So you think your dog has food allergies? Let’s take a look at your food. The most common food ingredients responsible for allergies are chicken, beef, dairy, pork, lamb, fish, eggs, corn, soy, and grains (e.g. wheat, whey). Corn and wheat are often used as cheap fillers in pet foods.
Most dogs who show symptoms of having a dog food allergy are actually experiencing a food intolerance. Contrary to popular belief, feeding the same food to a dog every day, year after year is exactly the reason why dog food intolerance develops, especially to meat proteins. If your dog repeatedly eats the same type of food, their system begins to reject those ingredients as their body has been overexposed to them. This is why we recommend a rotation diet, where you switch your dog’s food often. It helps maintain friendly bacteria in the gut and overall digestive health, as well as helping prevent dog food intolerance and dog food allergies.
Look for foods that use whole ingredients and don’t have chemical preservatives, artificial flavors or by-products. For example, if your dog has been eating chicken, look for a food that does not contain chicken to give your dog’s system a break.
Look for foods that use limited ingredients, making it easy to rotate proteins. Foods that use one protein source mean it’s easy to switch it up by changing to a different protein. Foods with limited ingredients are a good idea to start with, so it’s easy to know what food might be causing a reaction with your dog.
New foods should be introduced slowly by mixing with the old food for about two weeks or more, depending on how sensitive your dog is. From there, you should notice improvements in your dog’s skin and coat in a matter of weeks. You usually need to feed your dog the equivalent of its own body weight in food to see the best results, so take your time. If your dog starts itching more after starting the new protein source, discontinue and try a different protein.
We have a variety of foods with limited ingredients and novel proteins that provide a good starting point for your dog’s nutrition, so be sure check out Addiction’s entire line of pet foods and treats to select the right product for your dog’s needs.