Definition of Food Allergies
Food allergies, also referred to as food hypersensitivities or adverse food reactions, are abnormal immune responses to something in a dog’s diet. Some common causes of food allergies in dogs are beef, pork, fish, lamb, chicken, dairy products, grains, potatoes, eggs, soy products and a variety of different dietary supplements. Poorly digestible proteins also can cause food allergies. When the immune system senses that something is foreign, it remembers the offending substance and tries to get rid of it every time it comes into contact with it. Dogs with food allergies are very itchy. They scratch, have raised skin bumps and lose their hair. Some vomit and develop diarrhea. Food allergies typically show up in young dogs less than one year of age. Fortunately, they usually are manageable. Treatment requires plenty of time, money, dedication and patience on the part of the dog’s owner.