When the immune system reacts in an exacerbated way to a food which he does not tolerate, the dog presents signs which should alert his master. We must start by removing the causes that may be at the origin of symptoms that the animal presents in order to ensure that it is indeed a food allergy, or a Food intolerance, which is different because in the latter case the immune system is not involved. Be that as it may, a change in the dog’s diet is therefore essential. Spotlight on food allergy and intolerance in dogs as well as on therapeutic foods which may be necessary so that the daily life of the animal is no longer hell.
Difference between food allergy and food intolerance
These terms are so overused that many people do not differentiate between allergy and intolerance. It is therefore important to know what distinguishes them from one another.
- Thefood allergy is due to awareness of a trophallergene (i.e. to a allergen ingested) that the dog absorbs through one or more foods. The animal’s immune system then reacts in an exacerbated manner to this external agent in order to defend the organism. The immunological reaction is non-toxic.
- TheFood intolerance does not cause skin disorders but only digestive. It is due to a mismatch between the digestive capacities of a subject (Man or animal) and the quality of a food product or its quantity. It’s about a reaction said discomfort and the immune system is not involved in any intolerance. It is the metabolism of the food, that is to say its digestion, that causes the symptoms.
Skin disorders in one case, digestive disorders in the other: you have to know what is causing the problem anyway.
Food allergy: symptoms in dogs
When the animal does not “stand” a food, the symptoms can be digestive (intolerance) or cutaneous (allergy). The dog is therefore likely to present some of the following manifestations:
- An increase in the number of daily droppings,
- Plaques on the skin
Before deducing that the dog is intolerant or allergic to a food, it is necessary to rule out the other causes which may be at the origin of the various symptoms which appear.
- At the digestive level, the possible causes sometimes have no relation to food intolerance. It can be:
- the stress,
- drug poisoning,
- liver disease or other …
- At the cutaneous level, the manifestations can be due to anything other than a food allergy such as:
- dermatitis allergic to flea bites or other type of dermatitis
- bacterial infection
- a contact allergy …
A consultation at the vet is absolutely essential because whatever problem the dog is suffering from must be treated as soon as possible.
Food allergy in dogs: a complex diagnosis
Diagnose a food allergy is a complicated task because a dog can be allergic to any type of food, namely:
- The egg,
- Chicken or any other meat product,
- Dairy products,
It is even more difficult to identify the causative trophallergens when the dog’s immune system responds to several food families. But anyway, his breeder must rely on the veterinarian to seriously address the issue.
Food allergy: changing your dog’s diet
It takes time to identify the food to which the dog is allergic. It is therefore imperative to avoid it. We adopt what we call the predatory diet. This consists in eliminating completely from the daily ration of the animal for at least 8 weeks a potentially allergenic food. It is then reintroduced into the diet. This phase is said provocation test. If the symptoms that had disappeared reappear, it is because the food in question is indeed the culprit. He is then perfectly identified. The same principle of avoidance can be adopted in case of food intolerance to identify the food (s) that are problematic.
When a dog has an allergy to several foods, it is even more complicated. We can then opt for hypoallergenic foods, but it is highly preferable to obtain the agreement of the veterinarian who, in addition, will give all the advice to follow so that the dog benefits from a balanced diet despite everything and does not suffer from any nutritional deficiency.
Be particularly careful with a dog allergic to certain foods or intolerant. We don’t give it never leftovers from family meals and at all costs you must also avoid treats, even those specifically intended for these pets.
Feed your faithful companion daily with diet foods for canids ends up being a considerable sum. We cannot recommend enough to insure your dog with a animal health mutual which offers a formula integrating the management of preventive acts. The teacher can thus be reimbursed at least in part thanks to a therapeutic feeding package allowing these specific products to be obtained in veterinary clinics on prescription. These foods are expensive, but in addition to being free from allergens, they provide the dog with all the nutritional support they need every day to stay healthy.