Dogs’ food allergies

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DOGS’ BEHAVIOUR: Food has a vast effect.

FOOD has a vast effect on dogs’ behaviour as indeed we learn from feeding children wrong food where behaviour is affected.

Food allergies can cause dermatological discomfort. It has been estimated that at least 50 per cent of all skin problems in cats and dogs are caused by dietary allergies.

These can be triggered in minutes, hours or days. Sensitivity to an allergy caused by a protein can often be lifelong.

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Some dogs can digest the lactose in cows’ milk while the undigested lactose quickly produces an upset stomach with others. This is not a true allergy but demonstrates how sensitive to certain food pets can be.

Stop the milk and your pet’s life will look up immediately. Most dogs react in some way to incorrect feeding and, apart from allergic reactions, flatulence and inconsistent stool quality and large smelly motions can result.

If the balance of the food is incorrect hyperactivity or, indeed, low activity can be the consequence. Protein used up for energy can produce a loss of coat and skin vitality.

Many owners give far too many vitamins – a well-balanced diet should not have to be supplemented. Scratching, licking and digging could be an indication of an allergic reaction to food and the eating of grass, twigs and roots sometimes is an indication that the food is not being digested properly.

The destruction of fibre-based material could be another sign that there is a craving for fibre to help the digestive process in some way. Many pet shops and vets are now selling artificial bones. But beware of anything coloured since this must have an additive. I would only buy one which had a label stating what chemicals had been added. These toys have been known to cause hyperactivity and low activity. If your dog needs something to chew then try a Kong or rope stuffed with goodies which can occupy your pet for hours.

The dried food I recommend are Hills Science Diet, Eucanubu, Royal Canine and any food recommended by a vet. Do not buy cheap food in a supermarket and you should see a change in behaviour in 48 hours.

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