Allergy Testing for Dogs. Does Your Dog Need an Allergy Test?
When a dog presents with inflamed, itchy skin that responds poorly to medication, a vet quite often suspects allergies and will often recommend steroids or allergy testing.
Steroids are not a long term solution to the problem – they deal with the symptoms, not the root cause of the issue and cause their own health issues with long term usage
Allergy tests can be costly and often the results are a long list of ‘potential’ allergens which makes feeding your dog an impossible task (we have had dogs come in with ‘water’ on their list…). Many owners come to us clutching their results, simply at a loss of how to proceed to make their dog’s life happier and less itchy.
At Dragonfly, we believe an elimination diet is a simple, pain-free and effective approach to identifying your dog’s allergy or allergies. Our simplistic overview below will give you an understanding of our approach.
Actual allergies in dogs (think of the severity of a human with a nut allergy) are quite rare, however, food sensitivity and intolerances are far more common. Typical symptoms may include itchy skin, gnawing between toes, recurring gut problems, poor coat, weepy eyes and an agitated or restless state. Putting your dog on an elimination / single protein diet is a great place to start working through what they may be allergic to.
The process for an elimination diet is simple. It involves gradual elimination of foods in order to work out which one or ones your dog is allergic or sensitive to. To start, it is best to shift your dog to a diet that has none of the more common allergen proteins and carbohydrates such as chicken, grain and vegetables. This gives you a baseline to start from.
Once you have done this and your pooch has gone 14 days without symptoms, you can then start gradually introducing one protein at a time. By adding the protein to their normal daily meal, you can see what causes your dog to react. If their symptoms start returning after introducing that specific protein or food, then you know that your dog has an allergy or sensitivity to it and to avoid feeding it to them in the future.
Try chicken, beef, lamb, fish, pork, duck, turkey as well as eggs and different vegetables.
If you need further advice the Dragonfly team are on hand to help both in store and over the phone – we deal with elimination diets and allergies day in day out so even if you want to just ‘pick our brains’ we are more than happy to discuss it with you.
We stock several different single protein foods and treats.
We also stock our Itch Away allergy relief powder which may also help soothe irritation and also help with seasonal allergies such as pollen sensitivity (hayfever).
Laura, Dolly & Reggie