Pet Food Allergies

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Article: What if your dog has allergies?
Contributor: Pet Herb Store.com


There are a number of different types of allergies for dogs:

environmental allergy

food allergy

flea allergy

contact allergy


What to look for:

Itchy, watery eyes are a frequent sign of allergies to environmental allergens such as mold, pollen, or household dust.

Hot spots usually indicate fleas, but can also be a result of food or contact allergies.

Excessive licking of feet, toes, underbelly and armpits may be a sign of food allergies or contact allergy to grass.

Shaking his head, rubbing his face on the carpet, scratching and biting his body - usually along the edges of his legs, may indicate food allergies or an environmental allergy to common household things such as pollen, spores, or dust.

Dark pigmented skin on the dog's underbelly can mean that the dog has been suffering with chronic allergies in the past.

Food allergies are usually indicated by itchy skin, having more than two bowel movements daily, thinning hair or hair loss, chronic or recurrent ear or skin infections, hot spots, and excessive scratching or biting at skin.

What to Do:

FLEA ALLERGY:
The obvious solution for a flea allergy is to get rid of the fleas. A number of commercial flea dip baths and shampoos are available, as well as medication.

FOOD ALLERGY:
Food allergies can be resolved by switching food to a high quality hypoallergenic food. Your veterinarian can help you decide which may be best for your pet. A good rule of thumb is to avoid foods that contain these common allergens: beef, dairy, chicken, wheat, corn, and soy. Supplementing with Omega 3 & 6 can also help.

ENVIRONMENTAL ALLERGY:
Environmental allergies can be alleviated by regular dusting and housecleaning. Be sure to use unscented milder cleaning products so you don't aggravate the symptoms.

SKIN OR CONTACT ALLERGIES:
For skin or contact related allergies, medicated shampoos (oatmeal, aloe Vera, and eucalyptus ) can be helpful. Follow the directions for use on the bottle, which usually include leaving the shampoo on for a few minutes before rinsing. Reminder: It's important not to bathe your dog too often, (not more than once a month if possible) as it depletes the skin of any natural moisturizing oils and can create a whole other issue with dry skin or dermatitis. If you absolutely need to bathe your dog more often, you should supplement the diet with Omega Oils. Fish oil is effective, but if you can't stand the inevitable fishy dog breath, flaxseed oil works almost as well.

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