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Dog Friendly Tips: Food Intolerance


Many common dog food ingredients like corn, wheat, and soy can lead to food intolerances. Some researchers believe food intolerances compromise the immune system and can lead to disorders such as hypothyroidism, colitis, and arthritis.

Before changing your dog's diet, ask your vet for the best way to approach any medical condition involving your dog.
Should your vet recommend that you switch to an allergen-free dog food, it is important to choose your brand carefully. There are several very good allergen-free foods available commercially. When choosing an allergen-free food be sure to read the label.

Sheeba is sometimes upset by ordinary dog biscuits so we feed her a rice and tinned dog meat diet whenever she has a loose bowel. After a few days on the rice this seems to calm things down. It could be her insides get irritated by the dry biscuits and a period on rice helps settle the lining of her stomach and bowels. Rice however is a starch product and may not suit some dogs with a weakened digestive system, where the absorption of carbohydrates is impaired (as in pancreatitis).  

Common foods to avoid are:

Corn
Wheat
Soy
Beef
Artificial preservatives
Artificial colors

This list does not include milk, but one of the most common food intolerances in humans is lactose intolerance - an inability to properly digest milk and dairy products. You are probably not feeding your dog cream and it may not have occurred to you to feed your dogs a lot of milk! However milk is considered healthy for dogs if they can tolerate it and so is normally a recommended part of their diet unless the digestion is impaired.

Digestive weaknesses can also apply to fatty and starchy foods which would include potatoes and other foods you might feed your dog as left-overs from your own plate. If you notice your dog has the runs soon after some variation in their diet, you will know what to avoid in future. Some vegetables are starchy - potatoes, parsnips, beans - while others are not - e.g. broccolli, carrots, cauliflower, marrow, courgettes.

Watch for your dog eating grass - a typical sign of an upset stomach. Eating grass will make them sick of course, so you might want to leave them on a tiled floor rather than a carpeted area!

Also remember that certain human foods such as chocolate, onions and nuts are poisonous to dogs.


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