Dogs can be allergic to certain food items, especially those with proteins. Here is a brief overview about the symptoms of food allergies in dogs.
Like humans, dogs are also prone to food allergies. Studies show that, around 10% of dog allergies are caused by food. So, it is better for dog owners to gain some knowledge about dog food allergy symptoms. However, it is very important to distinguish food allergy from food intolerance.
In case of food intolerance, the body fails to digest or process certain food items, and this results in symptoms, like vomiting and diarrhea. These symptoms are different from typical allergic reactions. However, some dogs develop gastrointestinal symptoms as allergic reactions. Such dogs have skin problems and hair loss.
Food Allergy in Dogs
Food allergy symptoms may not be the same for all canines. The symptoms may also vary with the offending food item. Some of these symptoms are found to be common for a number of dog illnesses. So, diagnosis can be difficult, as you have to rule out the possibility of several other health problems, before zeroing in on food allergies. Once you come to the conclusion that the symptoms are caused by food allergy, you have to find out the particular food item that is causing the symptoms.
It has been observed that, allergic reactions are found to be caused by those foods that are being consumed by the dog for more than two years. However, allergic reactions may also develop soon after ingesting a newly introduced food; but in most cases, these symptoms are caused by those foods that have been well tolerated by the dog previously.
- Excessive scratching, snoring
- Chewing of feet, legs, paws, and tail, due to itching
- Rashes, hives and hot spots
- Recurrent infection of the skin and ears
- Dry and flaky skin, along with hair loss and sores
- Constant head shaking and rubbing of face
- Severe, frequent and persistent vomiting and diarrhea
- Sneezing, wheezing, cough, seizures, and asthmatic symptoms
- Flatulence, poor growth
- Behavioral changes, like hyperactivity or aggression
- Eye irritation with swelling and eye discharge
There are certain foods that are commonly found to cause allergies in dogs. They include wheat, soy, corn, meat products (chicken, beef, pork and lamb), yeast, eggs, dairy products, and whey. It has been observed that, dog food allergies are mostly associated with foods with proteins. Most people mistake food allergy symptoms for skin problems, caused by mange or fleas. Once the possibilities of other health problems, like mange, are ruled out and food allergy is diagnosed, the dog is administered with medication, like antihistamines, that may sometimes fail to resolve the condition. The best way is to find out the offending food item that causes allergic reactions, and exclude it from your pet’s diet.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert advice.