Just like humans, your fur babies can also have food allergies. Dogs suffer from food intolerance, but 10% of allergy cases are due to food allergies. In dogs experiencing allergies, their immune system overreacts and produces antibodies to substances it usually tolerates. Since the production of antibodies is required for a food allergy to develop, such allergies will start to manifest after prolonged intake of the type of food your dog eats.
Here are the commonly asked questions of dog owners when it comes to choosing the right food for dogs with skin allergies:
What Are The Usual Signs Of Allergies In Dogs?
Symptoms of allergies vary in dogs, but the most common sign is itching on the ears, feet, or entire body. Some dogs show signs of food allergy when they’re still a puppy. However, there are also cases that symptoms appear when the dog is a year old. Some other signs include having rashes on the feet, red irritated skin, diarrhea, gassiness, and vomiting. You can navigate here on some pages to better understand what to feed your fur babies if they have allergies.
How Is A Food Allergy Diagnosed In Dogs?
Veterinarians will test your dog for a range of allergies to point out the most problematic ingredients causing the food allergy. A food trial will be conducted using hypoallergenic dog food as it’s the only way to diagnose allergies in dogs. A vet can do this using hydrolyzed protein or a novel protein source. That way, their doctor can recommend several treatment options and a new diet.
What Are The Best Food Options?
Once your doctor has determined what caused the allergy of your fur baby, it’s time to change the diet. There are several ways to help reduce your dog’s food allergy symptoms with the following options:
Grain-free Dog Food
This diet is for dogs sensitive to wheat, corn, and other grains. Grain-free food also has the added benefit of being a gluten-free diet. Here’s a quick recipe you can follow to make a homemade meal for your dog:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Add two chopped apples, four chopped carrots, and water into a pot. Bring to a boil and cover. Simmer until the contents are soft, which can take about 15 minutes.
- Crack six eggs and whisk them together in a medium bowl. Place the eggshells onto a baking sheet and place in the oven for 7 minutes or until they’re dry. Pulverize the shell using a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle.
- In a large skillet, place 3 pounds of ground chicken, 6 ounces chopped chicken liver, 3 tbsp sunflower seed oil, and ground eggshells. Cook over medium heat while mixing occasionally.
- Mash the softened apples and carrots and add to the meat mixture. Combine.
Limited Ingredient Dog Food
This type of dog food addresses the presence of various allergens by just adding one protein source like chicken, lamb, or beef. It’s often combined with one carbohydrate source. You can do a homemade meal for your fur baby with this recipe:
- In a large bowl, combine 2 pounds of cooked lean beef, 6 cups brown rice, four diced hard-boiled eggs, three shredded carrots, 1/4 cup minced parsley, and 3 tbsp olive oil.
- Combine completely and store in a tightly sealed container. Place in the refrigerator in-between meals.
Novel Ingredient Dog Food
For novel ingredient meals, chicken and beef are usually replaced with duck, salmon, or venison which are unusual protein sources.
Aside from that, sweet potatoes are used as carbohydrates to balance out a dog’s meal. Here’s a quick recipe you can prepare:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Peel 1/2 sweet potato and cut into small cubes. Toss them in a pot of unsalted water and boil for 10 minutes.
- Line a baking pan using tin foil and place two salmon on top. Drain the cubed sweet potatoes and put them on top of the salmon.
- Drizzle sunflower oil on top of the fish and bake for 35 minutes. Turn it over and cook for another 30 minutes.
- Cool down and sprinkle sesame seeds and chopped parsley.
Prescription Dog Food
Your vet will recommend this diet if your dog has a severe allergy. It may be a pricey option, but sticking to this dog food will help your fur baby stay comfortable and healthy.
Make sure to pay attention to the list of dog food ingredients you’ll buy. There are several terms: turkey meal, fish meal, meat meal, lamb meal, chicken meal, and more. Meat meals mean the bone and meat are thoroughly cooked and pulverized to create the ingredient. That means it’s not 100% pure eat, which may contain allergens. Look for dog food that came from pure meat sources.
What Are The Most Common Allergens?
The most common allergens in dogs are rich in protein. Some of them are dairy products, chicken eggs, gluten, soy, corn, fish, rabbit, beef, and lamb. Every time a dog eats one of these, its antibodies react with antigens, and skin allergy will occur.
As you can see, most of the allergens are non-protein-related and protein-related allergens. If your dog has an allergic reaction, consult a vet. After that, you now know what type of ingredients you need to avoid and stop feeding them food containing these allergens.
Remember, there’s no single particular dog food that can treat your dog’s skin allergies. It’ll still depend on their situation and what types of allergens their body reacts to. Humans do have a hard time when they are experiencing allergies. Just think about if it happens to your fur babies.
The following questions with their corresponding answers will help you and your dog through the process. If you notice your dog has a food allergy, visit the veterinarian to help your fur baby live an itch-free and healthier life.