10 Signs That Your Dog Has Food Allergies
You know your fur baby better than anyone else. You notice when they’re wagging their tail more than usual or when they seem a little under the weather. So what happens when you start to see some, well, not-so-normal signs? Could it be a food allergy?
Food allergies in dogs are more common than you might think. Unlike us humans who sneeze and sniffle our way through allergies, dogs express their discomfort a little differently. And we’re not just talking about refusing to eat a certain kibble! Read on to discover the 10 signs that might indicate your pup has a food allergy.
Note: While we love providing information, we can’t replace the expert advice of a vet. If you notice any of these signs, book an appointment at one of our Heart + Paw locations for a thorough check-up.
The Difference Between Food Allergies and Food Sensitivities
Before we dive into the signs, let’s clear up some confusion. Food allergies and food sensitivities are not the same thing. Allergies are an immune system response that can be more severe and immediate. Sensitivities, on the other hand, often manifest as digestive issues and may take a little longer to show up. Keep this in mind as we explore the symptoms.
Top 10 Signs Your Dog Has Food Allergies
If you’ve been noticing some odd behaviors or symptoms in your pup, it might be time to investigate. Here are 10 signs that could indicate a food allergy.
1. Itchy Skin
If your dog can’t seem to stop scratching, it might be more than just a random itch. Food allergies can make their skin incredibly itchy, particularly around their paws and ears.
2. Red, Inflamed Skin
Notice some red patches or inflammation? That’s another sign that your pup might be dealing with a food allergy.
3. Chronic Ear Infections
Frequent ear infections can be frustrating and painful for your pup. If you’ve tried treating them and they keep coming back, food allergies could be the culprit.
4. Gastrointestinal Issues
Diarrhea, vomiting, or frequent gas? While these could be signs of different health issues, they may also indicate a food allergy.
5. Dull Coat and Excessive Shedding
If your dog’s fur has lost its shine and seems to be falling out more than usual, this could be an allergic reaction to their food.
6. Paw Licking or Chewing
Excessive paw licking or chewing is a clear sign of discomfort. If it’s more than just a one-time thing, consider it a red flag.
7. Swollen Eyes or Face
Any puffiness around the eyes or face could be an indication that something isn’t right internally.
8. Runny Nose or Sneezing
While not as common as other symptoms, a persistent runny nose or sneezing can also be signs of food allergies in dogs.
9. Behavioral Changes
Is Fido suddenly more irritable or less active than usual? Changes in behavior are often overlooked but could be a significant symptom.
10. Breathing Difficulties
If your dog seems to struggle with breathing or starts coughing a lot, it’s vital to seek veterinary care immediately.
What to Do If You Suspect a Food Allergy
So you’ve gone through the list and a few signs are ringing true for your pooch? The next step is getting a proper diagnosis. This usually involves an elimination diet and some tests that only a certified vet can provide.
If you’ve got concerns, book an appointment at your nearest Heart + Paw location. Our veterinary professionals are well-equipped to diagnose and manage food allergies, helping you and your furry friend get back to a life full of tail-wagging and belly rubs.
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Heart + Paw was founded in 2018 by Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. George Melillo, who currently serves the Mid-Atlantic area. Heart + Paw offers a combination of veterinary care, pet grooming, and dog daycare to help be a resource in your pet parenthood journey.
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