A surprisingly large number of people don't know very much about dog food allergies, but they are extremely common and range in severity from mildly annoying to fatal.
Most of the more common ones are easy to treat, which is why having a well stocked dog first aid kit within easy reach is always a good idea.
This article is going to cover some of the more common dog food allergies as well as the more serious ones.
First of all, it's important to recognize that there's a difference between dog food allergies and simple food intolerance. Food intolerance represents itself as difficulty digesting certain foods, which is what happens with lactose intolerance (yes, that can happen with dogs as well).
With lactose intolerance, the body isn't able to process the lactose in milk products, and it makes the digestive system work a lot harder. With food allergies, the body is actually attacking the type of food that's causing the issue. They happen when the immune system overreacts to a certain type of protein, and by doing so presents itself in a variety of symptoms.
Allergies can come from a lot of different sources, but when it comes to dog food allergies the protein is actually coming from the food itself.
These proteins also come from several different foods. Meat has a lot of protein in it, as many people are aware, but allergies coming from proteins found in vegetables and grains are more common. Grain allergies are some of the most common, and are also known as gluten allergies or celiac disease.
The three most common canine food allergies are actually beef allergies, milk allergies, and wheat allergies.
As you might suspect, each respective allergy comes from that type of food, and not only do they have different symptoms but individual dogs may even react differently to the same type of allergy. That's why some allergies are incredibly hard to spot.
Most allergies aren't life threatening in any way, but can have a very detrimental effect on your dog's quality of life. Sometimes certain allergies can go for years without being detected, and all along you are feeding them the kind of food that will make it worse.
Pay attention to your dogs health, especially if you are planning to switch dog food anytime in the near future. Most symptoms will start up either immediately or within 48 hours, so you should be able to determine pretty quickly if your dog is having an allergic reaction to the new food.
Dogs unfortunately can't tell us when something is wrong, so it's up to us to spot any illnesses or discomfort and act on it as soon as possible. Always pay attention to how your dog is acting.