We all know our furry friends are always itching for attention, but exactly what kind of attention are they seeking? Have you noticed them biting the base of their tail or licking at their paws? Maybe even excessively scratching to the point that it is inhibiting their normal routine? If you answered yes to any of these questions, grab the bag of food you are feeding. Look at the ingredient panel - is there chicken, beef, potato, rice, oats, or any form of grain? If so, we may have found the issue.
Dogs and cats alike have sensitives to foods that we may feed. Itching that starts right after feeding and lasts upwards of 2-5 hours could likely stem from a food allergy. An allergy is the body’s reaction to a foreign object. Chicken, grains and, potatoes are common allergens as they have been overfed to dogs in the past and created an intolerance in this generation of pets.
The best way to handle any potential food-related allergy is to ask questions. Once your dog starts excessively licking their paws and chewing on their tail, its time to start looking for new food.
Look back to your pet’s ancestors, the wolves. These creatures ate a raw meat diet packed full of protein and no grain or already digested grain from their prey. There are so many different food options out there and so many different questions around each brand. The best thing you can do is go to your local pet store and speak to an expert about the brands they carry. If you plan to stick with dry food, you will want food that has fish as the main ingredient. It is high protein content and extremely reduced risk for a repeat allergy. A fish diet will also help to repair the damaged coat by giving the omegas that are missing. You can also do an exotic protein such as kangaroo, rabbit, or venison. I say exotic since these proteins aren't integrated into the diets of the dogs that are currently alive.
If you are looking to go in a different direction and try a raw food diet or primordial diet, always be aware of the different brands. Do the proper research and check reviews, was the food recalled in the last 2-5 years, has it been through a processing step like high heat or flash-frozen? Do not be afraid to investigate the various brands and ask your local pet retailer those questions as well. The raw food I like to feed has tons of organ meat and some bone for added calcium and teeth cleaning. They also have clean and economically sourced ingredients like rabbit, turkey, venison, and plenty of fruits and veggies.
When you have a good idea of if you want kibble or raw take a look at the ingredient panel of the food you are going to feed. The first five ingredients meat then binders and minerals, or is meat only the fist 2 or 3. The more meat or meal in a portion of food the better the protein and healthier your pet will be. It will take up to 3 months to get the old food out of the system and reduce the inflammation in the tummy.