Up until recently, it was really difficult to find a dog food that was hypoallergenic. We know because we had to find some for Bruce after he was becoming poorly due to his diet. The challenges we had when trying to find the right food to help him feel happy and healthy were exactly why we decided to start McDug Nutrition.
But what does it mean to have your dog on a hypoallergenic diet? We wanted to break down some of the facts behind this way of feeding your canine pal.
What is a food intolerance or allergy?
Food intolerances can make your dog feel potentially very unwell - common symptoms can look like:
- Itchy, irritated skin
If you do spot any of these symptoms, you should always consult your vet since these symptoms could be indicative of other health issues that need to be ruled out.
Most intolerances or allergies are confirmed by an exclusion diet where you remove all the most common allergens (such as beef, chicken, and wheat), check to see if the symptoms have subsided and then slowly adding each ingredient back in. When the symptoms return, you’ll know which food is causing the problem.
If your vet does confirm that there’s a food allergy or intolerance, the easiest way to resolve the issue is to remove the offending ingredient(s) from your dog’s diet. Once you know the protein type (i.e. beef, lamb, or chicken) or wheat & grains you can remove this from the dog’s diet.
At this stage, it’s important that when you remove elements from your dog’s diet, you should be replacing it with something they haven’t tried yet. For example, if they’ve always only ever had chicken or beef food, try them on lamb or duck recipes such as the ones we have in our Simply Good range
How do hypoallergenic diets help?
Hypoallergenic dog food will avoid the use of the most common food allergens like the ones listed above - either through using less-commonly seen protein sources (i.e. lamb or salmon) or being created with limited protein and carbohydrate sources (i.e. only containing chicken and rice) so you can be sure the elimination diet is being followed.
If your dog has an intolerance or allergy to certain proteins, it’s important to make sure that you know exactly what meat is being used within the recipe - you could end up with a poorly dog if the food or treats contain some traces of other meat sources and you’re not aware. This is why the McDug Nourish Plus range is perfect - with only single source protein in each recipe, you can be sure of exactly what you’re giving your dog.
At McDug Nutrition, you’ll find our labels clearly marked with all the proteins you can find in each recipe as well as the carbohydrate source to make it extra simple to check exactly what you’re feeling your dog with. And if you want to know how to understand dog food labels better, why not check out our blog from the other week?