Although dogs today look far from the wild animals they evolved from, their digestive system is still like that of their cousins in the wild. They eat raw protein from the hunt. However, dogs these days enjoy easy meals scooped up into their personalized dog bowls. These meals may contain ingredients that dogs should not consume.
If you have been noticing your pet’s habit of scratching himself incessantly, look closely and consider a problem related to a food allergy. That way, you can make him switch to a grain- and potato-free dog food or a hypoallergenic protein option. Here are some quick ways to spot food allergies in your canine pet.
Discoloration on Specific Areas
The easiest way to spot an allergy in your dog is finding discoloration on his nail beds and muzzles. This discoloration is due to a chronic state of inflammation in your dog’s body caused by the steady ingestion of food products. If you see that your dog has red, brown, or even bronze nail beds when they should be white, depending on the dog breed, you can safely assume that an allergic reaction is occurring in his body. Also, check his lips, mouth, jowls, and muzzle for the same discoloration that signals inflammation.
The Same Allergy Symptoms in Humans and Your Pet
If you suffer from an allergic reaction from food or environmental sources, then you pretty much know what to look for in your pet. Check your pet’s eyes and tear ducts. If you notice excessive tearing and tear stains, it could be a sign of an allergic reaction. Also, check the common scratch areas and underbelly for red, inflamed, and flaky skin. If combined with a dull and lifeless coat, you can safely assume that your pet may be suffering from a food allergy.
Identifying signs of a food allergy in your dog early on will save you and your pet a lot of trouble and discomfort. If you see these signs, work with your pet’s veterinary care provider to identify specific triggers and adjust his care and diet to improve his quality of life.