How to Choose the Best Hypoallergenic Dog Foods

How to Choose the Best Hypoallergenic Dog Foods

If your dog is allergic to certain foods, it is imperative that you opt for hypoallergenic dog foods. However, with numerous choices of these foods out there, finding the best can be daunting. Sometimes it is advisable to consult your vet to help you select the right food for your animal. Explored in this piece are some helpful tips on selecting the best hypoallergenic food for your dog.

To start with, you first need to visit your vet if your pet has developed some symptoms such as, flaky skin, excessive licking of paws, chronic infections and itching. These signs could have been caused by food allergy or food sensitivity. The vet will examine the dog to ensure the problem is not being caused by other health complications. If anima specialist finds out that it is due to allergy, then he will advice you on the best hypoallergenic food to go for.

Next on, you should decide which food to try. In fact, there is a wide variety of these foods in the market today from cheap hypoallergenic dog foods to very expensive ones. So, you need to do your research pretty well to know the varieties available in the market and their effectiveness before opting for one. Ask other pet owners for some recommendations. The Internet is another good source of information. Be informed before proceeding to the market to buy hypoallergenic dog food.

Again, your vet will sometimes advise you to opt for grain-free dog foods. This is because the majority of dog sensitivities and allergies are related to corn, soy, eggs, gluten and wheat. In fact, almost all foods free from grain lack the above mentioned ingredients.

If after trying grain-free food the symptoms do not lessen, your vet may recommend a diet that utilizes special protein and carbohydrates sources. Protein sources may include fish, duck, lamb and bison, among others. Carbohydrates sources include potato, sweet peas and sweet potatoes. These carbohydrates and protein sources are least likely going to cause sensitivities and allergies since your dog has not yet been exposed to them.

In a nut-shell, finding the right hypoallergenic dog foods can be annoying and time-consuming. But keep in mind that the right hypoallergenic dog food is essential to good health. In fact, the food is going to make your dog very comfortable. Note also that allergic foods can worsen your dog’s symptoms and cause skin infections. So, consider investing your time well to look for the best hypoallergenic food that will keep your animal allergy free.

When to decide to use a hypoallergenic dog food

Hypoallergenic dog food can be an important nutritional requirement for some dogs, but how can you tell if your dog needs this kind of food? A number of dogs will develop food allergies over their lifetime. These allergic reactions may be the result of a wide variety of foods, and the specific cause may be various in each case. Some dogs develop allergic reactions to specific meats, such as beef, pork, or chicken, while others can no longer tolerate grains such as corn or wheat. In some cases allergies may be brought on by additives or preservatives that have been put into the pet food.

Royal Canin DR21 Hypoallergneic Dog FoodA hypoallergenic diet is usually suggested by the veterinarian if the dog is going through specific problems that are typically due to allergies or nutritional concerns. There is no set time limit for allergies to happen. In some cases your dog may start a food and develop hypersensitivity within days while in other circumstances the allergies may not develop until years after the food has been used routinely.

A hypoallergenic dog food may be needed if your pet develops any irritation that is continual, or if the dog begins to lick themselves incessantly and will not stop. Dogs who experience allergies may often rub their faces against the ground or things in an attempt to reduce any itchy skin or eyes. Other typical allergic reactions can include diarrhoea, excessive gas and flatulence, vomiting that is chronic or excessive, and a general sense of malaise.

When your dog eats hypoallergenic dog food, the symptoms should subside slowly. When all symptoms have disappeared, the diet could be switched back to your first dog food. If the symptoms return, then your pet has a food allergy or sensitivity and probably needs hypoallergenic dog food to stay healthy and allergy free.

If the sensitivities don’t return, then it in all probability, not a nourishment hypersensitivity, but rather more likely a nutritional issue – the original dog food did not provide all the necessary nutrients for your dog. A hypoallergenic dog food still might be the answer for your dog’s problems as they are nutritionally superior to usual supermarket brands.

Most hypoallergenic pet food brands do not use artificial flavourings or colourings, nor any chemical preservatives. The components are natural and of high nutrient levels.

When choosing the right hypoallergenic pet food for your dog, make sure that you analyse the ingredients first. Avoid substances that you already know to cause your dog allergies to ensure you have a hypoallergenic pet food that fits your pet’s particular situation. There is not one hypoallergenic dog food for all dogs as allergy triggers will differ from pet to pet.

If your dog is suffering from dog food allergy symptoms, you need to determine what the offending component is and remove it from their diet.

Alternatively a quick way of ensuring your dog gets their daily food requirement without causing an allergic reaction is by switching to a good quality hypoallergenic dog food such as Royal Canin hypoallergenic dog food. The problem with common pet food is that they are manufactured from low-quality by-products that may cause problems with your dog’s digestive system and can lead to the normal allergic symptoms. A good hypoallergenic dog food does not bring about allergic responses and is, therefore, best for a dog sensitive to other foods.

Can moving to a gluten-free diet improve your health?

Gluten-free products
Gluten can be found in many foods and can cause allergic symptoms in some people

Gluten is a special type of protein usually found in wheat, rice, barley and others. Gluten is the component that enables bread dough to stretch.

Gluten is not just limited to wheat and similar grain products. There are many other foods that contain gluten including processed beer, salad dressings, candy, soy sauce, cookies, seasonings, soup and gravy mixes.

A gluten-free diet means staying away from foods that contain this special protein. This kind of diet removes all foods that contain gluten from a person’s diet thus preventing gluten from being ingested by the body.

Examples of gluten-free foods include oatmeal, quinoa, millet, amaranth, arrowroot, flaxseed, potato starch, chickpeas, tapioca, bean flour, the list is endless.

What are the benefits of gluten-free diet?

Faster recovery time

This is one of the main benefits of a gluten-free diet for athletes and weightlifters. It helps to reduce recovery time after exercise. Today, there are many gluten-free recovery foods and drinks on the market.

Improves gut motility and function

Gluten-intolerant people are prone to digestion problems such as irritable bowel syndrome. A gluten-free diet is the solution to such problems.

Improved nutrient absorption from food

Gluten hinders the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food. A diet high in gluten causes Celiac disease which damages the villi.

A gluten-free diet reduces systemic inflammation

Systemic inflammation can cause the immune system to weaken further. To counteract systemic inflammation, nutritional experts advise that people suffering from the condition consume a diet that consists strictly of whole foods and plant-based foods.

A gluten-free diet is the only effective therapy for the treatment of celiac disease but it’s very popular with people who wish to lose weight.

Basic tips for preparing gluten-free foods

1) Eat more gluten-free natural foods such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits.

2) Identify the hidden sources of gluten.

3) Include a vegetarian regimen in your gluten free diet. These would be vegetables cooked without the fancy sauces.

People with a gluten allergy must be aware of gluten contamination. Products that come in contact with gluten will carry the gluten protein.

In order to avoid foods containing gluten, be sure to check the labelling information on the products, every food manufacturer is legally bound to provide on the packaging. Ensue you check for any trace of gluten from the list of ingredients.

A gluten-free diet is part of a healthy lifestyle. Adopting a gluten-free diet, low carb diet, along with eating more vegetables and fruit helps people to live a healthy lifestyle and lose weight.

 

Choosing The Right Food For Your Dog

Your canine friend is spoilt for choice when it comes to options for packaged food but how do you, the owner, decide between brands of dog food and the different ingredients therein? A survey was conducted recently by Ipsos and it was found that the majority of dog owners rely on the following criteria when buying dog food:

  • The dog’s age/gender, and
  • Ingredients listed on the food labels

Dogs are omnivores, meaning they can eat a variety of foods including meats, grains, and vegetables. But just like people, dogs too need a balanced diet in order to maintain optimum health and have the energy they need to run around all the time.  But, a dog’s food can also make them ill, because like humans they can become allergic to allergens in their food.

What do I buy- dry, moist, or canned food?

This is actually one of the most common questions for dog owners and according to the experts, dry food is the best in most cases; although a number of factors may be at play here. Fish, meat, eggs all have high concentrations of protein and usable amino acids so therefore can provide your pooch the energy needed to run up and down the stairs.

Manufacturers are required by law to list the ingredients by weight but that doesn’t do much to explain the health risks associated with some of those foods. Processed dog food actually has the same effect on dogs as junk food does on people but manufacturers won’t dwell too much on that.

If your dog has food allergies you may need to consider a hypoallergenic diet for dogs.  These are generally a dry dog food in the kibble style.  Consult your vet before putting your pampered pooch on a specialist diet to ensure they will still get the right nutrients.

Choosing the right dog food

Choosing the right dog food is essential
How do you choose the best food for your dog

Here’s what to look for when buying dog food:

Actual meat content

Most buyers just want to see meat as the main ingredient in dog formula and they assume the product is perfect for their pet. Just because a bag of dog snacks lists chicken as the main ingredient it won’t always make the treat perfect for your dog. Raw meat, say chicken, appearing at the top of ingredients is there most likely because it was weighed before it was dried, and meat in its natural form is made up of 70% water.

After the meat is dried, then it’s actually the second or third ingredients that make up the product.

Organic ingredients such as brown rice or millet may sound like an interesting idea for dog food but it’s not necessarily the best choice considering your dog’s digestive system.  For example if your dog shows signs of itchy skin, diarrhoea, weeping eyes etc it could mean they are allergic to some element of their food such as the grains or even in some cases the meat content.

If you find your dog is suffering from an allergic reaction to their food you should consider a diet change.

So what is the best hypoallergenic dog food for dogs with allergies?

Firstly talk to your vet as you may not need a full hypoallergenic dog food, you may just need a sensitive stomach mix or something similar.  However if you decide you wish to switch to a hypoallergenic mix then consider some of the top brands such as:

Royal Canin DR21 hypoallergenic dog food – manufacturers such as Royal Canin use stringent processes to prevent contamination of allergens in the process of making their food.

Other good options are mixes made specifically for your dog such as Pure Hypoallergenic Dog Food.  Companies like Pure take details of your dog then produce a food specifically for their unique requirements.

What about treats?

Treats are good for encouraging positive repetitive behaviour but they should be used sparingly and in small portions to prevent weight gain.  But just like us your dog will also love the occasional treat.