What to Do if Your Dog is Allergic to Packaged Dog Food

Dogs are man’s best friend, and there is nothing worse than when your lovable pup feels bad and gets sick. Often, dogs get sick from packaged food because they are allergic to the ingredients within. Luckily, detecting the dog’s allergy and replacing the food is relatively easy. If you think that your dog might be allergic to packaged food, here’s what you should do:

Signs Your Dog Might Be Allergic to His Dog Food

Just like humans, animals can have food allergens, and your lovable pet is no different. Here are the most common signs that your dog has some sort of food allergy.

  • Itchy skin around the ears, paws, rear end, or stomach
  • Hives
  • Stomach problems
  • Swollen face
  • Chronic ear or paw infections

What to Do

If you find that your dog has one or more of the following symptoms, he may have a food allergy. Luckily, there are two simple steps to take in order to address the allergen. These steps are very easy to follow, but they can take a series of several weeks in order to accomplish successfully.

Step 1: Elimination Diet

The first step to finding out what food your dog is allergic to is putting him on an elimination diet. This will allow you to pinpoint exactly what ingredient the dog is allergic to. Elimination diets can be difficult for your pet, though, so it’s recommended that you only do an elimination diet under the care of a veterinarian or animal nutritionist.

How an elimination diet works is that you feed your dog one protein in one carbohydrate for 8 to 12 weeks. You continue switching out the ingredients in order to pinpoint what food is causing your dog to react. If you see symptoms return or go away as you change out the diet, you will be able to see exactly what foods you should and should not feed your dog.

Step 2: Introduce Alternatives

Once you know what your dog is allergic to, it is time to introduce alternatives to his diet.  If your dog has an allergy, chances are you should not use packaged food anymore. The reason for this is that most packaged dog food contains the most common dog allergens.

Fresh Food is Often the Solution

For most dog owners, making fresh food for their pups is the best option for dogs with allergens. The reason for this is that the owners have complete control and knowledge over what is going into the dog system. As a result, the dog is less likely to have a reaction to what they’re being fed.

If you have no experience preparing food for your dog, don’t worry. There are a lot of recipes and tools online that will help you prepare the best food for your pup. In fact, whole books have been written about the subject, often with recipes that you wouldn’t mind eating yourself.

Simply research which recipe is good for your dog’s specific allergen. From there, you will have countless of meal prep ideas for your furry best friend.

Final Thoughts

Packaged dog food is often filled with ingredients that many dogs are allergic to. As a result, many dogs get sick from their food and require food alternatives. If this sounds like your dog, put him on the elimination diet and then start making him fresh food. Though making fresh food for your dog may sound like a lot of work, he is worth it and will feel much better as a result.

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