Dogs and allergies make an incredibly unfair combination, it’s just frustrating to watch our cute dogs struggle without having a culprit to blame and treat. Allergies are immune system responses that happen when your dog’s body overreacts to a trigger, and as long as your pet is exposed to the allergen, no dog allergy treatment will stop the suffering and discomfort. Every dog owner should keep in mind that treating the allergy symptoms is never enough unless they address the allergens.
It’s true that determining what’s causing your dog’s allergies can be irritatingly difficult but you can still use some common, yet little-known, signs that your four-legged friend has food allergies.
Check out these seven signs of food allergies in dogs.
#7 – Your Dog Doesn’t Stop Itching and Scratching
If the sound of your dog scratching is becoming more and more familiar, then it’s an alarming sign of an underlying health issue that you should work on digging up. First, try to rule out the possibility that your dog has dermatitis or atopy by eliminating the common causes of skin irritation.
Once you make sure the itching isn’t linked to irritation, then chances are your dog’s allergy is triggered by something he/she is eating.
#6 – Your Dog Has Chronic Diarrhea and/or Vomiting
Occasional cases of diarrhea shouldn’t be alarming as they’re mostly caused by a slightly upset stomach, however, if diarrhea is a frequent event in your daily walks then it may be a sign of dog food allergies.
In this case, your pup’s digestive system is having a hard time digesting a certain food, meaning you should pay close attention to your dog’s diet.
Not only diarrhea, but vomiting can also be an alarming sign that your dog’s body is having an awful reaction to something in their food. It should be noted that vomiting is always alarming no matter how frequently it happens, so make sure to take your dog to the vet for a check-up ASAP.
#5 – Your Dog is Chewing and Licking their Paw
You may run to check out what the heck your dog is secretly eating only to find him/her licking and chewing their own paws! Well, they’re neither cleaning like a cat nor do they find their fur delicious.
If your dog is obsessively licking, biting, and chewing their paw, it’s one of the signs your dog has allergies and he/she is trying to stop the discomfort of an allergen’s inflammatory reaction.
#4 – Your Dog is Experiencing Rash, Hair Loss, and/or Oily Coat
When your dog keeps scratching trying to get some relief from discomfort, they end up causing themselves an inflammation that may eventually lead to hair loss. However, hair loss in dogs can also be a result of a lurking skin rash as an allergic reaction.
If your dog is suffering from both hair loss and an oily, smelly coat, then you need to call your veterinarian to rule out a fungal infection. The latter share the same causes and symptoms as food allergies in dogs.
#3 – Your Dog Has Yeast and Ear Infections
If you notice an excessive build-up of wax while checking your pup’s ears, it may be a sign that your dog has allergies and might need more than an ear cleaning session.
Also, overfeeding your pooch starches and carbs can stress the healthy amount of yeast in the dog’s digestive tract, thus interfering with the normal immunity functioning.
This results in excessive production of fungus, releasing the foul smell, skin bronzing, and more earwax in an attempt to get rid of the excess yeast in the dog’s body.
#2 – Your Dog is Head-Shaking and Face-Rubbing
A dog shaking his/her head can simply mean that they’re trying to get the water out of their ears after a swim or a bath, however, if your four-legged friend is constantly head shaking and face rubbing, it can be a warning sign of skin irritation or ear inflammation that the dog is trying so hard to get rid of.
#1 – Hypoallergenic Shampoos Are Useless to Your Dog
If a specialized shampoo cannot resolve the six previous signs, which are also linked to fleas and environmental allergies, then you may be left with one hideous culprit: Your dog’s food. This calls for an urgent change in diet. You may want to look for the best dog food for allergies and don’t try any home remedies for dog allergies before checking with your vet.
How to Treat Dog Allergies
Although you can’t completely prevent dog food allergy, you can provide allergy relief. First, you need a proper diagnosis from the vet, then, identify the allergy-triggering ingredient(s) in your dog’s food following an elimination process. You can also look beyond traditional dog foods and maybe go for a raw or natural diet.
Keep in mind that even though dogs can develop an allergy to almost any food, many dog allergies come from heavily-processed ingredients in marketed dog food.
It is definitely heartbreaking to watch your cuddly pup struggle as you try to dig out what’s causing the food allergies, but just hang in there because solutions are much easier to find, and before you know it, you’ll have your happy, healthy doggy best friend back!
Don’t forget to leave a comment below if your dog has food allergies or if you have any questions or pieces of advice. Your contributions are a source of support, guidance, and inspiration to our entire community of readers. And please feel free to share this article with other dog owners and lovers.