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What To Feed A Dog With Food Allergies

What Are Grain Allergies

What is the Best Food to Feed My Dog With Allergies [3 BEST Diets]

While “grain-free” dog food has become a fad in recent years, some dogs actually require this diet due to a grain allergy. Grains are found in an abundance in many dog foods and treats and chews, making them tricky to avoid. Allergies to grains can develop immediately or after years of constant exposure.

The most common symptoms seen with grain allergies include itchy, red skin, chronic ear infections, and discoloration of the feet from the pet licking them so much. If your dog is diagnosed with a grain allergy, luckily the treatment and recovery process is very straight forward. You will need to remove any foods, treat, or flavored medications that contain grain from your dog’s diet. Once this is done, your dog’s symptoms should subside. However, some dogs will have allergies to other things such as other foods, pollen and dust mites.

Grains are in many of the human foods and dog foods manufactured today. Some dogs are sensitive or allergic to grains causing a number of health-related issues. If you believe your dog has a grain allergy, discuss it with your veterinarian.

  • Inflamed, red paw pads
  • Gastrointestinal upset

Grain allergies in dogs may develop immediately or may develop after years of being fed the same diet.

Types

Does Your Dog Really Need Lamb Bison And Other ‘hypoallergenic’ Dog Food Proteins

In order to identify what is the best dog food for dogs with food allergies you must first understand what are food allergies and what causes them.

Many different terms are used to describe abnormal reactions to food. The terms allergy and hypersensitivity describe an immunologic reaction to food allergens and requires previous exposure to the allergen to bring about symptoms. In contrast, a food intolerance does not involve the immune system and can occur with the first exposure to a certain food. Both reactions produce similar symptoms and may be difficult to tell apart without veterinary guidance.

In fact, according to Dr. Adam Patterson, clinical assistant professor and Chief of Dermatology at the Texas A& M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Small Animal Clinic, Food allergies in dogs present themselves quite differently than food allergies in humans. For instance, a person who is allergic to shellfish may experience throat swelling and possibly a critical or fatal reaction, but in dogs, the allergy is expressed through the skin and seen most often as itch.

Chances Are Its Not A Food Allergy For Your Dog

Getting at the real reason your dog is having all those symptoms.

Your dogs skin is itching, perhaps to the point that he may even be licking his paws or chewing on his feet. Or he keeps vomiting or having diarrhea. It must be a food allergy, you think to yourself, so you put him on a special diet. But it doesnt work. Frustrated, you try other food combinations, finally bringing him to the veterinarian for help in figuring out which ingredient is causing the allergic reaction.

Suspected food allergy is a common reason people come to the nutrition clinic at Tufts, says Cailin Heinze, VMD, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist at the Cummings School. By the time they get here, theyve often tried five, six, seven different diets. But if they all have different ingredients and the dog is not any better, its probably not a food allergy. Of those dogs whose owners think they may have a food allergy, perhaps only 10 percent or less actually do.

Why do so many people believe their dogs are suffering from food allergies, besides the fact that the Internet is rife with articles and postings erroneously suggesting that food allergies in pets are quite common?

People want to help their dog, and if the problem is food, thats easy to fix, Dr. Heinze says. You just remove the food from the diet. So to some extent its wishful thinking. Add to that the fact that they keep reading online that food allergies are common, and it really snowballs.

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Does Your Dog Really Need Lamb Bison And Other Hypoallergenic Dog Food Proteins

In order to identify what is the best dog food for dogs with food allergies you must first understand what are food allergies and what causes them.

Many different terms are used to describe abnormal reactions to food. The terms allergy and hypersensitivity describe an immunologic reaction to food allergens and requires previous exposure to the allergen to bring about symptoms. In contrast, a food intolerance does not involve the immune system and can occur with the first exposure to a certain food. Both reactions produce similar symptoms and may be difficult to tell apart without veterinary guidance.

In fact, according to Dr. Adam Patterson, clinical assistant professor and Chief of Dermatology at the Texas A& M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Small Animal Clinic, Food allergies in dogs present themselves quite differently than food allergies in humans. For instance, a person who is allergic to shellfish may experience throat swelling and possibly a critical or fatal reaction, but in dogs, the allergy is expressed through the skin and seen most often as itch.

Identifying Fruit Or Vegetable Allergies

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To prevent any stomach issues, you should always add new items to your pet’s diet gradually. Feed your tiny pet portions of the fruit or vegetable first, and only introduce one kind of fruit or vegetable at a time. This will make it simpler for you to identify the root of any reactions your pet may have. Corn may cause allergies but is much less prevalent than other allergens .

Sickness, diarrhea, and skin issues are signs of a food allergy. Still, only your veterinarian can determine for sure if your pet is allergic to food and recommend the best course of treatment.

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What Causes Food Allergies In Dogs

Dogs with food allergies are typically allergic to proteins, which come from animal or plant-based ingredients of the diet. The proteins are broken down into molecules that the immune system misidentifies as a potential threat. Beef, dairy, wheat, and chicken are the most common culprits of food allergies in dogs. The development of food allergies, however, takes time. So the dog may have been eating the offending ingredients for quite a long time before symptoms develop.

What Is My Dog Allergic To

If your dog is suffering from a food allergy, youre most likely to see irritation concentrated to the paws and ears and an increased potential for stomach upset. Proteins that come from ingredients like beef, dairy, wheat and chicken can trigger an allergic reaction in dogs. An elimination diet can help determine which ingredient is causing the allergic reaction in your dog.

If your dog seems to suffer from itchiness or distress sometimes more than others, they may be suffering from an environmental or seasonal allergy and not a food allergy. The best dog food for skin allergies will have high levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which help promote healthy skin.

Read Also: Where To Go For Allergy Testing

How Can I Tell If My Dog Has A Food Allergy Or Just A Food Intolerance

Unfortunately theres not a definitive test that can determine if your dog has a food allergy. Many of the symptoms overlap with food intolerance or with other ailments. In general, a food intolerance only involves tummy upset, whereas an allergy will also cause skin issues.

The good news is that both can be effectively treated with the right dog food. As with all concerns though, its best to consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis before you take any steps for treatment.

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What Food Is Best For Dogs With Skin Allergies

Dog Food Recipe For Allergies

Once you’re sure that your dog has food allergies through an elimination diet or a vet, the next step is to give your pet the right food. Avoid food with ingredients that trigger any symptom.

You can use prescription dog food from your vet, make food from scratch, or try various types of allergy-safe food until you find what’s best for your pup.

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Diets For Dog Food Allergies

Here are a couple of different approaches to treating food allergies in dogs.

This approach involves feeding proteins that your dog has likely never been exposed to in an effort to avoid an allergic reaction. Rabbit, venison, and other novel ingredients are used in place of more common protein sources. Allergy-friendly foods must be completely free of your dogs triggers.

Hydrolyzed Proteins

Rather than changing which proteins are used, hydrolyzed protein prescription diets break proteins down so that the immune system no longer recognizes them as a threat.

Snacks To Pair With Home Cooked Dog Food

  • Peanut butter: Rascal has his own dedicated jar of peanut butter. He loves a traditional kong but you can also mold and freeze peanut butter in any shape for a quick frozen treat. When the jar is almost finished I break out my peanut butter spoon.
  • Greek Yogurt Ice Cream: In the summer we blend up unflavored Greek yogurt, fresh berries, and peanut butter. Place a spoonful or two into a silicone cupcake pan and freeze for a few hours. These make for a great dog ice cream.
  • Dehydrated Sweet Potatoes: Rascals favorite easy treat. We love bringing these over to family and friends houses so Rascal always has a healthy treat on hand.

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Try To Find Out What They Are Allergic To

Once your dog is settled without symptoms on a special diet, your vet may recommend adding ingredients back into their food to try and find out what they are allergic to.

If your dog doesnt show any symptoms, this is a safe food. If your dogs symptoms come back after eating a certain food, its likely they are allergic to it. This will help you select a dog food that only contains safe foods.

Food trials and exclusion diets can be tricky and take a lot of time, the alternative is to keep feeding your dog a special veterinary diet for life.

Some dogs with a food allergy will also have allergies to things in the environment, this may cause allergic skin disease . In this case, they might improve a bit on a special diet but they may need some other treatments as well to help keep their skin symptoms controlled.

The Best Dog Food For Allergies

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Buying your pup pet food that doesnt trigger an immune response is one of the easiest ways to work around your dogs food allergy. Weve rounded up some of the best dog food that is hypoallergenic, including two budget-friendly formulas. These limited-ingredient diets will help you keep track of what your dog isand isnteating.

Adult Dry Dog Food Solid Gold Wolf King Large Breed

  • 12 lbs. and 24 lbs.
  • Breed Dimensions: Large breeds

According to numerous consumers, this cuisine by Solid Gold is reasonably priced and delicious. What sticks out the most is that this firm employs over 20 superfoods to provide your dog with the most nutritious diet available.

It is exclusively for huge adult breeds, so smaller and younger dogs will have to look elsewhere. Although many dogs appear to enjoy it, there have been reports of pickier dogs refusing to eat it. So you may be spending money for your dog to be uninterested in their new, healthier food.

Cons

  • Only large adult dogs are permitted.
  • Some finicky dogs will refuse to eat it.

Pros

Adult Dog Food Blue Buffalo Basics Grain-Free

  • Sizes: 4 pound, 22 pound
  • Breed Dimensions: All breeds

Blue Buffalo created this limited-ingredient dog food formula. They use duck protein and augment the remainder with vegetables like peas, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin. No artificial colors, preservatives, or tastes are used.

Cons

  • Puppies may not be suited.

Pros

  • Ingredients are simple and restricted.

Best Value: Nutro Diet Food with Few Ingredients

Cons

Pros

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Best For Cats: 7 Ruby Road Cat Hammock Wall Mounted Cat Shelf With Two Steps

Weve heard it said that there are two types of cats: tree cats and ground cats. The tree cats cant wait to get up off the ground, and the ground cats cant be bothered to climb.

This months best deal for cats is the 7 Ruby Road Cat Hammock Wall Mounted Cat Shelf with Two Steps, and its just for the tree cats out there. The hammock is double-stitched and reinforced for stability and can support up to two cats, although they dont list a weight limit. The jute rope that wraps the two steps gives cats an excellent grip as they make their way to and from the hammock.

You can save $20 off the regular price for a limited time. In addition, if you take advantage of free Prime shipping, your tree cat can be lounging in their new bed while they look down upon the world as early as 24 hours.

Does My Dog Have A Food Allergy

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Many dog foods on the market make claims about being good for allergies, but how well do these claims hold up? How common are dog food allergies? And is hypoallergenic dog food right for your dog? To learn the truth about food allergies in dogs and what hypoallergenic dog food really means, keep reading.

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Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain

Image courtesy Instinct Raw

The Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Recipe with Real Lamb is perfect for dogs with allergies or sensitivities. It is made with lamb, peas, and tapioca, and is free of grains, soy, wheat, artificial flavors, and preservatives.

This formula provides your dog with all the essential nutrients he needs while being easy on his stomach. The Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Recipe with Real Lamb is a great option for dogs with itchy skin as it contains omega fatty acids to help soothe and nourish the skin.

Food Allergies Vs Food Intolerance

How to handle Dog Food Allergies CHEAPLY and SAFELY!

It’s also important to note the difference between an allergy and an intolerance. If your dog is unable to tolerate a certain type of food, such as lactose, this means he lacks the digestive enzyme necessary to properly digest that food, and gastrointestinal problems, such as vomiting and diarrhea, may result. An allergy, on the other hand, is an immune response. When your dog comes into contact with something he’s allergic to, his immune system goes into overdrive attacking the allergen, resulting in skin problems, itching, or hair loss. If your dog is suffering from a food intolerance rather than a food allergy, then hypoallergenic dog food is unlikely to help. We recommend seeing your veterinarian to get the best possible solution for your pet.

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When The System Works

The intestinal tracts ability to prevent the absorption of whole protein is dependant on the health and integrity of the mucosal barrier. It is the proverbial guardian of the body at the gastrointestinal gate. The mucosal barrier is comprised of both structural components and immune system components. The structural components physically prevent the absorption of large proteins. The immune system component is responsible for recognizing potentially harmful contents of the gastrointestinal tract. The health and integrity of the gastrointestinal tract is dependant on the normal structure and function of the enterocytes, effective protein digestion, and the presence of the dogs immune cells in the gastrointestinal tract.

Signs Of An Allergic Reaction

When looking for the perfect dog food, its important to first know what an allergic reaction looks like.

Symptoms of a food allergy can affect multiple organ systems in your dog, but the skin tends to be the most affected, says Burch. Skin symptoms include severe itching along the face, paws, rear, and underbelly. Other signs can include fur loss from around the eyes, repeated ear infections, and secondary skin infections.

When you know the signs of an allergic reaction to look out for, you will be able to better pinpoint whats causing their discomfort.

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Ingredients For Rascals Homemade Dog Food:

  • All-Natural chicken stock or water
  • Macaroni noodles

Note: We add in a supplement nutrient blend from a company called Just Food For Dogs very similar to dog vitamins as well as Omega oil to make sure he is getting enough healthy fats. I highly recommend adding both of these into your dog food so you can rest assure that they are getting proper nutrients.

Good For Novel Protein Dietstaste Of The Wild Prey

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PREY is Taste of the Wilds line of limited ingredient diet formulas. Taste of the Wild is focused on providing animals with diets that closely mimic that of what their ancestors would catch and eat in the wild. Prey is made with non-GMO ingredients and is grain free. They also have the lowest number of ingredients of any food on our list with just 4 ingredients or less in each of the PREY formulas, making it a true limited ingredient diet.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Price: $54.99 for a 25lb bag
  • Whos it for: Dogs starting an elimination diet

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Our Recommendation For You

Although the exclusion diet is laborious, it is the most effective method of identifying a food allergy. Responsibility for adhering to this diet rests with the owner and his/her family. Only strict adherence to the diet plan can help to effectively identify allergy potential. Dog owners tend to be reluctant to perform the provocation test often associated with this diet because it triggers symptoms to which they would rather not subject their dog. However, it does make sense for making a definitive diagnosis. The allergy test in the large intestine mucous membrane must be carried out under anaesthetic, which is something many dog owners donĂ¢t wish to put their dog through. However, this also is an extremely reliable method of pinpointing the allergy-triggering proteins, which makes food selection considerably easier. The blood test is less suitable for diagnosing a food allergy.

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