Dog Food Allergy – Causes, Symptoms & Best Food!
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Dog Food Allergy – Causes, Symptoms & Best Food!

As pet parents, we strive to provide our dogs with a happy and healthy life. However, just like humans, our four-legged companions can develop allergies. And it can be very heartbreaking to see our dogs scratching, nibbling their body and suffering. Identifying and understanding the top allergens for dogs is crucial in safeguarding their well-being. In this blog, we will explore the most common allergens that affect our canine friends and discuss how to mitigate their impact, allowing your furry companion to live a life free from discomfort and irritation.

What is food allergy and how it is caused -

A food allergy is one of the most common allergies or hypersensitivities known to affect dogs. Food allergies in pets occur when their immune system identifies certain food ingredients as harmful and launches an immune response against them. These allergic reactions can lead to a range of symptoms that affect different parts of the body. In a pet with an allergy, the immune system overreacts and produces antibodies to substances that it would normally tolerate. In an allergic reaction to a food, antibodies are produced against some part of the food, usually a protein. What are the top food allergens for dogs?

The most common food allergens in dogs are proteins, especially those from beef, dairy, chicken, eggs, wheat gluten and lamb. Each time a pet eats food they are allergic to, the antibodies react with the antigens, and symptoms occur. Food allergies usually develop after repeated exposure to specific allergens over time. It is thought that the immune system becomes sensitized to certain ingredients, and subsequent exposure triggers an allergic reaction.

Also, additives like Artificial flavors, food colourings, preservatives like BHA and BHT and harmful chemicals found in majority of the commercial dog foods too can exacerbate allergic reactions in sensitive dogs. These additives are also said to be carcinogens (cancer causing agents) in animal.

Dog food allergy symptoms in Dogs

Food allergies in dogs can manifest through various symptoms, which can affect different body systems.

1) Skin Issues:

  • Itching: Dogs with food allergies often experience intense itching, which can be localized or affect the entire body.
  • Redness and inflammation: Allergic reactions can cause red and inflamed skin, especially in the ears, paws, groin, and armpit areas.
  • Rashes and hives: Dogs may develop rashes, hives, or raised bumps on their skin due to an allergic response.
  • Ear infections: Chronic ear infections, characterized by itchiness, discharge, odor, and redness, can be a sign of a food allergy.

2) Gastrointestinal Problems:

  • Vomiting: Dogs with food allergies may experience recurrent or chronic episodes of vomiting.
  • Diarrhea: Loose stools or frequent bowel movements can be a symptom of a food allergy.
  • Flatulence: Increased gas production and bloating can occur in dogs with food allergies.
  • Abdominal discomfort: Dogs may exhibit signs of abdominal pain, such as restlessness or discomfort when touched.

3) Chronic Digestive Issues:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): Food allergies can contribute to the development or worsening of IBD, which can cause chronic diarrhea, weight loss, and poor appetite.
  • Malabsorption: Impaired nutrient absorption due to food allergies can lead to weight loss and malnutrition.

4) Respiratory Symptoms:

  • Sneezing and coughing: In some cases, dogs with food allergies may exhibit respiratory symptoms similar to those of environmental allergies, including sneezing and coughing.
  • Wheezing and difficulty breathing: Severe allergic reactions can cause wheezing and breathing difficulties, which require immediate veterinary attention.

5) Behavioral Changes:

  • Restlessness and irritability: Dogs experiencing discomfort from food allergies may become restless, agitated, or irritable.
  • Lethargy: Chronic food allergies can contribute to generalized fatigue or a lack of energy.


How food allergy can be treated?

The best and most accurate method of diagnosing a food allergy is to feed a hypoallergenic diet for eight to twelve weeks as a food trial called an elimination trial. To be a true elimination trial for your dog, this special diet must not contain any ingredients that it has eaten in the past. This involves avoiding any food or treats that contain the identified allergenic ingredients. If your dog's allergy symptoms resolve while on the food trial, the next step is to perform a food challenge by re-introducing your dog's old food. If your dog's symptoms resolve with the food trial and return within one week of a food challenge, your dog has been definitively diagnosed with a food allergy.

Solving food allergies in dogs using vegan dog food!

Plant-based, vegan dog food offer a real advantage in solving food allergies since there are no animal ingredients involved. By removing meat from the diet, you remove the most likely allergens.

1) Hypoallergenic Potential:

A vegan diet eliminates common allergens like meat, dairy, and some grains, reducing the risk of triggering allergic reactions in sensitive dogs. By avoiding potential allergenic ingredients, you can provide your dog with a hypoallergenic food option.

2) Novel Protein Sources:

Vegan dog food often incorporates novel protein sources like plant-based proteins (e.g., peas, lentils, and quinoa) or single-source protein alternatives like hypoallergenic plant proteins (e.g., hydrolyzed soy). These novel protein sources can be gentler on a dog's digestive system and reduce the risk of allergies.

3) Rich in Antioxidants and Phytonutrients:

Plant-based diets are naturally rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients derived from fruits, vegetables, and other plant sources. These compounds contribute to overall health, boost the immune system, and potentially help alleviate allergy symptoms.

4) Improved Digestion and Gut Health:

Vegan diets are often high in fiber, which can support healthy digestion and promote a balanced gut microbiome. A healthy gut can strengthen the immune system and reduce the likelihood of allergic reactions.

5) Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

Vegan dog foods fortified with plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids, such as flaxseed or algae, can provide essential nutrients for skin and coat health. These nutrients may help soothe irritated skin and reduce allergic symptoms.

Scientific studies have demonstrated that plant-based diets are not only adequate for dogs but also offer numerous health advantages that can enhance their overall well-being. These diets can provide all the necessary nutrients while offering hypoallergenic benefits. If your dog has allergies, considering a vegan dog food may be a beneficial option for your pup!

At Freshwoof, we are committed to providing high-quality nutritious veg dog food that put your dog’s health above all.

  1. Formulated by Veterinary Nutritionists - Freshwoof Plant Power is formulated by a team of experienced Veterinary Nutritionists to contain all the essential nutrients in right amounts and perfect ratios to support your dog’s overall vitality & health.
  2. Premium Plant-Based Ingredient - Our recipes are crafted with a variety of wholesome & human Grade plant-based ingredients. We use fresh vegetables, grains, berries, fruits, and herbs to ensure your dog gets all the necessary nutrients.
  3. Supports Strong Bones & Immunity - Freshwoof is enriched with bone health supporting nutrients like calcium, vitamin D3, vitamin E, Phosphorous, magnesium & manganese.
  4. Enhanced Digestive Health - Packed with fiber, stomach-soothing herbs and natural prebiotics, our veg dog food supports a healthy digestive system, helping to prevent common gut issues like constipation and diarrhea.
  5. Immune System Support - Our formulas are rich in antioxidants and essential vitamins that boost your dog’s immune system, keeping them healthy and vibrant supported with Turmeric, Blueberries, Cranberries, Ashwagandha, Thyme, Ginger, Chamomile and more!
  6. Promotes Healthy Skin and Coat - Our veg dog food includes essential omega fatty acids including DHA, Zinc, Biotin, Selenium and more, promoting a shiny coat and healthy skin.
  7. Delicious and Appetizing - Dogs love the taste of Freshwoof Plant Power! Our recipes are crafted to be flavorful and satisfying, even for the pickiest eaters.
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