Food allergy has affected more and more dogs in recent times. Dog owners usually struggle to distinguish food allergy from food intolerance. While food allergy describes the condition where a dog’s immune system strongly reacts to protein, food intolerance refers to a dog’s inability to digest a certain food group, such as dairy. Statistics have shown that food intolerance appears more frequently than food allergy. According to veterinarians, 10 to 30 percent of dogs suffer from food allergy in one period of their lives. To notice this ailment early, veterinarians from Eastshore Vet, Branford pet hospital , explains what are the signs of food allergy in dogs and what you can do to prevent it.
Dogs with food allergies may scratch themselves compulsively, especially around the ears. Besides, they may suffer from gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or straining when trying to empty their stomachs. The less common symptoms such as nasal discharge, breathing problems, restlessness, or refusing to eat may appear in some dogs. Occasionally, dogs may exhibit long-lasting symptoms that may indicate a chronic allergy. Even though it is not considered as a serious medical condition, the allergy may significantly diminish the quality of their lifestyles.
Which Body Parts Are Affected the Most by Food Allergy?
Veterinarians report that almost 80 percent of skin problems occur on and around the dog’s ears. To a lesser extent, the symptoms of food allergy may occur on a dog’s paws (62 percent). Other body parts like a dog’s belly and legs may shape the complete picture of food allergy.
What to Do?
Specific diet known as an elimination diet gives the best results. The purpose of this type of a diet is to search for an allergic ingredient and avoid it. Before the diet, you should eliminate other factors such as fleas and environmental factors that may also cause allergy. Before you start any of these methods, consult your vet.
When Is It Urgent?
If your dog has severe diarrhea that lasts more than 48 hours, you should visit a vet to prevent dehydration. After his state begins to normalize, explore the options to discover what food causes the turbulence and eliminate it from his diet.
What Are the Most Common Food Allergens?
It is not starchy food that causes allergy in dogs. The main culprit is protein. It may come from animal or vegetable sources. You may read here about the foods you need to avoid in your dog’s diet.