Dogs, like their human companions, can have allergies to different varieties of food. Many times, the problem is that their bodies can't handle the corn or wheat in the food, which can often show up as colitis.
A dog experiencing dog food allergies may exhibit any of the following: Vomiting bile or blood, poor appetite, diarrhea and blood in the stools, itching, dry coat and skin, chronic or recurrent ear infections, hair loss, excessive scratching, hot spots, skin infections, increased bowel movements and any other abnormal behavior.
If you suspect your dog is allergic or intolerant to a certain food, you will need to do some testing to ascertain that it is indeed food which is causing the problem, as other medical complaints can also cause similar symptoms, such as parasites & skin infections etc.
It might be necessary to use a home made dog food, so you can control the ingredients, and the balance of proteins and carbohydrates.
The matter is further complicated because there are many additives in dog food, and it may be one of these which is causing the allergy rather than a certain kind of meat or grain.
Dairy products, wheat, chicken, chicken eggs, soy, corn, and beef are the common culprits found in a dog's diet that cause allergies. “But aren't these the most common ingredients in dog food?”, you might ask.
Yes, and there is a reason for that. Just like people who cannot tolerate lactose, being overexposed to these ingredients could be the root of the problem.
Rice and lamb are common among many of the new recipes which have been formulated to be non-traditional dog feeds; hence dogs do not build up intolerance during this period.
These might not treat the intolerance though, as many of these brands contain soy, egg etc., so check the ingredients.
There are many hypoallergenic dog foods on the market to address the increasing numbers of dogs with allergies. As with any comparison, dog food recipes may or may not be suitable or palatable for your individual pet, so these are just general guidelines.
Be prepared to compare dog food brands extensively, since one thing to consider is that many “healthy” dog foods may still cause allergies in your dog if they contain that trigger ingredient. Even human grade dog food might still be causing your dog stomach problems.
An intolerance to wheat or dairy contained in dog foods, natural and high quality though they may be, will still cause the end result, just as it does in humans. Canine skin problems are another sign that your dog may have an allergy.
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