A Balanced diet is a basis for a long and healthy life. This also applies to our four-legged friends. But food is not the same food: In order for a dog to be supplied with all vital nutrients, minerals, trace elements, and vitamins, the individual needs must be taken into account when choosing food. You also have to decide whether you prefer to rely on wet food, dry food, mixed or raw feeding. What you choose is above all a matter of taste, because a healthy and needs-based diet is possible with all feeding concepts - provided that you pay attention to a few important things in our dog nutrition consultant.
What do dogs eat?
If you choose to feed your pet from the pet shop, you can choose between dry and wet food. Both variants undoubtedly have their advantages. In many cases, dry dog food is simply more practical: it is easier to dose, does not spoil so quickly in the summer, smells less and produces no can waste. Dog Food Contains, as the name implies, significantly more moisture and thus supports the dogs in the additional water intake.
Which dry or raw is recommended for dogs?
Regardless of which form of food you choose: It is important that it is a needs-based offer, for example, junior, adult or senior dog food. You must also make sure that the product is labeled as "complete feed". Only then is it guaranteed that it will reliably cover your dog's energy and nutrient needs.
In addition to these so-called complete feeding stuff, there are feeds that are not suitable as a sole food for the dog.
Dog food allergy
Dog food allergy or hypoallergenic dog food means as much as: "provided with little allergenic substances". As a rule, certain proteins and protein compounds are those which triggers the allergic reaction, which is why it is important that the diet does not contain these proteins.
As the name suggests, this is "provided with little allergenic substances". Frequent allergy-causing protein structures are omitted in the composition and instead resorted to alternatives. Hypoallergenic dog food from Green Petfood uses high-quality insect protein, as this is a very rarely used source of protein. The risk of incompatibility is therefore low. True to the intent to contain as few or no allergenic substances, hypoallergenic dog food is also free of grains. It is a complete feed, due to selected ingredients and the avoidance of frequently used animal protein sources, it is best suited for adult, allergy-plagued dogs. It has been certified by the DLG and rated "very good" because even the smallest dog biscuit can cause the allergy symptoms. Only by the interaction of a hypoallergenic complete feeding stuff and just such a reward you protect your dog from the allergens.
Treats are also not necessary to feed your dog completely and healthy. They are intended primarily to reward and pamper him. For these reasons, it is especially nice if you use high-quality products.
How to treat dog food allergy
The first thing to do is to really identify the symptom is there is any. To identify a dog food allergy, there are typical symptoms that are discussed below. You can orient yourself on that. In case of uncertainties, you should definitely visit a vet with your dog! Typical of food intolerance in dogs is:
- Increased nibbling or licking
- Changes in the coat and on the skin
- Gastrointestinal complaints
- Inflamed ear canals.
- Itching in the mouth or on the body
- Skin rash
- Fur loss
- Fragile claws
By the same token, however, these symptoms can also signal a variety of other diseases. It is, therefore, worthwhile to take a closer look at the causes. Some causes of these symptoms might also include.
- Parasites such as fleas, mites or worms
- Bacterial infections
- Organic suffering
Whether the dog has a food allergy, you do not see at first glance. But: Between 30 to 40 percent of dogs with allergic symptoms on the skin are food allergies.
One practice to help solve this issue is the exclusion diet. Exclusion diet plays an important role in the diagnosis of "food allergy". What is Exclusion Diet? How is it done and how long? How safe is the diagnosis then?
What is exclusion diet?
An elimination diet is performed in case of suspicion of a food allergy. The pet owner feeds only a meat and a carbohydrate source over a period of at least eight weeks. However, we recommend extending the period of the elimination diet to twelve weeks. The background is that many allergy sufferers only respond to the exclusion diet after ten or more weeks. The suspicion of a food allergy is confirmed when the symptoms gradually disappear in the dog in compliance with the diet. The allergy can only be reliably diagnosed, however, if the provocation test positively fails. This is the case when, after the successful exclusion diet, the old food is fed again and the symptoms of allergies reappear.
Requirements of an exclusion diet
If you suspect that your dog has a food allergy, you should always first see a veterinarian. Although reddened patches, gastrointestinal problems or itching indicate a food allergy, but may also have other causes that must first be clarified by the veterinarian. If the suspicion of an allergy is confirmed, you can start an elimination diet. Exclusion diet is recommended only in adult dogs because the animals are partially depleted of nutrients during the diet, which does not harm an adult individual - if the diet is adjusted after the exclusion diet - but causes problems for an animal in a growing period.
Carrying out an elimination diet
First of all, you need a protein source that your dog has never eaten before. This can sometimes turn out not to be so easy, as in recent years’ exotic meats have become fashionable in dog food. In the case of an exclusion diet, you should refrain from eating commercially and during that time cook for yourself or, if your dog is already barked, simply feed it raw. Ideally, the carbohydrates come from a food source that your dog does not know yet. Sweet potato, for example, is often used. It is important that you decide on a variety for both meat and carbohydrates at the beginning and in no way deviate from it.
At the time of the elimination diet, no treats, vitamin pastes or supplementary feeds are allowed to be fed, as these often contain animal proteins. If you do not want to give up a snack in between for your darling, you can dry the meat yourself or you can look for dried-on treats of the same kind of meat. But beware! Do not buy ready-made treats that are not made from pure meat. They contain very often vegetable or animal protein, to which the dog can react again.
All steps are recorded in a food diary so that at the end of the diet, there is clarity about the allergens and a nutritional plan can be drawn up to solve the food allergy problem.