What are Canned Dog Food Allergies?
Dog foods that are produced commercially come in three specific types: canned, semi-moist, and dry. Within these commercially-made dog foods, main ingredients typically include wheat, rice, barley, soy, and corn. These ingredients may be combined within one food or be separate. In terms of meat, commercial dog food may include lamb, beef, liver, chicken, or by-products of meat. When deciding on what to regularly feed your dog, it is important to thoroughly read the labels on the container or bag to see how the ingredients are distributed. It is also important to look for the amounts of fat, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins.
If you are feeding your dog canned food and he begins to have symptoms of gastrointestinal distress, skin irritation, or other allergy-type symptoms, he may be allergic to this type of food. Many dogs love canned foods because they are moist and meaty; however, they may also contain specific ingredients that may not react well with your pet. The reactions may not occur immediately; they may occur after some time of feeding the same food on a regular basis.
Canned dog food allergies in dogs occur when there is an allergic reaction to a specific ingredient, or several ingredients, within canned dog food. If your pet is experiencing diarrhea or itchy skin, consult your veterinarian to discuss the possibility of a food allergy.
Book First Walk Free!
Symptoms of Canned Dog Food Allergies in Dogs
Canned dog food allergies may have a variety of symptoms, or just one symptom. Symptoms of canned food allergies in dogs include:
- Irritated skin
- Itchy skin
- Excessive licking
- Bald spots
- Ear infections
Canned dog food contains ingredients which can trigger dog allergies. There are, however, more common allergens within foods than others. The most common triggers of food allergies are:
On the contrary, the least common triggers to food allergies are:
- Other exotic-type meats, such as alligator
Causes of Canned Dog Food Allergies in Dogs
Causes of canned food allergies in dogs are the result of feeding your dog a specific dog food that your dog may not agree with. Causes also include:
- Hypersensitive immune system that targets harmless agents within the dog’s system
- A chemical imbalance within the gut
- Problems digesting certain food ingredients
- The repeated exposure to specific triggers, or ingredients in the food
Diagnosis of Canned Dog Food Allergies in Dogs
If your dog begins to develop the above symptoms and he is on a canned-food diet, make an appointment with your veterinarian. You can also take the food to the appointment with you if you suspect he may have a canned-food allergy. The veterinarian can look closely at the ingredients to see what may be triggering his symptoms. He may also ask about any other types of foods your dog eats, such as dog treats, heartworm preventative medications, or table scraps.
If you are unsure that your dog is having a canned-food allergy, your veterinarian will assess your dog’s symptoms and ask you a variety of questions pertaining to his environment, how long he stays outdoors, and, of course, the food he is eating. To rule out any other conditions, the veterinarian may perform a variety of tests such as blood work, biochemistry profile, and urinalysis. It is very hard to diagnose food allergies through bloodwork and other tests, but in order to rule out other illnesses he will more than likely perform these tests as a precaution.
If your dog has a skin irritation, he will take a closer look at his skin. Before performing any skin test, he may want to see what can be eliminated from his diet first. This is called the “elimination diet”, and will take a few weeks before coming to a conclusive diagnosis of the particular food allergy your dog has.
Your dog may not be having any skin irritations, but may have other symptoms such as gastrointestinal distress. Your medical professional may choose to conduct other tests of his gastrointestinal system before he comes to a diagnosis of a food allergy.
Treatment of Canned Dog Food Allergies in Dogs
Treatment of canned dog food allergies in dogs occurs simultaneously with diagnosing the condition. Finding the specific food ingredient that is the allergen may coincide with the diagnostic testing. Treatment methods may comprise:
If your dog has an inflammation on his skin, the medical professional may choose to decontaminate him by bathing him in a gentle, hypoallergenic detergent and rinsing him thoroughly. He may also choose to apply a topical cream to help them feel better. Any topical cream used will only be temporary, so as not to mask the allergy.
The veterinarian may recommend an elimination diet. This special diet removes all foods and ingredients that the dog is accustomed to and is replaced by hypoallergenic ingredients that are recommended by your veterinarian. Your dog maybe also put on a prescription diet for a few weeks before reintroducing any common ingredients, one at a time, which your dog has been eating. Your veterinarian will give you specific instructions on how to perform the elimination diet, and this diet usually takes approximately 21 days before the allergen is found.
In order to ease your dog’s discomfort from the allergies, your veterinarian may recommend an allergy medication. This will only be temporary so the veterinarian will be able to find a specific allergen through the elimination diet without any medications that may mask the triggers.
Recovery of Canned Dog Food Allergies in Dogs
Once you find that your dog is allergic to canned dog food, you will need to find an alternative food source for him. This is the only way to eliminate any symptoms. Specific ingredients and canned dog food may also be found in dry dog food, so your veterinarian will recommend either a prescription diet or a hypoallergenic diet. Researching specific foods will also help you become more educated on alternate food types to feed your dog while giving him the nutrition he needs.
If you choose to do a raw food diet, please consult your veterinarian. Many dog owners choose this route if their dog is allergic to canned dog food, but it is important to understand how to evenly distribute the proper vitamins and minerals for your companion’s overall health and vitality.