Is your dog showing common allergy symptoms? There is nothing to be worried about because the allergy season has already begun and skin reactions are completely normal for sensitive dogs. Unfortunately, some dog allergies last the entire year. These kinds of reactions are usually caused by different foods that your dog is sensitive to.
A healthy diet is very important for a dog’s well-being because poor food choices can cause different health-related issues. If you’ve been looking for a solution that can help relieve your dog’s allergy symptoms, you’ve come to the right place! Changing your dog’s diet can significantly reduce skin allergies, if not get rid of them completely. Keep on reading to learn what is the best dog food for labs with skin allergies!
What Causes Allergies in Dogs?
If you’ve ever experienced an allergy on your skin, then you already know how your dog feels right now. Dogs experience the same kind of discomfort as humans do when it comes to allergic reactions on the skin. Skin allergies can get quite nasty if they are not treated properly and in time. Your dog’s skin will be very itchy and even painful if the allergy is not treated right away.
So, you might be wondering what causes allergies in dogs? Allergies, in general, are a response of the immune system to certain substances. Much like humans, dogs can be sensitive to a wide range of substances, including the ones they eat and the ones they breathe in. However, the most common cause of allergies in dogs is food. That is why it is important to change the dog’s diet as soon as you notice a change in their behavior or any visible allergy symptoms. If you’re not sure what kind of symbols to look for, read the following section!
Common Symptoms to Look For
If your dog starts experiencing allergic reactions you will definitely notice a change in their behavior. Unfortunately, dogs cannot tell us when something is wrong so we have to look for small clues to figure out if they are in pain. As a dog owner, you should be familiar with common allergy symptoms in order to be able to react in time. As soon as you spot one of the following symptoms of a possible allergic reaction, make sure to take the dog to a veterinarian.
The most common allergic reactions include inflamed skin and redness. This feels very uncomfortable, which is why you will often see your dog itching or rubbing their skin on furniture or nearby objects. If your dog is scratching more than usual, it might be a sign that something is not okay. Increased itching will cause the skin to break and eventually create scabs. If you notice that your dog has scabbed skin, it is likely that the allergic reaction was present for a longer period of time.
Another sign that your dog might be allergic to certain substances could be ear infections. One or two ear infections in a year are nothing to be worried about. However, if the ear infections keep coming back after treatment, it might be a red flag indicating that your dog is allergic to something in its environment. Besides skin inflammation, itching, and ear infections, other symptoms to look out for include excessive licking of the skin (more specifically the paws), diarrhea, hair loss, sneezing, and vomiting.
How to Find the Best Dog Food for Labs with Skin Allergies
Once you determine that your dog has some type of an allergic reaction, you have to pay attention to the dog’s diet. Unlike humans, dogs cannot take a test to find out what they’re allergic to. In fact, determining a specific substance your dog is sensitive to is a bit more difficult. One of the ways to properly diagnose an allergy includes testing foods and different diets. The process includes feeding your dog a specific ingredient while eliminating other ingredients that might be the cause of the reaction.
Of course, before you start experimenting with different diets, take your dog to the vet to determine that its condition is, in fact, an allergic reaction, not something more serious. Once you’ve got the serious problems out of the way, begin with the limited ingredient diet. This diet is known as LID for short and it includes feeding your dog foods that are made of simple ingredients. These foods don’t contain too many ingredients, which makes it easy to determine what your dog could be allergic to.
You should also keep in mind that dogs can become allergic to a certain type of food if they eat it for too long. For example, if you’ve been feeding your dog the same dry food for over two years, it is likely that the dog will develop some sort of allergy to its ingredients. Therefore, make sure to switch things up regularly and keep your dog’s diet diverse. The only way to improve the dog’s condition when it comes to skin allergies caused by food is to remove specific ingredients from the diet.
So, how do you find the right food for your dog’s diet? You have to start by experimenting with products that contain one novel source of protein and carbs. A novel ingredient is essentially an ingredient that your dog hasn’t been eating before. If you’re wondering what meat is good for dogs, these are some of the best options: duck, rabbit, and lamb for protein. Ingredients such as sweet potato or oatmeal are some of the best sources of carbs. Once you find a suitable LID food with a novel ingredient, feed it to your dog for 12 weeks and pay whether the allergic reactions will disappear.
Luckily, many dog food manufacturers offer limited ingredient diet foods, which makes it easier to mix things up and test what foods your dog will react to. We will also discuss making homemade dog food and what kind of benefits come with it. But first, take a look at our top three choices of manufactured limited ingredient dog foods. Each of these products was tested for quality so you don’t have to worry about any negative reactions.
Top Three Foods to Buy
1. Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Dry Dog Food with Lamb
Our first choice is the LID grain-free dry dog food by Nature’s Variety, one of the most popular pet supply manufacturers. Their line of limited ingredient foods contains products made of premium sources of protein such as lamb, rabbit, turkey. Each of their LID products contains a combination of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
On top of that, they offer unique sources of carbs such as peas and tapioca. Many of their LID products feature a green tea extract coating, which gives the food a special aroma that will make your dog love it! Overall, Nature’s Variety offers three different types of limited ingredient diet kibbles for adults and one type for smaller breeds.
2. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Salmon and Potato
The Wellness Simple LID grain-free dog food features original and genuine recipes and ingredients. Their LID food line includes different options for dogs in all growth stages, from puppies to adult labs and different breeds. Most importantly, they created a special line of food products called Core, which was designed specifically for dogs with skin issues. The line includes both kibbles and canned food so you can add some variety to your dog’s food bowl. Different textures and flavors will certainly make lunchtime more appealing.
This specific LID grain-free dog food includes ingredients such as salmon and potatoes. They also offer different options with high-quality proteins such as chicken, turkey, and whitefish. Another one of their limited ingredient diet product lines is called Simple since it contains products featuring only simple ingredients. The line consists of a total of six different dry food recipes. With so many options, you can easily make sure your dog gets the right nutritious values in every meal.
3. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Food
Last but not least, our third choice when it comes to high-quality LID foods is the grain-free food from Blue Buffalo. Blue Buffalo offers a wide range of high-quality dog food products. Their food contains beneficial protein sources combined with healthy fats and supplements to keep your dog healthy and energized. Most importantly, they offer multiple allergy-friendly products with simple recipes that suit limited ingredient diets.
They offer an entire line of limited ingredient diet products called the Blue Buffalo Basics. The line includes products with protein sources such as turkey, salmon, lamb, and duck. If you want to add extra variety to your dog’s diet, you should also consider their high-protein Wilderness line, which contains multiple novel protein options and grain-free sources of healthy carbs.
How to Make Dry Dog Food in Bulk
Even though many manufacturers offer LID foods, homemade meals are often the best choice for improving your dog’s health and well-being. Meals such as homemade dog food with chicken and sweet potatoes will truly make your dog wag its tail during lunch time. Unfortunately, we don’t always have enough time to prepare every single meal at home so we have to look for alternative solutions.
If you still want to put some effort into making homemade dog food, you should consider making dry dog food in bulk. It would be easier to make a larger amount of food at once and have enough to last the entire week. That way you won’t have to go through the cooking process every day. Without further ado, here is a guide on how to make dry dog food in bulk!
What You Will Need for This Tutorial
Ingredients and items you will need for this tutorial include the following:
- Four eggs
- Cup of oil
- Cookie sheet
- 6 cups of flour(any kind)
- One cup of powdered milk
- 2 and a half cups of liquid (milk, water, or broth)
1. Mix Dry Ingredients
To begin with, find two bowls of similar size. Mix the dry ingredients, that is, the powdered milk and the flour in one bowl.
2. Mix Liquid Ingredients
Then mix the liquid ingredients in the second bowl. The liquid ingredients include four eggs, oil, and two and a half cups of a liquid of your choice. You can choose between milk, water, or broth. Chicken broth is a great option if you want to improve the flavor of the food. However, since we are making food for dogs with skin allergies, it is best to stick to water as the simplest ingredient.
3. Add Dry Ingredients to Liquid Ones
Once you mix the two kinds of ingredients in separate bowls, put them all together in one larger bowl. Stir the mixture until it turns into firm, moist dough. You can add more liquid to make the mixture more consistent if necessary
4. Prepare Dough for Cooking
Use a ½ inch thick cookie sheet to spread the dough evenly. You can either shape the dough according to your preferences or crack it into smaller pieces after it has cooked.
5. Start Cooking
Once the dough is spread on the cookie sheet, place it inside the oven. You can either cook it at 200 degrees for one hour or turn the oven up to 350 degrees for 45 minutes. It depends on how much time you have.
6. Let it Cool
After the dough is cooked, let it cool down completely and crack it into smaller pieces. Store it in a dry bowl for your dog to eat later on.
Dog allergies are not a serious issue as long as you take care of them in time. If you notice your dog scratching too aggressively or avoiding his food, make sure to take him to a vet for an examination. In case of an allergic reaction, make sure to test different diets and ingredients to determine which foods suit your dog best.
Don’t forget that there are plenty of LID foods available on the market but you can also make homemade dog food quite easily. Follow our guide to learn how to make dry dog food in bulk and save some time throughout your week! Let us know if you’ve enjoyed this article and if you’d like to see more similar content!