Identifying dog food allergies can be tricky issues for a number of reasons, especially when it comes to older dogs. Because the symptoms often overlap with other conditions and narrowing down the actual cause of various reactions to food specifically can be troublesome.
Is My Dog Allergic to His Food?
Many pet owners struggle with determining whether or not their dog is allergic to it’s food. It’s believed that roughly 10 percent of all allergy cases in canines are food-related. Like people, dogs can also contend with food intolerance, which is not the same issue. Within this 10 percent group of dogs, most are believed to be allergic to more than one food, with the allergies having genetic causes. Because some dogs are predisposed to developing allergic reactions, you never quite know what could cause the trigger.
Antibiotics are a common trigger, often cited as harbingers of food allergies because they can change the digestive makeup inside a dog. MANY dogs have been on and off of antibiotics routinely throughout their life.
It’s important to also note that one thing rarely mentioned when discussing food allergies in dogs is that the type of food (kibble, can food, raw, home cooked, etc.) and how the food is prepared is just as important as the ingredient itself and curing the problem.
It’s believed by many holistic veterinarians believe that chronic vaccinations play a tremendous role in the breakdown of the immune system which then leads to a higher sensitivity developing into food allergies and other conditions.
Dog Food Allergy Symptoms
There are a number of potential symptoms of food allergies in dogs, but it’s important to note the difference between an intolerance an actual allergy.
Food intolerance generally results in things like vomiting or diarrhea, which is a nice way to say that the food ingested does not agree with your pet.
Food allergies are more complex in terms of symptomology and are ongoing providing you keep feeding the offending food.
In our many years of studying our own dogs behavior and the behavior of those dogs that we’ve worked with, the following symptoms seem to be common place when food is causing problems for them.
Watch for any of these indicators in your dog ….
Clues can range from an upset belly, extreme gas, vomiting to loose stool and/or constipation which are typically the first symptoms that your dog’s diet isn’t working for him or her.
Other signals of dog food allergies are:
- The symptoms will be year round vs seasonal
- Recurring ear infections.
- Anal gland issues (sliding on the bum).
- Hot spots around the body and especially the belly and groin area.
- Flaky, dull coat.
- Whole body itching.
- Inflammation around the eyes, nose, ears, mouth and face.
The Difference Between Food Allergies and Environmental Allergies in Dogs
Just like people, dogs too can have both food and environmental allergies. As mentioned earlier, but dogs with food allergies will have the symptoms all year if you continue to feed the food that bothers the dog. Dogs with seasonal allergies (itchy eyes, watery eyes, runny nose, respiratory problems) will show symptoms certain times of the year (eg: spring, fall).
Food Allergies in Dogs is About More Than Just Food
While many will tell you that there is only one way to diagnose and identify food allergies and that is through the process of elimination, we would like to elaborate on that theory a little more.
Dogs that have been over vaccinated, that are being doused with chemical flea and tick products on a regular basis and then being fed a diet that is completely against what nature intended almost ALWAYS become symptomatic of allergies in one form or another (food or environmental) or both.
Many owners we talk to tell us that their dog can’t tolerate beef, chicken, lamb, etc.
In our own experience over the years in working with dogs who have chronic allergies like this, it’s due to the body being polluted with toxins and responding negatively to everything aka allergic reaction just like it is with people when we pollute our body.
There are many things that we innocently do to these animals thinking that they do our pets good, when in reality, these things cause a breakdown in the dog’s immune health that affects the quality of their lives FOR LIFE.
Again, over vaccinating, using chemical flea and tick products, feeding rawhide, not walking the dog and not feeding our dogs what nature intended all contribute to weakening the immune system which opens the door to illness and disease of all kind.
Dogs today are developing disease earlier and earlier in life and that’s no coincidence!
How We Manage Dog Food Allergies
The first step to managing your dog’s food allergies is to rebuild your dog’s immune system. This means you need to clean house and get rid of all the junk living in your dog’s body and what goes into your dog’s body. You can’t repair something if you keep introducing the same old protocol that broke your dog’s system in the first place.
While veterinarians will take the approach that you should use the elimination diet for 6-8 weeks, we use a different approach. We believe in a protocol that naturally removes toxins and helps your dog’s body to rebuild itself and slowly introduce limited ingredients and proteins.
What’s the best food for dogs with allergies?
NO DOG SHOULD BE ALLERGIC TO EVERY PROTEIN THEY EAT! If this is your dog, then your dog needs more help than just an elimination diet. Through a private consultation, we help you to restore your dog’s pH in the body and slowly introduce ingredients that work for your dog and eventually lead to a diet made up of limited ingredients that work specifically for your dog.
If you feel that you could use some help with your dog food allergy treatment, we do ask for a small contribution to our site in the amount of at least $50 to help us with the necessary time it takes to work with you ongoing. You can read more about how to make a contribution here and how your contribution helps us.
We look forward to working with you and helping you!
Article last updated June 25, 2020