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When the environment or the food makes dogs ill.

About 15% of our domestic dogs suffer from allergies nowadays.

Here you will find out everything you need to know on this subject…

Understanding allergies –

Why your dog can have an allergic reaction. What allergies are there, and what are the symptoms and the most common triggers?

Recognising allergies -

How to track down the causes. What are the best and worst diagnostic procedures?

Avoiding allergies –

What is good for sensitive animals. How to boost your dog's health by means of targeted nutrition!  

Allergy - Understanding food allergy

Allergies are overreactions of the immune system.

When people or animals with illness symptoms react to substances from their environment, they suffer an allergic reaction. The triggering so-called allergens include pollen, mildew spores, dust mites and also the protein in food. The food allergy that this triggers is the third most frequent type of allergy among dogs.

Triggers and symptoms

The predisposition to allergies is often inherited by puppies. The outbreak thereof depends on many factors. Initial signs of illness often develop months or years after contact with the allergen. To begin with the initial symptoms only appear for a short time, but increase every time contact occurs. This is often in the form of itching, which can lead to skin inflammation. Digestive problems such as vomiting and diarrhoea or respiratory problems with coughing, sneezing and lack of breath are less common. Whereas allergic people usually react immediately to food, the initial reactions often occur hours or even days later in dogs. It is therefore difficult to diagnose food allergies.

Problems with proteins

Food allergies most frequently relate to certain food proteins that are contained within every dog food. Studies have shown that these are usually proteins from cows, pigs, soya, milk and dairy products or grain. Fish and rice, however, seldom trigger allergies.

Allergy - Recognising food allergy

It is often difficult to make a reliable diagnosis.

Observing your animal can be useful. Whereas itching caused by a food allergy causes problems all year round, symptoms caused by grass and pollen allergies die down after the summer months. The Albert Heim Foundation carried out a study in order to find out which diagnosis methods exist and how reliable they are. The results were as follows.

The exclusion diet

A method that is frequently used for people and animals. In this case the dog is fed with ingredients that do not trigger allergic reactions (e.g. rice) for a long period. If the condition of the dog improves in the long term, the previous ingredients that were used are added to the dog's food. If the symptoms occur again within 14 days, it is assumed that the dog has a food allergy. This method can only be used to identify areas, but not to determine the exact trigger. The responsibility for the success of the prolonged action is with the family. A meaningful result can only be achieved if consistent action is taken.

The oral provocation test

In this test, the dog is fed with food containing the protein that is assumed to contain the incompatible protein until the dog shows allergic symptoms. Unfortunately, this test is not accurate and it is difficult to identify a food allergy compared to other sickness patterns. In spite of this it is useful to know which proteins your dog reacts to - which means that food problems can be avoided.

The allergy test in the large intestine mucous membrane

Works similarly to the skin allergy test in human medicine. Suspicious proteins are injected into the mucous membrane of the large intestine under anaesthetic. The vet can check the reaction of the mucous membrane or take tissue samples using an endoscope. This method is frequently used for dogs with chronic diarrhoea. According to studies, this test quickly identifies the food constituents that the animal reacts to. This is a good decision-making aid for putting together the optimum nutrition.

The blood test

Frequently used to determine the allergy factors of animals. The antibodies in the blood are measured (IgE and IgG). This method has been taken over from human medicine. However, little is known about whether the IgE level in the blood allows conclusions to be drawn about food allergies in dogs. According to the Albert Heim Foundation, no differences could be found in comparison tests between healthy animals and dogs with food allergies, parvovirus and worms. A blood test isn't much help in clarifying food allergies!

The Meradog summary

The exclusion diet is a prolonged method in which the responsibility lies with the owner and his relatives. Only strict adherence to the diet plan can help to effectively identify allergy potential. The provocation test is used reluctantly because you provoke symptoms that you would like to spare your dog. The allergy test in the large intestine mucous membrane has to be carried out under anaesthetic. However, this is an extremely reliable method of accurately determining the allergy-triggering proteins, which makes food selection considerably easier. According to various studies, the blood test is not suitable for diagnosing food allergy.

Allergy - Avoiding food allergy

The most promising treatment for an allergy

is avoiding the allergens. This is not possible in all cases. If the allergy only occurs for a short time, alleviating preparations can be prescribed for this period. Different options can be used for long-term treatment, and should be adapted to each patient by the vet.

In the event of a food allergy

After accurately determining the allergy-triggering factors, a food without these substances can be selected that your dog can tolerate better. For cases like this, Meradog provides different food variants with only one single protein source and one carbohydrate source with its well-tried pure product line.

Meradog pure is the ideal solution

for many food allergies. Because sometimes, less is simply more. Meradog pure reduces triggering allergy potentials to a minimum, and provides healthy variation in the bowl with six tasty variants. 

Allergy - Preventing recipes - food allergy

Consult your vet

if you think that your dog has a food allergy. Because even if your suspicion is confirmed by a professional diagnosis, this does not mean that your dog has to go without tasty food for the rest of its life.

Find exactly what your dog reacts to.

You should obtain clarification as to which ingredients in the previous nourishment were responsible for the problems. Because the practical experience of many concerned dog owners has shown that allergy-related feeding problems can now be brought under control with a special ingredient-reduced food.

Food allergy – Not a problem with Meradog pure.

By concentrating on a single protein source and a single carbohydrate source, you can avoid ingredients that your animal cannot tolerate with our well-tried product line, and therefore minimise the risk of allergy considerably. The entire pure product line consistently avoids known food allergens and also provides a variety of flavours. We are delighted to be able to provide high-quality alternatives for health-conscious feeding of demanding dogs with food allergies.

Do you have any more questions?

We would be pleased to reply to your questions, also in person.