Food Allergies in Dogs
Is that constant itching coming from the
MetPet.com Staff Writer
Is your dog uncomfortable in his own skin? Is he losing his hair
and scratching away his skin? Approximately 20% of dogs may suffer
from allergies during their lifetime and food accounts for about 10% of
those allergic reactions.
Since they are relatively uncommon, allergies to food may be overlooked.
Allergies can come and go during your dog's life. A brand of dog food
or a diet that your dog has eaten all of his life is rarely seen as the
culprit. Although it takes some detective work on your part, food
allergies can be avoided entirely by avoiding the food itself.
Food allergies usually manifest as skin and coat problems. Not only
is the itching uncomfortable, it can also lead to bacterial infections.
In some cases, other symptoms related to the digestive tract may occur as
Symptoms of food allergies can include:
Dull and/or flaky coat
Itchy and inflamed ears
Itchy and inflamed paws
Itchy and inflamed rears
Itchy and inflamed heads
All of the above can appear as head shaking, excessive licking, excessive
itching, rubbing against carpet or furniture, red and raw areas of the skin
and hair loss.
Asthma like breathing problems
Digestive problems - less common
Diarrhea and loose stool
Increased frequency of bowel movements
Commercial Hypoallergenic Diet
If you suspect a food allergy, you can try a commercially available
hypoallergenic diet usually available from your veterinarian. These
are dry and canned foods with limited ingredients that have novel proteins
such as venison or duck.
If the new food
succeeds in eliminating the symptoms, then you know that food is the source
of your dog's allergic reaction even though you cannot pinpoint the specific
food or foods. A
hypoallergenic diet is very bland and your dog may simply go on dog
food strike and stop eating altogether.
If you wish to determine the specific source of the allergy, you need to
try either a commercial or homemade exclusion diet.
Page 1 2