Food Allergies: Chicken Dinner Makes your Dog Itch

Posted by Raja on January 12th, 2011 — Posted in Health, Safety

  Tags: , , ,

Why, why, why so many food allergic dogs now as never before???  Either the whole world is going to hell in a handcart, or our sensitivities to our pets’ needs are more compassionate in the age of the dog-child and we notice and treat discomfort readily.  (There’s only one choice, right?)

Raja and I are optimists too and we believe that food variety is one key to a comfortable dog.  Making sure that your pet eats different and diverse meats, vegetables and grains helps mitigate against sensitization to any one repetitive food.

So, how can a dog that has been eating chicken stew for years suddenly become allergic?

When a sensitive dog (we’ll try to explain this later) eats an allergy producing food, his immune system produces antibodies against the food and, usually, there is no immediately visible reaction, such as a rash or an itch.  This initial process is called sensitization.  As the dog continues to eat the food, his immune system continues to produce more and more antibodies.  Antibodies in the system stimulate the body to produce histamine.  Histamine causes the allergic reactions.  The proteins in beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, fish of all sorts, eggs, milk, soy, corn, wheat, rice and legumes are all potential triggers.  Most food allergies appear within 2-12 years.  That’s a huge window, isn’t it?

A “sensitive dog” is a dog that is prone to allergies.  How will you know you have a sensitive dog?  You probably won’t. Maybe you will never discover it if nothing triggers his immune reaction.

Trying to prevent dog sensitization, one of the best ways to avoid the build up of histamine in the system is to offer a varied diet from the start, while ensuring that the nutritional values stay consistent and high.  So, change up your dog’s dinners.  Alternate many different lean meats, vegetables (no onions) and grains and help your little gourmet to avoid food allergies.  It’s not that hard.  Just imagine yourself as your dog, and realize you wouldn’t want to eat the same kibble every day for years either.

For travel dogs, this means sampling local fare that fits the food criteria: lean meat, no onions, varied vegetables and a little starch to thicken.  And not too many spices.  Every cuisine in the world, with the possible exception of the traditional winter food of the Inuit of the Arctic, has something that will work.  When traveling, look for simple, fresh, non-spicy, non-oniony.

4 Comments »

Comment by PAT & Buttercup

RAJA.. LUV YOUR PICTURE WITH THIS ARTICLE ! I CAN ATEST FOR THE ITCHYS ..WE HAVE BEEN TRYING TO DECIDE IF ITS JUST PLAIN DRY SKIN .. OR FOOD ALLERGIES… MOM HAS JUST SWITCHED ME FROM CHICKEN TO LAMB HOME COOKED FOOD AND THE ITCHYS SEEM A LITTLE BETTER .. WE ARE FINDING THAT IT IS TRIAL AND ERROR .. SO WE ARE KEEPING AT IT . WE DO THINK HOME COOKING IS BETTER THAN DOG FOOD, WELL AT LEAST THIS WAY MOM KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT I AM EATING AND CAN CONTROL FAT AND SALT ISSUES WITH MY HEART CONDITION .

Posted on January 13, 2011 at 4:08 am

Comment by Cy, CT & Tasha

Raja, we have learned some important facts from your article. We have never had food allergies, so we thought we were in the clear but it looks like we still need to be careful about what we eat. Thank you for educating us. Your treat sure looks yummy in your photo!!

Posted on January 13, 2011 at 4:18 am

Comment by Donna Stansberry

This is an excellent article about allergies, but I am also assuming that, if a dog is eating commercial dog food, that the food also might not be the same as when the dog started eating it. Companies often change things as the years pass so it might not be the “meat” in the dog food that is causing the allergies. It could be something new that has been added. If this is the case, just switching brands might solve the problem.

Posted on January 13, 2011 at 5:50 am

Comment by Sheryll & Critters.

Oh Raja, you little darling, wonderful, gorgeous, baby boy!!! You are so smart and informative. Sunshine says she so totally agrees with you, but mommy did not really know about all this stuff. Since the Rufus has been missing, she has only been concerned with great for us food… not the repetitive thing. Wow, she said she is going to pay much more attention now to our daily diets. Our missing big brother had terrible allergies, so mommy is very concerned. It took her months to figure out how to reduce allergies for the then baby Rufus!

And I bet you are eating frozen yogurt and your mommy Helen is singing to you too! GRIN……. 8<)

Posted on January 13, 2011 at 8:51 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment