Can your dog be allergic to its food?
The most common causes of canine food allergies are caused by these ingredients, which include meat byproducts, corn, yeast, salt, sugar, and chemical preservatives. They are often responsible for allergic reactions. Dogs suffering from food allergies will experience reactions such as itchy skin, watery eyes, ear infections, flatulence, irritated anal glands (dripping from the butt on the carpet), rashes, hot spots, and excessive body licking, especially around the feet and belly. Repeated exposure to large amounts of food allergens can cause long-term chronic illnesses, infections, and behavioral problems.
How to know if your dog’s food may be giving him allergies
If you suspect that your dog’s food may cause allergies, you can try feeding your dog a special diet to determine what is causing problems. The diet is made up of scientifically created foods with very low molecular weight proteins. Proteins below a certain molecular weight are thought to be incapable of causing food allergies. You can find this food, in wet and dry formulas, online and at many veterinary offices. If after six weeks of feeding this special diet, you find that your dog’s allergy symptoms have eased, it’s safe to assume that your food is the cause of these symptoms. To determine which ingredient is the culprit (usually by-products from meat and poultry sources), reinforce each one in the diet to see if your dog’s symptoms return. Check the ingredient list on the label of your regular dog food and add each item (chicken, turkey, corn, bulgur, potato or rice, for example) to the special diet, one at a time, every three weeks. At each meal, add ten percent of the test food to the bowl and reduce the special diet by ten percent. Obviously you won’t be testing the chemicals, but you can eliminate quite a few ingredients once you’ve determined which ones caused the allergy. If your dog doesn’t react to the added ingredients, the culprit is likely a chemical or by-product, which you’ll want to eliminate along with the corn, wheat, sugar, and salt from your dog’s diet, indefinitely. However, don’t be surprised if you find that multiple ingredients cause a reaction. Once you’ve discovered the allergens, look for high-quality dog foods that don’t contain these ingredients. Your dog may find an allergy-free or vet-recommended diet bland, but a bland diet is better than a miserable dog! Whenever you are drinking a lot of water, don’t be alarmed if you don’t drink it right away. When he’s hungry enough, he’ll venture into the new food for a snack. Eventually, he’ll adjust to his new diet, especially if you compensate him with some yummy, allergy-free treats!
high in sugar
In addition to causing food allergies, a high-sugar diet also affects your dog’s mood, energy, and hunger levels. High blood sugar can make a dog hyperactive and unfocused, and a dog must be focused in order to learn. Many owners mistake their dogs for being rude and uncooperative when, in fact, their behavior may be related to food.
Many dog foods contain unnecessary chemical preservatives, such as butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), and ethoxyquin. Although human food also contains BHA and BHT, we consume much less than a dog in its average 15-year lifespan. Large manufacturers often use chemical preservatives in large doses because their products are manufactured in large quantities and distributed around the world, often sitting for long periods of time on store shelves or in warehouses where extreme temperatures can alter the product quality.
Dog foods that contain alternative natural preservatives like vitamin E don’t last very long. That’s why all-natural pet food manufacturers produce smaller quantities so their products are more likely to stay fresh until sold. Dog food preserved with mixed tocopherols (vitamin E) generally has a shelf life of about six months, so use this type of dog food right away. If you’re looking for a new food for your dog, visit a pet food store and ask the clerk to recommend a food that doesn’t contain the ingredients mentioned in this article.
Less expensive dog foods generally include less meat and more animal by-products and grain fillers. As you can see, ready-to-use processed commercial dog food contains many undesirable substances and harsh chemicals that will cause many health problems for your dog if fed for an extended period of time.
So technically yes! You can extend the life of your dog and sometimes even double its lifespan by learning about dog nutrition and educating yourself on what is actually inside a can of dog food or pet food. There are many records that have shown that a dog can live much longer if we feed it the food it should eat in its natural environment.