FOOD ALLERGIES IN DOGS
What was your reaction the first time you were told your dog has food allergies? You may be wondering how come? However, it is very important to understand what food allergies are and the causes.
According expert Food allergies in dogs present themselves quite differently than food allergies in humans. For instance, a person who is allergic to shellfish may experience throat swelling and possibly a critical or fatal reaction, but in dogs, the allergy is expressed through the skin and seen most often as itch.”
Causes of Food Allergies in Dogs
Dogs with food allergies are typically allergic to proteins, which come from animal or plant-based ingredients of the diet. The proteins are broken down into molecules that the immune system misidentifies as a potential threat. Beef, dairy, wheat, and chicken are the most common culprits of food allergies in dogs. The development of food allergies, however, takes time. So the dog may have been eating the offending ingredients for quite a long time before symptoms develop.
Common Signs of Food Allergies in Dogs
Signs and reactions of food allergy vary from one dog to the other. However, most times it usually involves itching that may involve the whole body or be focused on the ears and feet. Chronic or recurrent ear and skin infections are also typical. Sometimes dogs may even develop vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive gassiness. Symptoms often begin when dogs are less than a year but may develop at any time.
How Food Allergy Are Diagnosed in Dogs
There 2 ways to diagnose food allergies in dogs are hydrolyzed protein or novel protein.
Whatever type of hypoallergenic dog food is used, it should be fed for a minimum of 8-10 weeks to adequately assess the dog’s response.
Once the food allergy has been diagnosed using a hypoallergenic dog food, a challenge should be performed to confirm the diagnosis. When the original diet is fed, the symptoms should return within two weeks. Following confirmation of the food allergy, single source ingredients (e.g., slices of chicken or a sprinkling of wheat) may be added to the hypoallergenic dog food to determine exactly which ingredients must be avoided in the future. It is usually good to work with veterinarian in order to determine the best food for your dog.
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