Pet food allergies? Check what's in the bag
A dog experiencing dog food allergies may exhibit any of the following: Vomiting bile or blood, poor appetite, diarrhea and blood in the stools, itching, dry coat and skin, chronic or recurrent ear infections, hair loss, excessive scratching, hot spots, skin infections, increased bowel movements and any other abnormal behavior.
Should you suspect that your dog is allergic to a certain food, you need to do some testing to make sure that it is indeed food which is causing the problem, as other medical complaints can also cause similar symptoms, like parasites, skin infections or any other.
It may mean that you avoid all commercial brands and stick to a homemade style dog food recipe of protein and carbohydrate, of which you can control exactly what goes into it.
The matter is further complicated because there are many additives in dog food, and it may be one of these which is causing the allergy rather than a certain kind of meat or grain.
Dairy products, wheat, chicken, chicken eggs, soy, corn, and beef are the common culprits found in a dog's diet that cause allergies. "But aren't these the most common ingredients in dog food?", you might ask.
Yes, and there is a reason for that. Just like people who cannot tolerate lactose, being overexposed to these ingredients could be the root of the problem.
An intolerance has not been built against lamb or rice, so many of the pet foods now are including these in their recipe varieties.
These can really not be the solution to treat an intolerance nevertheless, as much of these trade names contains soybean, egg etc., so verify the ingredients.
There are many hypoallergenic dog foods on the market to address the increasing numbers of dogs with allergies. As with any comparison, dog food recipes may or may not be suitable or palatable for your individual pet, so these are just general guidelines.
One thing to consider is that many "healthy" dog foods may still cause allergies in your dog if they contain that trigger ingredient, and even human grade dog food might still be causing your dog stomach problems, so be prepared to compare dog food brands extensively.
Like with people, an intolerance to wheat or dairy contained in dog food, regardless of quality, can cause the end result. Another signal that your dog may have an allergy is bad reaction on the skin.