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Best Dog Food For Dogs With Allergies

Best Dog Food For Dogs With Allergies

It can be challenging to find the right food for your dog and even more difficult when they have allergies. In this article our Santa Rosa vets share the best foods to help to alleviate your dog's allergy symptoms.

Food Allergies in Dogs

If your dog is suffering from food allergies, you should be able to recognize the symptoms of your pet having an allergic reaction. it's important to know what the most common symptoms of food allergies are, and what you should do if your dog is diagnosed with a food allergy.

Signs & Symptoms of Food Allergies in Dogs

Food allergies in dogs often begin to appear as the dog reaches 12 months old. The most common signs and symptoms of food allergies in dogs include:

  • Red irritated skin
  • Rashes on the ears and feet
  • Itching
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Gassiness

Common Causes of Food Allergies in Dogs

Proteins from animal & plant-based ingredients are often the cause of dog allergies. Beef, dairy, corn and wheat are the most problematic foods for dogs. If your pet eats these items it can take a fairly long time for the symptoms of their food allergies to appear. It is possible for a dog to be allergic to food that they have been eating for many months. 

Diagnosing Your Dogs Food Allergies

If your veterinarian suspects that your dog has a food allergy, they will prescribe a specially formulated hypoallergenic dog food for your pet. During a period of at least 8-10 weeks, you will exclusively feed your dog the prescribed food to determine if the dietary change helps alleviate your dog's symptoms.

It is crucial to strictly adhere to the hypoallergenic food during the elimination diet, meaning no sneaking in occasional treats. This specialized diet over a period of 10 weeks allows your dog's body to adapt to the new food while enabling the vet to evaluate your dog's overall health.

If your dog's symptoms improve during the elimination diet, your vet may recommend returning to their original diet. However, if the initial symptoms resurface, your vet can confidently confirm a food allergy in your dog.

Best Foods for Dogs with Allergies

Once you meet with your vet they will provide a diagnosis for your pet's allergy. Following the diagnosis, your vet will work with you to determine the best diet for your dog. A number of food options are available to help alleviate your dog's allergy symptoms.

Prescription Dog Food

If your dog's food allergy symptoms are severe, your vet may recommend that you feed your dog prescription dog food. This option can be pricey, however novel protein and hydrolyzed diets are available by prescription only. These diets are typically superior to those that can be purchased over the counter.

Grain-Free Dog Food

If your pet has a sensitivity to corn, wheat, and other grains then grain-free dog food may be ideal. These foods have the added benefit of also being gluten-free.  

Limited Ingredient Dog Foods

Limited ingredient dog foods address the presence of allergens by including just one protein source, such as beef, lamb, or chicken. They are often combined with just a single carbohydrate source. When shopping for limited ingredient dog foods it's important to check for a seal of approval from the Association of American Feed Control as well as a "complete and balanced" claim from the manufacturer.

Novel Ingredient Dog Food

Novel ingredients in dog foods replace traditional dog food proteins such as beef and chicken with more unusual proteins such as salmon, duck, or venison. Many novel ingredients in dog foods also use unusual carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes to help balance out the diet.

If your dog is suffering from a food allergy, contact our Santa Rosa vets today. Our team can recommend alternative food options for your pet. 

Caring for Pets in Santa Rosa

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