No one is immune to the risks of food allergies – not even your pets. Many people are surprised to find out that even dogs can be susceptible to food sensitivities and allergies. In some cases, a reaction is caused by an allergy to certain ingredients in the food. In others, it’s a sign of an intolerance to a specific ingredient. If you own a pet, it’s in your best interest to know the warning signs of a food intolerance or allergy so that you know when you might need a veterinarian’s intervention.
What are the Signs of a Food Allergy in a Dog?
It isn’t always easy to diagnose a food allergy in a dog. The two primary symptoms of food reactions include digestive upset and skin irritation. You might notice sudden bald patches on your dog’s fur or a sudden increase in vomiting after mealtimes. Additionally, you may start to notice that your dog has an increased difficulty with flatulence, which is another sign of digestive issues from food.
Is it Something New in my Dog’s Diet?
This is one of the things that makes a food sensitivity so hard to diagnose. Your dog can develop an allergy to a food even after years of having it without problems. But, once your pet has developed a problem with a specific food, it isn’t going to go away. Some of the most common allergens for dogs include wheat, beef and even dairy.
How Do I Treat my Dog’s Food Allergies?
Once your dog has developed a sensitivity or allergy to a particular food, you’re going to have to avoid that ingredient for the rest of your pup’s life. This often means completely altering meals to create something your dog can safely eat. Sometimes, you’ll have to transition your dog away from commercial pet foods and feed him or her a natural food diet of rice, meat and certain vitamins.
If you aren’t sure what your pet’s allergen is, you can work with a veterinarian to run an allergy panel. This series of tests will assess your pet’s reaction to specific ingredients until the allergen is identified. He or she will also provide you with some recommendations for a dietary elimination plan that allows your pet to eat a healthy, balanced diet without the problem ingredient.
Now that you know the signs of a food allergy in dogs and how to address it, you are better prepared to keep your dog safe in the event of a serious food reaction. Seeking veterinary help immediately is a key to protecting your dog, particularly if the symptoms are due to an allergy. Talk to your vet today about the best emergency treatment plan in case your dog develops a food allergy. Facilities like Northwest Animal Hospital can help you with food allergy emergencies and allergy questions.Read More