Before we look at how a hypoallergenic dog food can help with your dog’s food allergy, let’s take a quick look at dog food allergy symptoms and then what a hypoallergenic food is.
So how do you know if your dog has food allergies or sensitivities? Common signs are constant itching, hot spots, pawing at the mouth, diarrhea, constipation, and excessive gas. If you feed your dog the same food, this will be constant. If you vary your dog’s food, then it may come and go with the offending ingredient.
Now, what exactly is a hypoallergenic dog food? It is simply a dog food produced with the following types of ingredients: 1) high quality, 2) minimal, and 3) un-common.
So how will this help with your dog’s food allergies?
Although debatable, many canine nutritionists feel that by serving the same inferior quality dog food every day may actually be the cause for your dog’s food allergy. The inferior quality (i.e. low cost) dog foods are made with lots of grain fillers, grain by-products, and meat by-products. And by serving the same low quality foods, day after day, your dog is not getting what he needs to keep a healthy and strong immune system, that can fight off simple allergens.
Irregardless of whether you agree with the above debate, feeding a higher quality dog food, like hypoallergenic dog foods, with make your dog healthier, which makes them better able to fight off the food allergens.
What is meant by minimal ingredients is that there should only be a few ingredients in the dog food ingredient label. Fewer ingredients, as well as fewer colorings and flavorings, are important while trying to discover what is causing your dog’s food allergy symptoms. By having only a few ingredients, you might even be able to completely cut out your dog’s food allergy trigger!
Possibly one of the most important aspects of a hypoallergenic food for dogs is that is will not use common protein sources or grain sources, since these are the most allergens of a dog’s food allergies. Lamb, bison, and salmon are some of the different types of protein sources used. Grains will not include the most common grains, like corn and wheat. Instead, grains like oatmeal, millet, and brown rice will be used.
By removing common meats and grains, and replacing them with ones that your dog has not had, or had very often, you may well be able to control the food allergies.
When your dog is showing signs of dog food allergies, you really should try a hypoallergenic dog food with all new meat and grain sources from his usual dog food. This way you are more likely to not give the ingredient that is causing all the trouble, but you will be feeding your dog a much healthier dog food which will, in turn, help him cope with his food problems easier.
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