Dog food allergies: how to overcome them?

Posted on October 19 2018

Dog food allergies: how to overcome them?

In dogs, one in 10 cases of allergy is related to an immune response caused by a food. Food allergies are not always easy to identify, but it is quite possible to improve the daily lives of dogs that suffer.

Food Allergy and Intolerance are 2 different things. Food intolerance is the difficulty for the body of the dog to digest a certain food, such as the lactose in cow's milk, while allergy succession of immune reaction caused by contact of the digestive system with allergenic food substance .

The dog's food allergy is not associated with any race predisposition . It can occur at any age , in both male and female animals . In addition, it is often difficult to identify . What are the main causes of dog food allergy? What are the most common manifestations and how can it be treated?

The main causes of food allergy

Some foods that we, humans, can usually consume without any problems are likely to produce allergies in dogs. Soybeans, onions, corn, beets or rhubarb are among them. The digestive system of our 4 - legged friends is not able to assimilate these foods. The latter contain allergens which, when coming into contact with the cells lining the surface of the intestines , give rise to immune reactions.

This is also the case for certain substances that may be present in dairy products, beef, cereals and eggs.

Common symptoms of food allergy

In general, dogs suffering from food allergies are pruritic : they feel strong and recurrent itching. They may also begin to lick excessively and show signs of alopecia (hair loss). Redness and other forms of lesions often appear on various skin areas.

In some cases, food allergies can lead to digestive disorders such as vomiting and diarrhea , respiratory or nervous problems , and even repetitive ear infections.

The predatory scheme to find the guilty food

It is often difficult to identify the offending food. The procedure conducted by the veterinarian is rather long and laborious, but it is necessary to find an effective solution to the problem of allergy which suffers the dog.

First of all, it is necessary to study well the habitual diet of the animal, before establishing a regime called " eviction ". It consists of feeding the dog food that he had never eaten until then and observe the reactions of his body. This diet usually lasts 8 weeks , but it may be longer. Then, foods potentially containing allergens are reintroduced gradually , in order to detect any symptoms and accurately identify the offending food.

In the shorter term, the veterinarian may prescribe corticosteroids , antihistamines or antibiotics to reduce the manifestations of allergic reactions.

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