Monday, May 17, 2010

Dog Food Month- Canine Food Allergies

Please welcome Michael Massie, founder of Young Again Pet Food. Today he presents his views on canine food allergies.

Canine Food Allergies
by Michael Massie

What is a food allergy?
Like in humans, a food allergy in dogs is their body’s over-reaction to a certain ingredient called an allergen. Wheat (or plant proteins), beef and dairy have been associated with 68% of allergies in dogs. Other common allergens for dogs include glutens (like barley) and corn. It may take 2-3 months or longer for a dog to become sensitized to an allergen, and up to 24 months for symptoms to appear after initial exposure to an offending ingredient.

The most common symptoms are:
• Itchy skin or ears
• Hair loss or unpleasant coat
• Persistent vomiting
• Loose stools (usually 2 to 3 per day)
• Tear staining (the discoloration around the eyes)
• Irritable or inconsistent behavior

If your dog has one or more of these symptoms then a food allergy is likely the cause.

How can I help my dog with allergies, or prevent allergies from happening to my healthy dog?
The first and best rule is never feed a dog any food that contains any kind of plant protein or dairy product. In most cases, when you eliminate the plant protein you eliminate the allergy. Strange as it sounds, most people will avoid grains like wheat and corn that have a protein level of 12% and 8%, respectively, but will feed their dog a food that contains rice and/or potatoes, which have a protein level of 7% and 8%, respectively. If a dog has an allergy to wheat he is very likely to become allergic to potato. The culprit is the protein part of the potato not the carbohydrate.
At Young Again, we solve this problem by using only animal-based proteins and carbohydrate sources that do not contain plant proteins. After 2 to 4 weeks of feeding your dog Young Again or a similar premium, non-plant protein dog food, you will notice a difference in that most allergic conditions are eliminated or eradicated.

What else can I do to help my dog?
If after one month on a diet free of plant proteins and dairy, including treats and table scraps, your dog still displays symptoms, we recommend that you see your Veterinarian. In addition, as the owner of Young Again, I would love to personally discuss your dog's food allergies with you. Conversations with dog owners just like you help us develop the next generation of pet foods creating happier, healthier dogs all around the world. I will be monitoring the post throughout the day should you have any questions or comments.

-Michael Massie

* Leave a comment or question and be entered into a drawing for free dog food, gift certificate, or treats!

*About the Author: The Founder of Young Again Pet Food, Michael Massie has over twenty years experience developing pet foods. Today, Young Again has taken all that experience and knowledge and created lines of nutritionally complete, all-natural, gluten-free pet food for fish, birds, cats, dogs, reptiles and small animals. Please feel free to contact Michael at Michael@youngagainpetfood.com.

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