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Just as humans allergies can show up as a sneeze or rash, your dog's allergies can manifest as itchiness -- or even ear infections. In fact, if your dog's allergic to his food, it can cause him to scratch himself constantly, even with no obvious parasite problem.
Dog allergies rarely get solved with medicine, so the best we can do for our four-footed friends is focus on prevention. Providing the right type of food is essential to stopping your dog's scratching habit.
Many people like to share their food with their dogs or let them help "clean up" the kitchen after a meal. Little do they know, their dogs just may not be able to take the tasty food we love so much, and some breeds (like the greyhound) are extremely sensitive. Even common foods like cheese, beef sausage and tuna may cause allergic reactions in some dogs. So it's best to let dogs enjoy dog food and not human food, even though they clearly adore and want what we're eating!
Narrowing Down the Problem
To determine the exact ingredients your dog is allergic to, try an elimination diet. Although powerful, it also requires patience. In fact, the elimination diet can call for eliminating specific food for up to 12 weeks before you'll notice the effects. And if you still haven't found the right (and wrong) ingredients, you'll have to repeat the process all over again.
So is there an alternative to the lengthy elimination diet? Yes -- give your dog a brand or type of food he's never eaten before. But simply changing to a new brand of dog food might not be enough to eliminate his food allergies, since many brands contain similar ingredients. Instead, study the existing ingredients your dog is eating to determine which types of protein source he hasn't been exposed to. Then, hunt for a dog food that doesn't contain any of the ingredients you saw listed. For example, there are many brands of dog food that contains unusual protein sources such as rabbit or venison -- great for testing allergic reactions to other, more common proteins.
Perhaps the best way for you to get control of dog's allergies is to whip up your own dog food. That way, you'll know exactly what he's getting and what he isn't -- something that's extremely hard to tell from reading the back of a dog food bag. Making your own food is especially helpful in elimination diets. To start, combine a portion of rice with baby food and lamb -- so long as your dog isn't already eating lamb and possibly displaying a reaction to it.
Dog food allergies are a special condition that can be frustrating and take patience to solve. Since allergic reactions don't disappear overnight, you'll need lots of time and thoughtfulness to help your dog overcome this problem -- but his goofy smile and those scratch-free days ahead will probably make it all worth it.
About the Author
Blake Kritzberg is proprietor of Poodle-oo: Fashion for Toy Dogs. Stop by for toy dog couture and home decor, free dog postcards and the Toy Dog Blog.
The Little-Known History of Seafaring Pets
It gets hard to tell when you go back that far, but humans—Homo erectus in this case—probably crafted the first seaworthy vessel some 800,000 years ago. Since then, our ability to build boats and take to the seas has been critical to many of the most ...
Law Would Ban Tethering Pets in Freezing Weather | Virginia News ...
U.S. News & World Report
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — As temperatures across Virginia plunged to the single digits, many pets no doubt have been left in the cold.
Caring for pets in cold weather
The ice needs to be broken, maybe several times a day, in order for livestock and domesticated outdoor animals to have access to it.” “I would recommend bringing in any animals in weather like this, dogs, and cats are like humans, in that their pads ...
Hamilton, Trenton offering free rabies clinics for pets
Hamilton and Trenton are offering free rabies clinics for dogs and cats this month. In Hamilton, the town will have a clinic this Saturday, Jan 20, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon and in Trenton on Jan. 22nd and 29th, both Mondays, from at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m ...
Four ways having a pet increases your lifespan
Hence, pets can enable a sense of communal belonging identified as increasing longevity. The role pets play in mental health (as compared to physical health) may be where the strongest connection to individual longevity lies. There is an established ...
First Coast News
Tips to keep pets, plants warm overnight
First Coast News
Tips to keep pets, plants warm overnight. First Coast News is reminding folks to take care of their pets and plants on the coldest night of the year. Author: Janny Rodriguez. Published: 11:32 PM EST January 17, 2018. First Coast News is reminding folks ...
SLAM Presents LEAGUE PETS Ep.1: Bradley Beal
If you've been clocking NBA social media like we have, then you've surely noticed the League's infatuation with animals and the growing number of pet owners on rosters. We decided to explore this fun side of the basketball world with a new series ...
Are Pets Affected By The Super Blue Blood Moon? They Might Be, But Don't Worry Too Much
While there's not exactly any solid scientific evidence to prove that these things are caused directly by any lunar event, some pet owners have reported that their dogs howl at the night sky, their cats hide in weird places, and their birds become ...
Arizona Lawmaker Seeks Ban on Driving With Pets on Laps
U.S. News & World Report
PHOENIX (AP) — A state lawmaker is seeking to ban pets from sitting in the laps of Arizona drivers. The Arizona Capitol Times reports state Sen. John Kavanagh is sponsoring a bill that would lead to authorities ticketing people who are caught with ...
Williston Daily Herald
Firefighters save cat's nine lives
Williston Daily Herald
That's when Firefighter Chris Henry, approached with the Brookville Fire Company's pet resuscitator. “They held it on her for 15-20 minutes,” McNutt explained. “He heard her cough. But he wasn't going to bring her to me until he was sure she would be ...
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