What are Kong Allergies?
Many dog owners have purchased a Kong product at one point or another. Not only does Kong produce interactive toys for your dog, they also produce treats to go with them. There have not been any reported cases of an allergic reaction in a dog from the rubber the Kong toys are made out of. However, a dog can be allergic to an ingredient in one of their edible products or treats. While symptoms of allergies are usually mild, they can still be disruptive. If your dog keeps you up all night scratching, if he is constantly rubbing his face or back on your walls or furniture, or if he is obsessively licking his feet, he may have a food related allergy. If he has skin related allergy symptoms, he could possibly develop a secondary skin infection from the constant scratching. The sooner you find the source, the better for your dog. The process of diagnosing a Kong allergy can take a few months, but once you know the source of the allergy, you remove it from his diet and all his symptoms will stop.
Kong is a popular brand in the dog world. Kong produces toys, treats, entertainment for your dog and more. If you believe your dog may be allergic to a Kong product, discuss it with your veterinarian.
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Symptoms of Kong Allergies in Dogs
Symptoms of Kong allergies in your dog can manifest in many ways. If your dog is allergic to something they are ingesting or the Kong toy itself, symptoms may include
- Rubbing/scratching their face
- Itchy all over
- Runny nose
- Runny eyes
- Repeated ear infections
- Obsessive licking or chewing of feet or specific area
- Skin irritation
The onset of symptoms will vary depending on your dog’s sensitivity to the allergen.
Kong allergies can affect any breed at any age. It can be difficult to differentiate between airborne allergies and an ingredient in the ingested product. First step is to determine if the allergic reaction is caused when there is a change of season. For example, if itching coincides with the changing of the seasons, it may be an airborne allergy.
The Kong brand has a wide variety of treat products. It is possible your dog might be perfectly fine ingesting one thing, but not the other. This is where it comes down to the ingredient list. You can find the ingredients of each product on the packaging or on the Kong website.
Causes of Kong Allergies in Dogs
If your dog has allergies, it is his body’s way of protecting itself from something it thinks will harm it. While the item in question is actually harmless, the body doesn’t recognize it as such. The body finds it dangerous and mounts a protective response to the threat. True kibble allergies are also known as Adverse Food Reaction (AFR). Your dog’s body produces an immune response to a main ingredient or an ingredient he ingests frequently.
It isn’t necessarily the Kong brand your dog is allergic to, but rather an ingredient within the product they are allergic to. Chicken and poultry meal are two ingredients in many of the Kong products. If your dog is allergic to chicken, be sure to read the ingredients list before you purchase any of their products. While there have not been any reported cases of an allergic reaction to the Kong rubber itself, it is always a possibility for very sensitive dogs.
Diagnosis of Kong Allergies in Dogs
There are few ways to successfully test for an allergy caused by a food. The best way to determine if your dog is allergic to Kong products is to remove it completely from their environment and diet for at least three months and see if the symptoms stop. If they do, then it was likely something in the products. If symptoms remain after the three month trial period, then the allergy may be caused by something else.
Bicom testing is another method of determining a Kong allergy in your dog. Bicom testing is also known as bioresonance. This method believes every being and substance in the world emits its own electromagnetic wave. The veterinarian takes a blood sample from your dog and tests different foods and substances to see if it has a ‘good’, ‘neutral’ or ‘bad’ response. If the response is ‘bad’, this means the item being tested causes your dog’s blood wavelength to become stressed which results in a stressed body and therefore allergic reactions. If the response is ‘good’, then the item puts out a wavelength that is compatible with your dog’s blood meaning no adverse reactions should occur. If it is ‘neutral’, the item being tested does not put out a wavelength that alters that of your dog. Bicom testing is not commonly seen in veterinary practices because it is considered an ‘alternative’ medicine. Many holistic veterinarians use the Bicom testing with an extremely high success rate, but other veterinarians believe this method does not work. If you look up Bicom testing, some methods are potentially used to ‘retrain’ the body’s electromagnetic waves to relearn the allergen does not actually pose a threat and should, therefore, stop producing an allergic response. Other veterinary practitioners typically use it to find out if your dog is compatible with the food item or not. If it is not good for your dog, then you simply remove that food from his diet and the allergic symptoms should stop. The main disadvantage of Bicom testing is that it doesn’t tell you exactly which ingredient your dog is allergic to; it only tells you that something within the product is not good for your dog.
Treatment of Kong Allergies in Dogs
If your dog is allergic to a Kong product, the best thing you can do for him is remove it from his diet. While one of their products may be his favorite treat in the world, you may need to replace the item with another.
Some veterinarians will prescribe a medication to help with the itching. This medication will help for a while, but in reality it is only masking the symptom, not curing it. If you do not remove the source of the itching, you will have to continue to give the prescription and possibly continuously increase the dose as time goes on. Without removing the allergen source, your dog will continue to suffer from the allergen.
Recovery of Kong Allergies in Dogs
If your dog is suffering from allergies, the sooner you get him to the veterinarian the better. Suffering from allergies can weaken your dog’s immune system. The longer you wait to seek veterinary care, the higher his chances of a secondary infection to develop.
Once you discover the source of the Kong allergy and are able to remove it from your dog’s diet, all his symptoms should stop once it has made it out of his system. The recovery process can take several months and can be very discouraging, but do not give up. You and your dog will both be happier once the constant itching and scratching stops for good. He will be much happier, healthier and back to enjoying life.
Kong Allergies Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
I have just brought the Kong toy for my puppy and the thoam treat to go inside. And suddenly both of his eyes have become swollen and he won't stop iching them
If you are noticing these symptoms remove the Kong, the treats and bathe Marley’s face with a mild soap (in case of contact allergy); more commonly the treat rather than the Kong is the culprit. If there is excessive swelling it would be best to visit your Veterinarian to be on the safe side as over the counter products may not be as effective in this case. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
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