The digestive tract of the dog is ideal for digesting protein, unlike humans, a dog’s gut has a very acidic pH, making it equipped to resist pathogenic bacteria but not to digest grains.
By feeding your dog processed food, you may be increasing their risk of bloat. Most commercial foods are highly processed and when your dog eats kibble with grain, it turns into porridge. The stomach doesn’t need to work very hard to digest it, and over time the stomach wall muscles become weak.
A weak stomach is much more prone to dilation and gas build-up which happens especially with carbohydrate rich foods. Therefore grain-based foods are one of the main sources of stomach bloat in dogs.
How owners could be mistaking their dog’s food allergies with Spring allergies.
Many dog owners come spring time may notice heightened dog irritations and put this down to the change in season, where it may possibly be a food allergy.
“its common for both humans and animals to experience the symptoms of allergies when springs comes around and there’s more pollen in the air, and often the season is blamed for these irritations in our pooches,” said dog owner and business owner Abby Mcloughlin.
“while the season may be to blame it is also possible that the symptoms their dog is suffering comes from a deeper issue relating to food and diet”.
“although their dogs may have never had symptoms of allergies, development of these allergies around spring either maybe coincidental or could be exacerbated by a combination of spring and food allergies,” she said.
“food allergies in previously healthy dogs can appear later in life due to more and more exposure to the allergen for example grain, and so it’s important to determine that this is the case rather than blaming spring time.”
“food allergies and environmental allergies can be quite alike but one key difference can be digestive upset such as gas, diarrhea and vomiting, but also as one or several of the following symptoms-itching, red irritated eyes, nasal discharge, coughing, inflamed ears or swollen paws”.
Miss Mcloughlin suggests to start with an elimination diet to determine if your dogs in possibly affected by food allergies. This involves:
- choosing one protein they have never or rarely had before, fish is a great choice as its also loaded with anti-allergen Omega-3’s.
- one grain free carbohydrate source for example sweet potato, chickpeas, kidney beans.
- meals should be 2 parts carbohydrate and 1 part protein, never let the protein be under 25% of the meal
- Remove all treats and snacks
- After 6-8 weeks you should observe some improvement and if so push trial to 10-12 weeks to be certain and if not you may have to change protein source or conclude the allergen might be outside the food bowl.
After her own dog Archie developed symptoms of allergies at 8 months and only having a short term affect with medications, she decided to determine if the food in Archie’s diet was possibly contributing to his severe symptoms. Shortly after his irritations had significantly reduced so she started making her own homemade, balanced, grain-free, hypoallergenic food and found other dog owners who also benefited from this diet, so doggydinners.com.au was born.