Constant scratching, tail-chasing, coughing and wheezing, eye and nose discharges – if any of these symptoms can be observed in your dog, the chances are very likely that he/she is suffering from an allergy or allergies.
Besides common allergies to things such as pollen from trees, grass, and flowers, dust mites and molds, dogs may also suffer from allergies to the food they eat. This is perhaps the most tedious to diagnose because food allergies can mimic any of the other allergies mentioned in this article.
The first thing to do is to remove all possible allergy causing ingredients from your pet’s diet. You can do this by using a homemade meal of a protein and starch source your dog has not had before. You will need to check the ingredients of any commercial dog food you have been using as well as make a list of the home made foods you feed him/her.
You may be able to use foods such as lamb and rice, assuming your dog has not had these items before. Gradually add more ingredients into it (one at a time for about a week). You will need to make this food yourself so that you can add one ingredient at a time. If your dog’s symptoms return after adding a particular ingredient, then the possible allergen could be identified.
However, allergic reactions may not appear for about a week after consuming the allergen so be sure to confirm your findings with your vet. Once the ingredient has been verified, avoid the ingredient in the dog foods you’ll subsequently feed your pet with.
Other symptoms of food allergies are vomiting, diarrhea, wheezing and sometimes, even changes in behavior.
Studies have shown that some ingredients are more likely to cause food allergies in dogs than others. The most common offenders in dogs are beef, dairy products, chicken, wheat, chicken eggs, corn, and soy. Unfortunately these items are typically the most common ingredients in dog foods. This correlation is not a coincidence because many proteins are similar in form and it is likely that the incidence of allergic reactions is associated with the amount of exposure.
Finding out what allergies your pets are suffering from and the allergens that cause them may be a tedious, pain-staking process. But it is worth the effort especially as you see the relief you give your dog translate to a pet that’s in a better disposition and mood, perhaps in gratitude for the time you’ve spent to understand and take care of their ailments.
There are other concerns with what your dog is eating besides allergies. View a video about how to avoid poisoning your dog with commercial dog foods at Dog Food Facts. Also learn more about your dog and how to read his/her mood at www.ArtOfDogTraining.com/dogmoods.htm
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