September 20, 2023

Can my dog have food allergies?

by admin in Food Allergies0 Comments

Just like humans, dogs can also suffer from environmental and food allergies.

A dog’s immune system may begin to recognize everyday substances as dangerous, thereby causing a histamine reaction. These substances, or allergens, can be problematic for your pet when inhaled, ingested or touched.

Common Symptoms

Symptoms of allergies typically include:

  • Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin
  • Increased scratching
  • Itchy or runny eyes
  • Itchy back or base of tail (likely indicates a flea allergy)
  • Itchy ears and ear infections
  • Sneezing, vomiting, diarrhea or snoring caused by an inflamed throat
  • Paw chewing, swollen paws and constant licking

Any dog can develop an allergy at any time during his or her life. No one knows what triggers the development of an allergy; however, allergies are more common in a few specific breeds: terriers, setters, retrievers and flat-faced breeds such as pugs, bulldogs and Boston terriers.

Testing for Food Allergies

If you suspect your dog has a food allergy, it’s going to take some diligence to determine what the trigger is. Food allergies commonly cause itchy skin, breathing difficulties and gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and vomiting.

The first thing to try is an elimination diet. Try limiting the dog’s diet to just a few food items for about two weeks, and watch for a reaction. If no symptoms develop, try adding a food every day for a week. Keep adding foods until you see a reaction and this will likely be the offending food. Once you determine what that food is, remove it from your pet’s diet. Also see if any byproducts are included in other things that touch your pet – oils in coat-care products and ingredients in chew toys, for instance.

If you suspect your dog is allergic to peanut butter, there may be peanut shells in the dog bed. If you cannot find the allergen on your own, you can ask a veterinary dermatologist to run tests. He or she will usually use a intradermal skin test similar to one used on humans.

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