Beyond The Itch: PupGrade’s Guide to Identifying Food Allergies in Your Dog

Beyond The Itch: PupGrade’s Guide to Identifying Food Allergies in Your Dog

Have a pup at home that can’t seem to stop itching and scratching? Deciphering your dog's discomfort can be as puzzling as it is frustrating. Don’t worry—relief is within reach. Food allergies could be the sneaky culprit behind Fido’s pesky symptoms! Studies suggest that food allergies affect around 10 to 15% of dogs. [2]

Uncover the secrets behind your dog's itch, armed with expert insights and research we’ve compiled just for you and your pup.

Decoding Doggy Food Allergies 

Just like us, dogs can develop allergies to substances they encounter or eat. When it comes to their food, the problem typically lies in the proteins found in common ingredients like beef, dairy, lamb, chicken, wheat, or soy. [1,2]

The Immunological Tantrum
Why are proteins such troublemakers? Proteins are complex molecules that are like building blocks in your pup’s body.
When a dog chows down on food containing proteins that their immune system identifies as harmful, it reacts by launching an attack. This immune response is like a temper tantrum within the body, with the immune system mistakenly targeting harmless proteins as dangerous invaders. This mix-up creates chaos inside and often leads to physical symptoms on the outside. [2,3]

Why do food allergies happen in the first place, though?

Let’s dive even deeper. Understanding why food allergies occur in dogs requires a closer look at their immune system and dietary factors: [2,3,4]

Genetic Predisposition
Just like people, dogs can inherit a tendency to develop allergies. Some breeds are more prone to food allergies than others, hinting at a genetic link to their susceptibility.
Environmental Factors
External factors can sensitize a dog's immune system to certain food proteins. This might include exposure to allergens during puppyhood or changes in their diet over time.
Dietary History
You are what you eat—and the same goes for your beloved pup. What a dog eats can impact their chances of developing food allergies. Introducing new proteins too quickly or sticking to a limited range of ingredients might increase the risk of allergic reactions.
Gut Health
A dog's gut health is crucial in the allergy puzzle. Imbalances in gut bacteria or issues with intestinal health can make the immune system more reactive to food proteins.

Spotting the Telltale Signs

So, how do you know if your canine companion is grappling with a food allergy? Keep an eye out for these clues, because understanding these signs is the first step toward finding relief for your furry friend: [2,3]

- Persistent itching, licking, or scratching, often leading to raw or irritated skin
- Discharge from the eyes or excessive wateriness of the eye area
- Hot spots and noticeable patches of hair loss
- Digestive issues such as soft stool, diarrhea, vomiting, or excessive gas
- Skin inflammation, redness, or irritation, particularly around the ears, eyes, or paws
- Changes in skin and coat texture, including dryness, flakiness, or increased oiliness
- Recurrent ear infections or skin inflammation
- Respiratory symptoms like sneezing, nasal discharge, or reverse sneezing

If you notice any of these symptoms or any other signs of allergies in your dog, consult a trusted veterinarian immediately.

Navigating the Itch: Where Relief Meets Tasty Treats

Understanding the ins and outs of your pup's food allergies isn't just about being a savvy pet parent—it's about giving your dog the extra care they deserve. Spotting the signs and getting vet advice is vital in helping them feel happy and healthy.

Let’s Talk Solutions!

First things first—talk to your vet about what is needed in your pup’s care routine. Your vet may recommend the following: [3,4,5]

Dietary Elimination Trial: This involves removing potential allergens from your dog's diet for a certain period, typically around 8-12 weeks, to determine which ingredients are causing reactions. Your vet may recommend hypoallergenic or novel protein diets during this trial period.
Specialized Medication: In some cases, your vet may prescribe medications such as antihistamines, corticosteroids, or immune-modulating drugs to manage your dog's allergic symptoms.
Supplementation: Supplements can support your dog's immune system, skin health, and overall well-being, which is especially beneficial for pups with allergies! Formulas with ingredients like omega-3 fatty acids and natural anti-inflammatory compounds are excellent at helping your dog get the extra support they need.

Enter PupGrade’s Itch & Allergy Chews! What makes them special? We’re glad you asked:

- Tailored for all dogs, regardless of size, age, or breed, for quick relief
- Powerful blend of Alaskan Salmon Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar
- Multi-benefit formulation, supporting joint, immune, and heart health
- Irresistible natural meat flavor dogs love
- Veterinarian-approved and research-backed
- GMP-certified and free of grains, wheat, corn, artificial colors, and preservatives

    Don’t Let Food Allergies Run Your Furry Friend’s Life

    PupGrade is the clean, natural, and wholesome way to provide your BFF with healthy, tasty treats you can feel good about giving them. Treat your four-legged friend to less scratching and more cuddles by clicking right here.

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    1. Mueller RS, Olivry T, Prélaud P. Critically appraised topic on adverse food reactions of companion animals (2): common food allergen sources in dogs and cats. BMC Vet Res. 2016 Jan 12;12:9. doi: 10.1186/s12917-016-0633-8. PMID: 26753610; PMCID: PMC4710035. 
    2. Veterinary Dermatology Center. (2024). Food Allergy and Intolerance. Cutaneous Adverse Food Reaction. 
    3. Jackson, H. A. (2023). Food allergy in dogs and cats; current perspectives on etiology, diagnosis, and management. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 261(S1), S23-S29. 
    4. Thomas Lewis, DVM, DACVD. (Jan 5, 2017). Diagnosing food allergies in dogs and cats bring your case to trial. MJH Life Sciences. 
    5. Malcolm Weir, DVM, MSc, MPH; Catherine Barnette, DVM; Ernest Ward, DVM (2024). Allergies in Dogs. VCA Animal Hospitals.