What is the difference between food allergy and food intolerance in dogs?
Surely you have come across the word “hypoallergenic”. Maybe on the labels of care products or make-up? This also applies to dog food labels. Hypoallergenic products are suitable for allergy sufferers. Hypoallergenic pet food also reduces the risk of allergic reactions. Intolerances and allergies are common in pets, including dogs and cats, even if sometimes they are barely perceptible. A hypoallergenic diet can therefore counteract the number of reactions.
Allergy or intolerance?
So, now you know what hypoallergenic means. But what are the chances that your dog is actually allergic to an ingredient in his food? Food hypersensitivity (reacting badly to food) has 2 categories: food allergies and food intolerances. Although the symptoms are sometimes similar, there is a difference in reactions. Food allergies are immune system reactions related to food. Food intolerances, on the other hand, have nothing to do with your dog’s immune system. They are unusual physiological reactions to food or food additives. A good example of a food intolerance that also occurs in dogs is lactose intolerance. It therefore lacks an enzyme that breaks down and digests lactose in the small intestine. If your dog scratches often, there’s a good chance he’s having an allergic reaction to something in his food. An environmental, mite or flea allergy is also common and should not be overlooked when examining your dog’s symptoms thoroughly.
What is a Food Allergy?
Food intolerances can be caused by certain nutrients such as proteins and carbohydrates. Or through food additives such as synthetic preservatives and dyes. Food allergies are almost always caused by protein . With a food allergy, your pet’s immune system reacts to a certain protein in food that his body has previously come into contact with. A true food allergy is therefore a hypersensitive reaction to a food component with which the immune system has already made contact. The immune system has developed antibodies against a particular food particle, and those antibodies can later trigger an immune response. A food intolerance may develop upon first contact.
Allergens in dog food
The most common allergens in dog food are beef, dairy, chicken, wheat and soy. The more banal the food, the greater the risk of intolerances and allergies. It therefore stands to reason that reactions to these ingredients occur relatively often. After all, they are widely used in the pet food industry. All allergies and most intolerances are caused by protein. Switching to hypoallergenic dog food with new proteins (read: proteins your dog and his ancestors have never come into contact with before) reduces the chances of a reaction. You just have to find the right food for your dog. Our Top Dog cold pressed dog food it is absolutely free of synthetic preservatives, dyes or other chemical additives. The possibility of a food intolerance to these components is therefore nil. Food sensitivity can be detrimental to your dog’s quality of life. That’s why it’s so important to take action if you suspect a problem by trying to figure out which recipe suits him best. Has your dog tried a particular product with no improvement in symptoms? Then try another recipe from our hypoallergenic range.