If your dog suffers from allergies, you’ll know it. The itching, the watery eyes, and the runny nose are all of the usual symptoms that can be so disruptive that it can feel like an all-day affair to get through the day. When your dog suffers from allergies, intolerance to certain foods can also play a part.
While exact causes are still not fully understood, it’s believed that dogs may be more susceptible to allergies than people due to various factors, including their anatomy and genetics. In fact, many allergens have been found in dog saliva and urine for a reason it’s likely their bodies react as if they were exposed to them!
What is an allergy?
Allergies occur when the immune system reacts to different things dust, pollens, foods, dander, etc. As if they were dangerous invaders. When this happens too frequently, the resulting inflammation can harm your dog’s health. Allergies can be severe, with potentially life-threatening consequences.
If your dog is suffering from an allergy to certain things, it’s best to seek medical advice. This can be done by visiting your veterinarian, who will be able to rule out other causes for the symptoms. Allergies occur for various reasons and can be triggered by a new antigen (allergen) or an antigen from previous exposure.
Why is a dog food allergy dangerous?
In many cases, a dog food allergy can be managed without medication. However, if your dog has a severe sensitivity (such as a wheat allergy), simply removing the trigger will not be enough to alleviate the symptoms. It’s important to control the allergies, so your dog’s symptoms do not become intolerable.
When a dog food allergy is severe, feeding a special diet can be extremely difficult. Many veterinarians will advise a restricted diet to help manage the allergies while keeping your dog as comfortable as possible. When a dog food allergy is moderate, eliminating the culprits can help ease your dog’s symptoms.
Types of Dog Food Allergies
Many different types of food allergies can affect dogs. Here are just a few:
1- Hypoallergenic diets contain low levels of proteins or oils commonly found in some foods. These diets are specifically designed to help manage food allergies in dogs. Some hypoallergenic diets are also suitable for cats.
2 – Sensitivities to wheat or rice often cause allergies in dogs. If your dog has a wheat allergy, talk to your veterinarian about whether you should feed him a wheat-free diet. Some dogs with wheat allergies are also sensitive to barley, rye, and barley grass.
3- Salmon allergies are common in dogs and some types of red meat.
4- Lamb allergies are relatively uncommon and can result from a sensitivity to the food protein known as “lamb lysozyme” found naturally in lamb’s tears.
5- Nut allergies are rare and occur most often in dogs fed a homemade diet.
6- Avocado allergies are also rare, but they do exist.
A Guide to the Best Dog Food for Allergies
A food allergy is more than just an intolerance to a certain type of food. Dogs with food allergies may have adverse reactions to a certain protein found in certain foods (usually protein-rich ingredients such as chicken, beef, and fish). The dog may have visible signs of an allergic reaction or experience a severe rash or skin disease.
Most dogs with food allergies are allergic to multiple foods and may need to eat a special diet for life. Luckily, many options are available to help manage your dog’s allergies.
When choosing the best dog food for allergies, it’s important to look for food free of common allergens.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing the best dog food for allergies:
1- How many ingredients are in the food? Many dog foods have more than 10 ingredients. Choose a product with fewer ingredients (this will be less likely to include an allergen as one of the ingredients).
2- Does the food contain artificial preservatives? An artificial preservative can contain one of the allergens you try to avoid.
3- Does the food contain legumes? Many dog foods don’t contain legumes (a common allergen) because they’re difficult to break down.
4- Does the food contain a grain? Grains can be problematic for dogs with food allergy because many people feed their dogs multiple grains as a cheap source of nutrition. Choose a food that’s free of grains.
5- Does the food contain artificial colors? Artificial colors can provoke allergic reactions in some dogs.
6 – Does the food contain added vitamins? Some dog foods contain unnecessary vitamins (especially ones containing corn) that add cost and weight without any nutritional benefits. Choose food with fewer added vitamins.
How to tell if the dog food is right for your dog with allergies?
To find the best dog food for allergies, it’s helpful to know your dog’s allergic tendencies. You can do this by looking carefully at your dog’s symptoms. Does scratch a lot? Does he have watery eyes? Do his paws get red or inflamed? These are all signs that your dog may have an allergy. Once you’ve determined that your dog is allergic to certain things, you’ll be better prepared to shop for the best dog food for allergy.
Here are a few things to consider:
2- Look at the nutritional value of the food: If your dog is intolerant to certain nutrients, he may not be able to get those things from his current diet.
3- Consider the price: Some high-quality dog foods are expensive. If your budget is tight, you may need to feed a lower-quality food to keep your dog’s allergies under control.
4- Consider the brand: Some brands are better than others at controlling allergies. Try to find a brand that’s been around for a while that’s been well-regarded by customers.
Allergies can be frustrating for dogs and their owners. Managing allergies can be difficult and expensive, so it’s important to seek advice from your veterinarian. Remember, allergies are usually caused by several factors, including genetics and the environment. Therefore, it’s important to closely monitor your dog’s environment and diet.