Does your Pitbull dog have dry , flaky skin …
… or how about red … itchy bumps peeking through his fur?
Is your pup constantly scratching at some unseen, irritating itch you just can’t seem to get rid of?
Does your Pitbull constantly sneeze, cough or have watery eyes?
|Acana Singles Dog Food|
|Blue Buffalo Basics Grain Free|
|California Natural Grain Free Limited|
|Canine Caviar Grain Free Limited|
|Evolve Dog Food|
A dog allergy can be defined as :
‘Hypersensitivity caused by exposure to a particular antigen.
Resulting in a marked increase in reactivity to that antigen on subsequent exposure’.
You should first contact your veterinarian before attempting to treat your Pitbull’s allergies.
Best Dog Food For Pitbulls With Allergies
Hypoallergenic Dog Foods for Your Pitbull
The suffix ‘hypo’ means ‘less’, as opposed to ‘hyper’.
That being said, ‘Hypo-allergenic’ would mean ‘less allergenic’.
Hypoallergenic foods are specifically designed for dogs with allergies.
These foods normally share one of the three listed categories below :
Limitation on certain ingredients – can make it easier to pin down the specific allergen/s.
Prescription or veterinary diets – diets that have been designed to contain hypoallergenic ingredients.
Novel ingredient diets – contain ingredients the dog might not have been previously exposed to, less likely to be sensitive to.
READ ALSO: Best Dog Food For Pitbulls With Skin Allergies
What is the best dog food to feed a Pitbull with allergies?
It’s important to work with a veterinarian before making any conclusions.
The best way to isolate an ideal diet is to feed on a ‘trial and error’ basis.
Veterinary Hypoallergenic Dog Foods
Hill’s Prescription Diet D/D Canine
According to the manufacturer’s product page, this food was specifically developed to support a dog’s skin and food sensitivities.
What is the quality of nutrition offered?
Let’s look a bit deeper :
The first few ingredients a Pitbull owner should be concerned with here : Potato, Potato Starch, duck, potato protein, pork fat, etc.
Dogs evolved to do best on animal proteins, however – many pet food manufacturers attempt to boost the protein content on their labels by adding a lower quality of plant protein.
Though we do have duck, it looks like we have a lot of potato here.
Royal Canin Veterinary Diets Hypoallergenic Select Protein
According to the manufacturer’s product page, this food supports a wide range of health issues.
On the other hand, pet food manufacturers often exaggerate their claims on quality.
- Protein 19%
- Fat 10%
Similar to the last, we have main ingredients consisting of : Dried potato, venison meal, coconut oil, potato protein, etc.
Some other, limited ingredient dog foods include (all links lead to Dog Food Advisor pages) :
Acana Singles Dog Food – single protein, limited ingredient foods for diet – sensitive dogs.
Blue Buffalo Basics Grain Free – a limited ingredient diet formulized for dogs with sensitivities.
California Natural Grain Free Limited Ingredient – another limited ingredient product for dogs with food allergies.
Canine Caviar Grain Free Limited Ingredient – a wide range of limited ingredient foods are available from Canine Caviar.
Evolve Dog Food – advertised containing quality meat, promoted for allergy care.
Koha Limited Ingredient Diets – these are advertised as high protein, limited ingredient diets, rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free – specially formulated for dogs with sensitivities, advertised single source of animal protein.
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets – designed with a single source of animal protein, and limited carbohydrate sources.
Nature’s Recipe Pure Essentials Limited Ingredient – another limited ingredient food developed for dogs with allergies.
Nature’s Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet – single sources of animal protein combined with simple carbohydrates/starch.
It is recommended that dogs be placed on a certain food for four to six weeks in order to properly gauge it is effectiveness.
This process takes some time.
Dogs won’t show improvements right away.
And … even then, one must be sure it is the food that caused the issue, not something else.
Types of Dog Allergies
Flea Allergy Dermatitis
The suffix ‘itis’ refers to inflammation.
The prefix ‘Derma’ refers to dermis, or skin.
In other words …
‘Dermatitis’ indicates inflammation of the skin ‘Flea Allergy Dermatitis’ means inflammation of the skin due to a flea allergy.
Flea allergy dermatitis is most common dermatologic disease of domestic dogs in the USA.
So, how do you treat this one?
Well, your first course of action, before altering any type of food, should be to eliminate the irritant (fleas).
Get rid of the cause, and then you can begin treating the skin irritation.
Many topical ointments are sold for this.
But calling your veterinarian could save time searching through the aisles!
How do You get Rid of Fleas?
Most pet stores sell a topical (flea preventative) ointment that is often applied to the dog’s back, below the collar area. You could consider giving your dog a flea bath.
But you must reach the skin to kill the fleas (be careful if there are infected areas).
If the fleas have begun to lay eggs, this could prove more difficult.
Everything should be vacuumed and washed.
Flea collars aren’t recommended, as they don’t often work well.
Excess scratching and even hair loss are both good indicators of this one.
Hair loss will help make it easier to ‘see’ the fleas themselves.
Yes, fleas can be seen by the naked eye.
They look like little black specs.
They’ll run from your fingers if you try to pick them out.
Because many of them can consume significant amounts of blood, fleas can especially be a danger to young puppies .
And sometimes smaller dogs …
Atopic Skin Allergy
Atopic skin allergies or ‘Atopic Dermatitis’ :
happens when a part of the body not in direct contact with the allergen reacts.
Detailed Guidelines for Diagnosis here.
‘Atopy’ can also be known as environmental allergies. It is a process when a dog’s body releases high levels of histamine when exposed to excessive concentrations of pollen in the air, which sometimes causes symptoms to occur.
These allergies can cause symptoms such as excessive itching, scratching and excess grooming …
… rashes, sneezing, watery eyes, paw chewing, and skin inflammation.
On the flip side, they are also worsened by excess licking or scratching.
About ten percent of all dogs develop atopic dermatitis or environmental allergies.
And the number is on the rise!
Of course, some breeds are more susceptible than others in this area.
Is your Pitbull reacting to a type of shampoo you are using?
Does he or she itch after you give him/her a bath?
Excess baths can dry out a dog’s skin.
Does your Pitbull itch constantly after you put on his harness?
The best way to treat anything, allergies included, is to eliminate the cause.
Though they can be allergic to nearly anything.
Dogs with food allergies are typically allergic to proteins found in meat or plant products contained within.
Beef, dairy, wheat and chicken are the most common food allergies in dogs.
This does not mean you shouldn’t include these ingredients in your Pitbull’s dog food!
Most dogs don’t have food allergies and sources of meat like beef and chicken are high in quality protein.
If you think your dog is reacting to a particular food …
Stop feeding that food to him/her!!!
Consider switching to an alternative.
Many are listed below.
General Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs
- Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin
- Often, increased scratching
- Runny and itchy eyes
- The base of the tail or itchy back
- Itchy ears or ear infections
- Hair loss
How Do Dog Food Allergies Work?
Just like people, dogs can react when their immune systems recognize an everyday substance as a danger.
The principle of it might as well be exactly the same.
Basically, the animal consumes a particular source of protein.
The protein is broken down to individual amino acids which the immune system then may recognize as invaders.
Again, this doesn’t happen very often.
Do all dogs have allergies?
Not all people have allergies, and it is a rarer occurrence for dogs.
Think of it this way.
Dogs have changed very little from their wolf predecessors (physiologically speaking).
Meat allergy could have proven fatal back during a time when most of their food sources were animal products.
Dog food allergies take time to show themselves.
Your pet could be eating something for quite a while before they begin to show symptoms.
Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance
- are considered two separate conditions/issues.
A ‘food intolerance’ is a digestive problem … not an immune response like allergies.
An intolerance happens when a dog’s digestive system won’t digest a certain food.
For example, ‘lactose intolerance’ happens when a dog is unable to break down the sugar in milk.
Treating a Dog Allergy
There are specific foods for certain allergies.
No all around dog food exists to treat every single allergy out there in existence.
To provide the best possible treatment, one must ask themselves :
“ What is my dog allergic/reactions to? ”
It is advised to contact your veterinarian before deciding upon an allergy treatment plan for your dog.
Scratching and biting at irritated skin can cause open wounds, inviting a score of other bacteria or parasites.
If left untreated, this can certainly lead to secondary infections.
For this reason, it is extremely important that the source of allergens be taken care of.
Allergies or Worms?
Does your dog drag his rear end along the floor ( your carpet )?
It is possible he might have intestinal worms.
If you suspect this call your veterinarian.
They will usually recommend you collect a stool sample to take in for examination.
One common cause of itching is dry skin, as opposed to allergies (or sometimes caused by).
If you live in a dry area with low humidity, it’s more likely that your dog will have dry skin.
When you part your dog’s hair, you see flakes of dandruff in the undercoat, and the skin itself may be cracked and tough.
Even your gentlest touch can provoke your dog to scratch violently.
Excess baths can dry out a dog’s skin.
Many commercial pet foods are of low quality, and don’t include ‘Omega 3 or 6’ fatty acids to promote healthy skin and coats.
In the end, it is important to talk to your veterinarian (if only to call) for advice on dealing with dry skin.
How to Treat Dry Skin
‘Wet’ food, or food with a higher moisture content, can sometimes help.
Provide fish (rich in Omega fatty acids).
Take care which shampoo is used when bathing your dog.
Provide fresh, filtered drinking water.
Add digestive enzymes to your dog’s meals.
Choosing the best dog food for Pitbulls with Allergies
First of all, dogs evolved to do the best on animal proteins.
In other words – animal meat.
They can get by on plant proteins, but won’t usually thrive.
This is an issue with many pet food manufacturers, and pets themselves.
Many manufacturers know full well what is good or not for dogs.
They purposefully chalk their foods full of low-quality ingredients because they are cheaper for them to produce.
It is always a good idea to check not only the nutritional label, but also the ingredients contained within (especially the first few)Are these ingredients sources of meat, or plant sources like corn or potatoes?
Are they obscure ‘meals’, often the result of compacted and rendered ‘trash’, ingredients unfit for human consumption?
Many manufacturers develop ‘blends’ of rendered dead animals, maggots and all, into an obscure ‘meat’ meal.
In order to save money, they will literally cook rotting flesh and diseased animals. It is important to know where your ingredients come from! – CLICK HERE!
The best, and often only, method of determining what ingredient the dog is allergic to is done by a process of trial and error.
Try out foods until one works, then you can choose one of the best dog foods for pitbulls with allergies.
On the other hand …
It’s important that a dog owner contacts their veterinarian before changing a dog’s diet!
What are some tips you have for choosing food for Pitbulls with Allergies?
Let me know in the comments below!
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