My mutt has been plagued with itchy skin and hair loss since we got him. It makes him miserable and us miserable watching him scratch and lose his hair. We have done various things to fix him but so far none of them have worked.
Recently I received a sample of Honest Kitchen Dog Food (it’s human grade dehydrated food that you add water to) and to say my picky eater was enthusiastic is a HUGE understatement!
He went absolutely NUTS! And really really hates having to wait the 3-4 minutes for the food to hydrate! His first taste I had the box sitting next to him for the photo op and he gobbled down the food and started trying to lick the dry food out of the open box. HE LOVES THIS STUFF!!! If you don’t believe me see the video below!
Since that time I have been subscribing to their blog and was really excited to see the Honest Kitchen has just started a series on Food Allergies and Pets.
I will be sharing their thoughts and adding in what seems to be working for my sweet pooch.
First they will discuss who gets food allergies, how it happens, and what ingredients are most commonly allergenic. In part two, we’ll present the various ways we can test and diagnose food allergies and finally, how to effectively treat food allergies with limited ingredient diets.
Who gets food allergies?
Any dog or cat can potentially develop an adverse reaction to a particular food ingredient, however, despite the media hype, true food allergies are relatively uncommon. More commonly, we can see food intolerance (for example due to lack of digestibility) or an intoxication (bacterial, fungal or other toxins). True food allergies involve a disorder of the immune system.
In Dogs, the most common breeds manifesting food allergies include Boxers, German Shepherds, Pugs, West Highland White Terriers and Rhodesian Ridgebacks. The age of onset is usually less than 3 years and often less than 1 year.
In Cats, we see food allergies primarily in the Birman and Siamese (or hybrids of these breeds). The age of onset is usually between 4 and 5 years old and the symptoms tend to manifest around the head and neck.
How do food allergies happen?
Development of food allergies involves a very complex process of the immune system. The body is equipped with many mechanisms to protect from inappropriate reactions to otherwise harmless dietary components. Literally hundreds of steps have to go awry in order for a hypersensitivity to develop. A hyper-sensitized immune response usually involves binding of certain antibodies called IgE to allergens that are large in size (larger than 10,000 daltons). For this reason, certain illnesses that lead to inflammation and a “leaky gut” can predispose to food allergies (examples include pancreatitis and gastroenteritis).
What are the most common allergic food ingredients?
In Dogs: beef meat, dairy products, soy, corn, wheat, eggs and chicken meat. Certain Irish Setters have a genetic predisposition to gluten-sensitivities.
Stay tuned for continued posts on this frustrating topic and we’ll let you know how the allergy blood test turned out for our pooch.
*The above information is not intended to replace your veterinarian’s recommendations and diagnosis of food allergies. The list of predisposed breeds is not exclusive. References available upon request.
Source: Honest Kitchen
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