It’s not just the Kardashians that are focused on health and nutrition. Just like social media influencers Kourtney and Kim, the rising stars of “Doggiewood” (Animal Influencers) need to watch what they are eating. It has been estimated that 10-15% of allergies affecting dogs are food related. Food allergies are usually triggered by protein-rich foods. BMC Veterinary Research (2016) found beef to be the highest at 34%, followed by dairy products at 17% and chicken at 15%. Other foods thought to cause dog allergy were fish, eggs, lamb, pork, wheat, corn, soy, and rice. The Department of Animal Nutrition defines Food Allergy as “all immune-mediated reactions following food intake”, in contrast with food intolerance (FI), which is non-immune-mediated. Early diagnosis via an elimination diet and subsequent avoidance of the food allergens, is a great solution for keeping your pretty pooch fighting fit.
Symptoms of dog food allergy
As with humans, food allergies can be upsetting for dogs, not only is their physical appearance affected, they will be unsettled due to pain and discomfort. The symptoms of dog food allergies can vary in type and severity. Dogs can display respiratory symptoms, such as wheezing and sneezing or skin rashes, causing dogs to excessively itch, lick and shake their head. More seriously, symptoms include chronic red, inflamed feet, ear infections and gastrointestinal upset; e.g. diarrhoea, vomiting. Allergies in animals are not always easy to diagnose as symptoms can be related to other common ailments, so it is best to check with a local veterinary practice to be sure, as they can’t tell us what they are feeling (unless they are using a voice over!).
Are some breeds more susceptible to food allergy?
In short, yes! Certain breeds of dog are more prone to allergy due to the genetics they inherited. The difference in the way the skin and/or gut forms an effective barrier against the environment is thought to be the main cause, but researchers are still working on the details of how this type of defect is inherited. Conducting a little research into allergies for your particular breed of dog is a great way to help make sure your dog is looking and feeling their best for their big day on set!
If you find that your pooch can’t eat everything nature has to offer, then there are plenty of allergy-friendly ideas out there to help you rustle up your very own “Doggiewood Delights.” Alternatively, for those super sensitive dogs, there are a great range of hypoallergenic products available. A dog that’s healthy on the inside, will shine brightly on the outside.