Dogs don’t speak English, no matter how badly we wish they could.
They can only tell us what they need by changing the tone of their bark, or that extra long whine that means that they want food right now, or the thumping of their tail when they hear your key rattle in the lock.
This is why being a veterinarian can feel like a guessing game. What is causing that skin rash? What is making your patient hack every time they take a bite of kibble? Why is your patient whining in a corner an hour after they’ve had dinner?
In this blog, we’re going to dive into the ins and outs of food sensitivity testing for dogs, and how it can get you ten steps closer to speaking their language.
Understanding food sensitivities in dogs.
The first thing to understand about food sensitivities is that they are not allergies.
They can be much worse.
Food sensitivities are adverse reactions to certain foods that are triggered by an immune response. Unlike food allergies, which involves an immediate and severe reaction to a specific food, food sensitivities can cause a delayed and less obvious response.
Because of this, they can be difficult to diagnose as the symptoms may not appear for hours or even days after the pup has eaten the offending food.
Common symptoms of food sensitivities.
Food sensitivities can manifest in so many different ways, making the symptoms very difficult to differentiate from other health issues.
At its core, food sensitivities are an inflammatory response that is triggered by the immune system. When a dog with a sensitivity eats a food that their body perceives as a threat, the immune system will respond by producing that inflammatory response.
This inflammation can cause a variety of symptoms including but not limited to skin rashes or itching, diarrhea or vomiting, chronic ear infections, flatulence or bloating, and recurrent hotspots to name a few.
There are alot of different causes for canine food sensitivities, and it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why one dog might have a sensitivity to a protein in salmon where another dog doesn’t have any.
Some common triggers include: proteins found in meats, food additives like preservatives or artificial flavors, and even environmental factors such as pollution. Some breeds may also be more prone to developing sensitivities over others, and genetics may play a role, too.
Why you should offer food sensitivity testing.
Imagine being able to identify the root cause of your patient’s chronic ear infections. Instead of having to perform various tests and send them home with drops, only for them to come back a few weeks later, you can solve the problem for good.
With one simple test.
By pinpointing specific foods that your patient may be sensitive to, you are able to develop a tailored treatment plan that addresses the underlying cause of those chronic ear infections. This can be especially beneficial for dogs who have been suffering from chronic health issues, like our patient above.
Canine preventative care made simple.
Inflammation is a silent killer, not just in humans but also in the animal kingdom.
Food sensitivity testing for dogs is an essential tool in identifying the foods that trigger an inflammatory response, and it should be a part of every comprehensive preventative care plan for your patients. Unlike us, dogs often eat the same food day in and day out, making it even more important to identify problematic foods that can cause inflammation. Feeding them trigger foods constantly can increase the chances of them developing long-term issues with every meal.
By identifying the specific foods that cause an inflammatory response in your patients, you can create a tailored diet that is free from these triggers. This can help prevent future health issues and improve the quality of life for your patients. Additionally, since inflammation can be a contributing factor to many chronic health issues, including skin allergies, gastrointestinal problems, and arthritis, identifying and managing food sensitivities can have far-reaching benefits beyond just the digestive system.
Happy dog, happy parent, happy vet.
Just like humans, every dog is unique, and they all have different dietary needs. So, why don’t we approach their food in the same personalized way?
One of the most significant benefits of food sensitivity testing for dogs is the potential to improve their overall quality of life. Dogs suffering from food sensitivities often experience more discomfort than we realize. While we may notice the physical manifestations of their symptoms, such as ear infections or skin rashes, we often overlook the less visible effects.
Identifying and eliminating problematic foods from their diets can lead to significant improvements in not just their physical health but also their overall well-being. With a tailored diet free from trigger foods, your patients can experience increased energy, improved digestion, and healthier skin and coat. They may also be more active, playful, and generally happier as a result of being free from discomfort caused by food sensitivities.
We all know that the power of knowing is better than the question of guessing, and it’s time to get the answers you need once and for all. Check out our canine food sensitivity test kits today.