Are dog food allergies causing your dog itchy skin and scratching? Check out these symptoms and what to do about it. What can your pet eat safely?
Dog treat allergies can be hard to diagnose, but they often show as skin or stomach problems in your pet. If your puppy is very ill then you should take him to a vet to be checked out properly. But here are a few signs that your pooch is reacting to what you are feeding him.
Dog Food Allergy Symptoms
dog scratching (but no signs of fleas or other parasites). He has itchy skin for no obvious cause - or he develops rashes.
frequent ear or eye infections.
bad gas or other stomach problems.
loose, light-colored stools or diarrhea.
dry, dull fur or coat. Sometimes a loss of fur.
Lick granulomas on the legs (this is where the dog continually licks a spot on his leg or paw and makes it sore).
Wikipedia says that "The common symptoms of food allergies consist of skin irritation, excessive itching, hair loss, and hot spots. In addition, they can cause loose bowel movements and even cause him to throw up from time to time."
What can your pet be allergic to? Often grains are the problem - corn and wheat are used a lot in commercial dog food and treats. Some pets are sensitive to proteins like beef, soy or lamb. This report says that beef and soy most often caused intolerance symptoms. And About.com says that corn, soy and wheat are the biggest culprits.
My dog gets very itchy if we give him dog treats with lots of preservatives and colorings as well as wheat foods. Brewers dried yeast and rice are also things that your hound may be sensitive to.
So what can I do?
It you are feeding your pet a lot of one thing (usually wheat), then try removing it from their diet for a while and see if it helps.
When we are strict about what Luigi eats he normally stops scratching within a week. If your dog is very bad, then ask your vet to help you put them on a very restricted diet for a while (exclude things they usually eat, and switch to things they don't usually eat much of like potato, venison, kangaroo) then slowly introduce their common foods until you find the culprit. Many people find that raw food diets work very well for their pets. Or you could try hypoallergenic food which is specially designed for this type of problem.
Don't forget that treats are part of your pets diet - and you need to change them as well as any other food he gets. Using or making your own homemade wheat free dog treats is a great way to keep your pet healthy and happy.
You can see that there are lots of ways to give your four legged friend a nice healthy treat without making him itchy.