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A large majority of dry and wet dog food includes chicken ingredients, so it’s a quite common element to find in a dog’s diet.
And while it’s a great source of protein for some dogs, for others, not so much.
Do you think your dog could be allergic to chicken? Keep reading to find out.
Can Dogs Be Allergic to Chicken?
Dogs can definitely be allergic to chicken!
When a dog is allergic to chicken, it means that his body can’t break down the chicken protein. The dog’s immune system essentially will identify the chicken as dangerous, resulting in an uncomfortable allergic response whenever he eats it.
How Common is a Chicken Allergy in Dogs?
A chicken allergy is actually considered reasonably common in dogs, and that’s because it’s such a common ingredient found in dog foods these days.
Did you know that if you feed your dog chicken consistently throughout his life, this can result in him developing an intolerance or allergy to the chicken?
It’s true, and for this reason, as a preventative measure, some vets recommend switching up the protein your dog eats on a semi-regular basis.
But this isn’t the only cause of a chicken allergy in dogs. In fact, some breeds are genetically predisposed to some food allergies, and it’s just something that’s born with them.
Now, there isn’t that much research around which dog breeds are the most susceptible but, there’s data that the following breeds tend to suffer from food allergies more than others:
- Golden Retrievers
- German Shepherds
- Cocker Spaniels
- Shih Tzus
- West Highland White Terriers
- Yorkshire Terriers
Is Your Dog Allergic to chicken?
What about your pup? Does he suffer from a chicken allergy?
The symptoms of chicken allergies sometimes can manifest like a skin allergy! The sooner you can spot the symptoms the sooner you can step in:
- Itching and scratching excessively, especially around the face, ears, and around their mouth.
- Licking or biting at their paws.
- Hair loss, bald patches, and skin irritation.
- Rashes, blood, scars, skin inflammation, and infections caused by itching and scratching.
- Shaking head vigorously.
- Scooting across the floors or carpets to relieve an itch on the dog’s rear and/or regular licking of the rear end.
- Regular vomiting, flatulence, and diarrhea.
If you believe your dog may be allergic, the first step is contacting your vet.
They will likely advise an elimination diet, whereby your dog’s diet will be changed completely to exclude chicken and any chicken products.
You will want to be super-mindful when getting new treats for your dog! Remember that they need to be completely poultry-free and have no sneaky chicken flavoring or by-products that can trigger a negative response.
After several weeks, you’ll be instructed to re-introduce certain foods, eventually chicken, and keep note of your dog’s reaction. This will essentially determine if it was indeed the chicken causing the allergy.
Managing Your Dog’s Chicken Allergy
Once it has been determined that your sweet pup does indeed have a chicken allergy, it’s time to help him overcome his discomfort. Here’s what you can do to help!
- Topical cream: Your dog may have done some damage when he was scratching for relief. To help his wounds or scratches heal faster, you can use topical creams.
- Diet management: Your pup will no longer be able to eat chicken, so it will be important to check everything that he eats, including treats. There are plenty of hypoallergenic dog foods, as well as other proteins that are equally tasty but not upsetting.
- Consistency: You must have a lot of patience when working with your dog to find foods that work. Be sure to stick to a new food for at least a month before changing it again. Too many changes can just result in an upset stomach, which can irritate your furry bestie even more.
- No cheat days: We humans often allow ourselves to indulge in some cheeky treats, but for dogs who are learning to adjust their diets, it’s best to avoid them. Don’t worry though! Those of us who like to spoil our dogs can do so once their diet is more regulated. Be careful of items/treats outside and in the backyard, too.
- Monitor any changes: Dedicate a specific food/diet journal for your dog, to chart any changes or positive things you notice.
To instill change for your dog and to improve their overall health, will take time. You will need to be patient and dedicate a lot of time to the process.
Just keep in mind that when switching up your dog’s diet, you will want to ensure the new diet is properly balanced and full of delicious vitamins and nutrients. Your vet is, as always, an amazing resource when it comes to what food is best.
If your furry friend has a chicken allergy, try not to despair too much!
It’s a very common allergy amongst dogs and with the right attention and diet, your pup can continue to get his protein from other nutritious sources and go on to enjoy a happy, healthy, and still indulgent life.