Did you know dogs can have food allergies just like people? Symptoms include rash, itching, chronic ear infections, and excessively licking their feet. Dogs may also have food intolerances, which tend to result in diarrhea or vomiting. Either way, understanding the cause of these symptoms is important.
Dog Food Allergy Culprits
What causes dog food allergies? The top dog food allergens might surprise you. These six foods are some of the top offenders:
- Meat Meals
Meat vs. Meat Meal
You may be surprised to see meat on that list. Although meat is an allergen, don’t start thinking your dog will become a vegetarian just yet. Even dogs who are allergic to one kind of meat may tolerate protein in another type. You should know this too: not all “meat” in dog food is the same.
Many dog foods use meat meals, which are processed with high heat. That heat can change the molecular structure of the protein, and that structural change can affect how a dog’s system tolerates the protein. That means a dog who can’t eat the chicken meal in conventional dog foods, may do just fine with lightly baked chicken like you find in some of our My Perfect Pet blends. The same is true for other meats.
Dog foods that use meat meals also need to add synthetic amino acids. Fresh or lightly cooked meats don’t need these supplements because they are naturally occurring in meat that isn’t highly processed and damaged by high heat. My Perfect Pet uses lightly cooked meats that are tolerated by many dogs who can’t eat meat meals. Learn more about our ingredients and how we make our food here.
What to Do about Dog Food Allergies
Start by talking to your vet. If the vet suspects a food allergy, he or she may recommend an elimination diet to find the real culprit. This could be as simple as switching to a different type of protein or by trying fresh meat instead of a meat meal.
Once you know the cause of the allergy, you can keep your dog healthy by avoiding that allergen and following diet recommendations. If your vet has recommended a special diet, we’ve got you covered! Check out My Perfect Pet food options here.