Itchy skin, Itchy Ears, Excessive Shedding – is your dog allergic to his food?
Skin allergies (itching, chewing and licking) are the number one reason why dogs are brought in to see their vet. Unfortunately, itchy pups have become very common. Itching can have many causes – pollen, mold, grass, parasites, or food. Or it could be a combination of things that overloads your dog’s system.
Health begins from the inside out and the first sign of a nutrient deficit is poor skin and coat health – basically those “non-essential” systems go offline to send nutrition to other, more important systems. Zinc, B-complex vitamins and essential fatty acids are all necessary and, if in short supply due to a poor diet, can manifest in dry, itchy, scaly skin that doesn’t heal as quickly.
Food allergies themselves develop over time, especially if your dog has been eating the same food for a while, because the more he is exposed to an allergen the more sensitive he will become to it. Your dog may also not even be allergic but intolerant of certain foods. The same way people can be lactose intolerant, pet food intolerances vary from pet to pet and severity is dependent on a variety of factors.
Cutting out the following common, low quality food ingredients can help:
Corn Gluten Meal – Touted as an inexpensive, high protein substitute for meat protein, corn isn’t nearly as digestible as pet food manufacturers would have you believe. Many times, it’s not the corn that pets are allergic to, but the contaminants found in this low-quality ingredient. Can contribute to an overabundance of yeast which can manifest in stinky, severe skin infections.
Wheat, Wheat Flour, Wheat Middlings, etc – Often used as an alternate protein source, like corn, that is not nearly as digestible or nutritious as meat. Often found in canned foods as well as a “glue” to hold together meat chunks.Can contribute to an overabundance of yeast which can manifest in stinky, severe skin infections.
Soy, Soybean, Soy Protein Isolate, etc – Yet another inexpensive protein source that is so poorly digestible that dogs simply cannot get the nutrition they need from it.