Dog Food Allergies


Excerpted from King, Marcia. "Food for Thought." Dog Fancy, September 2003, 39-43).

"Injesting even a small amount of an allergic substance can provoke a reaction within hours, including itchy or reddened skin (especially in the ear flaps and ear canal), vomiting or diarrhea. Dogs may shake or rub their heads, scratch their ears, or scoot.

"These animals can go on to develop secondary skin and ear infections... Ear disease (otitis) is very common in food allergic dogs, occurring in about 80 percent of cases...

"...Labrador Retrievers are more predisposed to them, [but] food allergies are fairly common and are seen in all breeds...

""The primary cause of food allergy is meat sources such as beef, poultry, and more recently lamb and fish," Bartges says. "In one study, beef, dairy products, wheat and chicken accounted for two-thirds of the food allergies in dogs, and chicken eggs, lamb, and soy accounted for the remaining one-third." Cow's milk, mutton, pork, rabbit, horse meat, artificial food additives, oatmeal, wheat, corn, rice flour, potatoes, kidney beans, and dog biscuits can also cause food allergies.

"...some cases of food allergy take months to diagnose... [but first] rule out the other causes of itchy skin... parasites (fleas, ticks, lice, scabies, mites), infections (bacterial, yeast, and ringworm), and other allergies (fleas, pollens, mold)...

"Next, your vet will put your dog on a strict elimination diet trial...

"For purposes of diagnosing a food allergy, Jackson does not, however, recommend hydrolyzed diets until research supports their diagnostic effectiveness. In hydrolyzed diets, the protein is rendered too small to be recognized by the immune system...

"Because it can take several weeks for your dog's immune response to quiet down and his symptoms to disappear, feed the trial diet for at least six weeks, Jackson says. "If an equivocal response (one that can be interpreted in more than one way) is seen, continue the diet trial for another four weeks."

"Unless you know the specific ingredient that makes your dog ill, use care in selecting treats."


Links on Food Allergies

WolfKing dry dog food by Solid Gold, see Lucy, the Wonder Dog Solid Gold Holistic Animal Nutrition


Colby Glass, MLIS