There are tons of canines that would benefit from eating hypoallergenic dog food instead of the traditional, non hypoallergenic kibble. Perhaps this would even be the case for your dog. If you’re unsure about making the switch to hypoallergenic dog food for your furry friend, simply answer these questions to find out:
- Is your dog constantly itching and scratching?
- Is your dog prone to shedding and/or flaking skin?
- Is your dog sneezing, wheezy, or scratching at its eyes?
- Does your dog seem to be struggling with the current dog food?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it might be time to make the switch. Many veterinarians will suggest something called an elimination diet, which is a diet that uses hypoallergenic food to determine the exact cause of a canine’s allergies. Humans use this process as well in order to get a clearer picture on what products and food are safe to use, and which ones are not.
What is Hypoallergenic Dog Food?
One of the leading providers of canine health products says that “hypoallergenic dog food diets are created for canines that experience food-related allergies causing adverse effects to their physical health. The molecules that usually become allergens are intact proteins or glycoproteins.” Many dog food manufacturers will offer both hypoallergenic and non hypoallergenic options, which will often be found side by side on pet store shelves.
Why Opt for a Hypoallergenic Dog Food
The main reason to make the switch is because of a known or suspected canine food allergy. Just a human with a gluten intolerance would avoid gluten at all costs, the same goes for a dog with an intolerance or sensitivity to gluten. Some people are shocked to hear that dogs experience many of the same allergies as humans, especially when it comes to gluten.
Dogs with gluten allergies, no matter how mild or severe, typically struggle with traditional (non hypoallergenic) dog food. This is because dog food almost always contains gluten in some form or another. Each dog experiences this allergy differently; some dogs might suffer from itchy skin, while others will have digestive issues.
Even though this type of dog food might still contain trace amounts of allergens, the amount is so miniscule that a canine’s body is unable to detect them. This is because the digestive system of a dog is able to break down food to its simplest form, which is called hydrolyzation. Because of this process, small traces of allergens will go unnoticed. However, when high quantities of an allergen are present, the canine will react to the allergen.
Are Hypoallergenic Diets Actually Effective?
To say that a hypoallergenic diet will work 100% of the time would be a lie, but in the majority of cases these diets do work. Many dogs have experienced relief from the symptoms that come along with food allergies, atopic dermatitis, and irritable bowel disease as well as other digestive issues. Trying out a hypoallergenic diet will do no harm, but it has the potential to do some good.