How to Determine If Your Pet Has Food Allergies

Some people claim that a dog should be fed the same food everyday. Others insist that different foods be occasionally introduced into your dog’s diet. Still others think a dog is only healthy if you combine dry and canned foods. No matter what diet you have your dog on, though, he can still become allergic to his food.

Dogs rarely show signs of allergies when they are first tried on a new food. For that matter, it can take from a week or so to many years, before you realize your dog is allergic. But, once the allergy has presented itself the dog will continue to show an allergic reaction to the food. And, since allergies can mimic other ailments, it could be quite some time before your vet realizes that the dog food is the actual cause of the sickness.

Many pet foods use the same common ingredients, and often these ordinary ingredients are the actual cause of the allergy. For dogs, the most common causes of allergies are beef, wheat, chicken, pork, and dairy products. In cats, beef, dairy products, fish wheat and chicken.

One sign that your dog might have an intolerance for his food is a sudden hair loss. Of course, hair loss is something common in many animals, for many reasons, but if you notice that Fido is suddenly losing great deals of fur during his bath, has bald spots on his coat, or leaves a large patch of fur behind after getting up from a nap, talk to your doctor about his food.

Another implication that the dog might be experiencing an allergic reaction is skin irritation. Again, skin irritations can be very common, especially in certain breeds, but if you notice that the dog scratches a lot, but he’s been bathed frequently and has flea and tick medicines, it could be time to talk to the vet about your dog’s diet.

One of the most common of all signs that the dog is allergic to his food is vomiting and/or diarrhea. Other ailments can cause the same symptoms, but if it’s a reaction to the food, the vomiting and/or diarrhea will have a tendency to be ongoing rather than sporadic. Each day you’ll likely notice that the dog, at the very least, is spitting up on occasion, passing a lot of gas, and/or has loose stool. If he continues like this, he can become dehydrated, which will cause further problems.

Food allergies in dogs can become very serious, effecting the digestive tract, skin, fur, mouth, throat, and more. If your dog displays any signs of food allergy, take him immediately to the vet. Your vet will discuss alternative foods that may be easier on your pet and help him to get healthy once again.

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