"Why is Fido scratching so much? His skin is red, he’s losing hair and his eyes have been weepy as well."
"Lucy seems to be getting so many ear infections this year, I wonder why?"
"I’ve noticed that Fluffy has been vomiting and has had diarrhea ever since we changed her food. I wonder if the food could be causing these issues?"
There are many different types of allergies in pets, but one of the most common ones is food allergies.
What is a food allergy?
A food allergy occurs when a dog’s immune system mistakenly identifies a particular food ingredient as harmful. And then creates defensive antibodies to fight the invading enemy (the food). Common foods that cause allergies are beef, dairy, wheat, egg, and chicken. However, any source of protein or carbs can cause allergies.
What should you do if you suspect that your dog has allergies?
Always start by seeing your veterinarian. They can help you come up with a plan to first diagnose and then treat your pets’ allergies. A food elimination diet is the simplest way to determine if food is the cause of the issues, but your veterinarian may also want to run other tests to determine if there’s another cause for Fido’s symptoms.
For a food elimination diet, diligence is mandatory! Your veterinarian will prescribe a hypoallergenic food and that’s ALL that your pet can eat. You will have to stop giving vitamins and other supplements, including fish oil. No table food or dog treats, however, if you are feeding Hill's Pet Nutrition Z/D food, you can feed Prescription Diet hypoallergenic treats.
Temporarily change to non-chewable heartworm preventive and flea and tick control. Feed the elimination diet for a minimum of 8 weeks; 12 weeks would be preferable.
Pet allergies can be difficult and frustrating, but with patience and proper treatment, they can be managed.
Call your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your pets health and food