Giving Your Pup Relief: Managing Fido’s Food Allergies

Is your pooch constantly scratching? Does he get upset tummies after chowing down? He may have a food allergy. While us humans might pop an antihistamine, helping your pup tackle food allergies takes some trial and error. But don’t worry – with a little detective work, you can get Fido back on his paws in no time.

Signs Your Pup Has Food Allergies

So how do you know if your dog has a food allergy? The experts at Columbia Animal Hospital say that common symptoms include:

  • Itchy skin, especially on the paws, face, ears, armpits, and groin
  • Vomiting or diarrhea after eating
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Gas or consistent farting (no judgment!)

If your dog is exhibiting any of these, it’s worth taking them to the vet to get checked out.

dog scratching itself

Getting a Diagnosis from the Dogtor

To determine if your dog has a food allergy, your vet will likely:

  • Give your pup a physical exam to rule out other causes first
  • Run tests to check for things like flea allergies or seasonal allergies
  • Analyze your dog’s current diet – what foods could be the culprits?

Though food additives like preservatives sometimes cause issues, it’s more often the proteins like beef or dairy. Other common offenders are corn, wheat, and soy.

Doing the Elimination Diet Tango

The gold standard for diagnosing food allergies is putting your dog on an elimination diet under your vet’s supervision.

This means feeding your dog proteins and carbs they’ve never had before for a trial period. Things like kangaroo, venison, or millet work well.

Be diligent – no sneaking table scraps or stray treats! You want pristine diet data to get to the bottom of the problem.

Picking Hypoallergenic Doggy Chow

Once you’ve identified the allergen, switching to a hypoallergenic dog food is key. Avoid problem ingredients like:

  • Corn
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Beef
  • Artificial preservatives and colors

Carefully read labels and consult your vet on the best diet. Gradually transition Fido to the new food so you don’t upset their tummy. Our tips in “Switching Your Dog to a Raw Food Diet” can help make the change seamless.

dog eating food from bowl

Serving Up Allergy-Friendly Treats

Resist the urge to give Fido just any old dog bone or jerky. Double check treat ingredients too. Made in the USA choices with recognizable ingredients are safest.

Our favorite for pups with allergies? Dehydrated sweet potato chews – delish for dogs, and free of common allergens!

FAQs: Food Allergies in Dogs

How do I know if my dog has a food allergy?

Itchy skin, upset stomach, chronic ear infections, and gas can signal an allergy. But check with your vet, as these symptoms can indicate other issues.

What are the most common food allergens for dogs?

Beef, dairy, corn, wheat, and soy are the biggest offenders. Artificial additives can also sometimes cause reactions.

How are dog food allergies diagnosed?

Vets use an elimination diet trial to pinpoint the exact allergen. This means feeding your dog proteins and carbs they’ve never had before.

What kind of dog food is best for food allergies?

Look for limited-ingredient, hypoallergenic formulas free of your dog’s known allergens. Gradually transition to the new food.

Can I give my food-allergic dog treats?

Yes, but read labels carefully and pick treats without problem ingredients. Dehydrated sweet potato or single-protein treats are good options.

With a little trial and error – and lots of love and patience – you can get your pup back on the road to wellness. Get that tail wagging again!