Dog Food Allergies

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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Some pet owners feel that whatever major or store brand foods they buy in the grocery store will be healthy for their pets. This could not be further from the truth. In fact, many of the foods that pet owners buy at the market and even in pet stores contain products that can damage pet health and cause food allergies.

How to Recognize Dog Food Allergies

Itching and scratching, vomiting, diarrhea, poor appetite, loss of weight, and listlessness can all be symptoms of dog food allergies. Since these symptoms may also be associated with diseases, it's important to rule out other factors. Your vet will probably run blood and urine tests to make sure that your pet is not suffering from some other problem.

Finding out exactly what is causing the above symptoms can be difficult. Tests may not reveal, for example, that the problem may be a food additive, such as a dye or chemical preservative. In order to improve your pet's condition, your vet may advise a change in diet, possibly starting with a hypoallergenic dog food. Most vets sell these foods directly to clients. If, after a week or two, the change in diet results in a reduction or elimination of the symptom, your vet may advise you to try a different commercial food.

Treating Dog Food Allergies

During the time that you are feeding your pet the hypoallergenic food recommended by your vet, you must be careful to refrain from giving your pet any other foods such as table scraps or pet treats. These could interfere with your vet's treatment plan; however, if your dog's condition improves, your vet may recommend adding treats back into her diet to see if the treats cause the problem to recur. If that doesn't happen, a simple change to a healthier dog food may do the trick. Working with your vet, it's important to keep trying until you find a food that does not cause the symptoms. Be sure to check into natural, holistic, and even vegetarian dog food options since these will be better for your pet's overall health in the long run.

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