As a dog owner, it is very sad when you realize your furry friend has a malady of any sort. If your pet has been sneezing, itching, licking, or exhibiting other strange symptoms, you might have guessed he has food allergies that may respond to hypoallergenic dog food.
Before you try to change his diet, realize that most of the time, dogs have allergies to things other than their food. So how do you know if it is likely a food allergy or if it is a response to other environmental factors such as pollen or dust? If your dog has problems with their digestive tract, including diarrhea or vomiting, and is also experiencing skin discomfort (rashes, and licking their feet raw) it could be food allergies. If they are sneezing and having respiratory problems it is more likely other airborne allergens.
If that describes your little guy, you can try different types of hypoallergenic dog food. You can try a commercial brand first to see if your dog reacts positively. Whenever you try to switch your dog’s food, do it very gradually, over the course of 4 weeks or more. If you try a variety of high-quality commercial dog food brands and nothing is working, it might be time to try a more custom, homemade diet. With this approach, you can vary the types of protein sources and the type of vegetables your dog gets to figure out what their sensitivities are. When my dog had an allergy problem, I chose the Wilderness formula of Blue Buffalo dog food because it didn’t use any animal by-products, and was high-protein and grain-free (which is a notorious source of dog allergies); luckily, he responded and I didn’t have to look further.
It can be frustrating to try and figure out what your dogs’ allergies are. No matter how long it takes, just know that you are doing the best that you can. At least unlike us, dogs take everything in stride.
Can Food Provide Dog Itchy Skin Relief?
It pains you to see your sweet dog suffering from constant itching and scratching. Our dogs are a part of our family and you never want to see them in any kind of discomfort. But you just can’t figure out what is causing all the itching – you see no evidence of fleas, no evidence of mange. The next logical conclusion is allergies. However, there is another reason to look into first – poor nutrition.
Nobody wants to think they are feeding inferior or inadequate dog food to their companion and dog food companies make their packaging very appealing to make you think you are feeding a quality dog food. They hope the pictures of fresh fruit and vegetables and plump chickens will cause you to not look at the actual ingredients in the dog food. But looking at the ingredients might be your best bet for dog itchy skin relief.
Cheap dog food is made cheaply because it uses lots of by-product ingredients and fillers. While there is some nutritional value to these ingredients, they do not pack the same punch, nutritionally speaking, as whole ingredients. And when your dog doesn’t get all the nutrients and enzymes its body needs to function properly, the immune system becomes overly sensitive. The result is allergy-like symptoms like itchy skin.
Cheap dog food also tends to contain more artificial ingredients, like flavorings to make the food more palatable for your dog, and colorings to make humans think the food is balanced. But it is hard for dogs to metabolize these artificial ingredients, putting even more stress on their immune system.
But by switching to high-quality dog food, your dog’s health can be restored. One of the best itchy dog remedies is to feed super-premium dog food, such as hypoallergenic, organic, or holistic dog food. These foods are made in such a way as to preserve nutrients and enzymes and start with high-quality ingredients.
When your dog starts getting all the necessary nutrients its body so desperately craves, it can begin to heal itself. The immune system will no longer be on the attack and your dog’s skin and coat will begin to look shiny and smooth. Within a few weeks, your dog will no longer need dog itchy skin relief.
“Allergy-Free” Food Formula
Skin irritation is a very common problem among dogs and finding out the cause of it, makes it all the more a difficult task. When you discover that your dog has been suffering from any skin irritation, caused due to food, it becomes really hard to find out the best food that suits your dog, as you need to immediately change his regular food and start with something new. However, it may take a lot of time in determining the best dog food for allergies.
Let’s start finding out “Allergy Free” food formula for your dog that can help your dog in containing the allergic reaction.
The “allergy-free formula diets” are recommended by some vets, who try selling the product which is quite expensive. But the good news is that it is possible to make the same formula, without spending huge bucks by purchasing it. You can start feeding your dog with some non-allergic food items and can keep an eye on its reactions.
By using this method, you can try feeding it different foods, till the time you can find out the right food combination for your beloved pet. Dog allergies treatment starts with the proper selection of food items for your dog. Remember the recipe should be nutritious, your dog should love it and most importantly it should help in reducing the reaction. You can start feeding it with lamb meat in place of chicken and beef, remember to add one animal protein, one carbohydrate and lots of natural ingredients which are fibrous and are easy to digest.
However, there are several brands offering you various dog foods for allergies, available in the market. Some claim to use natural ingredients and are free from chemicals but then you should check the ingredients, instead of blatantly believing in the advertising gimmicks. You can also search in various dog food blogs or go through the books on the same subject. It is not hard to start treating your dog for allergies and the internet can provide you with a number of solutions in this regard.
Pros and Cons of Hypoallergenic And Homemade Dog Food For Allergies
If you are like most people, when you find out your dog has dog food allergies you think it is going to be a tough road for both you and your dog. And while this may have been true a decade ago, you and your dog have many more options today. There are many quality hypoallergenic dog foods for you to choose from, or you can always go the homemade route. So which do you choose?
The advantage of a homemade is that, quite simply, it is the healthiest dog food for allergies. This is because you have complete control of every ingredient put into it. You know the actual quality of the ingredients. You decide whether it is raw, lightly cooked, or thoroughly cooked. You decide on the quantity. And best of all, you can adjust these ingredients at any time.
The disadvantage of homemade dog food is that you must have a great understanding of your dog’s nutritional needs. It also takes much more time to prepare the meals than simply opening up a bag or can of dog food and putting it in the bowl. And let’s be honest, many of us just do not have that extra time to give.
The advantage of hypoallergenic dog food is that you do not need to understand dog food nutrition. All hypoallergenic dog foods are complete and balanced for dogs. Hypoallergenic dog foods also tend to use novel ingredients that most dogs have never eaten before. This helps reduce the chance that your dog will eat the allergic component. Some of these foods have bison, buffalo, venison, barley, and oatmeal. While it is easy to find barley and oatmeal in your supermarket, bison, buffalo, and venison are usually a bit harder to come by.
The disadvantages of hypoallergenic dog foods are that you do not have complete control over the ingredients used and they tend to be a little on the pricey side. But when you compare that to the cost of your time to make the dog food or the cost of all the medicines and ointments needed to help control your dog’s allergy symptoms, it might be cheaper to actually go this route.
While both homemade and hypoallergenic dog foods for allergies have their distinct advantages and disadvantages, you really need to look at your current situation and figure out which is best for you. But don’t think your dog’s food allergies will just disappear without your help.