Food Allergies In Dogs; 3 Easy Tips To Get Back On Track
We love our pooches dearly, and any sign of distress can be hard to deal with. As many of us owners can keenly attest, dogs love their food, but in certain cases that food doesn't love them. Yep, much like us humans, dogs can have an array of issues with certain foods, ranging from intolerances to certain grub, right the way through to full-blown allergic reactions.
Food allergy is a common issue among many breeds of dogs. This issue is even more common in some of the smaller dog breeds. Some of the breeds that are commonly affected include dachshunds, retrievers, boxers, and beagles. While sometimes prevention can be your best option, sometimes it is necessary to face the fact that your dog is dealing with a food allergy and it can be hard to mitigate and avoid - so simple prevention is harder than it can first sound.
The main reason that many dogs develop a food allergy is due to genetics. Just like people, some dogs are allergic to foods that are processed or cooked, or certain and specific ingredients. A good first port of call is to consider ways to improve digestion, because a first rate digestive system can go a long way to improving the underlying causes of intolerances.
As in humans, where the gut is often considered the 'second brain', as fellow mammals, dogs are in the same boat, so irrespective of issues with digestion today, this is one to 'get out ahead of' ASAP. Improving his or her digestive system in order to help his body stay healthy in the long run is the first area to address.
How do we improve our dogs digestion? There are a number of ways to do this. Regular exercise is key as food can sit in a dogs digestive channels longer than expected, so exercise speeds up the journey. Additionally a high protein, low fat diet helps along with a stronger focus on raw foods, potentially with some vitamins and supplements added in. I encourage you to check out this article to get a vets perspective
Elimination diet to find the cause of the digestive problems in dogs
If you have the desire to find out what particular ingredient that may be present in the food that your dog is struggling with, it can be done by an elimination diet. As the name suggests, this will involve scientifically removing specific foods from the dogs diet to measure the impact and to see if symptoms continue.
You will start out by taking a sample of food and heating it on the stove for about fifteen or so minutes. Allow the food to cool down before feeding it to your dog. You will be able to watch out for any ingredients that are present in the food that you have been testing and if there is, we now know what ingredients we will need to avoid. Whilst it seems obvious to never go near that food again, actually the dogs response can be to the old dosage as much as the ingredient itself, so dripping it back into the diet is a possibility if its an important food type especially. This is particularly the case if you have taken measures to improve digestion, as this food type may in time be less of a problem.
If the elimination diet and the steps taken to improve your dogs diet have not had the desired results, then its probably time to involve your dogs vet. Your veterinarian will be able to tell you what type of food allergy your dog has with a complex array of tests that they have available to them. Aside from regular allergy shots, your veterinarian may be able to check for allergies that you may have.
Another consideration in all of this is the type of dog food that you have been feeding your dog on. Entirely inadvertently and unintentionally, you may have chosen a poor quality of dog food. If you are using a commercial brand, you may think that you are giving your dog the best that you can. But, just because a commercial brand is advertised as the best, does not mean that it is. If you look at the ingredient list, you may be surprised to find out that some of the best dog foods are ones that you would never feed your dog. These include meats with a lot of fillers such as corn, wheat, and soy meal. You may also notice that when you look at the treats, they may have a lot of fillers as well. When dogs have a lot of fillers, they may leave the treats because they feel full.
So all in all, if you're faced by an issue with your dogs digestion, do not panic, and there are ways to solve the issue. I would start with the link above to explore the impact of digestion and how you can improve it. This may be all the fix you need. As a next step, the elimination diet can be very helpful in identifying culprits - just be warned the actual culprit could end up being the dog food itself, in which case a staggered process in switching brands or moving to a more raw based diet could be the ticket. Failing all of that, your vet will also be able to help you identify the full range of allergies that your dog is faced with.