Canine Diet and Possible Allergies to Chicken

You try to feed your dog a proper and nutritious diet, even though there is no way to know what his system can handle. Food allergies account for about 10% of all allergies in dogs. Among many other foods, chicken is one ingredient in your dog’s diet that can cause allergies.

An allergy is caused due to an over-response of the immune system to something in the body. You may think your dog has been eating chicken all his life but the amazing fact is that he is the most likely candidate to develop an allergy to this food. Regardless of whether it is a high-priced high-quality food or not, chicken is still the same and has the same ill effects on your dog that is allergic to chicken.

Dogs tend to develop vulnerability to certain foods over time, and later that food may progress into an allergy. Chicken is among the list of the most common foods that cause allergies in dogs. Chicken was used as an aid in digestive problems in dogs (along with rice) only to find that the chicken was the cause of the distress and allergic reactions.

Some of the noticeable symptoms you will see in your dog due to a chicken allergy are excessive scratching, licking, hot spots, itchy skin, hair loss, ear infections and some stomach distress with diarrhea.

It is very difficult to diagnose food allergies. The best method to diagnose a food allergy such as chicken is through trial and error. The trial would consist of feeding your dog a new food such as rabbit and rice, lamb and rice, or venison and potato. There are several commercial diets as well where the proteins and carbohydrates are broken down in smaller granular sizes in order to avoid an allergic response. They are termed ‘limited antigen’ or ‘hydrolyzed protein’ diets. Speak with your veterinarian or your local pet store staff regarding one of these special diets. This should be the only food your dog eats for 12 weeks to monitor any allergic reactions (no other treats). If your dog develops an allergy to a certain food, discontinue its’ use and try something else. After the 12 weeks you can reintroduce the chicken to his diet. If symptoms return, it is confirmed that chicken is indeed the allergy food and your dog will need to change his diet permanently.

In treating the chicken allergy in your dog, on a permanent level, is through the avoidance of that food. In the meantime, to give your dog some relief from all the symptoms he has encountered while going through the test period, there are other alternatives. He may need to be treated with antihistamines or steroids temporarily to heal the itching problems, medications for the hot spots or ear infections if those were some of his side effects. Your veterinarian can advise you best as to the appropriate treatment. Choose a proper healthy diet for your dog to which he is not allergic and can greatly increase his health and comfort.