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Does your Dog have a Dog Food Allergy?

Updated on July 16, 2010

Is your dog itchy?

Dog allergies, and in particular, dog food allergies are more common than you may think.  One of the most common reactions to a dog food allergy is itchy skin.  Does your dog scratch constantly?  You may have already seen your dog scratching often and you may think he is totally infested with fleas.  Take a closer look at your dog’s skin.  If you can see small black dots on the skin, that is usually an indication of fleas, because those small black dots are dried up blood from the flea bites.

If you are looking for evidence of fleas, but find none, then you know for sure your dog has a skin issue, likely an allergy.  Dog food allergies manifest as itchy skin, and often, recurring ear infections.  Your dog is an omnivore, which means that he is a meat eater as well as a vegetable eater.   Dogs can build up an intolerance to certain ingredients contained in commercial dog foods, including dairy, soy, corn, rice and sometimes beef or chicken.

Don't use your dog as a Gunea Pig!

There are a lot of ingredients you should avoid in your Dog Food!

You will need to closely examine the labels on the dog food bag when you are choosing a different food for your dog.  The first ingredient listed is the one there is the most of in the food.  In other words, if the first ingredient is corn meal or rice, this is a filler, and that is what you are feeding your dog.  Avoid, at all costs, foods that list meat “by-products”.  You do not even want to know what goes into meat by-products.  Stay away from foods that contain corn gluten or soy.  Dogs do not tolerate these ingredients well.  Unnecessary ingredients in dog foods include coloring of any type, non specific fats, “middlings” or “mill runs”, “hulls”, “pomace”, citrus pulp, “rendered” products, onions, sweeteners and simulated flavorings.  Chemical preservatives are also a big “no-no”, and some of the more dangerous ones include BHA (Butylated Hydroxysanisole), BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene), Ethoxyquen, Tertiary Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) and Sodium Metabisulphite.

Label Reading is very important!

What Kind of Dog Food Should You Choose?

Look for a dog food that lists each ingredient in turn, and be absolutely certain that you can identify each and every ingredient that is contained in that particular food. It should contain meat that is identified and listed, specifically. In fact, each ingredient should be named, and not grouped under “by-product” or “meal”. If you see these kinds of “vague” ingredients, move on to the next food. Dogs also require a certain amount of oils and fats, Omega-6 and Omega-3 and carbohydrates. These carbohydrates should come from vegetables, and not corn meal, rice or the like. Anything “high gluten” such as barley, wheat, rye, oats, etc., are to be avoided.

Of course, when you are choosing a better quality dog food, you can expect to pay a lot more for that food. You will have to feed a new food to your dog for at least four to six weeks to find out if they are going to develop an allergy to it or not.

You may be shocked with the results overall. The difference between a healthy dog food and a very low quality food is like night and day. Once you stop feeding your dog “crap”, their coat will become more shiny and healthy, they will stop scratching, and you may also notice a big reduction in recurring health problems, especially ear infections.

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