What is Dog Food Allergy?
Food allergy is a common problem among humans. However, do not be too complacent about your furry friend not getting any food allergies because they too can be adversely affected by allergens.
In fact, there has already been a growing incidence of dog food allergies which has prompted the creation of hypoallergenic dog food.
Before you panic and switch your dog’s food to the hypoallergenic kind, you need to know first if it is really a food allergy that they are experiencing and not just a simple case of food intolerance.
Food allergy vs. Food intolerance
These two often confuse people and pet owners alike. To begin with, these two are illnesses which need to be addressed right away to prevent undesirable consequences.
Secondly, the main difference between these two is that food intolerance is a digestive problem while food allergy is an immune system problem.
Food intolerance happens when your dog eats a particular food and this is not digested well or if there are no enzymes in his body that can digest the food, causing vomiting and diarrhea.
Food allergy, on the other hand, happens when your dog eats something which his body identifies as a threat to the system or something that causes it harm.
Your dog’s body releases anti-bodies to combat the said threat. Thus, the need to feed him with hypoallergenic dog food.
Now, it is time to identify the symptoms of these two. Basically, these two have almost the same symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting. Only food allergy lets your dog experience or exhibit itching and scratching everywhere in his body. He may also be biting his paws and some discharge comes out of his ears. If you notice these symptoms, then your dog may be suffering from food allergy.
What should you do if your dog has food allergy?
Recall the food that you gave your pet during the past three days. This is because some allergens may not show up until a few days after it was ingested into the body.
Though some can appear rather quickly, there are also those which appear late. If the allergy is not too intense, you can just call to inform the veterinarian about your dog’s situation so that first aid or immediate response may be given.
However, if the allergy is severe, waste no time and bring your dog to the clinic immediately. If a medication is prescribed, make sure you read the indication and instructions.
Do not give your dog treats or table food. His immune system at this point is very weak and you do not want to take the risk of worsening his condition.
Stick to hypoallergenic dog food through the recommendation of your dog’s veterinarian. For a while, try to give him this hypoallergenic dog food until such time that he recovers from the allergies.
Hypoallergenic dog food may be a bit expensive for some. That is why you can prepare your own dog food that is hypoallergenic right in your own home.
Feed your dog with protein and starch so that he can get the right nutrients.
Your dog can be considered your best friend. So do not take the risk of giving him the wrong food. Give him only the best.