SIGNS OF ALLERGIES + INTOLERANCES IN DOGS
Many pet parents believe itching, scratching, and other symptoms are just 'part of being a dog', but they are not! These symptoms (and more) can be indicators that one or more food and/or environmental substances may be causing your dog discomfort.
An intolerance or sensitivity is primarily driven by a gastrointestinal response. These responses can be symptomatic conditions that are not true allergic reactions such as digestive disturbances and cramps. Intolerances and sensitivities can be ‘reset’ by removing or reducing consumption of the trigger for a period of time (up to 45 days).
An allergy is typically driven by an immune response in the body and affects multiple organ systems in the body. An allergy can trigger symptoms similar to those triggered by intolerances/sensitivities.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR DOG HAS AN INTOLERANCE
1) Talk to your veterinarian.
2) Review your dog's day-to-day routine.
3) Consider getting your dog tested for intolerances or allergies.
4) If you suspect an ingredient or environmental substance, receive positive test results that identify a certain ingredient or environmental substance as a trigger for your dog, consider eliminating it from your dog's routine.
5) Consider implementing a rotational diet for your dog.
6) Find foods that include reparative/restorative ingredients like turmeric and cinnamon to help with inflammation or ginger to soothe digestive upset, and consider implementing these foods in your dog's diet.
TALK TO YOUR VET
You and your vet know your dog the best. Your vet’s advice is very important to the overall health and well-being of your dog, but you play an important role in this process. Education on all health matters is very important! The more you know, the better you can help your dog live a happy + healthful life.
CHECK YOUR DOG'S ENVIRONMENT
When you are presented with symptoms of allergies or intolerances in your dog, look at their routine. Common symptoms of allergies and intolerances can come from sources other than food! Think about their day-to-day activities to try to find what else could be causing their discomfort, such as:
Water: Is it filtered? Unfiltered water may have minerals/chemicals that kill good + bad gut bacteria in the stomach. Filtered water has a direct correlation to gut health!
Exercise: Pay attention to their behavior when exercising, their environment, and things they come into contact with such as plants, pollen, etc. If you see your dog eating grass or rubbing in plants and flowers, you may want to eliminate that from the routine to cross out an environmental insensitivity.
Antibiotics + Medications: Medications such as antibiotics, flea and tick treatments, and other remedies can affect your dog's gut health and have side affects.
Cleaning Products: Carpet + floor cleaners and surface cleaners can be licked/ingested or come into contact with your dog's skin on a recurring basis which can cause a reaction to the chemicals in those products. Going as 'green' can help prevent too much repeated chemical exposure to your dog (and help the planet)! Our experts recommend Seventh Generation household cleaners and My Green Fills Truly Free everyday cleaners for a more 'green' cleaning solution!
CONSIDER AN INTOLERANCE OR ALLERGY TEST
Get your dog tested for ingredient + environmental intolerances or allergies.
An intolerance test can be a great way to see what ingredient(s) and environmental substances are triggering your dog’s symptoms in their current state at the time of testing. These tests can be less expensive (they typically range from $150 - $300), and significantly less invasive and stressful for your dog!
A con is that these tests won’t tell you if your dog is allergic to a specific ingredient, but it will narrow the list down to potential suspects.
An allergy test is a procedure typically administered by your veterinarian and determines specifically what your dog has an immune response to, indicating a static allergy. These tests give you a clear idea as to what your dog will never be able to ingest or be exposed to in their lifetime.
Some cons to allergy tests are they almost always require exposure to the allergens in question and are performed at your veterinarian’s office, which can induce significant stress, anxiety, and pain for your pup. These tests are more costly and average at $350-$500 per test or more.
ELIMINATION DIETS WITH LIMITED INGREDIENTS
If you suspect your dog's symptoms are triggered by a certain ingredient, restrict this ingredient from your dog's diet. You can accomplish this by trying limited-ingredient diets and keeping track of what foods help, and what don't. Cross referencing the ingredients within these foods can give you an idea of what ingredient(s) are bothering your pup! Be sure to pay attention to synthetic nutrients in your dog's food. Synthetic nutrients have been known to cause imbalances/irritation for dog's who are sensitive to lab-made vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
Pros: This process is easy to do yourself.
Con: It can be expensive because you may have to try multiple varieties of foods. It also can take a very long time if done properly, as it can take up to 45 days for an intolerance to present symptoms or for symptoms to improve. This prolongs your dog's discomfort and can be time-consuming!
Pro tip: COAST+RANGE foods nourish your dog with nature - not something made in a lab! We use high-quality animal proteins + reputably-sourced simple ingredients to gently-bake a food that not only meets or exceeds AAFCO nutrient requirements, but gives your dog optimal levels of nutrition without cheap fillers, synthetic nutrients, or artificial colors + preservatives. Because our formulas contain limited ingredients, they are great for elimination diets.
ADD VARIETY BY ROTATING YOUR DOG’S DIET
Implement a rotational diet for your dog by feeding them a range of nutrient-dense ingredients from multiple sources. Rotational diets can help avoid the development of food sensitivities caused by repeated or over-exposure to ingredients. You can rotate foods however frequently you'd like (monthly, weekly, daily) to ensure your dog is benefiting from a diverse profile of key nutrients!
There are NO cons to rotational diets! Just like for humans, switching up your dog's food will make their bodies and their tastebuds happy!
Pro Tip: With COAST+RANGE, we make it easy to feed your dog different foods by shipping a rotating variety of formulas for your dog! Email, live chat, or call COAST+RANGE to set up a rotation that meets your dog's unique needs.
ORDER OR TRY A SAMPLE
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