by Jenny Holt

Food allergies are common in dogs. And some breeds are more prone to developing symptoms than others, including the Yorkshire Terrier, Golden Retriever and Bulldog. With Pakistan’s government killing in excess of 50,000 stray dogs a year, it’s essential that owners keep their pooches happy and healthy to prevent them from attempting to escape to source food. There are a range of common foods dogs may be allergic to and it’s important to look out for the signs and symptoms of your dog experiencing a reaction to any food they consume. After all, a good diet, plenty of exercise and providing enough water to your dog are essential in providing a prosperous life.

Foods dogs tend to be allergic to

Some of the most common ingredients in dog food are also the most frequent causes of food allergies in canines. Beef, dairy, chicken, wheat, egg, soy and lamb are all food items which could trigger a reaction in your pet. Beef, chicken, lamb and wheat are often used in manufactured dog food, however, feeding the same produce over and over again increases the risk of an allergy developing. Therefore, the best way to reduce the risk is to rotate the meals offered to your pooch.

Signs and symptoms & what to do

The list of symptoms caused by dog food allergies is substantial. Some of the most common complaints found are itching, sneezing, itchy paws, scaly skin, red eyes with possible discharge and hair loss. The first thing you should do if you suspect your dog has a food allergy is to try to determine which food or foods is the allergen. To do this you can eliminate one product at a time from your dog’s diet and allow several weeks to pass to see if symptoms improve. This can be a difficult and time consuming method, though, and, for a dog in discomfort, it may be best to take him or her to your veterinarian who can undertake blood tests and patch tests, if required, to find the culprit of your dog’s food allergy.

Treating dog food allergies

The canines most likely to develop allergies are some of the most popular breeds and most expensive dogs to purchase in Pakistan. Having spent time and money on your beloved pet it’s essential you take care of its health and address his or hers food allergy. You may need to overhaul your pet’s diet altogether and scrap your existing feeding routine in favor of an allergen friendly diet. There are a vast array of brands offering dog food free from common allergens, or, you could move your four legged friend onto a homemade diet where you control all the ingredients that go into his meals.

Thousands of dogs experience food allergies as a result of the food they devour. Therefore, owners should ensure they know the signs and symptoms of dog food allergies and are able to identify when their canine friend has got a problem.

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