Is your dog constantly scratching itself and the reason is not flea or ticks? Is it suffering from various gastrointestinal problems? Are you constantly finding yourself at the vet’s owing to chronic skin, ear or coat issues in your pet? Then it may be its current diet that is to be blamed. Thankfully, it’s not too late to make the change to hypoallergenic dog food.
What is Hypoallergenic Dog Food
The world hypoallergenic is composed of two words, hypo means low and allergenic means “casing allergy”. Hypoallergenic dog food is specially type of dog food that does not provoke allergic reactions in dogs. Just like human beings dogs are also susceptible to different types of allergies caused by ingredients present in ordinary dog food. To overcome these dangerous allergies dog food manufacturers have omitted ingredients such as corn, yeast, beef, chicken, soy and dairy products.
due to this particular reason dogs consuming this food are less prone to develop allergies compared to dogs who consumed regular dog food. If your dog is combating with upset tummy, skin rashes or several other types of allergies, then Hypoallergenic dog food is ideally for your dog.
What are the main signs of food allergy in dogs?
As stated above, the main sign of food allergy in pets is itching and scratching. Additionally, following signs may also be seen:
- Pronounced licking in the paws, flank and groin regions
- Itching that occurs throughout the year and in all seasons
- Occurrence of chronic ear infections
- Continuous scratching that leads to bacterial skin infections
- Other bacterial, fungal or yeast infections.
- Other stomach issues like vomiting, gas, diarrhoea, frequent bowel movements, belching etc.
Apart from skin and gastrointestinal issues, an allergic dog is also more likely to show behavioural problems, sign of distress or anxiety etc.
So what is the main cause of allergy in dog?
The main culprit behind food allergy in dogs is the high protein and carbohydrate content in ordinary kibble or dog food brands that are fed to them. Besides these; most dog food brands are also rich in preservatives, food additives and other ingredients that cause itchy skin as well as irritable intestinal disease in several breeds of dogs. Pet owners often make matters worse by feeding their dog titbits of human food.
Often; the dog may be continued to be fed on an allergy causing diet for years before its symptoms start to show. Unfortunately, there are no significant and accurate blood tests that can be performed on the animal to show that it is allergic to certain ingredients. Veterinarians also continue to prescribe anti-fungal or anti-parasite medication thinking that its skin itchiness is caused by ticks, fleas or fungal skin infections.
How can we counter allergy in dogs?
The best way to tell if a dog is allergic to certain dog food brands is to place it on a hypoallergenic dog food diet. Studies have shown that most pets respond positively to such a diet within 8 -10 weeks of starting the treatment.
During the hypoallergenic dog food trial, it is essential to feed the dog only the prescribed dog food. No treats in the form of raw hide, dog biscuits, scraps, supplements etc should be given during this period. This is because; if your dog eats even a single scrap of disallowed food, it will continue to exhibit the signs and symptoms of food allergy.
Additionally, for the hypoallergenic dog food trial to be successful, pet owners must strictly avoid giving the dog any cheese, peanut butter, wheat bread, processed meat, pill pockets etc. This is very essential for the health and well being of the animal.
What to look for in hypoallergenic dog food?
A good hypoallergenic dog food brand will have the following key features:
- It will have low molecular weight protein
- It will be highly digestible
- It will contain low allergy proteins like soy protein isolates
- It will be lactose free
- It will be gluten free
Additionally, a good hypoallergenic dog food diet will be rich in antioxidants to counter free radical damage in your pet. This can help prevent cancerous cells from forming tumors and unwanted growths in the dog. Hence, the best hypoallergenic dog food brands will be rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Taurine and Lutein to maintain the health and vitality of the pet.
An Excellent video on this subject:
Top brands of hypoallergenic dog food
Now we will recommend some of the top hypoallergenic dog food brands available in the market as well as their key features.
- Royal Canin Hypoallergenic diet – The number one on our list of top hypoallergenic dog food brands is Royal Canin Hypoallergenic range of dog food as it is especially formulated to minimise potential sensitivity and food intolerance. This range of food is free of lactose and wheat gluten.
- AvoDerm Natural Chicken Meal and Brownish Rice Formula – AvoDerm’s formula contains chicken (liver, meal, broth) as well as grapefruit and brown rice. It is rich in vitamins B12, D, E and folic acid. It is manufactured by a company called Breeder’s Choice Pet food and is easily available online and offline.
- Acana– The next up on our list of top hypoallergenic dog food brands is Acana. This has been given the highest rating by many vets and pet advisors. It is available for dogs of different breeds and ages. Acana mainly contains chicken, oats, peas, alfalfa, potatoes and flounder. Some varieties also contain fish.
- Orijen Grain free hypoallergenic dog food– Many vets and pet owners alike stand by this Canadian dog food brand which contains chicken meal, turkey, sweet potatoes, peas, spinach, apples and other nutritional goodness. The best part is: the company raises its own chickens and also uses fresh instead of farm raised fish for using in their products. This award winning dog food brand is also recommended for dogs having heart, muscle, coat or skin problems.
- Pinnacle Feed Free Salmon and Potato Dog Food – Pet owners who have been asked to feed their pets seafood will be highly satisfied with this formula that is made from fresh salmon obtained from off the North West Hawaii coast. Apart from sea food, it contains blueberries, organic amaranth seeds, pumpkins and is also supplemented with B, E and D vitamins. It is not only suitable as a hypoallergenic dog food, but also recommended to order Beconase AQ online.
Naturally, the hypoallergenic dog food brands we have recommended here are only for your informational and educational purpose. It is best that you consult your regular animal health care provider or a registered vet regarding the right hypoallergenic dog food brands suitable for your pet.