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Food allergies in dogs: What they are and how to help

 2022年1月11日にジェームズによって|
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Food allergies are among the most common allergies in dogs, but many pet parents don’t know how to help. Consulting your vet is Step One. 

Food allergies in dogs: What they are and how to help


Food allergies are among the most common allergies dogs face. When your pet’s body reacts to a foreign substance, it can cause inflammation, irritation, upset stomach and a host of other problems other pets don’t experience when exposed to the same substance. Fortunately for parents of allergic pets, there are ways to identify what is causing Fido’s reaction to food. 

When your dog experiences an allergic reaction, his body is responding to a substance it has identified as foreign, leading to the release of antibodies to counteract the supposed threat. This can create a host of unpleasant symptoms for our pets including skin irritation, upset stomach, and even infections. Over time these symptoms wreak havoc on our pets, so it is important to identify and treat any food allergies your dog is facing.

Surprisingly, only about one-fifth of food allergy cases lead to gastrointestinal problems in dogs, but other issues including skin redness, itching and irritation are common signs your pet is allergic to something he is eating. Other reactions common to food allergies include swelling of your pet’s face, rashes, hair loss, itchy or runny eyes, excessive drooling, excessive gas, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive licking, stomach pains, sneezing and, in more serious cases, anaphylactic shock. Chronic infections can also point to a food allergy, as can recurring issues with irritated bowels, anal glands, hot spots, and skin sores.

With such a wide range of symptoms, suspected allergic reactions require a veterinarian’s professional opinion. Your vet can help diagnose the source of Fido’s problems and, if he or she suspects they are due to food allergies, can put him on an “elimination diet” for several months to see if his symptoms improve. If they do, you can set to work feeding Fido a new diet based on advice from your veterinarian. In some cases, vets recommend adding some food slowly back into your dog’s diet to see which are the culprits behind your pet’s immune response. This is a good way to broaden your dog’s diet as much as possible while managing his allergies, but foods must be added back one-at-a-time over the course of several months to allow time for any adverse reactions to reappear. This way, if you notice your dog’s symptoms returning, you can remove the offending allergen again.

In more severe cases of food allergies, your veterinarian may recommend putting your pet on a prescription diet. Many dogs with one food allergy are allergic to multiple sources of nutrition, so this can help curb serious reactions. A prescription diet reduces allergens, but ensures your pet is still receiving the nutrients he needs to remain healthy. In severe food allergy cases, your vet may also recommend medications such as Cyclosporine, Apoquel or Cytopoint, which help decrease inflammation. Talk to your veterinarian to determine which program is right for your pet if you suspect he is suffering from food-related allergies.

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