Dogs are beloved members of the family and any time an illness strikes, their owners want to do everything they can to fix the problem and prevent it from happening in the future. Surprisingly, dog food allergies are a relatively common occurrence, something that every pet owner is likely to encounter.
Determining the source of the allergy is the first consideration. Like humans, dogs can have allergic reactions to food, various materials, and even flea saliva. For each of these allergies, the symptoms are much the same. There typically will be itchy, red skin and possibly ear problems. This is why it is important to learn how to differentiate the source of the irritation and allergy; otherwise there is no way to prevent it in the future.
Some dog breeds will experience these food allergies at a higher rate than others. They possess a genetic predisposition to begin with. Luckily, once you figure out the problem, you can buy a hypoallergenic dog food to help your pooch.
In many cases, the dog will start developing a food allergy due to a combination of a weakened immune system and repeated exposure to the allergen. An indication of the new allergy is if the dog is constantly worrying at a specific spot, licking and scratching, even up until her fur is gone. This usually occurs on the limbs, tummy, and tail. This is the most common indicator that the family dog now has a food allergy. She will not be able to help scratching and biting; it will be very visible to owners.
The only solution to controlling a food allergy is to eliminate the source of the problem, or the food that is the trigger. Unfortunately, it may take up to four months to completely rid the body of the food it is allergic to, though owners should be able to see a lessening of symptoms just a couple weeks after removing the source. The replacement food should be new to the dog and of a different variety of ingredients. For example, if the dog was previously eating a chicken and corn based dog food, then the next food purchased should be made of different ingredients. Making your own dog food or using dog treat recipes will go far in remedying this problem as you can completely control every ingredient.