If you think your dog might have food allergies this post will help you understand the what dog food allergies are, symptoms of dog food allergies, how to diagnose dog food allergies, the most common ingredients that cause dog food allergies, and dog breeds that often have dog food allergies.
What is a Dog Food Allergy?
A food allergy occurs when a dog’s immune system mistakenly identifies a particular food (most often a protein) ingredient as harmful. It then creates antibodies to fight off the food. But the development of food allergies takes time. So the dog could have been eating the ingredients for quite a some time before symptoms develop.
Symptoms of Dog Food Allergies
The symptoms of food allergies in dogs vary, but the most common complaint is non-seasonal itching that may involve the whole body or be focused on the ears and feet. Chronic or recurrent ear and skin infections are also typical. Common signs are skin rash, hives, itching, paw biting, obsessive licking. More severe symptoms occasionally include nausea, excessive gassiness or vomiting.
How to Diagnose Dog Food Allergies
It's often recommended to first test switching their diet to remove the common ingredients that cause allergies (see below).
However, dogs can have other allergies separate from food that cause similar symptoms so consult your veterinarian first to determine if the issue is related to food allergies.
Most Common Dog Food Allergies
Studies have shown that some ingredients are more likely to cause dog food allergies. In order of the most common offenders:
2) dairy products
Dog Breeds Prone to Food Allergies
Some of the breeds most prone to food allergies include: Boxer, Cocker Spaniel, Springer Spaniel, Collie, Dalmatian, German Shepherd, Lhasa Apso, Miniature Schnauzer, Retriever, Shar Pei, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, Dachshund, and West Highland White Terrier.
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- DogFoodADvisor.com, Dog Food Allergies
- Drs. Foster and Smith, Food Allergies and Food Intolerance
- Jennifer Coates, DVM, The Best Food Options for Your Dog with Allergies