Signs, symptoms and how to diagnose
Knowing the difference between a food allergy and a dog’s environment will help you determine the best way to help your pup if he shows signs of an allergy. While the majority of dogs will not suffer from allergies in their lifetime, there is an unfortunate percentage that will develop either food or environmental allergies. Some breeds are more predisposed to this than others, but the sensitivity can be seen in any type of dog it makes Best dog food for allergies very demanding.
Whether you’ve seen your dog obsessively lick their paws, scratch their stomach more than they should, or even have long-term digestive issues, it may be because they’ve developed an allergy. We’ve collected everything you need to know, from the symptoms you might see to how to diagnose allergies. However, the best person to ask about your dog’s health is always your vet, so we recommend seeing your vet if you’re worried about your puppy.
Food vs. Environmental Canine Allergies: What Are They?
Just like humans, dogs can develop an exaggerated immune response to something they shouldn’t actually trigger, whether that’s a type of food they eat or something in their environment. However, allergies can affect dogs differently than humans. For example, humans who are allergic to pollen or dust may develop respiratory symptoms, such as sneezing or a runny nose. However, an allergic dog is more likely to experience skin problems instead, including itchy skin, ear infections, hair loss, hives, facial rubbing, and more.
One of the main differences between a food allergy versus an environmental dog allergy is that food allergies can also cause digestive issues as well. With the rise in popularity of grain-free dog food, many dog owners assume that if their dog has an allergy to their food, it is because of the presence of rice, wheat, or other fillers. However, the most common food allergen is chicken. In fact, if your dog is allergic to his food, it’s likely the protein, not the filler, that’s to blame.
the MSD Veterinary Handbook It states that some dog breeds have a higher chance of developing environmental canine allergies than others. These include “Shar-Peis, Wirehaired Fox Terriers, Golden Retrievers, Dalmatians, Boxers, Boston Terriers, Labrador Retrievers, Lhasa Apsos, Scottish Terriers, Shih Tzus, and West Highland White Terriers”. Meanwhile, if you own a Labrador Retriever, West Highland White Terrier, or Cocker Spaniel, there may be an increased risk of your dog developing a food allergy.
Food versus environmental canine allergy: Symptoms
We spoke to veterinarian Joe Woodnot about the kind of symptoms you can expect to see in food versus environmental dog allergies. She said, “Environmental allergies (“atopy”) and food allergies are similar in dogs and have many of the same symptoms. In both, you can expect to see itchy skin (especially paws), painful, itchy, infected ears, and increased skin infections.”
“Although dogs with food allergies will sometimes have soft stools, abdominal discomfort, and other signs of IBD, this is not the case for all dogs. This means that it is very difficult to tell this allergy apart on an individual basis. Signs alone, and some dogs will have both food allergies and atopy, which means your vet will recommend that you get tested for both regardless of their symptoms.”
We’ve put together a non-exhaustive list of possible allergy symptoms to help you determine if you think your dog may have an allergy. If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, we recommend taking her to the vet as soon as possible.
Food versus environmental canine allergy: diagnosis
Unfortunately, as is also the case with human allergies, diagnosing a dog’s allergy isn’t always easy. It will probably take at least a few months to find out the root cause of the problem, so it’s time to put on your detective hat!
If you’re wondering the best way to determine if your dog has a food allergy, Jo advises that an elimination diet is the answer. “The only way to test for a food allergy is to try an elimination diet. Although blood, fur, and saliva tests are available, they are inaccurate for food allergies. Your dog will need to eat a new protein diet—food containing protein your dog has not tried before.
“Unfortunately, the use of ‘meat and animal derivatives’ on ingredient labels and contamination with other factory proteins mean that it is difficult to be sure there is a protein your dog has not contacted before. In these cases, a hydrolyzed protein diet is best. These systems contain Food contains proteins that are too small for the body to recognize as allergens.
To be precise, your dog should not eat anything other than his diet for the duration of the experiment. This means no treats, tidbits, or sniffing anything while walking. You will need to talk to everyone in the family and with dog walkers and groomers to make sure everyone is on board.”
However, what if you think your dog has an environmental allergy? How do you determine the cause of the problem? Joe says that “Unfortunately, an exclusion trial for environmental allergens is not possible. These allergens are invisible and ubiquitous – avoiding grass pollen, dust mites or weeds that are found in every lawn and garden is not practical.”
However, while it may be difficult to pinpoint the cause of environmental allergies, you can still notice when your dog is having a flare-up. Does it happen when there is a large number of pollen? Or after the completion of the dust spot? See if you can find possible patterns and this may help you uncover the cause of your dog’s allergy.
For more information on this topic, find out everything you need to know Dog food allergy tests Or learn to spot signs Skin allergy in dogs.