Although symptoms differ, dogs can develop allergies just like us. Allergies in dogs usually manifest themselves as severe itchiness and if a dog is allergic to his food it can cause him to scratch incessantly. Food allergies are rarely curable by medicine and the best thing you can do for your dog if you suspect food allergies is to put him on an elimination diet to determine the culprit in his diet.
Certain ingredients in dog food and feeding your dog leftovers can result in an allergic reaction. Some breeds such as greyhounds are particularly sensitive and common food such as tuna, cheese and sausage meat can result in allergies. It is fine to supplement your dog’s diet with some human food but only if it doesn’t cause allergies.
If your dog is scratching a lot and you’ve eliminated the possibility of any parasites, it’s likely your dog has an allergy and you should consult with your vet. The vet will probably recommend an elimination diet. Putting your dog on an elimination diet means you will remove specific foods from your dog’s diet for up to 12 weeks to determine what is causing the allergies. This requires a certain amount of patience and dedication but it’s the best method of curing your pet. If the food items causing allergies isn’t found during the 12 week period you’ll have to start the diet again while eliminating different ingredients.
Sometimes simply changing your dog’s diet will result in instant relief but you should carefully inspect the ingredients in your dog’s food to avoid dubious items. Many dogs do better on a diet that contains exotic protein sources such as venison and rabbit meat. Cooking your dog’s food is also a great way to reduce the likelihood of allergies as you will know exactly what is going into your dog’s diet.
You can begin by combining rice with some lamb to see if your dog does better on these foods. If your dog is allergic to lamb you will obviously have to use an alternative protein source.
Dealing with dog allergies can be a very time consuming and frustrating process but with time and patience you should be able to get at the bottom of what is causing your dog such discomfort. You’ll have to bear in mind that there is no magic bullet for curing food allergies in dogs but providing relief for your dog from constant itchiness and scratching is ample reward for the time and effort spent.