A small and cute dog gives a rare kind of pleasure to its owner. Small dog breeds are generally easier to maintain and can be as physically active and loving as a medium to big sized dogs. Small breed dogs have different personalities, so choose the one that is suited to your needs. If you want a dog that is well-matched for apartment living and needs medium level physical activity, the weird-looking pug breed would be nice to consider. Like other dogs, though, small dogs are susceptible to allergies. If you see them itch a lot immediately give them the best dog food for small dogs with allergies with the guidance of your vet. Your dog is part of your family, and you treat them almost like humans, so the optimum care must be given whenever they get any kind of health concern.
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Best dog food for small dogs with allergies–how common are food allergies in dogs?
If your dog gets itchy skin, does it immediately translate to a food allergy? You may have read that in dogs, allergies often manifest as itchy skin. With humans, however, food allergies can manifest as gastrointestinal upset. Food allergies do not always cause itchy skin.
You may have read about dogs getting food allergies, particularly grain allergies. True food allergies in dogs only amount to 5% overall. When true food allergies exist in dogs, it is usually to a protein product. For example, such as chicken, beef, or pork, rather than grains.
It’s actually much more common for your dog to be allergic to environmental allergens. Plants, pollens, insects, and dust mites are culprits.
Regardless of whether your dog’s itching is from a food allergy or not they need good nutrition. This is crucial if the source of the allergies is coming from food though it is best to give your dog best dog food for small dogs with allergies.
The different types of best dog food for small dogs with allergies
Elimination diet trials use a hydrolyzed veterinary diet . These trials are necessary to determine your dog has a true food allergy or not. The process involves feeding nothing but hydrolyzed diet for a few weeks, and then introducing one new protein every week to ‘test’ whether your dog has a reaction. In some cases, a hydrolyzed diet may be the only diet that can give relief to an overly sensitive dog and is thus fed in the long term
What is a hydrolyzed diet?
Hydrolyzed diets typically contain protein that has undergone a process called ‘hydrolyzation’. The protein structure is broken down into its component amino acids.
The process of hydrolyzation reduces the allergenic quality of the protein. The allergens are made so small. The process reduces the ‘allergenicity’ of the protein-making it unlikely to trigger an immune reaction.
Diets such as Prescription and Veterinary diets are hydrolyzed diets and can only be prescribed a veterinarian. These diets have been formulated under pharmaceutical grade conditions. This means that the manufacturer has undertaken extra processing steps to eliminate contamination with other protein sources. The process includes cleaning all production equipment and testing the equipment for traces of protein even before production begins.
Skin Care Diets
Itchy skin is a common ailment of dogs that skincare diets were made to help pet owners take care of their dog’s skin health. These skin diets are often available with a prescription and are formulated for the purpose of providing extra skin support. Generally, these are considered to be the usual diet that is the best dog food for small dogs with allergies. These skincare diets are great for dogs suffering from all kinds of skin ailments such as dry skin, seasonal allergies, or allergies of unknown cause.
What are the special ingredients found in ‘skin care diets’?
Every skincare dog food in the market has small differences in their recipes, and looking at one brand, we saw what ingredients they added for skincare.
These ingredients include:
- B group vitamins- an essential amino acid – combined with the B Vitamins, these help support ceramides, which are the connecting bonds between skin cells. This ultimately helps to strengthen the skin barrier.
- Omega 3 fatty acids (including EPA and DHA) – these have a proven anti-inflammatory effect that helps soothe itchy, inflamed skin Omega 6 fatty acids (including gamma-linolenic acid) – helps support healthy skin and a shiny coat.
- Antioxidants, including Vitamin C and Vitamin E – help support the immune system and reduce skin-damaging free radicals.
Novel Protein Diets
Novel protein diets are similar to hydrolyzed diets in that they help with food allergens. In this case, a novel protein is a new meat source that your dog hasn’t encountered before. The theory goes that if your dog hasn’t encountered it before, they are unlikely to be sensitive or allergic to it.
Venison, rabbit, bison, kangaroo, and fish are the usual novel protein sources used in this diet and are considered the best dog food for small dogs with allergies. Fish has a separate entry, though, because it provides an extra level of natural skin support.
Some pet owners choose to try a novel protein source instead of a hydrolyzed diet when completing an elimination trial, as they can be more affordable than a hydrolyzed diet, and they are non-prescription.
The principle is the same though introducing one new ingredient per week can help you figure out what the trigger of the allergic reaction is.
However, novel protein diets are not the ‘gold standard’ for elimination trials, as the ingredients haven’t been hydrolyzed, which means your pet could still be sensitive to one of the ingredients present in the formula. When selecting a novel protein diet, it is important to check that the recipe only contains the one type of meat protein you’re after.
Some pet food varieties may be labeled as a novel protein (such as ‘kangaroo’) but will also include ‘chicken’ or poultry byproducts in their recipe.
Fish-based diets have a double benefit in that they are both a novel protein and full of skin-supporting nutrients from the natural fish oil. This type of diet is great for dogs with food allergies.
Allergic reaction to fish is very rare. Fish-based diets are also beneficial for dogs with general dry skin or unknown allergies, who just need a little support and are thus considered best dog food for small dogs with allergies. Plus, if you are concerned about a grain allergy, most of the recipes are grain-free too.
Many pet dog owners are reporting great satisfaction when they switch their dog’s diet over to a fish-based diet. It’s often unclear whether this is due to the exclusion of common allergies like chicken, or simply due to the increased level of omega fatty acids from the natural fish oils. It gives the dog relief, so the mystery doesn’t matter.
Fish-based diets are often the first recommendation by vets for itchy dogs, as they are at the same time a novel protein diet and contain high levels of natural fish oil, making them similar to a ‘skin care diet’. This means they are likely to help with any type of skin allergy.
Similar to novel protein diets, it is important to check that the recipe only contains fish and no other meat sources. Some pet food varieties may put poultry into the recipe.
Home-cooked diets for dogs are an emerging trend nowadays, and many pet owners swear by it as best dog food for small dogs with allergies option. Preparing your pet’s food at home might sound like a good option, and there are certainly some benefits.
One benefit is you’ll know exactly what is going into the food, and can be sure there are no hidden pet food additives or contamination with other protein sources. However, it can be difficult to make a balanced meal without the help of a veterinary nutritionist.
This makes it not ideal for growing animals or small dogs like puppies and pregnant females. If you choose to home cook your dog’s food, we recommend discussing some balanced recipes with your vet.
3 Top Best dog food for small dogs with allergies
[su_service title=”Taste of the Wild PREY (Trout)” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#2D3092″ size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
PREY is the best dog food for small dogs with allergies, which likewise has a limited ingredient formula. Taste of the Wild is based on the premise of providing animals with diets that closely mimic that of what their ancestors would catch and eat in the wild. Prey is a non-GMO ingredient and is grain-free. They also have the lowest number of ingredients of any food on the list with just four ingredients or less in each of the PREY formulas, making it a truly limited ingredient diet.
[su_service title=”Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Sensitive Stomach Dry Dog Food” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#2D3092″ size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
This best dog food for small dogs with allergies will nurture your dog’s sensitive skin and stomach. Nutrient-rich salmon is the first ingredient and a primary source of protein in this formula.
Also containing prebiotic fiber, this dog food for sensitive stomach boasts a highly digestible formula that nourishes the beneficial bacteria found in your dog’s intestine, helping to promote his digestive health.
Ingredients such as rice and oat meal provide easily digestible sources of carbohydrates for your dog. Meanwhile, fish oil a source of EPA, one of the omega-three fatty acids helps support healthy joints and mobility, while omega-six fatty acids and zinc, nourish his skin and keep his coat looking healthy. There is also no corn, wheat, or soy. He will love the variety, and you’ll love the convenience and quality.
Common Dog Skin Problems
Nutritional dermatitis skin can be a problem for your dog. It is crucial they get the best dog food for small dogs with allergies. A lack of proper nutrition is the cause of this. Your dog is not a vegetarian. It’s therefore important that their food contains meat as a primary ingredient. Vitamins and supplements which contain Omega fatty acids that are approved for dog consumption should also be an add on.
Fleas and Mites
There are a number of fleas and mites that can cause suffering in your pet. Reactions may occur as a result of an allergic reaction to the bite of the insect. This involves the elimination of the insect and treatment of the bite area with medication prescribed by your veterinarian. Oral antihistamines or anti-itch cream are the usual recommendations in these cases.
Skin allergies are frustrating because they seem to be coming from mysterious origins. An allergy is a reaction by the body to stimulant exposure. This stimulant can be something that is inhaled or something that is eaten. It can also be something that the dog is otherwise exposed to, like the bite of an insect. Note that a skin reaction does not necessarily result from skin contact with an allergen; it can just as easily result from the consumption of an allergen.
As the dog’s immune system recognizes the allergen as a “foreign body” it launches its defenses. The body repels the allergen. In dogs, the most common display of an allergic reaction is the itching of the skin.
If your dog is suffering from some kind of allergy, it is important to take them to the vet. The best dog food for small dogs with allergies is recommended in this case. It is crucial to prevent allergies the moment they manifest to prevent your dog’s further discomfort. Severe allergies can harm the skin and be a precursor to more serious health problems.