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Finding the Best Hypoallergenic Dog Food
When we go to the pet food isle of the grocery store there are seemingly hundreds of different options available to us. Many of these choices seem to be one and the same, as if dog food was dog food, that is actually not the case. Dog food is one of the leading causes of allergies in dogs. These allergies are responsible for a host of behaviors and problems from excessive scratching, hair loss, and skin infections.
The following is a list of guidelines in helping you pick the most hypoallergenic dog food available. It does not go into specific brands, but instead offers guidelines because the availability of dog food changes from region to region, country to country.
1. Does Not Contain Wheat, Corn, or Soybeans
Many dogs are allergic to most grains. Remember that thousands of years ago, before dogs were domesticated and lived with humans, their diet was primarily fresh meat. They would hunt anything that their pack could realistically bring down. Therefore, their digestive systems have evolved to be short, which is perfect for digesting animal proteins. Compare this to cattle, who have four stomachs and primarily eat plants. Without these large digestive systems, dogs cannot process many plant foods properly.
2. Contains High Amounts of Protein such as Beef, Chicken, and Fish.
The easiest way to determine this is to look at the ingredients on the back of the label. The first two should be pure meat. They can be any type of meat such as lamb, chicken, beef, pork, fish, etc, etc. This does not mean that there should be "animal digest" or similar things anywhere on the list.
3. The Dog Food is USDA Certified
What many people do no realize is that some of the beginning dog food brands were created to not waste meat and other food stuffs that were not fit for humans to eat. Many times this includes the worst parts of animals, animals that are sick, or even animals that were dead before they arrived at the slaughterhouse. This applies to the plant products in dog food. These can contain food that has already spoiled or otherwise unfit for human consumption.
4. Food that is free from artificial preservatives
Many dogs have allergic reactions to the chemicals used in preparing dog food. Common artificial preservatives are BHA, BHT, and Ethoxyquin. If your dog is eating food that follows the guidelines above, but is still scratching because of allergies, this could be the reason why.
5. If It Contains Something You Wouldn't Eat, Your Dog Shouldn't
While the digestive and immune systems of dogs and humans are different, they are also alike. Food that is not fit for humans is likely not fit for dogs. Chemical laden, heavily processed food is not healthy for anything living.
Your dogs allergies are very likely because of the food they eat and not their environment. Remember that good, healthy food for your dog may be initially expensive, but the money it will save in veterinary costs and the happiness of the well being of your dog are more than worth it.
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