Learn how to distinguish whether your dog has a food allergy or food intolerance, identify symptoms and find the best foods that cater to their needs.
Food allergies and food intolerances are not just ailments that affect humans. Our dogs can be susceptible to sensitivities and health issues relating to their diet as well. Here’s a look at how these affect your dog and how you can help them.
Dog food allergies
Food allergies are caused by your dog’s immune system incorrectly identifying an ingredient as harmful, and then creating antibodies to fight this threat. Common food allergies include beef, lamb, chicken, with allergies to soy quite rate.
Dogs can develop allergies to ingredients that they have been eating for years and the symptoms usually show on the skin. If your dog has red and inflamed skin and is frequently scratching themselves all year round, take them in for a skin sensitivities checkup at your local Greencross Vets.
Dog food intolerances
Some dogs have more sensitive stomachs than others and certain ingredients can have a negative effect on their health. All adverse reactions to food that aren’t an allergic reaction are classed as food intolerances. While food allergies are a result of an immune system reaction and can take time to appear, your dog can display symptoms of a food intolerance, like diarrhoea and gastrointestinal upsets, the first time they eat the offending ingredient.
While food intolerances usually cause one-off reactions, if you are repeatedly feeding your dog an ingredient they are intolerant to, they will regularly experience digestive problems that will only subside once you cut that food from their diet. If you suspect that your dog has a food intolerance, have their stomach sensitivities checked at your local Greencross Vets.
Best dog food for allergies and food intolerances
Once your Greencross Vets has diagnosed your dog’s food intolerance or food allergy, they will be able to recommend the best course of action. Depending on the ingredient that causes your dog discomfort, you’ll be able to choose a dog food that avoids irritants. For example, kibble with a fish-based protein source helps those dogs that struggle with beef and lamb. These pet foods are created specifically for sensitive stomachs so they promote the digestive health of your pet.
Petbarn offers a variety of foods for dogs with food allergies and intolerances. Find the best diet for your pet’s health using our Dog Food Finder Tool.