Food allergies can affect your dog anytime. Watch for warning signs and promptly treat allergies to prevent significant discomfort in your dog.

Are any breeds more prone to food allergies?
No. Any dog, regardless of breed, gender, activity level or size can develop an allergy to his food.

Are there any foods that may be more likely to cause allergies in my dog?
Common allergy-causing culprits include:

Dairy products
Chicken and chicken eggs

These ingredients tend to be found in most dog foods. Dogs have the most contact with these foods, so many cases of allergic reactions are associated with them.

Some dog food manufacturers have started marketing lamb and rice food as a means of staving off allergic reactions. However, research has shown dogs have the potential to become allergic to any food they regularly eat.

How can I spot an allergic reaction to food in my dog?
Some common allergy symptoms are:
Itchy skin
Hair loss
Excessive scratching
Ear problems and infections

To determine whether an allergy is food-based or not, watch for possible symptoms. If his condition doesn’t improve within a few days, contact your vet.

How is a dog diagnosed and treated for food allergies?
To determine food allergies, your vet may suggest switching your dog’s food to a completely new food source of protein and carbohydrates for 12 weeks.
Research has shown it generally takes 12 full weeks for dogs to respond to dietary changes. Ask your vet for recommendations on different brands of food you should try.

Once you and your vet are certain your dog has a food allergy, you have two options for your dog’s dietary needs and eliminate allergens:

Store-bought food: Ask your vet to recommend a special store-bought dog food that incorporates the ingredients from the successful food trial, which eliminates your dog’s allergy causes.

Homemade diet: Prepare a homemade diet for your dog based on your vet’s recommendations.

Before you alter your dog’s diet, make sure he has a food allergy. I recommend this is only done on a vets advice.

If he suffers from outdoor allergies or another illness, nutritional changes may do more harm than good. Consult your vet for proper diagnosis.
Top 10 Dos and Don’ts for Your Dog’s Diet

Nutrition is an essential building block for maintaining a happy, healthy dog.
Educate yourself on which foods are best for your dog and which ones are best avoided. Follow some guidelines for feeding your dog properly.

Help clean plaque from teeth by providing dry foods. Dry food is preferable to moist and semi-moist foods because it helps clean plaque from the teeth, reducing the amount of dental problems. If you must feed moist foods, be vigilant about brushing your dog’s teeth and give him plaque-reducing biscuits.

Look for a high-quality dog food from a known manufacturer. This product should be nutritionally balanced and appropriate for your dog’s life stage. I recommend you take your vets advice.

Read labels carefully! Stick to one brand of food whenever possible. Switching foods often can lead to stomach upset and finicky dogs may not eat new brands.

Feed your dog the recommended amount for his age and size. Be aware of any changes in your dog’s life that may require an increase or decrease in food, such as pregnancy, illness or increased exercise.

Implement a feeding schedule for your dog. Try to feed your dog at least two times daily. A regular routine is important for your dog.

Watch your dog carefully for any weight gain or loss. Significant changes require a veterinary exam. Slow changes may indicate the need for a change in portion sizes or more exercise.

Check the food supply often for freshness. Try to keep it in a sealed container to keep out pests and rodents.

Don’t give treats too freely. Treats should be used only as an occasional reward, not as a substitute for a good diet.

Don’t feed your dog table scraps. Foods meant for human consumption aren’t nutritionally balanced for your dog. It’s best to stick to dog foods and treats.

Don’t feed your dog raw meat, chocolate, alcohol or bones that splinter easily.
These foods are potentially very dangerous to your dog. Even a small dose of chocolate or alcohol can be fatal.

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