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A Basic Guide to Hypoallergenic Dog Food

Due to the rate of highly-processed foods with high-grain contents that pets are being fed with, food allergies have now become a very common malady amongst dogs today.

Hypoallergenic dog food can help to prevent food allergies and food intolerance in dogs when used the right way.

This basic guide would help you understand what hypoallergenic dog foods are all about and how to use them to help your allergic pet.

What Causes Food Allergies/Food Intolerance in Dogs?

Food allergy is when your dog recognizes the food you feed him with as a foreign body or poisonous substance rather than a nourishing meal.

Food allergies in dogs can be caused by a number of factors. Sometimes, it may be due to genetics, environmental factors, age, digestive system problems or side effects of some type of antibiotics fed to puppies during their early life stages.

Also, if your dog’s ‘parents’ had any known allergies, there’s a high probability that he would also have the same allergies.

Common Food Allergies in Dogs

Some of the most common food allergies in dogs include allergies to pork, rabbit, beef, chicken, fish, lamb, egg, corn, soy, wheat and diary.

It is often difficult to know which foods your dog is allergic to because if he is allergic to one ingredient in a meal, he would be allergic to the entire food.

Hence, you would have to place your pet on an elimination diet. This involves feeding your dog with one or two foods and you’ve determined that your dog is not allergic to any of the foods, you can slowly introduce more ingredients until you are able to now identify which of the ingredients triggers an allergic reaction in your pet.

When you place your dog on an elimination diet, watch out for symptoms of allergies like vomiting, nausea, chronic gas, itchy rear end, hives, chronic diarrhea, sneezing, coughing or whizzing, chronic ear problems and skin rashes.

Allergies can be life-threatening so don’t hesitate to call your Vet if your dog starts showing any serious signs of discomfort.

What is Hypoallergenic Dog Food?

Hypoallergenic dog food was developed by pet feed manufacturing companies as alternatives for pets who suffer from common allergies. These meals are made with a limited number of ingredients that your pet is less likely to be allergic to.

There’s a lot of hypoallergenic dog food brands in the market but the best choice for yours pet would depend on his specific allergy as a food that is hypoallergenic for one dog might trigger an allergic reaction in another.

So to choose the best food for your pet, you need to first do the elimination diet to determine which ingredients he is allergic to and then choose a brand of hypoallergenic dog food that is tailored to meet the needs of pets with that specific allergy.

Types of Hypoallergenic Dog Food

There are three major dietary designs for hypoallergenic food for dogs:

  • Limited Ingredient: These ones contain fewer components so that it becomes really easy to identify the specific allergen your pet is reacting to. These types of foods are great for elimination diets.
  • Novel Ingredients: Novel ingredient meals contain components that your pet hasn’t been exposed to previously such as millet, buffalo, kangaroo and pheasant. Your pet is likely to be sensitive to these ingredients since he hasn’t been exposed to them previously.
  • Prescription Ingredients: They are prescribed and sold by veterinarians and contain ingredients that are majorly hypoallergenic.

Top 5 Hypoallergenic Foods for Dogs

Here are our top picks for the top 3 hypoallergenic foods for dogs:

Wellness Naturals

Wellness Naturals is a limited ingredient diet meal that is great for elimination diets.They offer different versions including gluten-free, novelty meats and grain-free versions so that your dog has so many foods to try out.

You can also order for various kinds of meats so that you can identify whether your pet is allergic to a specific kind of meat.Wellness Naturals’ simple version is a great place to start.

The simple version has five main ingredients and doesn’t contain any artificial flavors, meat by-products, coloring, eggs, diary or wheat.The simple version also contains flaxseed, an ingredient that can help to improve your dog’s skin and coat health.

Purina Pro Plan Focus Dry Dog Food

This brand was specifically made for pets with a sensitive skin and stomach.It is manufactured with protein from salmon, which makes it very rich in Omega 6. Omega 6 is very helpful for improving dog skin and coat texture.

Purina Pro Plan also contains zinc and has no artificial additives, wheat or soy.This product also contains rice and oats as fillers, which are basically harmless for your pets.

Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein

Sometimes, when your dog is allergic to some kinds of meat, it may be as a result of your dog’s digestive system’s inability to process that meat.This is why hydrolyzed meals for pets were introduced.

Hydrolyzed meals are pre-digested so that your dog’s immune system doesn’t recognize it as an offensive food during digestion.

Royal Canin has a wide array of hydrolyzed meals made with hydrolyzed minerals so that’s your pet can absorb the essential vitamins and minerals that it needs for growth and proper functioning.

Royal Canin hydrolyzed protein dog food contains limited ingredients and contains omega-3 which is very helpful for your pet’s bone, joint and skin health.

Orijen 6 Fish Formula Dry Food

If you’re looking for a better protein substitute for your meat-intolerant pet, this is the one for you.

This meal is made from wild-caught fish with 2o% fruit and vegetables. There are no grains or dairy products in this one so your pet is less likely to have an allergic reaction after consuming it.

It is also very helpful for your dog’s skin and coat because of its rich source of protein.

On a final note, it’s smarter to always seek the advice of your vet and avoid rushing things whenever you’re trying to find the best hypoallergenic dog food for your pet.

About the Author Paul

Hey, I'm Paul and I LOVE Pet. Coming from a vet background,I have decided to start an Authority site to teach you all you need to know about pets.

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