Environmental contaminants, such as dust and mold, can cause allergies in a dog. So can his food, although it takes time to make that diagnosis. Usually, a veterinarian will put a dog on a food elimination diet to determine if he has a food allergy. That means the dog spends eight to ten weeks on a special hypoallergenic diet. If his clinical signs improve on the hypoallergenic diet, he is then challenged with his original diet. If the dog is truly allergic to his food, there will likely be an increase in clinical signs, such as itching and inflamed skin. If these appear, further testing will be needed to determine which specific ingredients trigger the allergy symptoms.
Purina offers hypoallergenic pet foods to suit any type of allergy a dog may have.
It has been estimated that up to 15 percent of dogs suffer from skin allergies, also known as allergic dermatitis. Allergic reactions often lead to skin inflammation, and the most common sign of allergies is scratching. Signs generally occur seasonally, but can extend throughout the year. Your veterinarian can determine the best treatment for your dog with allergies.