Dog Food Allergies And How To Deal With Them
Dogs are very social animals and they need human companionship. Dogs have been domesticated since ancient times. They were bred to work in farms and fields.
However, modern day life has changed things a bit. Humans no longer live on farms or fields anymore so dogs must now do their jobs without supervision from humans. Therefore, it’s not surprising that dogs are becoming less tolerant towards certain foods.
For example, a dog may become upset if it eats raw meat or fish. Another common problem is when a dog ingests wheat gluten meal (a protein found in some pet foods). A third possible cause of dog food allergy is when a dog eats cat litter or other animal hair products such as wool.
These types of materials can irritate the eyes and throat if ingested by your canine friend.
It is important to remember that dog food allergy can affect any breed of dog. Some breeds are more susceptible than others. For instance, golden retrievers tend to react more strongly to grain based ingredients while labradors are less likely to suffer from food allergies.
Other factors include age, gender, activity level and genetics.
So what does all this mean?
If you own a Golden Retriever or Labrador Retriever then you probably already know the answer! Yes, you are more likely to suffer from dog food allergies than owners of other breeds.
What Are The Symptoms Of Dog Food Allergies?
Dogs experience red itchy paws and facial swelling when they eat certain types of pet food. They can also succumb to breathing problems if the food is ingested in large quantities. This is why it is very important that you know how to save a dog with allergies.
What exactly should you do?
The answer is relatively simple: stop feeding your dog the food that is causing the problem!
Sounds easy enough right?
However, it can be a little more complicated. You may need to try several types of pet food until you find one that works well with your dog’s body. This can be a time consuming and frustrating process but it’s worth the effort. You may also need to take your dog to the doctor for testing. The good news is that there are relatively easy tests designed to detect and identify substances which cause allergic reactions. There is also the Itch-Scratch Test where a small amount of potential allergens are applied to your dog’s skin. If it starts to itch or show other signs of an allergic reaction then you know what to avoid in the future.
One question many pet owners have is: can dogs get food poisoning?
The answer is yes but these incidents are quite rare. Some dogs can develop diarrhea or vomiting if they eat foods containing certain types of bacteria. This is why it is very important to always wash your hands after handling raw meat.
Another question that often comes up is: can dogs eat onions and garlic?
Well, the answer to this question is also yes. However, it is not recommended that you feed these items on a regular basis. Even trace amounts of onion and garlic can be dangerous for your dog. If you give your dog food containing these ingredients then it is a good idea to keep an eye on them for the next few hours. If they start showing signs of digestive issues such as drooling, vomiting, diarrhea or lack of appetite then you need to take them to the vet right away.
What To Do If Your Dog Is Having An Allergic Reaction
If your dog starts showing symptoms of an allergic reaction after eating a certain food then you should immediately seek veterinary attention. You should take a small sample of the food with you to help the doctor make an accurate diagnosis. There are several potential steps that a veterinarian might take in this situation, such as testing a food elimination diet or prescribing antihistamines and antibiotics.
Another question that pet owners often ask is: can dogs eat chicken bones?
The answer to this question is no, you should never feed your dog chicken bones. They can break their teeth and mouth on them. Even worse, they can get a blockage in their intestines. This often requires immediate medical attention so it is just not worth taking the risk at all. There are many other treats that you can feed your dog that are a lot safer. If you’re looking for convenience then go with canned dog food.
If you want to give them something like bacon or chicken then cook it first until it is soft and then mash it up before giving it to them. This way if they do still manage to break a tooth then it shouldn’t hurt them. Just make sure you’re very careful when doing this because it is very easy to burn your fingers without even realizing it.
Why Is My Dog Eating Grass?
It is normal for dogs to eat grass from time to time. Some of them seem to do it whenever they have an upset stomach. Others just like the taste and will eat it regardless of whether their stomach is feeling fine or not. Some dog breeds are more likely to eat grass than others and many owners do not worry about it at all.
However, if you notice that your dog seems to be eating more grass or other plants than usual then there could be a problem. You need to take them to the vet as soon as possible because it could be a sign of something more serious.
Your dog might have eaten something poisonous and this is their way of trying to get rid of it. Some plants are toxic while others contain substances that are not bad for humans but can cause allergies in dogs. Eating grass can also be a sign of intestinal worms, so your dog ingests soil in an attempt to deal with the irritation and discomfort.
There can be many reasons why your dog might develop an eating grass habit. The important thing is to take action as soon as you notice anything unusual.
What Happens If You Give Your Dog the Wrong Medication?
Just like humans, dogs can have allergies. It is a good idea to keep an eye out for any signs of allergies such as rashes, red ears, flaky skin, discharge from the eyes or nose, etc. If you notice any of these symptoms, the first thing you should do is take your dog to the vet so they can get diagnosed and begin treatment.
How To Help Your Dog With Allergies
It is easy to tell when your dog has an itchy skin because they will scratch themselves all the time. Sometimes it is just a minor itch that can be relieved with a bit of cortisone cream. Other times it can be a sign of a more serious condition so you should have your dog checked out by a vet as soon as possible.
There are some dogs that just cannot tolerate certain foods. Many dogs will develop food allergies at some point in their life. This can be for a variety of reasons such as the food, the ingredients or even something that was sprayed on the food like fertilizer or pesticide.
Just like with people, dogs can develop an allergy to anything. If your dog has an allergy then they are likely to start scratching a lot and seem itchy all the time. They may even start chewing or licking their paws.
If you start to see these signs then you need to get your dog to a vet so they can get diagnosed and begin treatment as soon as possible.
Food Allergy Treatment
If your dog has an allergy then the first thing that needs to be done is identify what they are allergic to. Once that is found out then you can change their diet and eliminate the problem. Your vet may want to try and desensitize your dog to whatever they are allergic too.
In some cases, vets may need to give your dog a shot so they can stop scratching or itching and then they will work out an education program for you to follow at home.
If your dog has a food allergy then you need to make sure that you only feed them the special diet that has been prescribed for them.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Daily coping strategies for patients and their families (A Muñoz-Furlong – Pediatrics, 2003 – Am Acad Pediatrics)
- Diagnosing cutaneous food allergies in dogs and cats-some practical considerations (P Hill – In Practice, 1999 – inpractice.bmj.com)
- Food Intolerances vs. Food Allergies (PF Diva – petfooddiva.com)
- What Can Be Done to Ease the College Transition for Food Allergy Sufferers? (M Whitney – freshwriting.nd.edu)
- Gluten Free Dog Food: A Science-Based Analysis (L Andersson – nextgendog.com)
- Managing asthma and allergies in schools: an opportunity to coordinate health care (SJ Szefler – 2009 – Elsevier)