Allergies are a serious problem for many people and are often hard to diagnose. Allergies are even harder to diagnose when the allergy sufferer can’t communicate what it is they are feeling. This is the case when our dogs suffer from allergies. Dog allergies are much more common than people think but often go undiagnosed since the animal can’t tell us there’s a problem.
If you suspect that there’s a problem with something your dog is eating you should suspect an allergy. Systems in dogs can be similar to humans and include sneezing, runny eyes, itching, etc. And just like with humans, severe dog allergies can lead to respiratory failure and death. Veterinarians can conduct some tests to see what foods your dog is allergic to and can prescribe medication for mild cases. More severe cases will require that you monitor your dog’s food intake closely to avoid the allergen.
Just like humans, dogs can be allergic to just about anything. Certain foods are harmful to almost all dogs. Two good examples are chocolate and onions. Just a small amount of chocolate can be enough to kill some dogs. There are many such foods that should never be given to any dog and lists can be found online or obtained from your vet.
Other allergy causing foods are harder to avoid. Many dogs are allergic to wheat or grains as a whole. This can present a problem since almost all dog food contains grains in some form as fillers. Rice is especially common. If your dog is diagnosed with a grain allergy, you’ll have to be very careful when buying off the shelf dog food, though there are grain free versions available.
Believe it or not, some dogs are even allergic to meat and poultry. Often people find that cooked meats present more of a problem than raw meat. Once again, commercial dog food almost always contains some type of meat product whether it is beef, chicken, turkey or even horse meat. If your dog is diagnosed with a meat allergy, be very careful of the food you give him to eat.
More and more breeders are finding that their animals do much better on a raw food diet. The breeders often feed the dogs nothing but raw meat and bones. This is a diet much more similar to what a dog would eat if it were in the wild and seems to work better for their digestion.
Many people have heard stories about bones severely injuring a dog if digested. The truth is that large, raw bones present very little danger and are actually quite good for your canine. The problem comes when dogs are given cooked bones, especially those from chicken. Cooking bones causes them to become brittle and splinter. The splinters can easily get caught in a dogs throat and be life threatening. Once again, in nature the dog would not be eating cooked bone but would dine frequently on raw meat and bones.
Many dog allergies are the results of an unhealthy, unnatural diet, just like many human allergies. If your pet is having health problems, a good place to start looking for a cause might be in their diet.