Like humans, dogs can suffer from adverse reactions to food ingredients. From protein sources such as pork and beef to wheat, egg and soy, in a sensitive dog many of the common dog food ingredients out there could potentially cause a flare-up.
Here we’ll be going through common allergens, symptoms of an allergic reaction in dogs, and ways you can avoid further flare ups. You can read more on our James Wellbeloved™ blog about how to identify the causes of food allergy and intolerances, and how nutrition can help manage them with hypoallergenic dog foods.
You may have heard of two terms when it comes to food-related issues – ‘allergy’ and ‘intolerance’. First of all, the two are completely different – ‘intolerance’ is related to digestion problems, such as not being able to digest milk – i.e. lactose intolerance. This is when the dog is simply unable to process the sugar lactose as they do not have sufficient quantities of the correct enzyme. Food intolerances can also be a reaction to food toxicities, for instance to the compounds in onions or chocolate. An intolerance is not immune-mediated. An allergy, on the other hand, is an over-response of the dog’s immune system, where your dog’s body sees proteins within foods as a foreign body. Like in humans, their immune system will attempt to eject it from their body.
Dog food allergies usually present as a skin reaction. Below you’ll find a list of the most common symptoms of an allergic reaction in dogs:
Chronic ear inflammation
Poor coat quality
The below symptoms mimic symptoms seen in humans and can be an indicator of a food allergy:
Itchy rear end
It’s important to be aware that the symptoms listed above can also be signs of other conditions in dogs, some of them serious. If any of the above symptoms occur, consult your vet who will be able to rule out any other causes.
Food sensitivities vary from dog to dog – but there are a number of common animal proteins, dairy products and vegetables that can cause a reaction. Take a look at our list below:
These food ingredients are commonly used in pet foods. Food sensitives can develop over time due to repeat exposure and your dog may have consumed a food for a long period of time before an allergic response occurs. However, once your pet is allergic they will be allergic for life and you will need to avoid feeding them foods with that particular ingredient.Visit Us To Find Out More