Food allergies in dogs occur when the immune system reacts to a food ingredient that the affected animal is allergic to. They can produce a wide range of symptoms, including diarrhea, skin issues, and excessive gas.
It’s estimated that around ten percent of all allergy cases in dogs are food allergies. Diagnosis involves eliminating the offending food, which vets usually do through a process of trial and error that requires patience and persistence on the part of the person caring for the dog.
If you see the signs of food allergies in your dog, then you must get to a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for food allergies in dogs.
Symptoms Of Food Allergies In Dogs
Food allergies in dogs can produce a wide range of symptoms.
Some of the most common food allergy symptoms include:
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Diarrhea and gas
- Ear infections
- Shaking their head a lot
- Licking their toes more than usual
- Rashes or infections on the skin
Causes Of Food Allergies In Dogs
Food allergies in dogs are considered to be a genetic condition. They produce an adverse reaction when the animal’s immune system reacts defensively to a protein.
Common proteins that can cause an adverse reaction include:
Treatments For Food Allergies In Dogs
If your veterinarian suspects that your dog may be suffering from food allergies, they’ll first examine the dog and look over their medical history to rule out any other causes of the symptoms. This might involve testing skin scrapings or looking for the presence of lice.
To determine the cause of a food allergy in dogs, a diet-based process of elimination must be carried out. This usually involves putting the dog on a new food they’ve not had before, and then slowly reintroducing certain ingredients that are often found to prompt an allergic reaction.
Going through an elimination diet can last for a number of weeks, so remember to stay very patient with your dog during the process! Follow your vet’s guidance.
Once you and your vet determine the cause of the allergic reactions, your vet will advise removing the allergen from your dog’s diet.
Does your dog have any food allergies? How did your vet help you find the allergen and remove it from your dog’s diet? Let us know in the comments section below!