As with humans, food allergies can also affect dogs. This is a variety of allergy that occurs all year round, unlike allergies caused by seasonal factors (e.g. pollen).
What are the symptoms of food allergy in dogs?
The most common symptom we can observe in our pet is annoying itching. If we notice that the dog scratches its head, stomach or limbs, we may suspect an allergy. It’s likely that one of the ingredients in the food you’re feeding your dog is causing the annoying symptoms.
How to diagnose a food allergy in a dog?
At first, we should visit a vet to eliminate other diseases that may be causing the itching. Then we can perform allergy tests. But the best check will be the elimination of particular ingredients from the daily diet.
To begin with, we try to create a dog menu based on food that contains as few allergenic ingredients as possible. We also omit those ingredients that were in the dog’s previous food. During the elimination process, we do not feed the dog treats, fruit, vegetables etc.
Dogs are most often sensitised to eggs, milk, beef, lamb, wheat or corn.
If your dog’s allergy symptoms disappear after eating a new diet, you can gradually introduce ingredients from its old food. In this way, we look for the allergen. The process is time-consuming, but will allow us to consciously compose your dog’s diet in the future.
Which food to use for allergic dogs?
The best method is the one described above. If we find an unfavourable ingredient, we can feed the dog as we see fit, omitting only the allergenic one. All you need to do is read labels or choose your dog’s meat, cereals and vegetables accordingly if you are preparing homemade food for your dog.
Hypoallergenic food can be an alternative, but this limits your dog in terms of taste and variety.
How else can you help your dog with a food allergy?
First of all, by treating the symptoms. In this case, it’s worth visiting a vet. He will advise how to alleviate the symptoms of itching or inflammation.
It’s also worth paying attention to supplementation. If we give vitamins, mineral salts to dog during elimination diet, they should be in pure form. Sometimes the carrier of supplements is an allergen.