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Hypoallergenic Dog Food – What You Need to Know

Hypoallergenic Dog Food – What You Need to Know

So, you noticed that your dog is itching like crazy and repeatedly shaking his head. You went to the vet to figure what’s wrong with your dog, and he told you it could be a food allergy. What does that mean?

Likewise for humans, a food allergy can cause a wide range of symptoms in dogs too. The most common symptoms are gastrointestinal problems like bloating, excessive flatulence, a sensitive stomach, vomiting, or even diarrheal. It can also exhibit other symptoms like itching, sneezing, obsessive licking, skin rashes, and paw biting.

In diagnosing your puppy’s condition, it can be helpful to learn that there is a difference between a food allergy and simple food sensitivity or tolerance. Your dog can experience both, but they can be hard to distinguish without a veterinarian’s insight.

Food allergies or hypersensitivity are one of the most common allergies known to affect dogs. And this means that your dog’s immune system reacts to an allergen in the food and will produce antibodies to attack it that may cause damage to your dog’s tissues.

A food tolerance or food sensitivity, however, doesn’t involve the immune system. It simply means your dog’s body is unable to digest a particular ingredient or food. If food allergies are identified, your pet’s vet may recommend hypoallergenic dog food for your puppy to eat.

What is Hypoallergenic Dog Food?

Fundamentally, hypoallergenic dog food is intended for dogs that are allergic to regular dog food. This type of dog food contains no common allergens that can upset your pooch’s stomach or its coat skin. But as the term ‘hypoallergenic’ suggests, it means ‘having a little possibility of causing an allergic response’. It means that it is used only to limit your dog’s exposure to ingredients that may trigger its allergic reaction. Therefore, a hypoallergenic diet was designed not to cure dogs’ allergies.

Hypoallergenic dog food may also be hydrolysed, which means it goes through a process of breaking down proteins, so they will be too tiny for your pet’s body to identify as allergens.