The first step in treating dog food allergies is to make sure the problem is due to his diet. It’s recommended you have a veterinarian confirm this is the issue, and discard anything more serious. The most common symptoms you can pick up on are skin irritations (hotspots, scabs), loss of appetite, constant vomiting, chronic diarrhea, blood or mucus on his feces, excessive scratching or paw licking.
At this point it’s time to rule out other reasons for his allergies. Covering other allergies is not the intention of this post, but we’d like to point out that it could be due to enviromental reasons.
Try to remember if he has eaten anything different lately, or if someone could’ve fed him a snack. Otherwise, if this has been an ongoing problem, then most likely dog food is the cause, especially economy dog food found in supermarkets. Many mass producing manufacturers include all sorts of chemicals and questionable ingredients in their formula, which makes it the worst dog food for dogs with allergies.
Just so you have an idea what’s in most dog foods, let’s take a look at some ingredients. Afterwards, it’ll seem only natural for your dog to react this way.
Corn, wheat and soy
Cereal grains are known allergents (corn is the third most common known allergent among dogs). Some pet food companies will use grains as their main ingredient to increase the percentage of protein. The problem is that dogs are not able to digest them, and can cause strain on their kidneys. You’ll know these are main ingredients if you can find terms like “ground yellow corn” or “ground whole wheat” in the top three in the label.
By-products/meat and bone meal
By-products are essentially meat not fit for human consumption. Chicken or fish heads, intestines, pig feet, among others. These are also indigestable protein sources, and they can include contaminated or diseased slaughterhouse meat.
Meat and bone meal can legally include roadkill, dead pets or farm animals. This is meat of animals that could’ve died from diseases or traumas, that may have had steroids or antibiotics put into them. They’re ground up in rendering factories, and marketed as “wholesome”.
Chemicals and preservatives
Companies that produce mass quantities of food will use preservatives, because they can be stored up to 18 months before you see them on the shelves. BHA, BHT (which are known carcinogens that cause kidney failure) and Ethoxyquin (used as rubber stabilizer), are commonly used for this purpose. In addition, there will be artificial coloring and flavors. Any of these ingredients could be the cause of your pet’s condition.
After reviewing what’s usually in pet foods, one can wonder if it’s really about allergies or just poor nutrition.
What you can do
One thing you can do is upgrade to healthy dog food. The best dog food for allergies we recommend are holistic foods which have natural and nutritious ingredients. These don’t use any of the chemicals seen here. These higher quality ingredients will make all the difference in your dog’s health.
The best dog food for dogs with allergies might be that which you can cook yourself. There’s no single ingredient that causes dog food allergies, it can be from chicken or beef to preservatives, so this way you can have a better idea of what triggers his behavior. For this process we recommend consulting with your vet, and making a slow transition to his new diet to take it easy on his stomach. It’s also recommended to include supplements, such as Omega 3 fatty acids, this will help especially if there’s problem with his skin or fur.
A quick emergency fix
If your pet’s situation is grave, and he seems to vomit everything, your best option is to feed him cream of rice, wheat or oatmeal. If his stomach is irritated, this will provide a coat and allow it to heal. Give it to him in small portions, making sure he holds it down. Add a little low-fat milk to give it a thicker consistency.
It could be difficult to find the cause of his allergies, but knowing what we’ve reviewed here will provide a clearer perspective on things. You can first cook for him in order to pinpoint his allergy, but if in time it get’s too time consuming, you can feed him a mix of holistic pet food with your cooking, or try dog food mixes which only require boiled water.