Dogs are susceptible to food allergies, majorly because of genetic factors as well as environmental factors. Dogs are likely to have an allergic reaction to certain ingredients, even in premium foods. For this reason, it is good to be mindful of this and respond quickly to prevent any detrimental effects.
There is a significant difference between food intolerance and food allergies. Intolerance means your dog experiences some difficulties breaking down specific ingredients within the diet, while food allergies occur when an immune response is triggered.
Once the dog’s system identifies a specific ingredient in the diet as harmful, the immune system releases antibodies to fight it, subsequently triggering an allergic response. The following symptoms can identify food allergies;
• Persistent itchiness and scratching
• Gastrointestinal problems; vomiting, gas, and diarrhea
• Sneezing and wheezing
• Skin rashes, hair loss, skin inflammation, and wounds due to excessive scratching
• Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) due to consistent gastrointestinal issues
Common Food Allergies in Dogs
It can be hard to single out a specific food causing the allergen in your dog. Read on below to discover the most common food allergens in dogs.
Beef is a common ingredient in most premium dog foods, and sometimes dogs are fed on beef meals directly. Consistent feeding on beef can result in intolerance and allergies eventually. Beef being a protein makes it the most common form of food allergen in dogs. If you witness any symptoms mentioned earlier, and your dog feeds consistently on beef, there is a possibility that your dog does not tolerate beef.
Dairy Meals and Products
Most dogs strain to break down lactose in their systems, leading to reactions. However, it is good to note that lactose is an intolerance issue rather than a food allergy. Lactose allergy cannot be disqualified entirely, though, because your dog can experience it.
Lactose intolerance can be characterized by vomiting, gas, and diarrhea, while lactose allergy will be visible through skin itchiness, scratching, and associated symptoms.
It is not likely for your dog to experience an allergic reaction to carbohydrates because food allergens are familiar with food rich in protein. Dogs should be treated individually because their response differs.
Though not so common, your dog can have an allergic reaction to grains. Consult with your pet nutritionist about the possibility of grain allergens in your dog.
Just like beef allergies, chicken allergies in dogs are likely to occur. You might wonder how your dog can be allergic to chicken, as it has been feeding on this meal for a while.
Chicken is the cheapest source of protein and is heavily used as an ingredient in most dog food. Your dog is likely to be intolerant and subsequently allergic to chicken.
Consistent and prolonged feeding of your dog with chicken can result in intolerance and, subsequently, chicken allergy.
Read the Spot & Tango blog to learn more about how dogs can be allergic to chicken.
Lamb falls under the same category as beef and chicken. Although lamb was introduced as an alternative to chicken and beef, some pets have developed an intolerance over time. Being aware of your dog’s reaction to lamb is ideal for alleviating the risks associated with this early.
Protein available inside the yolk of an egg is what could cause an allergic reaction in your dog. This is also a common food allergy in dogs, so it is prudent to check the labels of ingredients used in your dog food to be sure and avoid putting your dog in any danger.
Soy is another potential food to cause allergies, but it is more detrimental compared to other foods. Soy can cause reproductive health issues and growth challenges; the effects of feeding soy to your pet can be highly damaging. Before feeding your dog with soy products blindly, please consult with your pet nutritionist to learn more about soy and its effects on your pet.
Managing Food Allergies
Though blood testing with your veterinarian is highly recommended to establish any allergic reaction towards food, the most efficient way is to eliminate the diet for some time. Once you witness symptoms listed earlier, withdraw the regular diet you have been feeding your dog and introduce a new diet recommended by your vet or homemade meals.
Once your dog’s health has improved, try reintroducing the initial foods to see if there will be an allergic reaction again. In the event your dog indicates an allergic reaction, then stop feeding your pet the singled-out food indefinitely and use the recommended food from your veterinarian or homemade food.