As a pet owner, you carefully choose what to feed your dog, because dog food allergies are on the rise and many are related to what your dog eats.
It can be disheartening if you put in a lot of effort to pick the right brand of food only to realize that it doesn’t agree with your dog.
Maybe it just causes mild digestive distress or maybe your dog is allergic to it. To keep your pup safe, be on the lookout for the following signs that your dog has food allergies.
Signs Of Dog Food Allergies
Dog food allergies can arise in any dog breed of any age – it’s all going to depend on the dog!
Feeding your pet good food with as little processing as possible is one of the best ways to avoid problems from cropping up.
Pet Plate (the Shark Tank dog food) is one company that produces human-grade food that has been known to help with dog food allergies.
Just as with humans and allergies, getting onto a ‘clean’ diet can really help to mitigate the negative symptoms and may even clear them up altogether.
Now, here’s how you can help identify if it’s allergies to food that your dog is dealing with.
1. Your Dog Is Itchy
One of the most common signs of allergies in dogs is itchiness, and this applies to food allergies as well as other types of allergies.
The itchiness can occur all over your dog’s body, but there are some areas they will most likely break out.
Itching is most common on the:
- By the anus
If your dog’s allergies are more severe, then the itchiness may cause him to scratch excessively. This, in turn, can lead to red and inflamed skin or even some missing fur.
In such cases, it’s always helpful to learn if your pet insurance covers allergies. Pet insurance can come in handy if your dog’s itching results in more serious health problems like infections.
2. Chronic Ear Infections
It may seem odd that chronic ear infections are a sign of food allergies in your dog. However, this is just one of the many ways that an allergic reaction affects your pup’s body.
Essentially, this comes from the fact that allergies will break down your dog’s healthy barrier of skin. This gives bacteria and yeast the opportunity to create the infection.
For dogs who have had undiagnosed or undertreated allergies for years, this can even develop into smelly, raw, and thickened ears.
In extreme cases, your dog’s ear infections may resist treatment and your pup may even need the ear canal removed.
While this is rare and occurs only in extreme and untreated cases, it is still something to be aware of.
3. Chronic Diarrhea
It should come as no surprise that when your canine has an allergy to his food, this will lead to some gastrointestinal symptoms.
Interestingly, he may also show similar symptoms if he has another type of allergy that is not related to food.
That being said, diarrhea is not the only gastrointestinal symptom that your dog may develop due to food allergies.
- Abdominal discomfort
- Passing gas
- Increased salivation
- Gurgling gut sounds
- Gradual weight loss
- Straining to defecate
- More frequent bowel movements
Vomiting, diarrhea, and gradual weight loss can be alarming to see in your dog.
Fortunately, you can contact insurance companies to see if pet insurance covers allergies and if you can bring your pet to the vet.
4. Nailbeds That Are Brown, Bronze, Or Red
If you suspect that your dog may have food allergies, then take a look at his nail beds.
If you notice they are red, brown, or even bronze, then allergies may be the culprit. Nailbeds in these colors indicate an inflammatory immune response.
Just keep in mind that this could also happen because of trauma to the foot or thyroid issues.
This particular symptom is also hard to see in some breeds. It tends to be easiest to spot on breeds with white nails. For more tips on how to keep dog nails healthy, visit LuckyTail.
5. Watery Eyes
Watery eyes are another symptom on this list that may be due to either food allergies or environmental allergies, or even something else.
It is similar to how people with allergies sometimes get watery eyes and can’t stop rubbing them.
For pups with watery eyes, you will likely notice them scratching at their eyes as well.
They may also have clogged tear ducts or goopy discharge that further irritates the eyes.
6. Hot Spots
Hot spots, technically pyotraumatic dermatitis, are somewhat common in dogs and can be another indication of food allergies.
The important caveat here is that just because your dog has hot spots doesn’t mean that he has food allergies. Hot spots can also develop by themselves.
That being said, if your dog frequently gets hot spots, it is worth consulting your vet.
Either he has allergies that you need to treat, or something else is causing the hot spots and you need to treat them as well.
What to Do If You Notice the Above Signs
As mentioned, most of these signs can indicate food allergies or other problems, including environmental problems.
The important thing is that they all indicate that something is wrong with your dog. If you notice most of them at the same time, then food allergies are likely the culprit.
As such, if you notice these symptoms, make an appointment with your vet. They will likely perform a few tests to make sure that the symptoms aren’t caused by something else.
Your vet will also consider your dog’s age, as food allergies tend to appear when canines are five to seven years old. He will also consider your dog’s breed and his current and past diet.
1. Elimination Diet
In cases where your vet decides that food allergies are the culprit, he or she will typically suggest an elimination diet.
This means that you will have to give your dog a strict diet with foods that he was not exposed to while he showed symptoms.
Even treats have to be approved by the vet. From there, the vet will slowly add other ingredients to see if your dog develops allergic reactions.
2. Blood Test For Dog Food Allergies
Your vet can also diagnose your dog’s food allergies using serum IgE tests, which are a type of blood test.
These tests can be bought online and sent in – however, as stated in the video above, these tests are pretty unreliable.
A diet trial is usually the best way to find out if your dog has food allergies.
3. Chippin Pet Dog Treats
Getting your dog onto good clean food is one of the best things you can do to help them overcome allergies.
Chippin Pets has a range of helpful products, like the variety pack pictured above, that may help to get your dog back on track.
- Superfood – peanut butter cricket, and pumpkin
- Smokehouse BBQ – pumpkin and cricket
- Spirulina Dailies – kale, flaxseeds, and carrot
Food Allergies In Dogs
If you notice any of the above symptoms in your dog, then it’s likely that your pet has allergies to food, in which case you should only buy non-allergenic dog food.
The only way to know for sure is to take your pet to the vet.
The good news is that a simple dietary change and some medication should let your dog enjoy life to the fullest. Even better, pet insurance with pre-existing conditions covers allergies, so your out-of-pocket expenses will likely be minimal.