Are Dog Food and Skin Allergies Related?
Skin allergies related to dog food is much more common than people realize. Food allergy is the third most common type of allergy in dogs, after parasites (flea bites) and atopy (inhalant). An allergic reaction to an ingredient in food is characterized by skin problems and irritations.
Food Allergy Symptoms
The primary symptom of a food allergy in your dog is very itchy skin. Other symptoms include:
- Excessive itching, scratching, licking or chewing
- Hot spots from excessive scratching and chewing
- Rashes on the skin
- Red and scaly patches on the skin
- Pawing at the face and/or ears
- Stomach and digestive problems
- Excessive and foul smelling gas
- Increased incidence of bowel movements
- Breathing problems similar to allergies or asthma
- Eye inflammation or infections
- Recurrent ear infections
Ingredients that seem to trigger sensitivity most often are wheat, corn and dairy products, although the allergen could be the chemicals in the food itself. Finding the ingredient your dog is allergic to is as easy as a process of elimination. If you give your dog a diet with variety, isolate one type of food at a time and see how he reacts.You can also simply try various dog foods made for sensitive stomachs or made with organic ingredients. An allergy to food doesn’t always appear immediately. It may take weeks, months or even years to develop and show symptoms in your dog.