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Just like their human counterparts, pets can be allergic to a large number of environmental factors and food substances.
Even if your dog isn't allergic to a certain food ingredient, your dog may have an intolerance to that ingredient. Dogs may have symptoms that resemble allergic reactions after eating non-food items, such as cardboard, grass, garbage, animal feces, dead animals, and other items found outside or in the home. Watch your dog carefully for a few days to make sure he or she is not consuming such items, and consider deterrence training if you catch him or her sneaking trash or eating other non-food products.
Once symptoms resolve, you will gradually introduce individual foods until the allergen is identified.
Blood tests are typically used to test for antigen-induced antibodies, which can then help your vet determine what antigen is causing your dog's reaction.[13] Consult with your veterinarian on what tests and procedures would work best for your pet. Even if you have not changed your dog’s food, it is possible that the manufacturer has recalled certain batches of pet food due to contamination with bacteria, dust mites, or other potential allergens. Before making drastic changes to your dog’s diet, consider revoking additions such as biscuits, treats, and table scraps. Do not attempt to feed your dog a home-cooked meal on a permanent basis without instruction from a veterinarian.


Consult your veterinarian or an emergency clinic immediately if your dog presents any severe, life-threatening symptoms.
This version of How to Determine if Your Dog Has Food Allergies was reviewed by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS on June 10, 2015. Certain dyes, fillers, and processed meats, grains, and proteins can cause allergies in dogs just as in humans.
True allergies usually manifest with itching and skin irritation, whereas food intolerances typically result in strictly gastrointestinal issues.[6] No matter what your pet's reaction is, it's important to narrow down the problem ingredient and remove it from your pet's diet.
Switch your dog from his current food to a food without the suspected allergen over the course of four days.
It is essential to avoid all other foods while on the hypoallergenic diet, in order to avoid false results. Some veterinarians may be able to coach you through a temporary home-cooked food elimination diet for your dog.
Certain tests may identify specific food allergens with little difficulty, while others may only give information about foods to which your dog does not have an allergy. The general conclusion is they aren't particularly helpful, and the gold standard remains putting the dog on a dietary trial.


Check the FDA’s Animal and Veterinary pet food recall link to find out if your pet’s food has been recalled. You may also want to try avoiding the use of any spray deterrents applied to nails, fur, or household items that your dog may be licking or chewing. Dogs need a different nutritional balance from humans to be healthy, and without formal instruction few people are able to provide an adequate diet.
If a dog eats animal feces, treats, or human food while on the trial, these could trigger the allergy, making it impossible to know if the dietary trial is working or not. This will help you determine with certainty what ingredient or additive is causing your pet's allergy. Once triggered, the resulting inflammation in the bowel can stick around for weeks, so the trigger may be long gone but the symptoms persist.
This is why the pet needs to stay on the special diet for a minimum of eight to twelve weeks.



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