Tag Archives: Food

Working With Your Dog’s Food Allergy

There are many signs that your dog could have a food allergy. The list is almost endless, but the main culprits are itchy skin, a dull and/or frizzy coat, inflamed ears, excessive licking of certain areas (paws for example), lethargy, diarrhea (even projectile stools), blood, mucous or both in the stool, gas and possibly even vomiting. These, coupled with horror stories of owners coming home from work to find their living rooms sprayed with sick-dog diarrhea can all be symptoms of dog food allergies. Some symptoms can be a lot more dangerous, like seizures or negative behavior changes. When dealing with your dog’s food allergies you need to understand, change and monitor the dog’s diet and reactions.

A dog owner should keep in mind that most reputable dog foods don’t contain corn, soy or wheat. Another part of the understanding of a dog’s allergies is to comprehend the grains used to make dog food. If your dog’s food does contain any of those “filler grains” it might be wise to continue looking for a different food. Corn, soy and wheat are grains that pet food companies fortify their food with because they are relatively cheap products. But not only that, these three grains are regular allergy culprits.

If you have changed your dog’s food in the recent past, this is a telltale reason as to why your dog may be acting sick. A general rule of thumb when changing a dog’s diet is to gradually introduce new food into his diet. 25% percent at a time over the period of ten days. This basically breaks down to a 25% increase in the new food and a 25% decrease in the old food every 2 to 3 days. Some dogs adjust well, and some dogs need a more gradual shift. The main point here is that sometimes what looks like an allergic reaction is simply your dog having an upset stomach while re-calibrating his intestines to a different diet.

In order to get your dog back on track if he is indeed suffering from a food allergy is to completely monitor his food intake. This means a “reloading” of his entire diet. Tackling your dog’s food allergy starts with changing what your dog consumes while assessing what he has been consuming. This also means that there can be no cheating and that the diet needs to be strict. Look for hypoallergenic foods. Follow the above principle of a 25% shift in food every few days. Things get complicated at this point however, because the words “hypoallergenic” don’t necessarily mean that your dog won’t be allergic to the food. An example of this is lamb. Lamb is what used to be considered as the “ultimate” hypoallergenic meat. Lamb allergies while not common, are possible as well. So whatever exclusive diet you decide upon for your dog it should fit whatever your dog works with. This could take some trial and error, or it could work nicely and immediately.

Corn, soy and wheat may not be the best grains to fortify your dog’s diet with, but brown rice and potatoes are both starches that receive more respect, and have a better track record as far as dog allergies go. Let’s assume that you choose a chicken and rice diet. You could prepare the chicken and boil the rice. This way you will know what your dog is consuming, how it was prepared, etc, etc. Hopefully, you will notice an immediate improvement. Most people queried on this subject for this article were very secure with the fact that the determination of a food allergy is started with home cooking your dog’s meals. What this betrays is a general mistrust in store-bought dog food. But we also have to be realistic here, some of us simply don’t have the time or patience to boil copious amounts of chicken breasts and brown rice. If that is indeed your case, then another method is to scrutinize the dog food that is on the market and find that which seems the simplest, healthiest, and most suited for your dog.

Dog food allergies are unpredictable, much like human allergies. An example of this is that most people are born drinking milk. They drink it through their adolescence but then as adults, they develop a lactose intolerance. Dogs are similar in the fact that they might eat the same thing their entire life and then suddenly a latent allergy kicks in.

As I researched this article, I found that the most heartening fact is that if your dog isn’t allergic to the food that you settle on, the positive change can be immediate. When working with your dog’s food allergies you need to comprehend, adjust and watch your dog’s demeanor as well as his food. A dog is a resilient creature, and when you find the proper diet for your pet, he will bounce back quickly.

Dog Food Recall Explodes from Cross Contamination

Menu Foods, manufacturer of more than 100 brands of dog food subject to recall, due to contaminated wheat gluten causing kidney failure and death in thousands of dogs, today significantly expanded that recall.

Now, dog food not made with suspect wheat gluten but manufactured at the same facilities as previously recalled dog food, has been added to the list. The reason, cross contamination.
Evidence of cross contamination has been reported to Menu Foods from a consumer and study results, according to its own press release.

The continuing expansion of the dog food recall, while reports of kidney failure and death in dogs dominate many news channels, point to a deeper flaw in the manufacture and marketing of dog food.

That problem is the almost ‘Wild West’ atmosphere in which virtually any ingredient could be included in dog food, labeled a nutrient using deceptive wording, and sold to unsuspecting dog owners intent on buying a healthy dog food product.

This has been easy for the dog food industry as there is virtually no regulation in this area. The FDA is under financed and has insufficient manpower to monitor plant production. Animal food does not have to meet the same standards as human grade food. As a result, inclusions labeled as protein sources are frequently far more sinister on its face than labels suggest.

The dog food industry was founded in America has an answer to business demands for a viable and profitable outlet for industrial waste which includes diseased animal parts, buy-products, fillers and slaughterhouse refuse.

That the current dog food recall continues to dominate worldwide attention is evidence of a widespread disregard by the dog food industry for the well being of dogs and pets worldwide.

In a laughable response to a recent U.S. Senate hearing the pet food industry proclaimed their products “safe” while dogs and cats lay dead and dying in veterinary hospitals from the United States to South Africa.

Dog owners should not be shocked at news of the unhealthy nature of dog food products, when even regulated human food supplies are at risk.

Caroline Smith DeWaal of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Stated recently that “We see the pet food recall as a warning sign for the government that they need to do more to protect the food supply,” “It could easily happen to an ingredient used in human food as well.”

So what should a dog owner do?

o Make sure that your dog is not being fed any of the dog food subject to recall.

o If at all possible, start feeding your dog a diet that is natural and healthy for both Fido’s health and your wallet. An example of such a dog food diet can be seen at : http://www.dogs-4life.com/raw-vs-kibble.html

o If your dog shows any signs of illness, contact your veterinarian immediately. If contaminated dog food is the cause of illness in your dog, time is of the absolute essence.