Your dog is capable of having many of the same diseases and problems you do. Allergies is simply one thing you have in common with your favourite canine. Atopic Dermatitis is the most common form of canine allergies. It directly affects the skin. Its actual source is unknown. Another type of canine allergy does exist. This is a food allergy.
Actual or true food allergies among dogs are quite rare. It is less common than Atopic Dermatitis. Many of the symptoms are identical. Your dog has a severe itch. He or she may have lesions on her skin. Yet there are specific indicators that your dog has Food rather than Atopic allergies.
• Unlike Atopic allergies, Food Allergies are not seasonal.
• This type of allergy does not respond to a treatment of corticosteroids. This is a common way to eliminate or control atopic allergies.
• Symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pains or colic.
• Your pet may also have an accompanying bacterium or yeast infection.
Characteristics and Breeds of Affected Dogs
Food allergies may strike a dog at any age. The majority are usually older than 2 years.
There have been cases, however, involving puppies as young as 6 months. Any breed can succumb to a food allergy. There are certain breeds that do seem more susceptible. They consist, but are not confined to the following:
• Cocker Spaniels
• German Shepherds
• Golden Retrievers
• Labrador Retrievers
• Llasa Apsos
• Miniature Schnauzers
• Springer Spaniels
• West Highland Terriers
• Wheaton Terriers
The source of the allergy is known. It is the food you are feeding your dog. There are any number of food allergies that could affect your canine. The most common is beef, chicken, corn, eggs, milk, soy and wheat. These are all common ingredients in your canine’s dog food. In fact, many are the most common ingredients in the readily available pet foods.
Cereals are frequently to blame for your pet’s reaction. The problem is they contain large amounts of gluten. This substance is linked to the development of allergies. To relieve your pet, you will have to learn to read labels and switch food.
The only way to determine what foods are affecting your dog is through the process of elimination. You will need to take a 2-prong approach. The first step is to take your dog off its current diet. This will remove the source from its system.
For approximately 8 to 12 weeks you will feed your pet a hypo allergenic diet. This is also referred to as an elimination diet. This alternative name refers to its intended usage. You are eliminating the source of the allergy from your dog’s nutrition.
An elimination diet is prepared in the following proportions. It has 1 part protein for every 4 to 5 parts of cooked rice. The rice must be the bland white type. The protein can be rabbit, fish, shrimp, turkey, venison or lobster. You will not give him or her any treats or samples of any other food. Your pet must only eat this diet.
After the period of 8-12 weeks, your dog should no longer be itching. This indicates you are ready to take the next step. This is adding 1 ingredient of the regular diet at a time.
You can start with the addition of wheat or corn to the hypo allergenic diet. If your dog reacts, if the itching recommences, you have at least 1 of the culprits. If not, you proceed through the list of the contents of your dog’s food.
By the end of this process, you should have discovered what is affecting your dog’s health. Once you know the causal factor of your dog’s allergy, you can remove it from the diet forever. This is the cure. Simple but effective, preventive measures are also easy to employ. From the initial days of your puppy’s life avoid the feeding of food high in cereal.