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Recognize a food allergy in your dog

© Michael McCollum Harley is a food-allergic black Lab who eats only homemade food.
© Michael McCollum

Incessant itching may not seem serious, but it can turn very serious. You need to stop it.

The first thing to do is make certain that there are no fleas on the dog. Allergies to fleas are very common and can cause incessant scratching. The only flea killer that’s been proven to work is Frontline.

If there are no fleas, determine any changes in bedding, shampoo, carpet cleaner, food brand. If no changes is the answer, then it’s likely that the dog is allergic to something in its diet.

The main culprits are corn, gluten and grains; read labels and then choose food that doesn’t contain those. Feed the new food for five weeks, and if scratching hasn‘t stopped, try another ingredient.

As so, it can take a lot of changes, tons of time and many vet visits to pin down the cause of a food problem. And the poor dog suffers the entire time because the allergen hasn’t been found.

It’s time to stop feeding all commercial foods and begin making homemade dog food and treats. The dog will start healing sooner. Here is a simple recipe that can be changed up. Just use the ‘few-rule;’ use as few ingredients as possible to introduce as few potential allergens as possible.

You will need:
1 lb. ground meat 1 cup dry rice 1 package frozen veggies (NOT corn!)
Brown the meat and crumble it. Don’t drain the fat off; dogs need some nutritious fat, too. Make the rice according to directions. When the meat has browned, add the frozen veggies – the whole package. Allow to heat the veggies thoroughly. Mix all ingredients. Cool. Divide the cooked food into meal-size amounts and refrigerate.

Of course, larger dogs will eat half the cooked amount twice a day; a smaller dog will eat smaller amounts. A good way to do it is to cook the dog meals right along with dinner, then allow it to cool before giving it to him; give half now, half tomorrow morning. This way nobody has to get up just to make the dog food.

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