Just like humans, dogs can be allergic to a wide variety of different triggers, including the ingredients in their food. If your dog is suffering from allergies, and is fed a commercial pet food diet, one or more of the ingredients may be the culprit. One solution to this problem is to turn to natural, hypoallergenic dog food for support.
The most common symptoms associated with food-related allergies will appear in the skin, such as dry or itchy skin, dull coat and irritation. A dog suffering from skin allergies will chew on and itch his irritated skin and coat until he hurts himself, causing a never-ending cycle of healing and re-aggravating the irritations. Many visual cues exist, including hair loss, dry skin, red and irritated skin and open sores on the skin, indicating that a serious problem is afoot.
The solution to dog food allergies and the symptoms they cause is a hypoallergenic diet using natural sources of protein and carbohydrates while limiting additives and fillers. The most common proteins used in hypoallergenic dog foods are venison, egg, fish and duck. The most common carbohydrates are rice, peas and potato. Most commercially available hypoallergenic foods contain only one type of carbohydrates and protein per recipe, making it easier to pinpoint the allergy by feeding only hypoallergenic ingredients rather than a mixture of multiple carbohydrates and proteins in the same recipe.
Homemade Dog Food
Create your own dog food diet as an alternative to commercial dog food products. Follow the same principles as these commercial diets do, and experiment with different carbohydrates and proteins one at a time until you find the right mixture. You can follow one of several different schools of thoughts for homemade dog food, such as processing and cooking the food or feeding a raw diet.
Feed each type of homemade food you create for a period of two weeks and observe the dog closely to see if anything changes, according to Caroline Tanaka, DVM. If you have successfully eliminated the allergen, your dog's skin will clear up drastically within a two-week period. It may take some time to arrive at the right combination for your dog, but the aforementioned carbohydrates and proteins are generally hypo-allergenic, making them the best bets for the job.
Dog treats and some dog toys contain additives, dyes and other substances that may be creating an allergy. In order to completely remove all allergy triggers from your dog's life, you should also examine the treats and toys that you give your dog. There are natural treats and toys that you can buy that severely limit additives and dyes to help create a more hypoallergenic environment. Choose organic treats with the fewest number of ingredients possible, and aim for natural ingredient lists free of dyes or additive names you are unfamiliar with.