Our dogs are our best friends. They are there, tail wagging and tongue lolling when we need them the most. What would you give to help your best friend live longer? What would you give to make them happier?
Improving the quality of your dog’s life doesn’t mean a complete move or an entire overhaul of your own life. Honestly, it’s as simple as taking a closer look at what you are feeding them.
Your best friend is as unique as your own fingerprint. There’s no other pup quite like them, and this is why it’s so important to take a closer look at what works for them nutritionally.
Maybe that store-bought brand isn’t as healthy for your dog as the packaging says.
In this blog, we’re going to dive into the world of canine food sensitivities and how one simple (and affordable) test can help your dog thrive. Let’s get into it.
Understanding food sensitivities in dogs.
Food sensitivities are an increasingly common issue in dogs, and it’s important to understand exactly what they are and how they differ from food allergies.
Food sensitivities are adverse reactions to certain foods that are triggered by an immune response. While food allergies involve an immediate and severe reaction to a specific food, food sensitivities can cause a delayed and less obvious response. This can make it challenging to diagnose as the symptoms may not appear for hours or even days after your pup has eaten the offending food.
The most common symptoms of food sensitivities in dogs include skin irritation or itching, digestive upset (diarrhea, vomiting), and excessive gas. In severe cases, food sensitivities can lead to chronic inflammation, weight loss, and even chronic conditions like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
It’s important to remember that food sensitivities are different from food intolerances. While a food sensitivity constitutes an immune response, a food intolerance does not; it’s a reaction that does not involve the immune system. Symptoms of food intolerances in dogs may include a bad stomach, but they are typically less severe than symptoms caused by food sensitivities.
Common food sensitivity symptoms.
It can be hard to figure out what a food sensitivity in your dog looks like, especially because the symptoms can take days to manifest (just like in humans), whereas allergies are immediate. Worse, sometimes we might choose to ‘wait them out’.
A chronic condition might present itself as, “He must have eaten something off the ground”, or “He has floppy ears, so chronic ear infections kind of come with the territory”. This is why it’s so important to understand how a food sensitivity in your dog presents itself so that you can ask for a test the next time you visit the vet.
Here are some common food sensitivity symptoms to look out for:
Skin irritation: If your dog is constantly scratching or biting at their skin, this could be a sign of a food sensitivity. You may also notice redness, rashes, or hot spots.
Digestive issues: Does your dog have frequent diarrhea, constipation, or vomiting? These could all be indicators of a food sensitivity.
Ear infections: Food sensitivities can lead to ear infections, which can cause discomfort and even hearing loss if left untreated.
Behavioral changes: Just like humans, dogs can experience mood swings and behavioral changes when they’re not feeling their best. Keep an eye out for increased irritability, lethargy, or changes in appetite.
The thing about this type of sensitivity is that it is an inflammatory response. Chronic inflammation presents itself in so many different ways for both dogs and humans, the difference is that we are able to easily communicate our discomfort, where your best friend can’t.
How much does food sensitivity testing cost?
To a lot of people, their dogs are much more than just pets. We treat them as our best friends, our children, and an entire extension of the family. Gone are the days when dogs served only a functional and practical purpose in our lives. Long gone are the days when having a dog, only to keep them outside, is considered acceptable.
We are willing to spend quite a lot to keep our best friends with us, longer. Luckily, food sensitivity testing for your dog doesn’t have to break the bank.
There are two costs to consider when deciding to get your dog tested:
- The cost of the test (typically around $150)
- The veterinary visit to have their blood drawn for the test.
Sometimes, pet parents will choose to schedule another visit with their vet to go over the results and pave a new course of action for their dog’s nutritional needs, but this isn’t essential (though it is recommended).
From Ruff to Remarkable
We hope that this guide has helped you recognize the signs and symptoms of food sensitivities in your furry friend. Remember, our dogs rely on us to make the best decisions for their health and wellbeing, and proper nutrition plays a vital role in that.
It’s important to prioritize your dog’s health and nutrition, just like you would for any other family member. By identifying and addressing any potential food sensitivities, you can help ensure that your pup is thriving and living their best life.
If you suspect that your dog may have a food sensitivity, don’t hesitate to take the next steps. Our food sensitivity testing services can provide you with comprehensive and actionable information, so you can make informed decisions about your dog’s diet and health.
We understand that every dog is unique, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to nutrition. That’s why we’re committed to providing personalized testing and support to help your dog achieve optimal health.
So, whether you’re just starting your journey towards canine health and nutrition or you’re looking for ways to optimize your furry friend’s diet, we’re here to help. Let’s work together to ensure that your dog is living their best life – because they deserve nothing less.