How Do You Test For a Dog Food Allergy?
Think your dog is allergic to her dinner?
You may be right. A dog food allergy affects about 20% of pets.
Veterinarian Dr. Andrew Jones says dog allergies are one of the most common problems in his office.
One reason is because lot of pets are on the same food for years. Animals need variety in their diets to get a healthy mix of nutrients.
But, even if you change your pet's food on a regular basis, that may not be enough.
You have to know what to look for on the pet food label.
Compare brands and make sure the ingredients are different. It’ll do no good to feed the same ingredients but with a different brand.
What To Look For On the Dog Food Label
One of the first ingredients should be meat based.
Look for a named protein source like beef, chicken, fish or other meat.
Not “meat”--that’s not specific enough.
You don’t want to feed your furry friend waste products from the processing plant’s floor.
Look for “chicken meal” or another species specific meal to supplement the whole protein source. This will ensure your pet is getting a high level of protein.
Vegetables and fruits are good for your dog just as they’re good for you and I. Complex carbohydrates will give him energy and important nutrients.
There are lots of protein rich dog foods on the market today.
You can try your pet on salmon and sweet potatoes or venison. Try different protein sources. See what your pet likes and thrives on.
What to Avoid
Skip unnamed protein sources like “meat”, “animal by-products” and “meal”.
These can be feathers, ground up diseased animal parts and other gross things that should be thrown out but often end up in some low-quality pet food.
Be wary of foods high in corn and wheat.
These are cheap fillers. And pets are starting to become allergic to them. Some dogs have eaten so much of these that it’s built up in their systems and is now making them sick.
Dogs can be allergic to anything.
I’ve heard of dogs allergic to oats, milk, soy, chicken and more.
How to Isolate a Dog Food Allergy
Take notes, write down the foods you’re feeding.
Buy a one or two week supply of different foods.
Feed one and see if you notice any changes. Then feed another. Again, write down the specifics.
During this time you’ll need to make sure your pet isn’t getting and treats or other foods!
I know, this can be difficult.
Especially if you have a family who love to treat Max.
Talk with your family members.
Let them know this is a temporary measure and it’s so Lucy can feel better all the time.
If you change the food a couple of times and your pet is still scratching his leg off you may not have a dog food allergy on your hands.
Maybe it's not a dog food allergy
Tried everything and don't know where to go from here?
See what veterinarian Dr. Andrew Jones recommends.