With a Dog Food Allergy
By Blake Kritzberg
as humans allergies can show up as a sneeze or rash, your dog's
allergies can manifest as itchiness -- or even ear infections.
In fact, if your dog's allergic to his food, it can cause him
to scratch himself constantly, even with no obvious parasite problem.
allergies rarely get solved with medicine, so the best we can
do for our four-footed friends is focus on prevention. Providing
the right type of food is essential to stopping your dog's scratching
people like to share their food with their dogs or let them help
"clean up" the kitchen after a meal. Little do they
know, their dogs just may not be able to take the tasty food we
love so much, and some breeds (like the greyhound) are extremely
sensitive. Even common foods like cheese, beef sausage and tuna
may cause allergic reactions in some dogs. So it's best to let
dogs enjoy dog food and not human food, even though they clearly
adore and want what we're eating!
Down the Problem
determine the exact ingredients your dog is allergic to, try an
elimination diet. Although powerful, it also requires patience.
In fact, the elimination diet can call for eliminating specific
food for up to 12 weeks before you'll notice the effects. And
if you still haven't found the right (and wrong) ingredients,
you'll have to repeat the process all over again.
is there an alternative to the lengthy elimination diet? Yes --
give your dog a brand or type of food he's never eaten before.
But simply changing to a new brand of dog food might not be enough
to eliminate his food allergies, since many brands contain similar
ingredients. Instead, study the existing ingredients your dog
is eating to determine which types of protein source he hasn't
been exposed to. Then, hunt for a dog food that doesn't contain
any of the ingredients you saw listed. For example, there are
many brands of dog food that contains unusual protein sources
such as rabbit or venison -- great for testing allergic reactions
to other, more common proteins.
the best way for you to get control of dog's allergies is to whip
up your own dog food. That way, you'll know exactly what he's
getting and what he isn't -- something that's extremely hard to
tell from reading the back of a dog food bag. Making your own
food is especially helpful in elimination diets. To start, combine
a portion of rice with baby food and lamb -- so long as your dog
isn't already eating lamb and possibly displaying a reaction to
food allergies are a special condition that can be frustrating
and take patience to solve. Since allergic reactions don't disappear
overnight, you'll need lots of time and thoughtfulness to help
your dog overcome this problem -- but his goofy smile and those
scratch-free days ahead will probably make it all worth it.
Blake Kritzberg is proprietor of Poodle-oo: Fashion for Toy Dogs.
Stop by for toy dog couture and home decor, free toy dog postcards
and the Toy Dog Blog.
material on the Critter Cottage website is provided as a general
information service only and should not be relied upon as a substitute
for the advice of a qualified veterinarian, animal behavourist
or animal trainer. The views of the articles herein are the views
of the respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the views
and opinions of Critter Cottage or their staff. Critter Cottage
does not assume or accept any responsibility for, and shall not
be liable for, the accuracy or appropriate application of any
information on this site.
your pet is suffering from any illness we urge you to seek urgent