While it’s common to watch out for signs of food allergies in kids, it still comes as a surprise to pet owners that their furry little friends can also suffer from life-threatening food allergies.
Just like humans, food allergies occur when your dog’s immune system responds with antibodies, triggering a series of dangerous symptoms, which includes hair loss, ear infections, vomiting, diarrhea and chronic digestive problems.
Some of the common foods that can cause allergic reactions are:
Wheat, soy and corn are three main allergenic grains usually found in commercial dog food. Considered as fillers, these ingredients are the first things that vets consider for a dog’s food intolerance. Rice, which is one of the most commonly served food to dogs, is also an allergen to some degree. Alternative foods, like oatmeal and potatoes, are more viable options along with grain-free dog formulas.
Like some of us, dogs can also have a hard time digesting the lactose found in dairy products. While your pup loves to nibble cheese and lap a bit of milk, neither of these is suitable for a canine’s diet and can potentially cause allergic reactions. The same goes for yogurt, which is said to offer beneficial probiotics to your pet’s intestinal health but also a source of indigestible sugars.
Pork, poultry and beef have always been staples in canine’s home-made diet for decades, so it’s no surprise that they are also among the group of allergenic foods. Lamb is also one of the top food choices for dogs who can’t tolerate animal protein, but according to vets, it also belongs to the allergen list because of constant intake. Rabbit, venison and fish are the least allergenic and are always available at most pet shops in Singapore.
Best Foods for Dogs with Allergies
It’s important to have your dog checked and to work closely with your dog’s veterinarian to determine the best food for your pet. Hydrolyzed diets and novel proteins that are available by prescription only are much more suitable than those that can be bought over the counter. It is because the latter usually contains trace amounts of common allergens, even if they are not stated on the ingredients list. Randomly eliminating components from your dog’s diet without a veterinary nutritionist’s input is also not advisable as it can cause nutritional imbalance and may only exacerbate the existing problem.
Save yourself the worry and have your beloved furry little friend checked by a certified veterinarian. Speak to a professional if you suspect that your pup is showing symptoms of allergic reaction to food.