Food allergy in your dog, symptoms and treatment

Nowadays we hear very often: My dog ​​is allergic dog ​​can’t tolerate other food, my dog ​​can only use his own kibble or I can’t reward my dog ​​because he is allergic. Of course, it is really difficult if your dog is allergic to one or more nutrients, but…is it always food allergy?

Food Allergy Symptoms

Symptoms that may indicate that your dog has a food allergy include diarrhea, itching, bad coat, rash, and vomiting. Your dog may have only 1 of these symptoms. He may also have them all.
But this also applies if there is no food allergy! All of the above symptoms can also come from elsewhere. Think of infection, stress, inflammation, parasites, or an allergy to something other than food.
It is also possible that the food itself is fine for your dog, but that something else is temporarily wrong.

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Does my dog ​​have a food allergy?

Of course, it may be that your dog cannot tolerate certain foods and that it is due to food allergies. This is often said very easily. Then you will be advised to feed your dog hypoallergenic food. Then it goes “better”.

It is wiser to really find out what exactly your dog is allergic to. Then you can adjust the diet accordingly. This gives you more options to give your dog tasty and varied food. You can also add more variety to the food you use as a reward.

Also Read: Stray dog: Do you know dog etiquette?

So instead of “oh, I think it’s a food allergy so I’ll be feeding him Balto Sensitive for the rest of his life”, you’re going to find out what your dog is allergic to with the help of an elimination diet. When you get the result, you can feed him anything except what he’s allergic to. You can then alternate more.

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Elimination diet

An elimination diet means that you feed your dog with only one food source for a period of time. This way you can determine very precisely whether your dog really has a food allergy. The test indicates which animal species causes this. The elimination diet involves feeding your dog something he has not eaten before. Note: this is an animal species.
No other brand of chunks or fresh meat is considered.

For example, if your dog has never been fed rabbits before, you can start with this. This means that you only feed rabbits. Also, your rewards and snacks are rabbits. This is of course the easiest to do with meat food.
With dry food, there is always something else in the food because otherwise, you cannot make chunks out of it. So your dog should really not eat anything else. Not a cookie, not a piece of bread, not a piece of chicken. Nothing. Rabbit only, in this example.

Do you have experience with an elimination diet? We would love it if you share your experience in a comment at the bottom of this blog!

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What can your dog eat?

After 4 to 6 weeks you analyze the changes. If your dog still has as many complaints as in the beginning, you can try the elimination diet with another animal species.
If your dog is doing well and he is symptom-free, introduce a second animal species. In addition to the rabbit, you can then give turkey, for example. If the symptoms come back, you stop turkey, go back on rabbit for a few weeks, and then try something else like a goat. If your dog does well on rabbit and goat, you can try a third animal species again after a few weeks.

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So what is good nutrition?

The fact that your dog is doing well on his food and is getting old with it, does not mean that the food is good. You probably know someone who drinks a drink every day, smokes half a pack of cigarettes, is never sick and has already reached the age of 80. Does everyone have a drink and heavy shag? Doesn’t sound like a very successful plan to me!

For example, there are dogs that have turned 15 on the cheapest canned food out there. However, that is not the best food for your dog. Most dogs get serious problems from eating this canned food. This does not necessarily have to be a food allergy.

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Carnivores or meat-eaters

There is an expression that says you are what you eat. A dog is a carnivore by nature. This means that your dog naturally eats meat.
Sweet little bunnies, birds, rodents, and so on.

Your dog has teeth, intestinal system, and digestive system that are designed to eat meat.
The teeth tear the meal into pieces. After your dog swallows the meat, it enters the stomach. There the meat is digested and continues through the intestines. The remains come out the back again.


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Omnivores and vegetarians

Humans are different from dogs. We eat different kinds of food just like pigs and primates. We are omnivores. Our teeth are different. Our gastrointestinal system is also completely different. Our teeth are designed to grind and chew food into small pieces before we swallow it. Our digestive system is slower and longer than a dog’s. It is intended to digest various types of food.
Then there are the herbivores. These are herbivores. The most famous herbivores are cows, rabbits, sheep, and horses. These animals eat vegetarian. They have teeth that are suitable for chewing the cud. Digestion focuses on processing plants and grasses.

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Food for carnivores

Since you normally wouldn’t feed your horse meatballs, salmon, or steak, you wouldn’t feed your dog hay, carrots or corn on the cob, would you?

However, in many dog ​​foods, corn and other plant materials are the mainstays. And yes, dogs can survive on that. Does that mean it’s the very best food for them? A large proportion of dogs with food allergies actually have an allergic reaction to eating grains.

Just because you can live on chips with a croquette and an orange every day doesn’t mean it’s healthy. This could be better in terms of nutritional values.
If you start eating more varied, that will also temporarily cause nausea and a different stool. But in the end, a healthier diet will make you fitter and healthier. Your condition also improves.

So if it can be better; why not?


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Habituation also plays a role. Suppose you live somewhere where the main meal consists of rice and fish. Then you suddenly travel to a country where they eat beef and vegetables.
You can then experience problems with your stomach and intestines. This does not of course mean that you are allergic to vegetables or beef. It also does not mean that vegetables and beef are “bad food”. Your body just has to get used to it.

So it is with your dog. If your dog has eaten 1 type of kibble from a puppy, then your dog’s body is used to this food. This does not mean that it is the best food for your dog. It is possible that your dog will have diarrhea if you start feeding something else, such as fresh meat.

You can do 2 things here:

  • Go step by step by mixing
  • Fast for a few days and strengthen the intestinal flora with probiotics and then start with the new food. Make the meat food easier to digest in the beginning by choosing light animal species such as turkey or rabbit. You can also pour some boiled water over it, let it cool, and then serve.
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Diarrhea and vomiting, this is also possible!

The intestinal flora can also be “broken” temporarily. Antibiotics, a serious infection in the intestines, medication, vaccinations, or painkillers can cause the death of good bacteria.
Health starts in the gut. That is why it is important that you take good care of the intestinal flora.
Always give a course of probiotics after a course of antibiotics. Be careful not to give your dog too much medication.
Restoring the intestinal flora with healthy food is better than continuing to provide sterile food. The intestinal flora hardly recovers from sterile food. If your dog accidentally eats a dead mouse or steals something from the trash, there’s less chance of getting sick if he has a healthy gut!


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My dog ​​can’t tolerate meat or kibble

Which can. That’s not to say the meat isn’t good. It also does not mean that your dog would never be able to handle it.
It also does not mean that there are no dogs that can handle the kibble that your dog cannot tolerate.
The dogs that can’t handle kibble aren’t abnormal or anything, they just have less adaptability. If those dogs can handle fresh meat just fine, there’s no problem.
There are reasons why your dog does not respond well to certain foods. Depending on the reason, you can decide what you can and cannot feed. One of the reasons could be that your dog is allergic to one or more of the ingredients.

Does your dog have a food allergy? We are curious how you deal with this. You can comment at the bottom of this blog.

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Other diseases

It is also possible that your dog really has an abnormality or disease that prevents him from tolerating a normal diet. In that case, you are of course limited. It is important that your dog is thoroughly examined so that any other abnormality is not seen as a food allergy.

Common are comments such as “my dog ​​has a kidney problem. That is why he is not allowed fresh meat.” Fresh meat can be better especially with some diseases and abnormalities because it contains no additives. Fresh meat is the only food that can be truly customized.

Obviously, you should not use dogs that cannot tolerate meat food due to illness for breeding! This also applies to dogs with allergies.

food allergy dog

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Checklist for Nutritional Problems

If your dog cannot tolerate certain foods, first consider what the problem is.

  • Is your dog used to only 1 type or brand of food?
  • Is your dog otherwise healthy?
  • Does your dog have a healthy gut flora?
  • Has it been established that your dog is allergic to (part of) the food?

Always look closely at the ingredients and nutrients present! Are you in doubt about food or do you want to know more about allergies and rule out a food allergy? Then contact an independent nutritionist.

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