What is causing my dog’s allergies?

Let food heal them, By Angie Ardolino

A pet grooming and boarding facility like Beautify the Beast sees a fair share of furry friends every day and often times the ailments they suffer. Recently, we’ve seen many dogs with allergy symptoms like yeast infections, swollen paw pads, rashes, and runny eyes. After years of research and speaking with several vets, food seems to be the main cause of irritation for many canines.

Now finding nutritious chow is the tricky part. Dog food producers, like producers of human food, often use ambiguous terms like “natural” and “healthy” to draw your attention. So the first step when in search of dog food is skipping all the fancy labels on the front and looking at the nutrition panel. Studies have shown that certain ingredients more commonly cause allergies. Here’s a list of the worst:

  1. beef
  2. pork
  3. dairy products
  4. chicken
  5. rabbit
  6. lamb
  7. fish
  8. chicken eggs
  9. corn
  10. wheat
  11. soy

That’s right, BEEF! Not only are these the most common allergy-causing ingredients, they’re also the most commonly used in inexpensive, corn-based dog foods found on store shelves. Did you know that animal protein, while a good source of essential nutrients, should only make up about 10 percent of your dog’s diet? So don’t be deceived by brands that offer beef, chicken, and lamb as the first ingredients or number one protein source.

Unlike cats, dogs are omnivores. Which means they can survive on a balanced, diverse plant and/or animal diet. After searching years for a nutrient-packed, plant-based dog food, I stumbled on author and farm advocate Gene Baur’s recommendation of V-Dog. All four of my dogs (Nina the 4 year-old Doberman, Odie the 10 year-old Toy Schnauzer, Jolene the 3 year-old mixed breed, and my foster Hercules the 13 year-old Miniature Pincher) love V-Dog. To keep the food interesting for my dogs, I’ll often add farm fresh eggs from my chickens (with the shell), or sautéed spinach with garlic in coconut oil or veggies and fruits like apples, carrots, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes.

Beautify the Beast is an authorized seller of V-Dog. We carry small and large sized bags, V-Dog dog treats, and other unique items. If you’d like more information or would like to switch your dog to V-Dog, call us at 813-949-1288, email, or stop by Beautify the Beast (1900 Land O’Lakes Blvd in Lutz, 33549).

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