Just as they do in humans, food allergies can pose serious risks to the health of your dog or cat. Identifying the items to which your canine companion may be allergic can allow you to eliminate these items from the menu and can promote better health for your beloved pet. Here are some of the most common symptoms of food allergies in dogs and some ways to diagnose and treat these issues effectively.
Symptoms of Food Allergies in Dogs
- Itchy ears or skin
- Chewing at paws
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Changes in temperament, including aggressive behaviors
- Weight loss
- Fatigue or lethargy
Finding ways to identify and treat issues with food allergies can keep your dog happier and healthier. In many cases, your veterinarian will recommend adopting an elimination diet for dogs who are showing signs of food allergies. This method can allow you to identify the culprit in your dog's diet and to stop the symptoms of allergies in their tracks.
What Is the Elimination Diet for Dogs?
To identify the food that is triggering allergies in your dog, your veterinarian will usually prescribe an elimination diet for dogs that contains none of the foods previously consumed by the animal. Your veterinarian may recommend a home-cooked diet regimen with unfamiliar carbohydrate and protein combinations or may offer a prescription dog food that is specifically designed not to trigger allergies. Some of the most common ingredients in foods recommended for an elimination diet for dogs include the following combinations:
- Kangaroo and oats
- Venison and sweet potato
- Rabbit and potato
- Home-cooked salmon, pork or duck as proteins
- Quinoa or barley as carbs
Your veterinarian will discuss your dog's current diet to find foods and ingredients that are not currently part of the dog's menu plan. You will generally keep your pet on the elimination diet for dogs for at least eight weeks. It is important to seek the guidance and support of your veterinarian and pet nutritionist before changing your dog's diet substantially. This will ensure the best results for your pet and the best information on the cause of the allergies for you and your veterinarian.
Determining the Causes of Food Allergies
In general, if your pet's overall health improves after the previous diet has been discontinued, your veterinary team will usually reintroduce ingredients one at a time to see which of these foods is responsible for symptoms of allergies. If only one or two food ingredients are to blame, your veterinarian may recommend foods that do not contain these ingredients. For more far-ranging allergies, however, your dog may require a prescription diet to stay healthy and happy for years to come.
At Aleyr Pet Wellness, we offer holistic veterinary care, acupuncture, aromatherapy, chiropractic and food therapy options for your pet. Our team of pet professionals can provide you with the perfect options for addressing food allergies through the elimination diet for dogs, which can help your pet feel better and stay healthier for many years to come.Book your appointment now through our website or by calling us at 813-251-4428. At Aleyr Pet Wellness, we are here to help you and your pets live your best lives today and for many years to come.