Puppyhood Diet May Impact a Dog's Allergies Later in Life
December 07, 2021
If you have ever seen your dog suffer after eating something and desperately thought, is there any way it could have been made better for your pet? If giving him a different diet from the start has crossed your mind, then you are at the right place to know more about it.
The research on the subject is limited; there are different claims around the topic, but some of them are completely baseless or just marketing stunts. So, keep reading to know whether or not your puppy's diet would make a difference in its life later on.
Food Allergies and Food Intolerance in Dogs
Although dog allergies are not as frequent and common as many dog food companies selling allergy-friendly food would like you to believe, despite that whenever allergies occur, they make your little pet baby quite uncomfortable and sick.
Mostly what people think Is a food allergy is just food intolerance. However, there is a difference between these two as one is much more problematic than the other. The symptoms are somehow the same, so it is hard to tell them apart.
In food allergy, the reason is usually a protein that kicks start an immune response. It forces body cells to excrete compounds that cause itching, like histamines, etc. Even though symptoms of food tolerance are the same, there is no immune response involved in it. So, make sure to get a dog allergy test done whenever you suspect your dog is allergic to a food.
This situation might make you ponder over the fact that how you can adjust your pet's diet from the start to help them avoid this uncomfortable situation, or is there a connection between food your pet eats at an early age and the allergic reactions?
(Image from Deposit Photos)
How Common Are Dog Allergies?
A study about dog allergies by BMC Veterinary in 2017 suggests that out of all the dogs that are examined for any medical reason, around one to two percent of dogs have food allergies or intolerance. If you take into account skin disease, the number goes up to six percent. If you consider dogs who show an adverse reaction to food, then the number goes up to twenty percent.
Here it was evaluated that actual allergies that trigger immune reactions as a response to some specific proteins and are life-threatening were less common than food intolerance or adverse reaction towards food. So, if your dog is itching a lot but is normal, otherwise, there are very few chances of it having a food allergy. On the other hand, diet can play an important role in managing many skin problems as well as other diseases.
How Puppyhood Diet Makes an Impact Allergies Later in Life
In Helsinki, Finland, research was conducted to see if feeding a specific diet could affect the future health of the puppy regarding skin symptoms related to immune systems. To put it simply, raw food has been shown to help puppies develop a better immune system against allergies.
A university release by Docent Anna Hielm-Björkman, who was the leader of the research where the two groups of puppies were fed differently, one of the groups was given raw and fresh food like raw organ meat, leftover human meals, and raw tripe, whereas the other group had kibble, heat-dried animal meat and parts, and fruits.
The research found that the first group showed less atopy-related and allergy symptoms during adulthood. The latter group had more noticeable allergy symptoms as well as other symptoms of atopy related to skin.
So, this research was done on over four thousand dogs to assess both individual food items as well as general diets using online surveys. The owners who had puppies aged anywhere between 2-6 months took part in it. Here are two major outcomes of the research:
1. More Raw Food Means Better Health
Food that has less than eighty percent dry food or at least a portion of raw food leads to a reduction in immune-related skin allergies and problems during adulthood of dogs. If a pup is not given any raw food or only dry food, then the chances to develop skin conditions or allergies are higher during adult age.
Research also supports that too much processed and canned food can cause health problems in the later life of dogs. If you feed your puppy a diet that has packaged or processed food more than twenty percent of the total daily diet, then you are setting them up for skin issues and allergies in the future.
So, canines who are never fed such foods show less disease prevalence. Plus, as little as it may seem, to incorporate twenty percent raw food in a pup's daily diet shows some notable health benefits in adulthood.
2. Fresh Meat Enhances Resistance Against Skin Diseases and Allergies
Research has shown a link between eating fresh meat or even wild animals outside and less prevalence of developing immunity-related skin problems and allergies. However, a balanced diet that is fresh and includes fresh meat is best to keep your pup overall healthy at any stage of life.
Now You Know How to Fight Adulthood Allergies and Skin Diseases in Dogs
The goal is to find ways for pet owners to impact their pup's health positively. Avoid sweet fruits, processed or packaged commercially prepared food, and feed fresh meats or raw food to your pup. It is a great way to help them avoid skin allergies and skin diseases related to atopy in their adult life.
Even though it is a piece of great news for pet owners, the research that has been done in this regard only shows a relation between puppyhood diet and prevention of later age allergic problems. More in-depth research focused on the diet is required to prove the relation between allergies and dietary aspects. The research should include factors like dry and raw food, fresh food, leftovers of human meals, and a safe amount of oil and fresh fruits to use without compromising the dog's health.