If your dog has been diagnosed to be allergic to specific foods, shifting to a hypoallergenic dog food might be the first thought that comes to your mind.
However, abrupt changes to your dog’s diet may result in some health issues. Hence, consultation with a vet is the key when it comes to switching towards hypoallergenic dog foods.
To give you an idea of what is hypoallergenic dog food and how beneficial it is for your dog, we have compiled the most authentic and relevant information in this guide.
So, let’s continue without any further ado.
Hypoallergenic Dog Food Explained
The term “Hypoallergenic” refers to a thing with a minimum tendency to cause allergy. The word ‘Hypo’ means minimum, reduced, or low.
To put it simply, hypoallergenic dog food is specifically created for dogs allergic to regular food. This type of food contains unique ingredients that aren’t normally included in standard dog food.
Hence, when a dog consumes hypoallergenic food, there are fewer chances of experiencing allergic reactions. Unfortunately, you can’t find a definitive list of food elements in hypoallergenic dog food.
However, this dog food doesn’t contain artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or harmful chemicals. When choosing a suitable diet for your dog, make sure to keep in mind its natural diet.
This requires you to consider what a dog would eat while living in the wild. And, of course, there is nothing better than dog food based on natural ingredients. As a result, you can offer food to your dog with the purest nutrition.
Common Symptoms of Dog Food Allergies
Here are the general signs showing that your dog is allergic to specific foods.
- The dog has oily skin with an excessive amount of dandruff.
- Ear infections are common. Besides, ears appear to have more debris than normal.
- Your dog shows itchy behavior or conditions, including regular scratching.
- Intense irritation, signs of soreness, redness, and symptoms of discomfort.
- Shows gastrointestinal symptoms, including vomiting, wind, diarrhea, and bloating.
- Usually, dogs start eating grass, which is a clear sign of food allergy.
- The dog begins to show abnormal or lethargic behavior, i.e., less interest in food or exercise.
Allergy Causing Ingredients in Dog Food
Listed below are some of the most common dog food ingredients that can cause allergic reactions in dogs:
- Milk, Cheese, and other dairy products
What are the Advantages of Hypoallergenic Dog Food?
When it comes to the benefits of hypoallergenic dog food, these are numerous. Hence, in most cases, a vet would suggest switching from regular to hypoallergenic dog foods. This is done in a quest to eliminate all the allergens found in conventional dog foods.
Hypoallergenic dog food helps to minimize the risk of various health issues associated with food allergies. Some of the common health conditions are:
- Periodontal disease
- Blocked anal glands
- Heart disease
- Digestive problems
- kidney issues
Feeding hypoallergenic food to your dog can also reduce the number of visits to a vet. This lowers the amount you spend on keeping your dog healthy. As a result, switching to hypoallergenic dog food can help you save a significant amount of money.
Whether Hypoallergenic Dog Food is Similar to Grain-Free
Since grains are referred to as one of the dogs’ main causes of food allergies, some vets suggest grain-free food. These foods are free from even minor traces of grain.
However, grain-free dog foods have other ingredients that may be allergenic for a dog. It simply means that grain-free dog food could minimize the risk of allergenic reaction; it may not be termed a hypoallergenic option.
Hypoallergenic dog foods, on the other hand, aren’t entirely free from grains. These foods contain minimum proportions of grains. Hence, the chances of allergic reactions from grains are pretty low.
In addition, hypoallergenic dog food is free from most allergenic ingredients. So, hypoallergenic food provides a strong layer of protection against food allergies.
Shifting Your Dog onto Hypoallergenic Food
It might be difficult for some to shift their dogs onto hypoallergenic food. The first thing in this regard is to consult a vet. Doing so gives you an expert opinion about making such a move.
For instance, only changing a few ingredients at a time may be appropriate. Even if the food you offer your dog contains allergic ingredients, abrupt diet changes could cause stomach issues.
Once your vet approves, it’s time to go for a complete shift to hypoallergenic dog food. In addition, you must also follow the instructions regarding the appropriate quantities and feeding times.
You must also show patience when changing your dog’s diet. The positive outcome of offering hypoallergenic food to your dog might take some time.
Hence, you will notice a gradual decrease in the allergic symptoms in your dog. Besides, your dog’s overall health and behavior would improve after eliminating the allergenic ingredients from its diet.