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What Makes a Dog Food Hypoallergenic?
In your time as a dog owner, you may have found that some foods seem to disagree with your fabulous four-legged friends more than others. This can be due to a number of things, but, most commonly is down to an allergy or series of allergies to certain ingredients that are contained within your dog’s dinners.
You may have then been recommended hypoallergenic dog food to counteract the issues that can be caused by these allergies.
But, what is hypoallergenic dog food? How are they made? And how can you be sure that you are not exacerbating issues with allergies your dogs might have at dinner time?
In today's post, we will be exploring all of the questions above and more, to determine the whats, hows and whys of hypoallergenic foods for dogs.
Common Allergy-Inducing Ingredients in Dog Food
Not unlike us humans, a dog can have a food allergy to any ingredient. However, the most common allergies are to dairy, wheat, soy, grains and any number of protein sources.
Proteins do tend to be the most common source of allergies but, as we alluded to above, a food allergy can be caused by any ingredient or additive.
Common Allergic Reactions to Dog Foods
The signs of allergic reactions to food can be quite varied and can also be signs of other illnesses. So, if you do think your dog is having an allergic reaction to their food, the vet should always be the first port of call.
Common symptoms of food allergies can include, but are not limited to;
- Itchy skin, paws and ears
- Vomiting and diarrhoea
- Fur loss
- Weight loss
- Unusual aggression (in rare cases)
Food Allergy Diagnoses
The best and easiest method of diagnosing a food allergy is the elimination method. This involves feeding your dog a hypoallergenic diet that does not contain any ingredients they eat regularly, for eight to twelve weeks, to see if the symptoms resolve themselves. You would then reintroduce the old food to see if symptoms return to confirm an allergy to one of the ingredients within the original food. This can then be used to narrow down which specific ingredient it is by introducing one ingredient back at a time.
There are also blood tests available for more severe allergies, however, the efficacy of these has often been called into question.
Any of the above should always be undertaken with the supervision of a specialist such as a vet or a dog nutritionist.
What is a Hypoallergenic Dog Food
Hypoallergenic foods are those that tend to be made with just one or in some cases two protein sources and are free from ingredients that are likely to cause a reaction, such as wheat, gluten, grains and dairy. These can be helpful in isolating ingredients your dog may be allergic to, during the diagnostic process, and as sources of nutrition once your dog has found their nutritional Achilles Heel.
Hypoallergenic Dog Foods
As we have said above, hypoallergenic dog foods are those that are made with the special care and attention a dog needs when a food allergy has been spotted or is in the diagnostic stage. There are many hypoallergenic dog foods available in today’s pet food market which makes this process very easy for us dog owners.
Our favourite hypoallergenic dog food range, and one we know inside out (because we make it ourselves!!), is the superb selection from Aflora.
This brand comes from the team here, at Natural Cornish Pet, with an ethos of all-natural ingredients, grain-free recipes and complete transparency when it comes to our ingredients. All of the Aflora dry dog foods are made with just one or two proteins which are clearly labelled on each bag, so you can be sure of the contents if your dog is suffering from allergies or you are in the process of finding out which ingredients might be causing your canine companion to be feeling under the weather. Aflora is also a great choice for all dogs of any breed, shape or size as they are made with the finest all-natural ingredients, come in a delicious variety of flavours and have varieties that are specifically made for puppies and for senior dogs. In short, if you are looking for hypoallergenic dog food you really can't go wrong with our amazing Aflora range, available in-store or online here, at Natural Cornish Pet.
Hypoallergenic dog foods are extremely important for many dogs that suffer from food allergies and are as important in finding out if an allergy is the root cause of your dog's problem. It’s great that more dog foods are being made with these issues in mind, with grain and dairy-free recipes, simple protein sources and ingredient lists that are all-natural and completely clear, such as Aflora, readily available.
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