If your dog's skin is tender, red, itchy, and inflamed, but you can't find the cause, he may be intolerant to some food. In more serious cases, or if your dog is allergic (which is not as common as an intolerance), it can scratch its own skin to the point of causing infections. Talk to your veterinarian to formulate a proper diet and learn how to make foods especially for your dog.
Part 1 of 2: Considering Diet Options
Step 1. Test your dog for food allergy
If you notice that he is scratching irritated, sensitive skin, or if his ears and skin are oily and smelly, take him to the vet. The professional will test to discover food intolerances or allergies. This is usually caused by proteins in your dog's food. The most common causes are beef, chicken, dairy, wheat, corn and soy. These end up being the most common ingredients in the composition of dog food.
Preservatives and filler ingredients can also hamper your dog's digestion
Step 2. Consider an elimination diet
As the feed is made up of various ingredients, fillers, and preservatives, your veterinarian will likely recommend eliminating some ingredients. Choose a specific feed for your dog's food sensitivity. Avoid feeding any food that is not part of the diet. This will help you figure out exactly which substance is bothering your pet.
Remember not to give snacks or rawhide bones during the elimination diet. It may seem a little cruel, but your dog will need up to six weeks to clear the body of the allergic effects. Any other type of food during the diet can cause it to fail
Step 3. Choose a food sensitivity diet to try
Closely monitor your dog's diet, selecting the most suitable for him. That way you'll know exactly what your dog is eating. After a few weeks you will notice an improvement in the allergy, or you will notice that something in that particular diet is causing the problem. Some food sensitivity diets include:
- New Protein Source: On this diet, you'll choose a single protein source your dog has never tried. It can be salmon, venison, buffalo or duck. As your dog has never ingested these proteins, there is less chance that he will develop some type of allergy to them.
- Hydrolyzed Protein: This diet is made with proteins that are broken down into smaller components called amino acids (which make up protein). As amino acids are very small, the animal's body will not notice the presence of the protein, which will prevent allergy.
- Therapeutics: This diet, which uses a new protein or hydrolyzed protein, is made with higher levels of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which reduce the symptoms of food allergy.
Step 4. Work with your veterinarian to create a balanced diet
After finding the cause of the allergy, you and your veterinarian should choose a nutritious diet. He may recommend that you buy a specific kibble or prescribe a detailed diet for your dog. If you decide to cook food instead of buying kibble, you will need to consult a certified nutritionist who has already talked to your veterinarian about your pet's diet.
A specialized diet is important for your dog, as animals have different vitamin and mineral needs than humans. Most dogs accept a diet consisting of 40% meat, 50% vegetables and 10% carbohydrates well
Part 2 of 2: Preparing a homemade diet
Step 1. Get ready to cook your dog's food
Since you are familiar with the recommendations of your veterinarian and nutritionist, you can decide between a raw or cooked diet. It's a personal choice, although some dogs with certain medical conditions, such as an overactive immune system or inflammatory bowel disease (IDD), should avoid the raw diet.
Regardless of whether you choose a cooked or raw diet, buy the best quality ingredients you can. When deciding on a diet with a new source of protein and carbohydrates, you need to stick with that meat and not give any others
Step 2. Prepare the meat
Wash your hands before picking up food, then cut the meat into small pieces that fit your dog's size. If cooking, place the meat in a large pot. To make a large amount, choose 1.81 kg of a protein like:
Step 3. Mix in oil and cook
When cooking your dog's food, mix ½ cup of olive oil (120 ml) with the meat. Cook until meat is almost completely cooked.
Step 4. Add vegetables and carbohydrates
If you are feeding your dog raw food, make sure the vegetables and carbohydrates are cut into very small pieces and are soft enough for your dog to eat without the need to cook. If cooking food, add 2, 27 kg of vegetables and 450 g of carbohydrates. Vegetables can be frozen or fresh, but try to include at least two different types. Cook the meat, vegetable and carbohydrate mixture until completely cooked. Some good vegetables and carbohydrates are:
- Green bean;
- Sweet potato;
- Broad beans;
Step 5. Divide into portions and supplement
If food is cooked, allow it to cool before mixing with any recommended nutritional supplements. Mix well and divide into individual portions before freezing. If you are going to give any supplements, you can put the recommended amount on top of the food before serving.
Your veterinarian can recommend a complex that includes all the vitamins and minerals your dog needs. Other supplements include probiotics and omega-type fatty acids
- Dogs are susceptible to the same allergies as humans. The most common are allergies to wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts, soy, fish and seafood.
- You may need to go to a butcher's shop to find meat your dog has never eaten.