Just like humans, dogs can also have allergies by in taking certain kind of foods. It generally occurs when their immune system misidentifies the protein as a foreign agent and produce antibodies that result in an allergic response. Grains, vegetable & meat products are the sources of protein, so any protein from these sources can potentially cause allergies in a dog.
During digestion of food when the protein gets absorbed into the small intestine without first breaking down into amino acids then the immune system reacts and causes allergy.
Common symptoms of food allergies are
- Itching all over the body
- Chronic ear inflation
- Paw biting
- Hair loss
- Skin infection
- Watery eyes
- Snoring in dogs
The most common allergic food proteins are lamb, chicken, eggs, soy etc.
How to diagnose it?
If your dog is showing any symptom of food allergy then you need to find out what was the source of protein that causes allergic reaction so in order to do that you have to perform a food trial by using hypoallergenic dog food. The diet will contain only a few ingredients (one protein & carbohydrate and other fats & minerals) which the dog has never eat or the dog should be fed protein that has been hydrolyzed, this diet will not cause any allergic reaction. In case of a severe allergic reaction, the dog owner needs to visit a veterinarian as he will examine the dog’s history then suggest a diet which will help in improving the dog’s condition. Once fully recovered, then the veterinarian will test the elements of old diet one by one in order to identify that specific food which causes the allergic reaction. This whole procedure will help you to know about the food which is not suitable for the dog’s body and then the dog-owner can stop feeding it to his dog.
How to prevent food allergies?
There are numerous ways to fight off food allergies:
- By ensuring adequate health care and nutrition of your dog
- Blend or grind the food rich in protein as it will be easier for dog to digest it
- Avoid giving food having multiple sources of protein as if your dog gets allergic to any particular source of protein then it would be difficult for you to find that out
If you find any allergic symptoms in your dog then make sure to find out the source of protein which is responsible for it and avoid feeding it in future. And don’t forget to visit a veterinarian to rule out all the allergies which are discomforting your dog.