Hypoallergenic Dog Food

To Your Dog’s Health: Hypoallergenic Dog Food

If your dog is experiencing health problems or skin irritations frequently, you may want to consider switching to a hypoallergenic dog food.  Just like humans, dogs can experience allergies that result in upset stomach and extreme itchiness.  Hypoallergenic dog foods do not contain some of the most common ingredients that cause allergic reactions in dogs, including many chemical preservatives, food coloring, wheat, and gluten.

As a dog owner, you want to watch for some of the symptoms that could indicate that your dog is allergic to the food he/she is eating.  If your dog’s stomach is upset frequently and he/she experiences frequent gassiness or diarrhea, a change in foods may be warranted.  Chronic ear infections, bald spots, and scratching can also be signs of a food allergy.

Keep in mind that your dog may still be allergic to another ingredient in the food, so if your dog continues to experience health issues and skin problems, you might consider having your dog allergy-tested at your veterinarian.  They can rule out other health problems that could be causing the reaction, or if your dog does have allergies to certain foods, they can tell you the specific ingredients your dog is allergic to so that you can shop for dog food accordingly.  Your veterinarian may even be able to recommend a hypoallergenic dog food that should work for your dog.  For example, in one case, a boston terrier with chronic skin irritations was tested and found to be allergic to liver, rice, and potatoes.  Only by reading the ingredients listings and comparing those to the results of the allergy testing can the owner be certain that their dog is not being fed a food product they are allergic to.  A good first step, though, is to try one of the many hypoallergenic dog foods on the market today, some of which are outlined below.  Check your old food, and make sure that the main ingredients in the new food and the old food are different.  Remember that it may take up to a month to note a difference in your pet, so give the food a chance to work before moving on and trying something else.