Can your dog be allergic to his food?
The most common causes of canine food allergies are caused by these ingredients which include meat-by-products, corn, yeast, sale, sugar, and chemical preservatives. They are often responsible for allergic reactions. Dogs who suffer from food allergies will experience reactions such as itchy skins, weepy eyes, ear infections, flatulence, irritated anal glands (running bottom over carpet), rashes, hot spots, and excessive bodily licking, especially around the feet and belly. Repeated exposure to large quantities of allergens in food can cause long-term chronic illnesses, infections, and behavior problems.
How to find out whether your dog's food may be giving him allergies
If you suspect your dog's food may be giving him allergies, you can try feeding him a special diet to determine what is giving him trouble. The diet is composed of food that is scientifically created with very low-molecular-weight proteins. Proteins below a certain molecular weight are thought to be incapable of causing food allergies. You can find this food, in wet and dry formulas, online and at many veterinarians' offices. If after six weeks of feeding this special diet, you find that your dog's allergy symptoms are alleviated, it's safe to assume that his food is the cause of these symptoms. To determine which ingredient is the culprit (usually by-products from meat and poultry sources), reinforce each one into the diet to see if your dog's symptoms recur. Check the ingredients list on your regular dog food label, and add each item-chicken, turkey, corn, bulgur wheat, potato or rice, for example into the special diet one at a time, every three weeks. At each meal, add ten percent of the test food to the bowl, and reduce the special diet by ten percent. Obviously, you won't be testing the chemicals but you can eliminate quite a few ingredients once you have determined which ones caused the allergy. If your dog has no reaction to the added ingredients, the culprit is likely a chemical or by-product- which you will want to eliminate along with corn, wheat, sugar and salt from your dog's diet, indefinitely. Don't be surprised, however, if you find several ingredients cause a reaction. Once you have discovered the allergens, search out high-quality dog foods that do not contain these ingredients. Your dog may find an allergy-free or vet-recommended diet to be bland but a bland diet is better than a miserable dog! As long as he is drinking plenty of water, don't be alarmed of he doesn't take to it right away. When he gets hungry enough, he will venture into the new food for a nibble. Eventually, he will adjust to his new diet especially if you compensate with some yummy, allergy-free treats!
In addition to causing food allergies, a sugar high diet also affects your dog's mood, energy and hunger levels. A sugar high can cause a dog to be hyper and unfocused, and a dog must be focused in order to learn. Many owners mistaken their dogs to be ill-mannered and uncooperative when in fact, their behavior may be food-related.
Many dog foods contain unnecessary chemical preservatives such as butylated hudroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and ethoxyquin. Although human food also contains BHA and BHT, we consume much less than a dog does in his average 15-year life span. Chemical preservatives are commonly used by large manufacturers in large dosage because their products are made in huge quantities and distributed all over the world, often sitting for long periods of time on store shelves or in warehouses where extreme temperatures can alter the quality of the product.
Dog foods containing natural preservative alternative such as Vitamin E does not hold up long. That is why all-natural pet food manufacturers produce smaller quantities so that their products are more likely to stay fresh till sold. Dog food preserved with mixed tocopherols (Vitamin E) generally has a shelf life of about six months, so use this kind of dog food right away. If you are looking for a new food for your dog, visit a pet food store and ask the employee to recommend a food devoid of the ingredients discussed in this article.
Less expensive dog foods generally include less meat, and more animal by-products and grain fillers. So as you can see, commercial ready made processed dog food contains many indesirable substances and strong chemicals that will cause a lot of health problems to your dog if being fed over a long duration of time.
So, technically yes! You can lengthen your dog's life span and sometimes as much as double its lifespan if you know dog nutrition and educate yourself of what is really inside a canned of dog food or pet food for that matter. There are many records that had proven a dog can live much more longer if we feed it the food it meant to eat in its natural environment.
by Jerry Yapkh