Allergy-free Dog Food, Is it the Best Solution?
Your pet dog is a unique companion that requires your love and attention. When your dog is suffering from any ailment or condition, you're also suffering. Sometimes, it's difficult to find out what causes such ailments, and many vets claim that it has something to do with food allergies. Around 10% of dog allergies are due to food.
Allergies related to foods can be very alarming to the owner. If you frequently see your dog excessively scratching and itching, then your pet may have a certain food allergy.
The most common food culprits are corn, wheat, and soy. There are also dogs allergic to beef and chicken. It would be best to bring your dog to a vet so that the doctor can give an accurate diagnosis and the proper way of treating your best friend.
If your dog compulsively and excessively licks his foot, or bites or chews his other body parts, this is already a sign that your pet has an allergy. Usually, pet nutritionists and vets recommend the substitution of your dog's protein source. For this special purpose, lambs are often used to introduce something that's new to his diet.
If you greatly rely on your vet, he would usually give you expensive formulas that are hypo-allergenic. But did you know that you can also figure things out by yourself? There are dog food mixes that are specially designed for those with food allergies. In the long run, these mixes can be expensive.
You can begin giving allergy-free mixes so that you can closely control your dog's diet. The mixes contain vitamins and nutrients formulated exclusively for dogs. Try to experiment and introduce other protein sources and observe the dog's reaction for a few days.
There are certain dog mixes that are chicken-based, while others have fish protein. Every now and then, change your dog's protein source and observe. If you finally found one that goes well with your dog and the allergies seem to improve, then stick to that diet.
There are things to remember when you're introducing a new food for your dog. You must do it slowly for about six days. Use the ration 4 is to 1, with 4 being the old food. Do this gradually until the sixth day, when you've totally changed your dog's diet. Stick with the food for at least a week and keep a close watch if your dog develops a certain reaction.
You can't solve the allergy problems of your dog overnight. Break your dog's food cycle by starting with a neutral food that's grain-free. After finding the right protein source for your dog, you can try re-introducing the grain back and see if there's an effect. Use your common sense; and if you choose to do things on your own, you can also save a lot of money. And remember that you should feed your dog with a well-balanced diet with the right amount of vitamins and minerals.
The process of sensitizing your pet dog to a certain food agent and the complex antibody response which takes place in your dog's intestinal tracts are not yet well understood. Despite this fact, many vets and nutritionists know the symptoms and how to correctly diagnose allergies, as well as treating them.
So you see, you can also try other alternatives in choosing your dog's food other than allergy-free foods. All it takes is patience, time, and common sense.