Allergies are real, and your German Shepherd food allergies are co-existent with skin allergies and other allergies. Food allergies are not only restricted to German Shepherds; in fact, all other dog breeds are also prone to this allergy. According to some statistics, 10% of German Shepherds develop allergies during their lives.
There are two types of allergies to which your dog is susceptible: environmental and food allergies. In environmental allergy, the components present in the environment cause specific reactions in the body. Moreover, foods that irritate your dog’s gut are food allergens.
- 1 Are German Shepherds Prone to Allergies? – German Shepherd Food Allergies
- 2 Are there Allergies Other than Food that a German Shepherd is Allergic to?
- 3 How Do I Know That My Dog Has Food Allergy?
- 4 What are the Common Food Allergens for German Shepherds?
- 5 What are the Symptoms of Food Allergies in German Shepherd?
- 6 Can a Dog Inherit Food Allergies?
- 7 Is there any Cure for German Shepherd Food Allergies?
- 8 Conclusion
Are German Shepherds Prone to Allergies? – German Shepherd Food Allergies
Just like humans, German Shepherds and other dogs can develop allergies at any point in their lives. Moreover, a German Shepherd with a short, thin coat is more likely to develop allergies. Allergies in German Shepherds and other dogs are tough to deal with.
Canine breeds suffer not only from skin rashes and itching but also from flu-like symptoms and gastrointestinal problems. Allergies typically develop in dogs between the ages of 2 and 5 years. Additionally, the allergies can be developed with time or passed on to your dog genetically.
Moreover, dogs can also suffer from food intolerance, which is different from food allergies.
Are there Allergies Other than Food that a German Shepherd is Allergic to?
Other than food allergies, there are several types of allergies that your dog is prone to:
- Flea —- 40% of dogs are affected
- Environmental —- 15% of dogs are affected
- Food —- 10% of dogs are affected
- Contact —- Rare chances of effects
As you can see, fleas are the primary reason dogs get allergies. Pollen and other dust particles in the environment are causing problems in dogs and humans, and food is also a contributing factor in causing allergic reactions in dogs.
Allergies are rarely transferable from one infected dog to another healthy dog.
How Do I Know That My Dog Has Food Allergy?
The development of food allergies in your dog may be genetic or occur with time. German Shepherd food allergies are common, and they can cause allergic reactions in the dog’s body. Pet owners usually get confused about the diet that causes an allergic reaction in their dogs.
So, how do you determine whether a dog has a food allergy or not?
According to the American Kennel Club, food allergy responses are rapid. The body of your dog shows the response to particular antigens very quickly. For example, a dog eats peanuts, and right after eating them, it experiences difficulty breathing and redness on the face. All of these symptoms show that your dog is allergic to peanuts.
Elimination Diet Trial:
The only true and correct way to find out whether your German Shepherd food allergies to any food or not is through a trial. The diet trial is eight weeks long. Moreover, no medications or multivitamins are recommended in this process, as they can disturb the entire process.
In the elimination trial, the dog eats only one hypoallergenic food recommended by a veterinarian. Introducing a single dog treat to this diet will affect the trial result. Since one diet is difficult to manage, you have to do it for your pet.
One important thing to mention is that an elimination diet is a diet that your dog has never eaten before.
What Will Happen After Eight Weeks?
You can conclude the result after eight weeks of a hypoallergenic diet or elimination diet. As a result, if your dog has a food allergy, the severity of the allergy will be reduced. Moreover, your dog will show a 50–100% improvement in his health.
A dietary challenge is the next step of the elimination diet. In this step, your vet will ask you to feed your dog the food that it usually eats. The next step is to observe whether your dog shows any allergic reactions.
The vet gives guidance on how to perform the dietary challenge to avoid any mistakes.
What are the Common Food Allergens for German Shepherds?
German Shepherd food allergies can cause serious health issues. There are different foods that German Shepherd and other dog breeds can have allergic reactions.
The yolk in the egg is responsible for allergic reactions in dogs. The yolk contains a protein that the body thinks of as an antigen. Moreover, the response toward the protein results in severe symptoms in dogs.
Egg allergies can cause:
- Itchy skin
The most common type of allergy in German Shepherds is because of chicken. As mentioned above, the primary component in food, i.e., protein, causes allergic reactions in dogs. Every dog food has chicken in it. Hence, you have to be very careful before feeding your dog.
For example, the fish food (salmon) will have some quantity of chicken in it. So, always read the ingredients before buying any food for your German Shepherd. However, if your dog is not allergic to chicken, you should not stop him from eating it.
Additionally, chicken allergies account for 15% of food allergies in dogs.
It is another protein-rich food that can produce allergic symptoms in your German Shepherd. Moreover, beef causes 35% of food allergies in dogs. The percentage shows that allergies due to meat is more common than in chicken.
Moreover, beef is present in dog foods. The best approach is to check the label before buying any dog food.
Wheat is a controversial component when it comes to food allergies. Additionally, there is a concept that all grains cause some allergies in dogs. Usually, pet owners avoid all the grains in their dog’s diet.
German Shepherds and other dogs can have grains in their diet. Additionally, if your dog shows allergic reactions to wheat or any grain, then stop giving this to your dog. A grain-free diet is associated with several health issues in dogs.
Moreover, the allergy prevalence due to wheat is 13%.
Along with chicken and beef, dairy is also a part of dog food. The lactose in milk causes allergic reactions in dogs. Since dogs with dairy allergies cannot have milk, they can still have cheese and yogurt.
Additionally, the nature of lactose in cow’s milk and cheese is not the same. Hence, your dog can have goat milk and cheese to meet its dairy need.
According to studies, dairy causes 17% of food allergies
Some studies suggest that soy cannot directly cause allergies, but it can cause other health issues. Generally, it is not advisable to add soy to dog food.
Moreover, soy causes diseases in dogs like:
- Thyroid issues
- Reproductive issues
- Growth problems
- Liver diseases
As previously stated, different foods cause different allergies. Do you know that dogs can eat mushrooms as well? Want to learn more about whether dogs can eat mushrooms? Please read our guide on dogs and mushrooms.
What are the Symptoms of Food Allergies in German Shepherd?
Usually, dogs show similar symptoms, primarily to every allergen. But the symptoms can vary in German Shepherds and other dogs. Symptoms of food allergies are:
- Itching on skin
- Itching on paws
- Excessive skin scratching
- Skin rashes
- Red eyes
- Vomiting and diarrhoea
- Hair loss
- Ear infections
Can a Dog Inherit Food Allergies?
Every pet owner’s widespread concern is whether their dog can inherit any allergies. The answer to this question is “yes.” Dogs can develop the same types of allergies their parents were allergic to.
Another consideration is your dog’s eating habits and patterns. Moreover, if your dog eats the same food for years, he is more likely to develop an allergy to that particular food. Hence, it is advisable to give a variety of foods to your dog for him to enjoy.
Is there any Cure for German Shepherd Food Allergies?
The only cure for food allergies is to avoid having that particular food in your dog’s diet. The best practice is to cook food for your dog at home rather than buy it from the store. Additionally, you can ask your vet to prescribe a diet for your dog.
Additional practice is to add hydrolyzed proteins to your dog foods. The hydrolyzed protein helps avoid any allergic reactions in your dog’s body.
German Shepherd food allergies exist along with other types of allergies. The prevalence of food allergies is lower than environmental allergies or allergies caused by fleas. German Shepherds, like other dogs, are prone to different allergies.
As a pet owner, you need to take extra care of your dog to avoid getting sick. Moreover, if your dog shows any allergy symptoms, take it to the vet as soon as possible. Take the advice of your vet and either give medication or avoid particular allergens in your dog’s diet.
The best way to keep your dog from developing a food allergy is to prepare its food at home. Stop buying food from grocery stores if your dog is allergic to some food items.