We often watch out for signs of food allergies symptoms in our children. However, it surprises dog owners that their four-legged companions are victims of food allergies too.
Just like humans, a food allergy happens when the immunity system of the dog is affected by specific foods. The dog’s immunity responds by producing antibodies, and that triggers some symptoms, life- threatening at times.
Ten percent of food allergies are seen in dogs. The allergies account for 20 percent of scratching and itching in dogs. Food allergies affect both male and female dogs as early as five months to 12 years.
Some of the common dog allergy symptoms include:
· Obsessive licking
· Chronic ear inflammation
· Vomiting and diarrhea
· Skin rash and hives
If your dog has any of the symptoms, it is important for the vet to determine if it is an allergic reaction or not. Exposing the dog to the allergen for an extended period makes the reaction more severe. It may be life –threatening if the dog feeds on the allergen again.
Foods to watch out
Dogs will react to nearly any specific food ingredients. However, there are certain foods (meat and grains) that are likely to cause allergic reactions. They common dog allergens include:
· Dairy products
You will notice that most of the common food offenders are common ingredients in dog food. Some proteins are slightly antigenic compared to others. However, most of the proteins share a similar form, and the incidences of protein allergy depend on the amount of exposure.
Dealing with the allergies
Identify the food causing the allergy and eliminate it from the dog’s meals. However, conduct a proper diagnosis to rule out any other potential problem such as bacterial infection or flea bite allergies as they have similar symptoms and signs.