Dog allergies are very similar to human allergies and also produce the same symptoms as human allergies. There are 5 types of dog allergies: food allergy, flea allergy, bacteria allergy, contact allergy and atopy. Here are some basic facts about each of these allergies. Visit https://fluffsofluv.com/2015/03/13/does-my-dog-have-allergies/.
The most common symptom of food allergies is scratching, due to skin irritation. Dog foods contain a host of ingredients which can cause an allergic reaction to your dog. Some of these ingredients are:
Meats: Beef, Chicken, Pork, Lamb, Fish, Eggs
Diary products (Milk)
Grains (Wheat, Whey)
Most dog owners often scold their dog for scratching too much. Any obsessive behavior your dog demonstrates, such as constant scratching, chewing, licking, requires immediate attention. Never assume that this is just a new habit your dog picked up. Dog allergies can make your dog very uncomfortable.
Aside from scratching, some of the other symptoms dogs can experience are:
- eye and nose discharge
- Itching around the anus
- hair loss
- loss of appetite
- pawing at their ears or head shaking
- breathing problems
Isolating the allergen which causes the allergy is not easy because the dog is usually allergic to one specific ingredient in the food. Therefore, it is a matter of isolating that ingredient. You can try doing this with an elimination diet, which most people don’t have the time or energy for. The elimination diet requires preparing specially-cooked meals consisting of a more exotic meat, like rabbit or venison, mixed with rice or potato, which wouldn’t normally be found in dog food.
An easier and more modern approach to test for the presence of a food allergy is to try a dog food which contains hydrolyzed proteins, such as Purinas HA or Hills z/d. Hydrolyzed proteins are broken down into molecules so small, they can’t affect the immune system, which is what causes the allergy. If the allergy goes away while your dog is on this diet (which would take about 8 weeks), then he most likely is suffering from a food allergy. At this point, you would start to re-introduce the possible allergens one by one (individual meats, wheat, corn, milk, etc.) for a period of two weeks each. If the symptoms return, it is most likely due to the ingredient being introduced at that time. You should look out for that ingredient on dog food labels in future purchases.