Choosing a Diet for a Boston Terrier with Food Allergies

All dogs love to eat and most would eat just about anything you put in front of them. Unfortunately, dogs have the potential to develop allergies to ingredients that they eat on a regular basis. Food allergies account for about 10% of all allergies in dogs which might not sound like much, but it is a significant amount. Keep reading to learn about food allergies in dogs and how to deal with them.

Understanding Food Allergies in Dogs

The more your Boston Terrier is exposed to a food ingredient, the more likely he is to develop a food allergy. Dogs can develop an allergy for any ingredient, though there are some that are more likely to trigger a reaction than others. The most common food allergens for dogs include beef, dairy, wheat, eggs, chicken, lamb, soy, pork, rabbit, and fish. Unfortunately, when a dog has a food allergy he is usually allergic to more than one thing – this makes it tricky to find a diet that won’t trigger a response. Dog food allergies can produce a number of symptoms, though the most common are skin-related. Dogs that suffer from chronic ear infections, recurring skin problems, and gastrointestinal problems should be checked for food allergies.

Picking a Hypoallergenic Diet for Your Dog

The term “hypoallergenic” means, “designed to reduce or minimize the possibility of an allergic response, as by containing relatively few or no potentially irritating substances”. A hypoallergenic diet for dogs, then, is a product free from common allergens. The problem here is that a dog can develop an allergy to virtually any pet food ingredient – no product can be 100% hypoallergenic for this reason and some recipes might be hypoallergenic for one dog and not for another. The key to picking a diet for a Boston Terrier with food allergies, then, is to identify your dog’s individual allergens and then pick a product free from those ingredients.

The best way to go about identifying and treating your dog’s food allergies is to put him on a Limited Ingredient Diet (LID) for at least 12 weeks or until all signs of the food allergy have disappeared. A limited ingredient diet is simply a dog food made with a limited number of ingredients and, in most case, a single novel source of protein and carbohydrate. By feeding your dog ingredients he has never had before (this is what novel means), you can reduce the risk for triggering an allergic response and give your dog time to heal. After the 12-week period you can reintroduce potential allergens one at a time until you find the culprit. After that, simply choose a dog food formula free from that ingredient or keep feeding your Boston Terrier the LID.

If your Boston Terrier suffers from food allergies, it is not something you should ignore. Left untreated, food allergies in dogs can lead to serious skin problems and it may also interfere with the healthy absorption of nutrients. If you suspect that your dog has food allergies, talk to your vet about switching him to an LID to engage in a feeding trial to identify and eliminate your dog’s allergens.

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