Why Are Dog Food Allergies on the Rise?
Did you know that food allergies account for around 20% of itching and scratching problems in dogs, and that they make up about 10% of all canine allergies? If it’s tough to see your pooch licking and scratching incessantly, or even losing hair in parts of his body, bear in mind that symptoms can be even worse, and can include diarrhea, vomiting and other forms of distress. As is the case with human beings, allergies can be tough but are definitely not insurmountable. It all begins in puppyhood. Feeding your pups high quality, digestible proteins such as those found in Primal Pet Foods is key. These proteins are blended with whole food sources of essential vitamins and minerals, and contain protein sourced from 100% vegetarian-fed animals.
What Causes Canine Allergies?
There are many theories as to the precise cause of dog food allergies and of course, more than one may be right. On the one hand, feeding dogs the same food on a daily basis can raise the chances of an allergic reaction to one or more ingredients in food. Poor-quality ingredients are another trigger. Most pet foods contain fillers such as starches and fibers, which reduces the amount of protein used in food. Many foods also contain low-quality sources of protein such as beaks or hooves. These ingredients often are not biologically appropriate for your dog. They can stress out the immune system as they make their way into your dog’s bloodstream.
Many experts believe that dog food allergies occur when the GI tract (a semi-permeable barrier whose main role is to absorb fully digested vital nutrients) absorbs partially digested nutrients that cause the immune system to react. Leaky gut in humans and canines occurs when the balance of friendly bacteria in the digestive tract is upset by factors such as antibiotics, highly processed foods, or poor-quality foods. When levels of vital bacteria decline, yeast levels rise, causing tiny perforations in the intestines which in turn allow toxins and partially digested nutrients to spill into the bloodstream.
How Can Omega-3s Help?
If you check out the list of unrefined supplements found in Primal Pet Foods, you will find ingredients such as cod liver oil, salmon oil, and sardine oil. All these oils are optimal sources of Omega-3 essential fatty acids, which can play an important role in keeping allergies at bay. Omega-3s are essential to human and canine health, yet our bodies do not produce them naturally. Therefore, they need to be sourced through foods such as fatty fish oil. Sardines, salmon, and cod are three well-known ‘fatty fish’.
A study published in Veterinary Dermatology in 2003 found that dogs with severely itchy skin caused by allergens improved significantly after consuming Omega-3 fatty acids for around eight weeks. Another study showed that essential fatty acids improve hair loss, coat quality and itching in dogs. If you are trying Omega-3-rich foods for the first time, note that you will need to track your pet’s progress for several weeks.
It is vital to feed your pup good food from the time they first start on solids. If your dog has already developed what looks like an allergy, it is vital to see your vet to rule out other digestive conditions. Usually, your vet will recommend an elimination diet, which involves feeding Fido just one protein source for around two months, slowly replacing the protein, and observing how your dog reacts. The key is to give their digestive system a chance to rest and to introduce different proteins slowly, eventually feeding them a varied diet. Primal foods do not contain starch, are often formulated using single source protein, and avoid using plants as an additional protein source.
Feeding your dog poor-quality food can wreak havoc on their immune system, so quality should be key from the time they are weaned off their mother’s milk. Go for biologically appropriate foods containing raw meats and poultry and a plethora of fruits and vegetables. Quality food should also be supplemented with Omega-3s and other important ingredients such as vitamins, antioxidants, and other potent ingredients that will ensure your dog has a healthy, happy life, free from allergy-related distress.