Feed allergy in dogs: recognizing symptoms and treating them effectively
If your dog suffers from a food allergy, this means that the four-legged friend does not tolerate certain components of his food and allergic reactions regularly occur as a result of eating it.
The complaints that such a food allergy causes in your dog are numerous and in many cases are associated with a considerable reduction in quality of life. The most common symptoms include skin problems, itching and diarrhoea.
As a pet owner, you should therefore know how to recognise a food allergy in your dog and what measures you can take to best help the nutritionally sensitive four-legged friend.
In the following, you will find out everything you need to know.
The most important facts about food allergies in dogs at a glance:
- Almost every second dog does not tolerate its food or reacts allergic to it.
- Food allergies cause digestive problems as well as skin and coat problems in dogs.
- To avoid allergic reactions, a consistent change of food is necessary.
- When choosing the right allergy food for dogs, there are several things to consider.
- Our hypoallergenic insect-based dog food allows for a species-appropriate diet despite food allergies.
Food allergies are widespread in dogs
Many dogs suffer from allergies. In addition to the so-called flea saliva allergy and atopic dermatitis, which can be caused by house dust mites and flower pollen among other things, feed allergies are particularly widespread in dogs.
It is estimated that almost every second quadruped is affected and cannot tolerate individual components of its food or even reacts allergically to them. The issue of food allergy in dogs is therefore no longer an exceptional phenomenon, but has become a problem for countless animals and their owners.
Causes of a feed allergy in dogs
As with all allergies, an overreaction of the immune system is also responsible for the dog's allergic reaction in the case of a food allergy. This means that the animal's organism erroneously classifies certain ingredients in the dog food as a threat and tries to combat it with appropriate defensive measures.
In the case of a feed allergy in dogs, the allergens are in most cases animal protein, such as from dairy products or beef. However, dogs can also react to certain artificial additives, vegetable oils or wheat in dog food with allergies or intolerances.
Symptoms of food allergy in dogs
If a dog suffers from a feed allergy, this is manifested by a variety of complaints. Especially the digestive system as well as the skin and coat have to struggle with the consequences of the dog's food allergy.
However, the symptoms that actually occur can vary from animal to animal. Because the allergy to the dog food is not always equally pronounced. It is therefore quite possible that one dog only has a slight food intolerance while another develops massive symptoms.
Irrespective of this, the following symptoms in particular can indicate a food allergy in dogs:
- Diarrhoea and vomiting
- Weight loss due to loss of appetite
- Itchy and inflamed ears
- Allergic inflammation of the skin
- Hair loss up to bald spots in the coat
- Severe itching and frequent scratching
- Paw inflammation
In most dogs, the food allergy causes severe itching, which affected quadrupeds encounter with excessive licking and scratching. Sooner or later this often leads not only to bald spots in the coat, but even to open wounds. These can very easily become infected with bacteria and can cause other problems in addition to the dog's food allergy.
Diagnosis of a food allergy in dogs
If you notice the above-mentioned symptoms of a food allergy in your dog, we recommend that you make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible. After all, as a layman it is hardly possible to make a reliable diagnosis and exclude other possible causes for the complaints.
For example, symptoms such as diarrhoea and weight loss can also point to worms and giardia in dogs or be a possible sign of various dog diseases.
Before the veterinarian makes a diagnosis of food allergy, he or she must therefore rule out other possible causes, such as worms in your dog.
Only then is it possible to help the allergic dog and reliably eliminate its symptoms.
How to treat your dog's food allergy
Normally a food allergy in dogs cannot be cured. You must therefore assume that once an allergy to components of dog food has developed, it will persist in the long term and your four-legged friend will always react with intolerance to the food in the future.
In order to counteract the symptoms of your dog's food allergy, it is therefore necessary to determine the components of the food responsible for the allergic reactions and to consistently avoid them in the future.
The exclusion diet for dogs with food allergies
In most cases, it is common practice for dogs with food allergies to follow a so-called exclusion diet or elimination diet. With this procedure, the four-legged friend first receives a food that contains a protein supplier that has not been used up to now.
If this does not cause any problems, further ingredients can be added to the dog food step by step. In this way, an allergic reaction can be provoked and the responsible allergen can be identified.
Exclusion diets have proven to be a reliable method of correctly changing the diet of a dog with food allergies. However, it is also quite time-consuming.
It usually takes about six to eight weeks to determine the allergens responsible for your dog's food intolerance or allergy. It therefore makes sense to switch directly to a suitable allergy food for dogs.
The right food for allergic dogs
There are different options for feeding dogs with food allergies. One of them is for example hypoallergenic dog food with hydrolysed proteins.
The protein contained in such an allergy food for dogs was broken down into very small components by hydrolysis. This is to prevent the organism of the quadruped from perceiving potential allergens in the food and the immune system from fighting them.
What in theory sounds like a good solution for dogs with food allergies, in reality, however, proves to be highly problematic. Hydrolysed dog food is usually neither particularly digestible nor does it provide high-quality ingredients for a species-appropriate diet.
Barley as an alternative for dogs with food allergies
Dog food often contains artificial additives that can cause food intolerances and allergies in dogs. Such ingredients can be avoided very easily by barfening.
However, there are some pitfalls associated with this type of nutrition, making it a limited alternative for dogs with food allergies. In practice, barley for dogs involves various risks that should not be underestimated, such as an over- or undersupply of certain nutrients and increased germ contamination in raw meat.
Vegan food for dogs with feed allergies
Some dog owners also try to counteract their dog's food allergy with vegan dog food. However, considering that dogs are semi-carnivores, this is a very bad idea.
This is because your dog's digestion is primarily designed to utilize animal fats and proteins. A vegan diet can therefore also cause feed intolerances. In addition, vegetable proteins are less easily digestible and therefore cannot provide your dog with optimal nutrition.
Our food for dogs with food allergies
We are aware of the fact that feed allergies in dogs have long since become a widespread problem. For this reason you will of course find special dog food for allergy sufferers in our range.
However, instead of relying on hydrolysed protein or unsuitable ingredients such as vegetable protein sources, we have chosen a different approach. Because our hypoallergenic dog food contains insect protein from the larvae of the black soldier fly.
Depending on the size of your dog with food allergies, we recommend one of the following varieties:
- Bellfor Landgut-Menu (hypoallergenic wet food for small dogs)
- Bellfor Landgut-Schmaus (hypoallergenic dry food for medium-sized dogs)
- Bellfor Naturgut-Schmaus (cold pressed dry food for large dogs with allergies)
Why insects are ideal for dogs with food allergies
The thought of feeding your own dog with insects because of its food allergy may sound like something that takes getting used to at first. In practice, however, it quickly becomes apparent that there is hardly a better way to feed allergic dogs.
The main advantages of insects as a source of protein for dogs with feed allergies:
- Since insects have so far played virtually no role in dog food, they have no allergy potential.
- The protein from the larvae of the black soldier fly contains all amino acids essential for dogs.
- Studies have shown that the digestibility of the feed is in no way inferior to that of conventional varieties.
- Our insect protein is a complete meat substitute for the permanent feeding of dogs with feed allergies.
- Insect breeding does not require the use of antibiotics, so that no residues of these can be found in the feed.
- Switching to hypoallergenic insect-based dog food helps to reduce the burden on the environment.
What makes our allergy food for dogs so special
The name Bellfor has always stood for species-appropriate dog nutrition. Our allergy food for dogs is of course no exception. Just like with all other products, we also pay attention to our hypoallergenic dog food with insect protein for a first-class quality.
This starts with the choice of raw materials and continues seamlessly with the composition of the food. In contrast to many other manufacturers, our hypoallergenic food actually keeps what the packaging promises.
Because our dog food for allergy sufferers does not only do without cereals and artificial additives. It also contains a particularly high insect content of more than 60 percent in our wet food and over 80 percent in our dry food.
What owners of dogs with food allergies tell us
Since the introduction of our hypoallergenic insect-based dog food, we have received countless positive feedbacks from owners whose dogs suffer from feed allergies.
As the practical experience reports show, our allergy food is generally very well accepted and tolerated without problems. Even in the case of particularly sensitive dogs, in which all attempts to change the feed have so far failed, in many cases it has been possible to achieve significant relief from the feed allergy.
Healthy snacks for dogs with food allergies
In order to successfully counteract the food allergy in your dog, it is important that your four-legged friend only receives hypoallergenic food. This also applies to dog snacks that you give him as a reward for in between meals or as a motivational aid during training.
For this reason we have developed Bellfor Landgut-Happen, a healthy insect-based dog snack. The tasty treats are ideal as a wholesome snack for dogs with food allergies.
Useful food supplements for dogs with feed allergies
In addition to consistent feeding with our allergy food for dogs as well as our insect-based dog snacks, it can be useful to support your four-legged friend with special food supplements due to his food allergy.
We recommend the following products from our range for dogs with food allergies:
- Bellfor Immune
- Bellfor kidney strength
Bellfor Immune is a completely natural food supplement. The carefully balanced composition of the powder provides your dog with food allergies with important nutrients that support his weakened immune system.
Bellfor Kidney Strength is our reliable herbal mixture to stimulate the detoxification processes of the kidneys and thus help the vital organ to cope with the additional stress caused by the dog's food allergy without damage.
Of course, both food supplements are hypoallergenic, so that they are also tolerated by nutritionally sensitive and allergic dogs without any problems.
Food allergy in dogs - our conclusion
Feed allergies are likely to remain a widespread problem for dogs. If your dog also develops an allergy to his food, it is important that you act promptly. Not only will you counteract existing complaints, but you will also avoid further health problems.
With our high-quality allergy food for dogs with insect protein, you can reliably get the food allergy of your four-legged friend under control. At the same time, you can be sure that you do not compromise on quality and that your dog is optimally cared for despite its food allergy.