When a dog has skin problems such as irritations or hives, has frequent vomiting and / or diarrhea, itching, or constant infections like otitis, it is most likely suffering from a continued food allergy. Something that we can solve with a good hypoallergenic feed in your diet.
But how do you know which is a good hypoallergenic feed? If we search in dog food stores we will be able to see a large number of brands that claim to offer hypoallergenic feed. However, the vast majority are not … it’s just advertising to increase sales.
How is it possible that they claim to be hypoallergenic and are not? Well simply because this is the world of marketing, which simply focuses on sales, although the health of our dog depends on it.
Outraged by these bad practices worthy of being reported, we will explain how to correctly choose a good hypoallergenic feed for our dog. What do we have to value in order to get the right food and how to do it. It will hardly take you more than five minutes to learn, let’s do it.
First step, knowing our dog’s allergy
Possibly it is our vet who has indicated that our dog has a food allergy, and for this reason we must find a good hypoallergenic feed for our dog. If not, you should first go to your vet, only he can diagnose a food allergy.
If our dog is diagnosed, we can know what he is allergic to by means of a blood test, something expensive but effective if we get the ingredient that causes him allergic right. However, these blood tests to detect allergies are not always functional, that is, on many occasions they do not detect the product to which our dog is allergic.
If the analysis gives us a positive result and indicates that our dog is allergic to chicken or cereal, finding a dog food that does not contain chicken or cereal will be a really simple task. But… what happens when the blood test does not clarify anything for us? in these cases it is necessary to follow an exclusion diet.
What is the exclusion diet for dogs?
It is something really simple but to which we must dedicate time, patience and money. It consists of feeding our dog with a feed that only contains a single source of animal protein, in this way if our dog is allergic to chicken and we feed him with a feed that only contains lamb as a source of animal protein, we will hit the nail on the head.
We all know that when a feed change is made in a dog’s diet, the first few days it may not assimilate well and have loose stools or even diarrhea, so it is important to introduce the feed correctly.
Excluding sources of animal protein we will know if our dog has an allergy to animal protein. Perhaps you are allergic to lamb and we have bought you a lamb feed, we will know because the dog will not improve … however, if you are allergic to lamb and we buy a fish feed, it will improve.
Although not everything is based on animal protein, it is possible that our dog is allergic to some cereal. Cereals are the main source of allergies in dog food, it is strange to find dogs with an allergy to rice since it is a very digestible and beneficial cereal, but being strange does not mean that it is impossible.
Although at general levels, the cereals that produce the most allergies are wheat, corn or barley, among many … That is why it is important that although we choose a feed with a single source of animal protein, it is also free of cereals (completely free of cereals).
What do I think hypoallergenic for dogs to choose?
If we have a positive blood test for allergies with a clear result, it will be enough to look for a feed that does not contain that or those ingredients in its composition (look at the ingredient label).
However if we cannot afford to do the blood test or we did but did not give us useful information, we must start with the exclusion diet. Choosing a feed without cereals and with a single source of animal protein is the most recommended.
For example, a feed without cereals and with lamb, or a feed without cereals and with salmon or fish are good ideas to start. Since allergies are a serious problem, we must do this exclusion diet always under veterinary supervision.
Don’t play doctors doing it on your own, because your dog’s health is at stake. Go to a vet and he will be the one to tell you how to start, how long to do it, etc …
When choosing a hypoallergenic feed for your dog, always remember to look at its ingredient label. All feeds are required to include the composition on their labeling, so you can discard those that include cereals or more than one source of animal protein.
What are the products that cause the most allergies in dogs?
At general levels, cereals, cereal derivatives, dairy products and eggs are the products that cause the most allergy problems in dogs. Followed by meat proteins, with chicken being the product that causes the most allergies among meat proteins.
Products most likely to cause allergies:
- Dairy products
However, just because these are the most common allergy stopping products does not at all mean that your dog is allergic to them. Perhaps your dog is allergic to beet pulp, which is so common in dog food, or to some typical addition such as FOS and MOS.
Curiously, the majority of dog feeds that call themselves HYPOALLERGENIC include some of these components…. so imagine how serious they are with their labels and compositions.
It is your duty and your responsibility to learn a little about dog food and, together with the help and advice of your vet, find the product that causes allergy to your dog. Exclusion diets are slow but highly efficient.
As a tip, many times dogs simply have an intolerance or allergy to the feed itself due to its manufacturing process (extruded or cold-pressed). Sometimes it is advisable to use a homemade diet based on quality fresh products.
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