January 13, 2022 2 min read
A study published in a German small animal veterinary journal in 2018 found that 60% of dogs with skin allergy issues caused by their dog food improved after eating only insect protein for two weeks.
The dogs all presented atopic dermatitis, an inflammatory, chronic skin disease associated with allergies. It's also the second most common allergic skin disease in dogs. The study noted improvement in dogs' lesion scores (based on the Canine Atopic Dermatitis Lesion Index) and coat quality after 14 days of a strict insect protein diet.
Insect protein is not a fad in the pet food industry. The insect-based pet food market is expected to reach $17 billion, with demand increasing 7% annually through 2031. This growth is driven as much by insect protein's sustainability as its health benefits, and food allergies are a concern for many pup parents.
Just about any food ingredient can cause allergy problems for dogs. Still, proteins are easily the most common food allergens for dogs, including dairy products, beef, lamb, chicken, and eggs. These are also among the most common legacy pet food ingredients.
While most any ingredient has the potential for allergies in dogs, gluten allergies are rare. Often a food intolerance may be the culprit for a dog with GI or skin issues, where the food has too much fat or too much or too little fiber or has other ingredients that don't agree with your pup. Your veterinarian can help navigate the difference and what to look for to determine whether food allergies or intolerance are the root cause.
Food allergies present in dogs with itchy skin or digestive issues like vomiting or diarrhea. Dermatologic problems are most likely to be present around the dogs' ears or paws. Hyperactivity, weight loss, lack of energy, and aggression are also possible symptoms.
Diagnosing food allergies can be difficult, and food allergy symptoms can often mimic symptoms of other common ailments like fleas and environmental allergies. Blood, saliva, and hair tests can all be unreliable.
As indicated from the aforementioned 2018 study, dietary changes – especially those including insect protein – can play a leading role in improving food allergies among dogs.
Another study published in the Canadian Veterinary Journal in 2019 found that participants reported that 82% of dogs suffering from dog food allergy dermatologic symptoms improved within three months of changing their diet. Meanwhile, 61% of dog food allergy sufferers with gastrointestinal symptoms showed improvement within one month.
Parents of pups with allergies should be on guard. Dogs that have developed an allergy to one particular food may develop other food-related allergies in the future. So dog lovers should pay close attention to ingredients, veterinarian instructions, and their dog's reactions to different foods.
If you haven't tried insect protein for your dog, now is the time.Neo Bites' insect protein dog food toppers are specially formulated to support your pup's health, including our Digestive Aid Topper and Skin & Coat Topper, promoting healthy skin, a shiny coat, and firm poops.
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