Hypoallergenic Dog Food: Does Your Pet Need It?

Humans and animals alike suffer from different forms of allergies, the most common of which is food allergy. This type of allergy occurs when the body mistakes a certain food for foreign invaders, attacking it resulting to certain allergic reaction.

For athletes such as runners, it can be a difficult to experience food allergies. Runners are normally required to observe a specific diet especially when a competition is coming. This may involve eating or avoiding some foods to help them maintain a suitable body weight and achieve a healthy physique that is needed for any race. If the athlete has food allergies in meat, fish or other foods that are included in its diet plan, an alternative to that food should be considered. Fortunately, in food allergies affecting people, the trigger food is easier identified because a person is in full control of his or her diet. It can be a different thing if the sufferer is an animal, particularly a dog.

Food allergy in dogs is noticeable for its several symptoms which may include dry skin, skin rashes, itchiness, nausea and vomiting and gastrointestinal problems. Certain foods normally trigger food allergy in dogs and it is just a matter of identifying them and keeping your dog away from these foods.

Because there were a significant number of dogs suffering from food allergy, this is when hypoallergenic dog food started to gain in popularity. It is different from ordinary dog food as it is especially formulated to contain limited ingredients using novel or select ingredients and following a hypoallergenic recipe.

When is Hypoallergenic Food for Dogs Needed?

When a dog manifests symptoms of food allergy but the owner is unable to identify the specific food ingredient causing it, the use of hypoallergenic food may be able to help.

The idea behind giving an allergic dog with hypoallergenic food is to limit the number of ingredients in its diet. If the dog still suffers from allergic reactions despite giving hypoallergenic food, it could help in narrowing down and in identifying possible foods the dog may be allergic to.

Additionally, for owners who have already identified the trigger foods, hypoallergenic foods made from novel ingredients or ingredients other than what are commonly used in ordinary dog foods can help reduce the risk of allergic reaction in the affected dog. Ordinary dog foods normally contain dairy, beef, chicken, lamb, corn, fish, yeast and soy which most likely trigger an allergic reaction. Novel ingredients may include pheasant, buffalo, millet or kangaroo meat which most dogs are not sensitive to.

Some dog owners with allergic foods often ask the question can dogs eat bananas and other fresh produce if they have food allergy. The answer may be a yes or a no. The same answer applies to questions regarding commercial dog foods if they are suitable for allergic dogs. It can be difficult to identify which dog foods may or may not contain trigger ingredients. In any suspected food allergy in dogs, it is essential to have the dog checked by a veterinarian. Some suspected cases of food allergy are not really what they say they are since the same symptoms may also show up in cases of food intolerance and other underlying conditions.

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