We know it can be unpleasant and stressful having to deal with your canine companion's food allergies and sensitivities. That's why Our Modesto vets are sharing the best foods to help with your dog's food allergy.
Food Allergies In Dogs
If your canine companion has a food allergy or hypersensitivity, you have to know what the common signs and symptoms are and what to do if your pup is diagnosed with an allergy.
What are the signs of food allergies in dogs?
Generally, the first signs of a food allergy your dog could display is itching, red skin, or rashes on their ears and feet. Other symptoms of food allergies that are often seen in dogs include gassiness, vomiting, and diarrhea. Food allergies in dogs usually start to appear when they are approaching their first birthday, however, they can develop allergies and sensitivities at any point in their lives.
How are dog food allergies diagnosed?
Like humans, diagnosing a dog's food allergy will start with an elimination diet.
Your vet will give you hypoallergenic dog food that is specially formulated to feed your dog for a minimum of 8-10 weeks. It's very important that you only give your dog the hypoallergenic food during this timeframe. This will give your dog's body time to adjust to the new diet and give your veterinarian the opportunity to assess your pup's condition.
Typically dog owners will see an improvement in their pooch's condition after the first 4-6 weeks, however, a handful of breeds can take much longer to show any signs of improvement.
If your dog's symptoms go away during the elimination diet, your vet might recommend putting your dog back on its original diet to confirm the diagnosis. If your dog has food allergies, the original symptoms should reappear in approximately two weeks.
What should I feed my dog if they have food allergies?
If your vet diagnosis your dog with a food allergy there are various food options that are available in stores, or from your veterinarian, that can help you to address the issue and alleviate your dog's allergy symptoms.
Below are some of the most popular foods available for dogs with allergies:
- Prescription Dog Food: Your veterinarian might recommend feeding your dog prescription dog food. While this option can be pricey, it could be the best way to address your dog's symptoms if they have a severe allergy.
- Limited Ingredient Dog Foods: These foods address the presence of allergens by including only one protein source, such as beef, lamb or chicken. Often, these foods are also reduced to just a single carbohydrate source. Remember to look for a seal of approval from the Association of American Feed Control (AAFCO), as well as a "complete and balanced" claim from the manufacturer when buying limited ingredient dog foods.
- Novel Ingredient Dog Food: Novel ingredient dog foods replace the most common dog food proteins (beef and chicken) with more unusual proteins that will be new to your dog's system such as duck or salmon. Many novel ingredient foods will also use unusual carbohydrates, leading to combinations such as potato and venison.
- Grain-Free Dog Food: Grain-free dog foods and treats are ideal if your pet has a sensitivity to corn, wheat and other grains. These pet foods are also gluten-free. However, it's important to note that while grain-free foods are gluten-free, not all gluten-free dog foods are grain-free.
Which food is right for my dog?
The diet that is best for your dog will depend on their specific allergy and overall health. If your dog's symptoms are due to an allergy, your veterinarian will be able to recommend the best food for improving your dog's health.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.