Did your dog suddenly develop a runny nose along with sneezing and watery eyes? This right here is one of the signs of an allergic reaction by a dog. Like humans, dogs can also experience allergies to various triggering agents. Fortunately, there are available several preventive measures that you can apply in order to prevent that. One of these measures is what we are going to talk about in this article.
But firstly, we will talk about why this is such an important factor in preventing a dog’s allergic reactions.
WHAT CAN TRIGGER A DOG’S ALLERGY
Like humans, dogs can also experience allergies. There are pollutants that can trigger a dog’s allergies. These pollutants may be a result of environmental changes or human things.
These allergies, based on the term used, are transmitted through air and respiration. Once your dog inhales one of these allergens, it can cause them to have an allergic reaction. Some of these inhalant allergens include:
- Tree Pollens (such as oak trees)
- Dust Mites
- Weed Pollen
- Cheddar Wood Dust
Once inhaled, the dog can develop symptoms of mild upper respiratory infection. This usually includes sneezing and a runny nose. These types of allergies can also cause itchy skin, which is similar to the hives experienced by humans. Vets provide remedies once these allergies are triggered. However, these triggers are pretty hard to avoid, significantly, since the seasons primarily affect the mass spread of these allergens.
? Allergies Caused By Insects
Fleas and other insects are a common pests that both dogs and dog owners have to deal with. They spread pretty quickly and can multiply rapidly once they go unnoticed. This can cause a lot of pain to your dog, especially once the uncontrollable itching kicks in. It can damage their fur or even their bare skin, which can lead to an infection. This can become even worse if your dog has an allergy to insect bites. Other insects besides fleas that can trigger an allergic reaction include:
Once an allergic reaction is triggered, it can cause severe itching. It may even reach to a point where the dog will try to rip off a part of its fur to stop the itching. Fortunately, there are medications to control this allergic reaction. These can be given by a vet as long as the dog owner recognizes the symptoms as early as possible.
? Food Allergies
Food allergies are the most common things that trigger a dog’s allergic reaction. Especially in certain foods with rich protein, such as chicken, lamb, or beef. Other types of food include:
Once these allergies are triggered, the symptoms are pretty noticeable. But, of course, being the most common type of allergy, it is your responsibility as an owner to determine if your dog has an allergy. After all, owners feed their dogs, after all, so observe how they react to a particular food. But there are some signs and symptoms that you need to watch out for.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF FOOD ALLERGIES IN DOGS?
It is essential to be observant in every move of your dog. Sudden changes in the mood or physical appearance of the dog may be a sign of health-related concerns.
- Itching – usually around the skin of the ears and stomach area
- Warm Spots – similar to fever heat in humans that are more noticeable in the forehead or armpits. In this case, the dog will have warmer spots than the rest of the body’s temperature.
- Respiratory Infection Symptoms – includes sneezing, runny nose, and teary or red eyes.
- Skin Rashes – similar to hives in humans. Your dog will have rashes in spots that lack fur.
- Skin Changes – the skin may become rough, scaly, leathery, or oily in texture.
- Unusual Shedding – your dog may shed more enormous amounts of fur than usual during allergic reactions.
- Ear Infections – since the ears are most prone to itching, the skin can break quickly in this part. This can eventually lead to ear infections.
- Digestive Issues – your dog may experience vomiting, diarrhea, or bowel movement issues.
- Seizures – a rare symptom that has affected some dogs with food allergies.
WHAT CAUSES DOGS TO DEVELOP FOOD ALLERGIES?
The most probable and common reason is genetics. A dog may inherit allergies from its parents, which can either be milder or more severe. You may be wondering what is happening to your dog and why your dog suddenly developed an allergy that they previously did not have. If this is the case, take note that this is because allergies only show in older ages. Usually, it appears in the dog’s “teenager” equivalent years for humans. This is why it is always a good idea to bring your dog to the vet at a young age. They may prefer to conduct lab tests to detect what allergies your dog may have. This does not only apply to food allergies but other types of allergies as well.
HOW CAN YOU DETERMINE WHAT TYPES OF FOOD YOUR DOG IS ALLERGIC TO?
To determine what types of food your dog is allergic to, one way is trial and error. First, try removing parts of food that you think caused the reaction. Most commonly, they are the types of food that have been listed above. Once you determine the food, feed your dog its typical meal without the suspected allergen. If your dog did not have any allergic reactions, you have now figured out the culprit. Next, talk to your vet about how you can prevent and treat these allergic reactions once they trigger.
Yout vet may also recommend a blood test or a patch test which are more clinical methods. Now we will talk about what raw diets can suit a dog that has food allergies.
RAW DIETS AND TYPES OF FOOD FOR DOGS WITH FOOD ALLERGIES
? Raw Ingredients Excluding The Allergen Ingredient
You can feed your raw dog meat as long as they are not allergic to one variant of this type of food. This is because raw meat has similar ingredients, just with different contents. If your dog is allergic to a some kind of protein, chances are other meat is now allowed as well. This applies to gluten as well as wheat and other food with gluten. This is why it is essential to determine what type of food your dog is allergic to. You should also be sure by having your vet conduct clinical tests to determine the specific ingredient.
? Focusing on Plant-based Diet
This can become an option if you are leaning on a raw diet, but your dog is allergic to certain raw meat. However, it is worth remembering that you should be sure that your dog is getting a nutritionally balanced diet. This means doing a ton of research on what types of nutrients this plant-based food can provide. You must talk to your vet if you plan to switch your dog’s diet to this option.
But the big question is, can dogs thrive on plant-based diets? Well, the answer is yes. Veterinarians have agreed that having plant-based diets for dogs can be administered as long as it is nutritionally balanced. Various dogs reached the ages of 20 (which is a lot for a dog) which had plant-based diets. So it is very possible that your dog can thrive on this type of diet.
For some context, here are the plant-based food dogs can eat. Their nutritional benefits are also indicated:
- Apples – vitamin A and C, and fiber
- Broccoli – vitamin A, C, and D, folic acid, fiber, and calcium
- Bananas – vitamin C and B6, and potassium
- Carrots – vitamin A, C, D, E, K, potassium, and magnesium
- Celery – vitamin A, B, and C
- Cucumbers – vitamin B and C, potassium and magnesium
- Green Beans – fiber and minerals
- Orange – vitamin C and fiber
- Pears – fiber, and vitamin C and K
- Peas – vitamin A, B, C, and K, fiber, and folate
- Pineapple – minerals and bromelain
- Strawberries – fiber and vitamin C
- Watermelon – vitamin A, B, and K
- Beans (except faba beans) – fiber and protein
- Peanuts (raw or dry-roasted) – magnesium, protein, and fats
This diet can become very effective but quite expensive since most of these are perishable goods. However, most of them do not contain the most common allergens that were previously mentioned.
? Separating White Meat From Red Meat
This diet is for dogs with more specific meat allergies, such as being allergic to pork specifically. You can minimize the use of white meat or red meat depending on what your dog is allergic to. For example, a dog allergic to beef can lean more on white meat rather than red meat. This is to prevent dogs from having an allergic reaction while still being able to consume meat.
- White meat includes:
Fish is omitted because raw fish can be dangerous to dogs.
- Red meat includes:
- Other mammal meat
Make sure to clean the meat properly if this diet is followed. You should still be alert for any allergic reactions your dog may have to this type of food.
Now we are going to talk about the pros and cons of a raw diet for dogs.
FREQUENTLY QUESTIONS FOR DOG’S DIET PLAN
? Is a raw diet good for dogs?
Raw diets use raw ingredients, which can sometimes be vulnerable to bacteria. If cleaned properly, however, it can become a good diet for your dog. Some vets agree that having a raw diet at a young age can prevent allergies. It can also improve a dog’s digestion. However, what is the case for dogs who have food allergies?
? Is a raw diet good for dogs with food allergies?
For adult dogs with developed food allergies, it is best to go for a cooked or processed diet instead. This is to ensure that whatever your dog eats is monitored by you. In addition, you can not precisely tamper with what types of substances raw ingredients have. It can also prevent bacterial infections from raw meat, which your dog can be vulnerable to.
So in the question of whether or not you should go for a raw diet, it still depends on your dog. Your dog may not even prefer the raw food at all from being used to eating processed food. Therefore, it is also advisable that you refer to your veterinarian before making this decision.
? Can dogs with food allergies ever be treated?
Once your dog’s allergy has reached full development, there is usually no way to stop it. You have to stick with their monitored diet and avoid the allergen. The difficult part is you will not even notice that the allergy is present in its early stages. This is because the first exposure to the allergen is not as extreme a reaction as the following vulnerabilities. Your vet will usually give your dog medicine such as antihistamines in case of an allergic reaction.
? Can you prevent an allergic reaction while your dog is still a puppy?
Some vets have found that using probiotics can lessen the chances of having a food allergy. Probiotics are also important for a puppy’s growth, so it is a necessary substance you should consider. Consult your vet on what type of probiotics your dog can be fed with. This can benefit your puppy long-term, so always consider probiotics in a young dog’s diet.
Raw diets can be risky for dogs with food allergies. Although possible, it is something that you, your dog, and your vet have to work through together. Issues may arise, such as lack of resources, problems with your dog being picky, etc. However, if you are really determined to go for this diet, remember to consult your vet first before everything. What you feed your dog can impact the outcome of their health in the future. So be picky or even pickier as much as your dog is.