Need some advice about choosing a food for your dog with an allergy?
Unsure if your dog is allergic to something?
Common symptoms of an intolerance / allergy:
- hot skin
- excessively licking paws (sore / red)
- itchy coat
- flaking skin
- sore /hot ears
- recurrent ear infections
- loose stools
- bloody stools
- excessive wind
If your dog is suffering from any of the above, please see your vet (who may recommend sensitivity tests), as it's important to determine if your dog could have an intolerance / an allergy (the latter could be quite more serious)
You may wish to try a change of food, as some ingredients are known to cause problems in some dogs, and the following are classed as allergens (which means they are known to cause reactions in some, but not all dogs):
- Beef (yes, Beef, which is in many dog foods!)
- Dairy Produce (mainly milk - this is usually found in puppy foods)
- Soya (a source of protein which is often used as a cheap filler in dog foods)
- Artificial Additives (E numbers basically) - such as preservatives, flavour enhancers and preservatives
If you have a dog that seems to be having a reaction, it could be worth trying to find a diet that is free from the above ingredients. Vets may say to cut out wheat, but I would recommend our Premium range as a start, as these are ALL Hypoallergenic (so none of the above ingredients, including wheat)
The Gluten Free Debate:
If you are looking for a Gluten Free Dog food then I think that you will find it very difficult as the term Gluten Free is often misunderstood...
In my experience, almost all extruded dry dog food tends to contain cereals (although there are some cereal free options on the market).
CEREALS CONTAIN GLUTEN - NOT JUST WHEAT - Tinned food is also made in the same way (by the same process of extrusion as dry food) so wet is therefore highly likely to contain cereals as well. So if you are feeing dry or tinned dog food - it's very likely to contain gluten, even if it's wheat free (unless of course you are buying something that is specifically cereal free)...
- The most common type of gluten that people actually wish to avoid is WHEAT GLUTEN as this is known to cause allergic reactions in some dogs.
If you have been advised to try your dog on a Wheat Gluten Free dog food, then there is a wide selection on the market, but these may still contain other 'allergens', so unless a blood test has confirmed that it is definitely wheat that is causing your dog problems, I would always recommend a HYPOALLERGENIC diet over a food that is simply WHEAT GLUTEN FREE... (see our Premium & Super Premium ranges for availability).
The Soya Debate:
Soya is an ingredient which can appear on labels as 'soya', 'hi-pro soya' or the more loose term; 'vegetable protein extract'. It is a protein source that comes from soy beans. Basically, soy beans are crushed to extract oil (which is used for other industries), and what is left (known as the 'bean meat') is used to increase the protein levels in some products. It is added to some makes of dog food as it means the manufacturer can then use less meat (so it tends to be found in cheaper foods, but also surprisingly, it is also in some expensive brands as well)...
Whilst most dogs have no problems eating a food that contains Soya, I am aware that generally speaking, Soya is frowned upon by a lot of consumers who see it as a 'false protein' or 'filler'. I suppose that as a consumer, when you look at a dog food label to check out the protein content- one would usually assume the protein as coming from meat, not a pulse...
- The other issue is that soya is a known allergen / irritant, which means that can cause reactions and digestive upset in some, but not all dogs.
I do notice that when we get enquiries or new orders from breeders and kennels, they usually ask for a food that does not contain this ingredient -so it would seem that the professionals want to avoid it too.
To clarify, none of our dog food contains soya protein.
Our Premium Range (red bags) and Super Premium Range (Black bags) are all HYPOALLERGENIC, fixed formulation, and single protein source.
If you suspect that your dog has an allergy, please do see a vet and get this confirmed as some of the above symptoms could possibly caused by more serious matters which might require medical attention.
- Whilst a change of diet could help, you could find yourself forking out for an expensive dog food, and see no improvement / or you may possibly even aggravate the issue... so it is best to get advice from a professional, and most vets are happy to offer free dietary advice these days if you have any concerns.
If you would like any advice about dog food, please contact us and we will do our best to help!
Thank you for reading!
Mad Dog Marketing Limited