Dog food allergies are the third most common type of allergy seen in dogs, although it can be very difficult to recognize if a food allergy is actually causing the symptoms.
Unfortunately, the symptoms of a food allergy closely mimic reactions to other allergens, so dog owners may need to rule out other kinds of allergies before they realize that a dog food allergy is causing the symptoms.
The most common symptoms of a food allergy in dogs include scratching and itching, especially around the face, feet, or anus, frequent ear infections, recurrent skin infections, and hair loss.
Some dogs that have a food allergy also have twice as many bowel movements per day as the average dog does.
There are a few indications that a food allergy is the source of all your dogs itching. One indication is if the excessive itching continues all year-round. Also recurrent ear infections and yeast infections are a dead giveaway that a food allergy is the problem.
Although any food can cause allergies, there are several different kinds of food that are the usual culprits when it comes to food allergies in dogs.
The most common type of dog food allergy is an allergy to beef. Second are dairy products, followed by other proteins like chicken, lamb, or fish. Also some grain foods can cause allergies, especially corn, wheat, or soy.
Even veterinarians may have a difficult time identifying a food allergy in a dog, and they will usually eliminate all other causes of your dogs problems before settling on the idea that a food allergy is causing the symptoms.
The only real way to confirm that a food allergy is the cause of all those symptoms is through an elimination diet.
An elimination diet basically requires the dogs owner to give him a specific diet for at least three months.
The veterinarian will recommend a special diet for your dog, and it is up to you to make sure that the dog does not get any other food during this time, including table scraps, treats, or even things out of the trash.
This is very important because it is the only way to know if the dog is actually allergic to something in her food.
After the dog spends three months on the special diet, then the dogs owner returns her to the original food she was on before elimination diet to check for dog food allergies.
If the dogs symptoms disappeared while he was on the special diet and then suddenly reappear when he goes back on his original food, then the food allergy is confirmed.
As soon as the food allergy is confirmed, then the dog owner and veterinarian begin the long process of elimination diets.
The dog owner will basically choose one thing to eliminate from the dogs diet at a time, and the offending food should reveal itself within a few weeks.
Once the food thats causing the allergy is identified, then it is completely eliminated from the dogs diet.
Remember that it is always possible for dogs to develop new food allergies, so be watchful of this and notify your vet if you notice allergy symptoms returning.