Food allergy is a relatively common form of allergy found in dogs, and sometimes cats. Research suggests that around ten to twenty percent of allergies in dogs are related to the food they eat or the food ingredients they intake. If you ever find your dog licking his feet, scratching his body vigorously or has an ear infection, then this might be one of the alarming signs that your dog is suffering from a food allergy. Have you ever noticed any of these symptoms in your dog? If yes, then immediately contact your family veterinary doctor who knows your dog's biology really well.
Things that happen when your dog has food allergy:
To analyze whether your dog has food allergy or not, you need to keep him under strict observation for days. Here are certain things that your pet dog would do if he/she has food allergy:
• Dogs with food allergy will often lick his/her legs and paws. They have this licking habit because food allergy causes dog skin problems/ itchiness.
• They will vigorously scratch their body (but there is no physical thing like a grass seed or flea present).
• They might develop an infection inside the ear (you’ll understand this if you see the ears are red and have a pungent smell). These ear infections then get secondary infections such as fungal and bacteria which can lead to ear drum destruction if not treated.
• He/she might have gastrointestinal signs too like occasional vomiting and diarrhea, or gurgling sounds from the stomach.
These were the four main symptoms that prove that your dog has severe food allergy. When you ask a veterinary doctor about this he would simply suggest you two things:
1. Elimination diet: This is one of the main ways a vet can test for a food allergy. A good veterinary doctor will ask you to make your pet undergo an elimination diet, which will help your pet rule out the food allergy. But, before doing an elimination diet it is important to rule out other allergies such as contact allergy, flea allergy, and any other infections that can complicate things even more.
2. Hypoallergenic dog food: Another most common thing that he might ask you to do is buy hypoallergenic food for your dog. Hypoallergenic food is basically something that would help your dog get rid of food allergens or rule out food allergy. But, if you think you will merely feed your dog with hypoallergenic dog food and he will get well, then you are wrong. The food will only work if your dog is not having other foods that contain elements to which he/she is allergic.
These were some of the details about food allergy that can cause dog skin problems, gastrointestinal issues, and etc. We have also discussed what the doctors will suggest when you take your dog to him. But, one crucial thing that you have to keep in mind is- “Don’t confuse food allergy with food intolerance”. Food allergy usually result in skin problems, but food intolerance can lead to weight loss and vomiting. They have difference causes, effects and treatments. Whenever your pet is suffering from a health issue, please consult a vet doctor before you make your own conclusions.
Having worked over a period of time with veterinary doctors, Jennifer Miller has mastered in treating dog skin problems and food allergy. She strictly recommends people to feed their pet dog hypoallergenic dog food if they have severe food allergy.