Food allergies are one of the most common causes of skin problems in dogs. Food is the entry gate of several allergens that may harm the pet’s system. Adverse reactions of these allergens are rashes, itching, scratching, sores, redness and scabs on the pet’s skin. And the worst part is that food allergies in dogs are an all season affair. It can attack any breed of pet without discriminating between a spayed or neutered pet.
Estimates suggest that food allergies contribute to nearly 20% of itching found in dogs. It can affect any age group of pet starting from 5 months old pups to 12 years old aging pets. This suggests that your young pup is as susceptible to allergy as your aging Fido. Thus, food plays a big role in either keeping your pet’s shiny coat or in spoiling it to patches and blisters. Various kinds of skin conditions indicate that food is the main cause of the problem.
Skin symptoms due to food allergies in dogs:
- Fungal and bacterial skin infections
- Skin plaques
- Pus containing skin inflammations
- Redness and sores on the skin
- Skin crusts due to the dried serum
- Patches due to excessive scratching
- Thick rough skin
- Darkening of the skin
- Swollen bumps on the skin
How allergens present in food can cause skin problems in dogs?
Immune reactions: It happens when the pet’s body gives immune mediated reactions when certain glycoproteins enter his body in the form of food. These reactions occur because of sensitization process when the food enters the intestine or when it is absorbed.
Food intolerance reactions: This is a non immune reaction that occurs when you give the pet food with high levels of histamine. Histamine causes immune hypersensitivity, which causes skin problems in dogs.
Abnormal absorption of allergens: This is common with young pups. It happens when their intestinal mucosa is damaged by gastrointestinal parasites. These damaged tracts may result in abnormal absorption of allergens that cause sensitization.
Treatment and cure: Treating food allergies starts with avoiding foods that cause skin eruptions. This is done through elimination diet, which contains a protein source and a carbohydrate source that has not been given to the pet in the past. It is given for four continuous weeks and improvement can be monitored. To trace the food causing the allergy, once again you need to feed original diet to your pet. On getting return signs, you can easily trace food items that trigger allergic reactions and avoid them easily.
Perform all this diet tests under the guidance of your vet. He/She will guide you on the necessary medications required for treating skin allergies and preventing further damage to the pet. Apart from the treatment, all your need to do is manage your pet’s life style especially his food. Give him the food that suits him. Simple! Remember that this easy step will keep many skin problems away from your pet. So, make your pet eat well and keep his skin healthy.