Allergy Testing

Allergies in Dogs

Or is it a Sensitivity?

Dog allergy treatments

You might be surprised to find that more dogs suffer from food sensitivities rather than food allergies. In fact, food sensitivities are one of the most common health problems in dogs.  That’s why it’s important to get your dog tested for food sensitives not allergies

True food allergies are caused by an immune reaction to a substance. This type of allergy is relatively rare, accounting for only 10% of all allergies in dogs. However, it is more likely that dogs suffer from food sensitivities which is a reaction triggered by the digestive system and dog lacks a chemical or enzyme. Dogs with food sensitivity are about 1 out of 3 dogs. 

Which test to try?

Blood Draws: You will need to make an appointment at your veterinarian, who will take a sample of your dog’s blood and sent to a laboratory for analysis. The laboratory will screen the blood sample for antibodies to specific ingredients in dog food. If your dog has antibodies to an ingredient, it indicates that they have had a previous reaction to that ingredient. Unfortunately not only does it provide unreliable results, but does not account for sensitivities which is more likely. 

Elimination Diet: Food elimination diet involves removing foods from your dog’s diet that you suspect they are unable to tolerate. You will have to go through one food at a time and evaluate for 2 to 3 weeks. Over the course of this time, you will need to take note of your dogs’ symptoms, are the same, worse, or improved. This can take months to evaluate for a proper assessment. The downfall of a food elimination diet other than the time value, is that once you have discovered the culprit to your dog’s food sensitivity, switching them back to a commercial food, symptoms can reoccur. This happens because you are unable to test the preservatives and additives found in the commercial pet foods.

Whole Pet Wellness Panel:Food and Environment sensitivity test is a non-evasive test that you can do in your home. Simply send a hair sample into our lab and in about 14 days you will receive an email with your pet’s test results. The test includes over 350 food and environment elements that include proteins, dairy, vegetables, and common preservatives found in commercial dog food. This test gives you a comprehensive overview on how your dog relates to their food and environment.

Common Sensitivities

  • The most common proteins that dogs are allergic to are beef, dairy, wheat, egg, chicken, lamb, soy, pork, and rabbit.
  • Pseudo-allergies, on the other hand, are much more common and are caused by a reaction to a food additive or preservative.
  • The most common pseudo-allergens include corn, soybean oil, artificial colors and flavors, and preservatives such as BHA/BHT and ethoxyquin.

What are the symptoms of a food sensitivities in dogs?

The symptoms of a food sensitives in dogs can vary depending on the severity of the reaction. In some cases, dogs may experience mild symptoms, in other cases dogs may experience severe reactions.

Some of the most common symptoms of a food sensitives in dogs include:

  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Swelling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Ear infections
  • Chewing on feet or body

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, it’s important to order your Whole Pet Wellness Panel pet food sensitivity test right away. This will help you determine if a food sensitive is the cause and, if so, what the next steps should be.

The Whole Pet Wellness PanelDog food and environment sensitivity test is a simple way to determine if food is causing your dog’s discomforts. It involves taking a small sample of your dog’s hair and sending it to our laboratory for analysis. You will be emailed the results of the test in about 14 day which will tell you what foods your dog has sensitives to. Armed with this information, you and our pet nutritionist can then work together to create a diet that is safe and healthy for your dog.