Pets, just like humans, can suffer from allergies. Your pup can have some symptoms because of the wrong type of shampoo, wool bedding, or flea treatment.
According to recent statistics, approximately 10% of all allergies are caused by food. Dogs can develop food hypersensitivity or an allergy at any point in their lives. It doesn’t depend on gender or breed. It is essential to mention that dogs with allergies can still be healthy and live a long life. As a dog owner, you need to keep an eye out for signs of hypersensitivity and apply the necessary treatment on time.
The causes of food allergies
Before giving human foods to your four-legged friend, you should contact the reliable veterinarian or do some research online. Don’t give your pup anything from the table if you are not quite sure whether dogs can eat lettuce, watermelon, apple, etc. Some foods (chocolate, milk, cheese, onions) can lead to poisoning and even fatal pathology.
In most cases, food allergy in dogs isn’t a fault of the owners. Food allergies are caused due to genetic predisposition and environmental factors.
At the moment, there’s a lot of research going on – the vets try to determine what affects pets’ immune systems in early kittenhood or puppyhood. Recent studies have shown that some breeds are more prone to food allergies: cocker spaniels, Dachshunds, German shepherds, and retrievers.
Symptoms in dogs
If your pup has an allergic reaction to a particular food, you will see the following symptoms:
Frequent ear infections
All dogs have ear infections from time to time. Ear infections that persist more than three times throughout the year can only indicate a food allergy.
How does ear infection look like?
Dogs with ear infection have yeasty, stinky ears with brown and black build-ups. Pets usually try to scratch the irritated ear somehow and shake their heads too often.
In the case of ear infection, it is recommended to find out what causes an allergic reaction first. Also, you need to clean the ear multiple times per week by wiping out inside the ear with a cotton ball with witch hazel. It will help to decrease the inflammation and give your four-legged friend some relief.
In order to clean the ear, you can also use a home-made otic solution. You can make it out of organic apple cider vinegar and purified water.
If you can’t help your dog to reduce the spread of infection, call the vet immediately.
Red itchy skin
Pink or red itchy skin underneath the hair can be another sign of the allergy. Some dogs also lose hair in the affected patches. Dogs owners usually try to treat their dogs’ skin by using expensive shampoos or conditioners. However, it doesn’t always help to stop scratching and hair loss.
Treat the symptoms by applying aloe vera gel directly from the leaf at least three times per day. You can buy the gel in the pharmacy or make it at home.
Another way is to make a water paste and baking soda. Mix one spoon of soda with three spoons of water in order to form a paste.
If your dog doesn’t have an allergy to grain, make an oatmeal poultice. To do so, you will need warm water and oatmeal powder.
Check your dog’s lips. If your pup has a bronzing around the lips, it can indicate yeast colonization, which is usually triggered by a food allergy. Also, it can be a sign of sunburn.
In this case, avoid benzoyl peroxide-based products since they can increase the irritation. To treat it, you can use mixed purified water with organic apple cider vinegar. Consider adding a ¼ tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to your dog’s food or water – it can help reduce acidity.
Another symptom of food allergy is watery eyes. Look carefully at your dog – how often does he scratch his eyes and have tears?
To treat the eye problem, use homeopathic eye drops or dub your puppy’s eyes with a wet and warm washcloth every day. Consult the veterinarian in case eye problems persist.
Your dog may also experience the following symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, constant licking, sneezing, hives, and itchiness.
Testing for allergies
Consider running food allergy tests and an environmental allergy test in order to understand the reasons behind your dog’s symptoms and determine food allergies. To identify the source of irritation, consult with a reliable veterinarian.
Here are some common food allergens in dogs:
Root vegetables: carrots, sweet potatoes, and yams.
Proteins: eggs, chicken, and beef.
Grains: wheat, rice, and corn.
Dairy: cheese, milk, and yogurt.
Legumes: soy, peanuts, beans, lentils, and peas.
Genetically modified food: zucchini, alfalfa, papaya, beets, canola, and yellow squash.