Identifying and Managing Food Sensitivities in Dogs

The prevalence of food allergies and sensitivities in dogs is well-established. Overreactions in a pet’s immune system cause it to produce antibodies that target harmless items. When someone has a food allergy, their immune system reacts by making antibodies against certain foods, usually proteins or complex carbs. Because antibodies are needed for an allergy to develop, food allergies usually manifest after prolonged exposure to a particular type, brand, or shape of food. It should be noted that dogs who are allergic to shellfish may experience an adverse reaction to glucosamine for dogs.

dog eating from bowl

How can one tell whether they have a food allergy?

If your dog is suffering from a food allergy, you can see symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting, or itchy skin, paws, or ears. Subtle changes can include hyperactivity, lack of appetite, extreme tiredness, and even aggression.

To Keep Your Puppy Healthy, It’s Vital to Adhere to Your Vet’s Prescriptions for Vaccinations and Preventative Medications, Such as Heartworm and Flea/Tick Suppressant. When it comes to your puppy’s health in the long run, these are crucial.

How is a food allergy diagnosed?

An elimination trial, which involves feeding a hypoallergenic diet for eight to twelve weeks, is the gold standard for accurately detecting food allergies. For this to be an effective elimination trial, your dog’s special diet must be completely free of any foods it has previously consumed. Additionally, throughout the trial period, no additional foods, treats, or supplements, including flavored vitamins and certain parasite preventives, are allowed to be consumed.

The following stage, if your dog’s allergy symptoms go away during the meal trial, is to reintroduce his old food as a food challenge. If your dog’s symptoms go away during the food trial but come back after a week of the challenge, your dog likely has a food allergy.

It is possible to find out if your dog has food allergies with the use of blood tests. If your vet thinks these serum IgE tests could help diagnose your pet’s illness, you can ask them about it. Some research suggests that dietary elimination trials are more effective than these blood tests.

Warning signs that your dog may be experiencing a food allergy

The recognition of symptoms is the initial step in diagnosing food allergies in dogs. It is crucial to properly observe the level and intensity of symptoms because they could indicate other health problems or disorders in addition to allergies. Owners should always make an appointment with a vet or expert if symptoms do not improve.

  • Itchy skin, sometimes called pruritus. The majority of allergic reactions in dogs manifest as itching, and food allergies are a common culprit.
  • Paws that itch. Environmental irritants like pollen and dust mites are one possible cause of itching paws in dogs. However, food allergies can also play a role in this condition.
  • Infections of the ears. Recurrent ear infections affect 50% of dogs with food allergies; in some cases, this is the sole sign of the condition.
  • Points of high temperature. German shepherds and golden retrievers are among the breeds most prone to hot spot issues, which tend to occur at specific times of year. Hot spots can have many reasons, one of which is food allergies.
  • Coughing up a cold. A dog’s sneezing now and then is cute, but if it’s becoming routine, it could be an indication of a more serious problem, such an allergic reaction.
  • Alopecia, darkening of the scales, or a rash on the skin. Crusty scabs, red or irritated skin (atopic dermatitis), and hair loss from self-inflicted wounds are just a few of the worrying skin disorders that can develop in dogs with food allergies.
  • Red eyes. Dogs can experience reddening of the eyes as a result of allergies, much as humans can identify this symptom as a hallmark of pollen season allergies.
  • Indigestion, gas, or bloating.

The natural tendency of a dog’s body to eliminate foreign things, such as food allergies, is similar to that of a human’s. You should take your pet to the doctor if you notice any of these symptoms: persistent diarrhea, vomiting, or difficulty passing stool, such as straining. These could be indications of a food allergy.

Can food allergies be cured?

Dog food allergies currently have no treatment options. Avoidance is the sole course of treatment. While a hypoallergenic diet may help some dogs, others may need medication for more severe bouts.

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