Hey there, dog PAWrents! We all want our pups to lead healthy and happy lives. But did you know that, just like us, dogs can have food allergies or sensitivities? These issues can significantly impact their well-being, through physical symptoms and behavioral issues such as increased reactivity due to discomfort.
A Couple of Food Allergy TAILS from The Mindful Mutt Squad
One pup who has attended daycare at The Mindful Mutt for a long time, Harley the hound mix, began displaying reactivity out of nowhere. Her parents and our team were confused about this new behavior. We eventually found out that she had a food sensitivity. Once the veterinarian helped change her to a special diet, her reactivity dissipated! She was acting out because she was not feeling well! Even though she had been in the same diet for a long time, her food sensitivities began to show after 1 year old, which is very common!
Another pup, Remi the Corgi, had diarrhea for at least a month. The veterinarian had ruled out anything that might be contagious like parasites. Her mom was distraught because she had a work trip coming up and was nervous about Remi being sick, and rightly so! She was going to bring her to the Emergency Room two days before her trip, but I asked her if she had tried eliminating chicken (the number one allergy in dogs!!!!) from Remi's diet. Her mom did not because her vet did not mention that chicken could be a culprit! When Remi's mom heard this information about chicken (which was a main protein in her food and part of the bland diet people often try when their dog has diarrhea), she put her on a bland diet without chicken. The next day, as I was walking into work, Remi's mom drove by and shouted out of her car window, "IT WORKED! YOU'RE A LIFESAVER!!!!" Since then, Remi has been on a hydrolyzed protein diet per the vet, and has been thriving ever since!
Let's dive into 10 common food allergies or sensitivities in dogs, what symptoms to watch for, and how you can evaluate if your pup might be affected.
Common Food Allergies in Dogs
Symptoms of Food Allergies or Sensitivities
Watch out for these signs that your dog might be experiencing a food-related issue:
Itchy, flaky, itchy skin
Hives, rashes, or inflamed skin
Ear infections or persistent ear scratching
Gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea or vomiting
Chronic licking or chewing of paws
Most Common Breeds with Allergies and Food Sensitivities
Determining the exact breeds that are most prone to food allergies can be challenging, as allergies can vary significantly among individual dogs. However, certain breeds are often reported to be more predisposed to food allergies compared to others due to genetic factors or specific physiological traits.
The top 5 breeds that are commonly cited as having a higher likelihood of food allergies include:
Labrador Retrievers and Labradoodles
Golden Retrievers and Goldendoodles
It's important to note that while these breeds are often associated with food allergies, allergies can occur in any dog regardless of breed. Additionally, individual dogs within these breeds may or may not develop food allergies.
Evaluating for Allergies at Home
Wondering if your pup has a food allergy? You can try an elimination diet, removing one potential allergen at a time for a few weeks and monitoring for changes in symptoms. Keep a detailed food diary to track your dog's diet and symptoms to share with your vet.
Questions for Your Veterinarian
When you suspect a food allergy, here are some questions to discuss with your vet:
What tests can confirm a food allergy in my dog?
Can we try an elimination diet and how should we implement it?
Are there hypoallergenic diets or alternative foods we can try right now?
What are the best ways to manage my dog's specific allergy symptoms?
Understanding and addressing food allergies or sensitivities in your dog can significantly improve their quality of life. Identifying food allergies in dogs often involves a combination of careful observation, elimination diets, and, in some cases, diagnostic tests. Consulting your veterinarian is key to proper diagnosis and management of your dog's food-related issues. If you suspect your pup may be struggling with food-related problems, don't hesitate to reach out to your veterinarian for guidance.
FYI: If your dog is a member of #themindfulmuttsquad and has a food sensitivity or allergy, we are happy to give them only their specific treats during the day! Otherwise, we provide grain-free salmon kibble for training treats during the day!
Have you noticed any signs that your dog might have a food allergy? Feel free to share your experiences with dog allergies or shoot us a message on instagram or facebook @themindfulmuttboston or via email email@example.com