Food Allergens and Toxins for Dogs

Food Allergies Common in Dogs

Like humans, our dogs can also suffer from allergies and this can cause concern for pet owners. The most common allergens in dogs, are also fairly common in humans too and include, trees, grass, weeds, pollens, dander, cigarette smoke, mold spores, perfumes, dust, feathers and in a lot of cases, fleas. Although food allergies only account for 10% of pet allergies, there are also many foods that dogs have an intolerance to.

True food allergies in dogs manifest symptoms similar to human allergies, such as severe itching, hives, skin redness and breakouts. Food intolerances on the other hand, often result in vomiting and diarrhea, but do not display typical food allergy symptoms.

Once you suspect your dog may have food allergies or intolerances, it is important to consult a qualified veterinarian to determine the underlying cause of the allergy and work towards a resolution. It is also important to realize that dogs can develop new allergies or intolerances years later; even after the symptoms seem to be under control.

Most Common Food Allergens in Dogs

  • Beef
  • Dairy
  • Chicken
  • Wheat
  • Eggs
  • Corn
  • Soy

Most Common Food Allergens in Cats

  • Fish
  • Beef
  • Dairy

 Common symptoms of allergies and Intolerances:

  • Increased scratching
  • Red, inflamed skin or scabbing
  • Itchy, runny eyes
  • Itchy back or base of tail (usually caused by flea allergies)
  • Itchy ears and ear infections
  • Paw chewing/swollen paws
  • Constant licking, usually paws
  • Sneezing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

There are many ways to detect and control food allergy symptoms, so it is important to seek qualified care to determine the cause and take steps to alleviate the symptoms. To obtain an accurate diagnosis, it will be necessary to perform a food trial using novel protein and carbohydrate sources and avoid possible allergens that your pet has previously been exposed to.  The “gold standard” of food trials is a home-cooked diet.  One of the advantages of using a home-cooked diet is that it is free of preservatives and other food additives, which may also cause food allergies or intolerances.  Common protein sources used in food trials include rabbit, ostrich, buffalo, lentils, or pinto beans.  Some veterinarians recommend the use of commercial hypoallergenic diets or hydrolyzed diets in which the protein source is broken down into smaller proteins; reducing their allergenic nature.

Foods that are Hazardous to Dogs

We all love our dogs and sometimes it’s hard to resist that sweet face looking up at us, while we are eating. Dogs are fine eating most human foods, though it is certainly better to keep your dog on a balanced and consistent diet to prevent any health issues or obesity. Sharing the occasional nibble of food with your dog is fine, but it is important to keep in mind that there are foods that are fine for human consumption, but may pose a danger to your canine friend. Being aware of these foods and avoiding them in your dog’s diet is very important for the care and wellbeing of your dog. Below is a list of potentially hazardous food items that should be avoided. Please visit the ASPCA for a complete description of the toxins present and possible side effects.

Hazardous Foods:

  • Avocado
  • Bread Dough
  • Chocolate
  • Candy & Gum
  • Coffee/Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Grapes and Raisins
  • Corn Cobs
  • Hops
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Milk or milk based products
  • Moldy Foods
  • Onions and Garlic
  • Raw/undercooked meat or fish
  • Fat trimmings and bones
  • Raw eggs
  • Persimmons, Peaches, and Plums
  • Xylitol
  • Sugary foods and drinks
  • Mushrooms
  • Cat food (too high in fat and protein)

 

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 The information contained in this post is not meant as a substitute for veterinary care. Please consult a qualified veterinarian with any concerns or advice for your particular situation.

 

Lentil Veggie Loaf Kibble Topper - Candid FX PhotographyMay 29, 2017 - 9:57 am

[…] celery, spinach, etc. Be sure to avoid any foods that are toxic to dogs. Check out the post Food Allergens and Toxins for Dogs for a list of foods to […]

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