search for multiple brands that you can switch between or mix with cooked things. This will ensure they are getting all the nutrients needed to stay happy and healthy.
Treats for Dogs with Food Allergies
Another food item for pets is to keep an eye out for treats. You may not think about it, but treats have a ton of different additives even if they look like one ingredient. They also are very concentrated, which can be a problem if your pet’s allergic reaction is severe.
Look for dog snacks with only a short ingredient list that doesn’t contain any additives, additional fillers, or includes a mix of grains. Check the ingredients: dried chicken, turkey, and salmon are excellent choices. Some milk-bones or homemade pet treats also contain minimal components.
Alternatively, you could also make your dog treats, but they would take time to put together. However, they will be a lot safer for your pet and ensure that there won’t be any problems.
How Can I Tell If My Dog Has Allergies?
Sadly, there are no methods to tell exactly what foods your dog is allergic to. The only way to accurately identify food allergies in dogs is to eliminate certain things from their diet slowly. It can be hard to spot just one food at a time, but it gets the job done. Maybe in the future, there will be more methods available for vets to discover food allergies in dogs.
Food allergies in dogs can appear in an instant, which makes them very confusing to most pet owners. One day your dog could be fine eating their favorite picks, and the next they may show symptoms of an allergic reaction. That’s why it’s important to pinpoint these issues quickly and change the pet’s diet as soon as possible.
Taking your pup to the vet can also help confirm if they are having an allergic reaction towards their meals or something else. Other common responses tend to be from fleas or medications. It’s always good to know before you switch their diet, as sometimes you may switch to something they may have a sensitivity to.
What are your thoughts on food allergies in dogs? Let us know in the comments!
Author’s Bio: R. Hudson is a professional dog trainer, blogger, and author. She is a mother of one beautiful girl and wife. Hudson has worked as a volunteer for Best Friends and traveled to Africa as part of a research project.