If you or someone you know has a dog with allergies, then switching from regular dog food to a hypoallergenic dog food may be something to consider. While the most obvious ingredient is the change in your dog’s food, there’s a lot more to it.
What is hypoallergenic dog food, and why is it better for dogs with allergies? Simply put, it’s food that is believed to be hypoallergenic; however, not all hypoallergenic food is created equal.
Basically, it’s a food that contains lesser ingredients known to be prone to cause an allergic reaction. The main problem with most allergy-causing commercial brands is that they overwhelm your dog’s digestive system.
The belief is that by doing so, you can get a better product that doesn’t end up causing problems.
Unfortunately, this is a myth. Most brands contain ingredients that cause allergic reactions in many dogs.
To top it off, many commercial brands use the worst ingredients possible. The worst types of ingredients include chemicals, artificial flavors, and preservatives.
So, what is the best food to give your dog?
There are a few quality brands that are truly allergy-free, including Wellness, Natura, and Innova. They all use different ingredient mixes, but they are still allergy-free.
Lastly, make sure your dog doesn’t have a history of food allergies. Allergies develop over time, and if your dog’s allergies triggered by one brand alone, there’s a pretty good chance it will develop into a food allergy over time as well.
1) Understand the difference between allergen and intolerance. Maintaining a balanced diet for your dog is important, but eliminating artificial ingredients and switching to allergy-free foods is a great way to pinpoint the problem.
2) An allergy-free food is a great first step, but it should not be the only solution. If your dog’s symptoms are limited to skin problems, then an allergy-free food may be the only solution. solid nutrition, environmental, and hormonal causes can all be combined to create a joint problem.
3) Food allergies can sometimes be a problem, but food intolerance instead of food allergies (which would be another endocrine system) can often be a better diagnosis. There are some general rules of thumb to use in diagnosing a food allergy. For instance, if your dog’s symptoms include the following, then it’s a good bet that he’s suffering from a food allergy:
4) Licking, chewing, or generally chewing at his paws
5) Wander away from where they normally sleep
6) Itchy, scratchy ears
7) Rubbing of the ears ( Mous the hair inside the ear canal
8) Hair loss (inPlace of actual hair loss, redness, inflammation, and/or crustiness)
If you think a food allergy is a problem, you should have your dog tested by your veterinarian.
Once the test is complete, your veterinarian can suggest a course of treatment. If you instead choose to seek homeopathic or holistic treatment for your dog, the results can help your dog get back to a healthy weight and feel better, with no side effects.
Small breeds of particularly active dogs should probably stick to a food that has fewer ingredients.
Some people have their dogs on a hypoallergenic food that has exactly what it takes to keep them healthy and not worry about the cost, as such foods are more expensive to buy. For most of us, though, that’s money we don’t worry about spending.