If you’ve ruled out fleas and the other obvious causes, you might want to look into allergies. Oh boy – that’s a big topic. Just like with humans, there are so many things that your dog could be allergic to. Let’s look at one of the most common dog allergies: dog food.
Dog food allergies are a very common reason for excessive dog scratching. The dog can be allergic to a whole food item or just a part of that food item (a particular element of that food item).
What causes dog food allergy? When a dog eats, the protein in the food is digested, and substances called glycoproteins pass into the bloodstream. In some dogs, the glycoprotein is recognized as a foreign substance, and the chemicals that cause itching are released.
In a dog, this reaction shows up all over the body with very bad itching.
The treatment for dog food allergies is to first visit your veterinarian to rule out other reasons for the dog scratching. If your vet diagnoses your dog with possible food allergy, he or she will recommend that you try a hypoallergenic dog food.
Whichever hypoallergenic dog food you choose, make sure it is one that does not contain chemical preservatives and uses quality protein and carbohydrate sources, making it less likely for your pet to react to the food. Although it’s probably convenient to pick up a bag at the vet clinic, keep in mind that you can often find a better price at pet stores.
Always purchase a trial pack first and see how well your pet tolerates it. You might not even need to buy a dog food that is officially ”hypoallergenic”. You may find that simply changing your pet’s protein and carbohydrate sources will alleviate allergic reactions.