It’s not something people consider often as they go about their lives with their pets, but animals, and in this case specifically dogs, suffer from the symptoms of dog allergies. It is said that upwards to twenty percent of the total dog population in the United States of America feel the anguish of dog allergies. Dog allergy symptoms vary as widely as those felt in humans and manifest themselves in all kinds of ways. As people do, dogs also feel allergy symptoms when their bodies and immune systems encounter certain everyday substances medically known as allergens. If the dog’s body considers these dangerous then the dog’s immune system begins to overreact. Allergy symptoms begin to appear when the beast has inhaled or come into skin contact with an allergen. In this case, we are specifically concerning ourselves with allergens in dog foods. These allergens and the reactions related to them are why we recommend hypoallergenic dog food.
What Are the Dog Allergy Symptoms?
As a dog’s body attempts to rid itself of these allergens it will begin to experience all kinds of discomfort in its respiratory, skin, and digestive systems. A very generalized overview of the dog allergies symptoms are as recognizable in dogs as they are in humans. These include:
- increased scratching due to itchiness
- itchy and runny eyes
- itchy ears and often times ear infections
- itchy and red moist skin
- constant licking and chewing, especially of the paws as they swell
- snoring caused by inflammation in the throat
- yeast infections and hair loss
At-Risk Factors for Symptoms of Dog Allergies
Of course, no dog is invincible and no dog is immune to allergy. It can happen regardless of age, environment, and breed. In our case, we are talking about allergens in dog food. It is important for this reason to obtain a solid hypoallergenic dog food for your pup so he can be healthy. Because at times we are too busy to even notice that there could be dog allergy symptoms arising in our animals. There are some other pretty common allergens your dog may encounter in his or her food and in the environment or both. Some of these will appear in the food because they are around in the home or yard.
Dog allergies symptoms can arise due to the prevalence of these allergens in the dog’s environment. We need to do our best because this is out of the dog’s control. Some of these allergens are a tree, grass, weed, and other plant pollens. Dust and dust mites are in the outdoors and indoors and often create symptoms of dog allergies in our friends. Mold spores, dander from other animals including bird feathers can do it. Some of this is found in the dog food ingredients, namely chicken, beef, pork, soy, wheat, and corn. Cigarette smoke is a big one for our friends that cause far more damage than just dog allergy symptoms. Fleas and flea control products, perfumes, prescription dog medicine, cleaning products, plastics, and other man-made stuff can bother your dog at an incredible level for them.
Dog Allergy Symptoms Arising from Dog Food
The question is, can a dog be allergic to food? Should I supply my dog with hypoallergenic dog food? The answer to both of these questions is a resounding yes! The problem is, it is very difficult to isolate which ingredients are causing the symptoms of dog allergies. The easiest way to try to isolate dog food allergens is to get rid of it altogether by switching to a hypoallergenic dog food. If you don’t, your dog can begin suffering from a plethora of dog allergies symptoms, especially gastrointestinal difficulties.
If you think your dog is suffering from dog allergy symptoms, you could contact your veterinarian (and spend a ton of money on physical examinations and other full battery tests). Or you could do the easy thing and first try to see if it’s a problem with the dog food. Switch to a hypoallergenic dog food first before you start submitting your dog to blood tests and ear swabs and anal probes and all the other stuff. When you do this, make sure you keep them on this diet only for 10 weeks at least. This means no other treats or anything! Just the new food. If the dog allergies symptoms go away then it was allergens in the food. If not then you may want to start the dog on a medication and try to isolate the problem in the environment. But the hypoallergenic dog food is the easiest thing to try first.