Canine food allergies
The food allergy is one of the itchiest conditions known to cat and dog. Animals eat a variety of processed food proteins, fillers, and colorings, which are further processed inside their bodies. Proteins may be combined or changed into substances recognized by the immune system as foreign invaders to be attacked. The resulting inflammation may target the GI tract or other organ systems but, in dogs and cats, it is the skin that most often suffers from this immunologic activity.
Many people erroneously assume itching due to food allergy requires a recent diet change of some sort. In fact, the opposite is true.
Food allergy requires time to develop; most animals have been eating the offending food for years with no trouble.
Home cooked or freshly prepared diets have long been the strongest option felt to be appropriately free of allergens. On occasion, they are the only option and are necessary for the health, comfort, and longevity of the dog.
The basic canine food allergy lesion distribution includes signs of:
- Facial itching
- Foot or limb chewing
- Belly itching
- Recurrent ear infections
- Dry, itchy, or flaky skin