As spring approaches, many dog owners notice their pets are suddenly scratching, shedding excessively, chewing their paws, and showing signs of red and irritated skin and ears. Some pet parents are seeing these types of symptoms year round, with a noticeable increase around spring time.
Did you know that your pets can have food, seasonal, and environmental allergies just like you? If these symptoms are noticeable year round, then it’s almost a certainty that your dog is experiencing a food allergy or intolerance. If they only show these symptoms in the springtime, it can indicate a seasonal allergy trigger, or possibly a minor food allergy that is usually unnoticeable until it is paired with a seasonal flare up, and then all those symptoms start to manifest.
The most common allergen culprits in pet food are corn, wheat (and many other grains), artificial colours and flavours, and chicken (Yes!Chicken!). Unfortunately the over usage of chicken protein in the commercial pet food industry, for the past 50 years, has led to an ever increasing intolerance to it!
So what can you do about it? Here are a few simple suggestions to try, in order to alleviate all that scratching!
Feed a high quality, grain free, chicken free food
There are so many pet foods on the market, and so many commercials promising us the best ingredient quality. Unfortunately many commercial brands are made using extremely poor quality ingredients, and are a major contributor to the increasing number of allergy and immune issues affecting our pets. Making sure you feed a thoughtfully sourced food, with no grains, by-products, fillers, or artificial colours, is a great first step. A raw food diet is the easiest way to ensure you are removing the major potential allergens from your pets diet, as they are made of simple, limited ingredients, and available in a huge variety of proteins.
Support your pets immune system
Sometimes minor allergy issues can be overcome relatively easily by simply offering good immune support. There are several ways to do this, but we find the most effective ones are organic mushroom supplements, high quality (animal specific) probiotics, and in some cases bovine colostrum which provides all the components of ‘first milk’ which are loaded with antibodies and amino acids.
Supplement to increase your pets nutrition intake
It can be surprisingly simple to add extra nutrition value to your pets food! Products like raw goats milk, kefir, and bone broth make wonderful additions to a dry food diet, making it more digestible and palatable, as well as increasing the moisture content and nutrient levels! Including a digestive enzyme in your pets food can also help their bodies breakdown and absorb maximum amount of nutrients. Spirulina type supplements can fill in a lot of phytonutrient and B vitamin gaps.
The dreaded itch can be conquered, and eliminated through appropriate nutrition, and at Tail Blazers West we are well equipped to help you make the changes to get on the right track!