Hypoallergenic Dog Food

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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Like humans, sometimes dogs suffer from food allergies. While common human symptoms include migraine headaches and rashes, in dogs, the most common observable symptom is the dog scratching endlessly near its face and neck. Another common food allergy symptom in dogs is biting legs or paws.

Finding the Right Hypoallergenic Dog Food

Like humans, it is usually a component of dog food that causes the allergic symptoms in the pet. If you observe the scratching or biting activities noted above, it's a good idea to check first for fleas. If you have been using one of the convenient and relatively inexpensive, but effective, flea treatments regularly on your pet, a food allergy may be the cause. Changing your pet's diet may be one solution, but it's a good idea to bring your dog into your vet and discuss concerns with him.

If your vet determines that a food allergy may be the cause of your pet's discomfort, he may recommend that you feed your pet a hypoallergenic dog food for a specified period of time. If the scratching or biting stops within a week or two, there is a good chance that the issue is a food, or food additive, allergy. After the proscribed time with the hypoallergenic food, your vet may recommend that you return to the food you were using prior to the test. If the reaction returns, using the hypoallergenic food may be an alternative.

Hypoallergenic Dog Foods Online

Usually, your vet will carry one or more hypoallergenic foods, but, in some cases, you can obtain those foods online as well. These foods generally contain highly digestible proteins, and that may help. You may have to try more than one of these foods since determining which ingredient is at fault can be difficult. While there may be other symptoms in dogs, such as anal itching, licking, face rubbing, and head shaking, the most common symptom is skin irritation. When you change your dog's diet trying to eliminate an allergen, remember to limit your pet's intake to only the new or hypoallergenic food recommended by your vet. Do not feed her treats, table scraps, rawhide chews, bones, or vitamins.

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