Dog Food Allergies and Intolerance
Table of Contents
"Dogs can have adverse reactions to foods
due to allergy, an intolerance or as a toxic reaction. Each of these
are described below. A food allergy is an immune system response where
a food intolerance is a physiological response. Food allergy is the
third most common allergy in dogs after fleas and environmental
allergens such as pollen.
In general, symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting. Both intolerance and allergy result in similar symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose the underlying cause of any food related condition. Symptoms frequently start to appear as young adults.
Skin reactions are usually associated with a
dog food allergy, which occurs in 20% to 30% of dogs with food
allergies (called atopic dermatitis or if caused by food allergy, food
allergy dermatitis or cutaneous adverse food reactions). Atopy refers
the genetic hypersensitivity to food and other environmental allergens
such as pollen. Because both environmental and food allergens result in
the same skin symptoms, diagnosis is challenging. Problems with
the gastrointestinal system can also be
associated with allergy.
Reactions are frequently seen when a new food is introduced for a dietary change is made. Signs may disappear after the diet is changed back, which is often a challenging process since the average commercial dog food has 60 different ingredients."