There are several foods your dog can be allergic to; the most common food allergies are; beef, lamb, chicken, soy, wheat, etc. Chicken allergies are among the top three food that is likely to cause an allergic reaction in dogs, so yes, dogs can be allergic to chicken.
However, to establish if your dog is indeed allergic to chicken, the dog ought to have fed on chicken for a while. Allergic reactions take time to manifest in the dog’s immune systems. The effects get severe as you continue feeding your dog chicken without taking substantial measures to mitigate the allergic reaction.
Today, a vast percentage of premium dog food has chicken, and its subsequent products are part of their ingredients. Be mindful of this when feeding your dog. The dog might not be intolerant to the entire food being provided but just specific components, especially chicken.
What Causes Chicken Allergy in Dogs?
Chicken allergy in dogs gets triggered when its immune system identifies the ingredient as unwelcomed and dangerous to the body. An allergic reaction occurs due to the failure of the dog’s digestive system to break down chicken protein into amino acids fully.
When proteins are fully broken down into amino acids, it leads to a successful absorption by enterocytes. However, for chicken proteins, the dog’s system fails to complete the digestion process, leading its immune system to release antibodies to fight the dangerous food.
There are some breeds of dogs that are genetically susceptible to chicken allergy and food allergies in general. Some allergies may not be visible when your dog is still a puppy but start to come to light at three years or so because of consistent feeding with chicken. Environmental factors can contribute to an allergic reaction to chicken too.
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Symptoms of Chicken Allergy in Dogs
We have established that dogs can be allergic to chicken due to continuous feeding. Eventually, the signs and symptoms of chicken allergy in dogs will manifest, making it easy for you to rule the abnormality with your dog as an allergic reaction to chicken. The following symptoms are common with chicken allergy in dogs;
- Gastrointestinal problems like; vomiting, gas, and diarrhea. If not identified and treated early can lead to Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
- Intensive itchiness and scratching.
- Skin injuries, inflammation, infection, rashes due to scratching. This can eventually lead to wounds and bleeding.
- Ear inflammation as a result of consistent scratching.
- Coughing, wheezing, and constant head shaking can also be another sign to consider for chicken allergy in dogs.
How to treat Chicken Allergy in Dogs
The moment you suspect your dog might be having a chicken allergy, consulting a veterinarian is the most sensible thing to do based on the symptoms listed above. In many cases, the vet will recommend taking chicken meals off your dog’s diet for some time to find out if the chicken was the food causing the allergy initially.
During this period, please feed your dog with hypoallergic protein or novel protein food, which will be recommended to you by the veterinarian. Homemade meals are also an effective way to provide healthy and befitting food to your dog.
Once your dog’s health has improved significantly from feeding on alternative food, then reintroducing chicken is ideal at this point. If your dog develops an allergic response again, then taking out chicken meals from your dog’s diet indefinitely will be the next course of action.
Sticking to your vet’s recommended diet and homemade meals is the best approach to combating chicken allergy in your dog long term. It is prudent to always check with your veterinarian if any new premium dog food you want to introduce to your dog is appropriate before blindly feeding your overly sensitive dog with it.