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Animal Allergies: Food Allergies in Dogs

If you suspect that your dog’s daily roll in the grass is causing allergic reactions, such as excessive paw licking and rigorous belly scratching, you may be surprised to learn that he could have a food allergy.

At Grah Kingston, we are providing quality Health Exam Services. We are known as one of the best dogs and cat’s Animal Allergies clinics in Kingston open 7 days a week.

Animal Allergies: Food Allergies in Dogs
Animal Allergies: Food Allergies in Dogs

While it’s common for dogs to suffer from seasonal allergies to things like the pollen they come in contact with while playing in the yard, several types of dog allergies can manifest themselves in similar ways, said our vet experts in Gardiners Road Animal Hospital.

“Food allergies and environmental allergies can cause similar symptoms. These symptoms can include itchiness, hair loss, skin infections, and ear infections. Also, other conditions can cause similar symptoms. This is why your vet may need to start with diagnostics to first rule out skin mites, fungal infections and endocrine disease, such as hypothyroidism and Cushing’s,” Kingston Vet said.

They do overlap, however, and approximately 30 percent of pets with the food-responsive disease also have seasonal animal allergies or animal allergies to fleas. Many of these animal allergies present themselves either with skin problems (like itchiness, recurrent infections, ear infections, or hair loss) and/or gastrointestinal signs (like vomiting, diarrhea, or decreased appetite).

Since many of the signs and symptoms of allergies in dogs are not unique to either type of allergy, treatment may require a bit of educated trial and error to pinpoint the exact cause of your dog’s allergy. A visit to your vet should always be your first step. Here are some general guidelines to help dog owners understand food allergies.

Animal Allergies: Food Allergies in Dogs
Animal Allergies: Food Allergies in Dogs

Symptoms of Food Allergies

Many owners may not immediately suspect their dog has a food allergy because it can take years for their dog to develop an allergy to the food it is fed every day. Food hypersensitivity can occur at any age in a dog’s life.

An expert veterinarian at Kingston Animal Hospital, says one possible indicator of a food allergy can be the location of the skin problems. “If you notice lesions all over your dog’s body, on the flanks, ribs, hips, or knees there’s a big chance it’s a food allergy,” he said.

Other symptoms include recurrent ear infection, vomiting, diarrhea, and itchiness that can lead to self-trauma such as hair loss, scabs, or hot spots (areas that have been repeatedly licked or chewed and have become inflamed). Gastrointestinal issues are usually symptoms that are specifically related to possible food allergies.

Animal Allergies: Food Allergies in Dogs
Animal Allergies: Food Allergies in Dogs

Diagnosis and Treatment of Food Allergies

Your vet will likely want to start with a review of your dog’s dietary history. It’s important to include the foods that make up his daily meals as well as any treats. Many dogs are allergic to chicken, dairy, beef, eggs, corn, soy, and wheat as well as some of the additives contained in commercial brands of dog food.

Experts say at Gardiners Road Animal Hospital your vet may suggest eliminating certain proteins and substituting them for a novel protein, or a protein source that the dog has not been exposed to, such as duck, fish, or kangaroo. Other options include a hydrolysate diet (where the protein source has been pre-digested to small pieces that are too small for the immune system to recognize), or to a homemade diet of either cooked or raw food.

It can take a few months to see an improvement in your dog’s food allergies, but it’s important to diligently stick to the prescribed diet and to eliminate any treats and table scraps. Even certain medications can be flavored, so make sure to discuss all medications your dog may be taking with your vet clinics Kingston to ensure they’re an approved part of the diet.

Animal Allergies: Food Allergies in Dogs
Animal Allergies: Food Allergies in Dogs

If your dog does well and shows no signs of an allergic reaction, you can gradually add in other kinds of food. But if he shows no sign of improvement, regardless of the food source, it may be time to consider that he could be suffering from a seasonal allergy.

Pet owners are welcome to visit our Animal Hospital in Kingston open 7 days a week. In our Yearly Health Exam Service, we have Veterinary experts with years of experience who have done their jobs in Animal Allergies incredibly.

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