Chicken is a common ingredient found in many dog foods and treats as it’s a great source of protein and omega fatty acids, while also being low in fat. However, that’s not to say that this meat can’t cause problems in dogs.
If you’ve noticed your dog scratching or suffering from an upset stomach more than usual, you might be wondering whether their food is to blame. So, can a dog be allergic to chicken?
Dogs can be allergic to chicken. In fact, chicken, alongside soy, eggs, beef, dairy, wheat, and lamb are some of the most common allergens for dogs.
What Are the Symptoms of Chicken Allergy in Dogs?
Dogs develop chicken allergies when their immune system becomes excessively sensitive to the meat. Their body starts to view the chicken as dangerous, which causes the immune system to overreact and trigger an allergic response each time the ingredient is eaten.
Once your dog develops a chicken allergy, it can worsen each time they are exposed to the meat. This results in the immune system responding more aggressively and triggering more severe allergy symptoms.
Some dogs are more susceptible to food allergies due to genetics, but it’s also possible for dogs to develop them unexpectedly. This can occur even after eating the same food for many years.
It’s not clear why some dogs suddenly develop a food allergy, but the one thing we do know is that dogs need to be subjected to the food allergen at least once for a sensitivity to occur.
If you suspect your pooch has a sensitivity to their food, then you might be wondering “what are the symptoms of chicken allergy in dogs?”. Dogs suffering from a chicken allergy typically display the following symptoms:
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Itching and scratching, particularly around the feet, face, ears, and rear end
- Skin lesions, infections, or balding due to excessive scratching
- Inflamed ears due to scratching
These are the main symptoms of a chicken allergy in dogs, but some dogs might experience other side effects.
What Do You Feed a Dog with a Chicken Allergy?
If you think your dog has a chicken allergy, it’s a good idea to contact your vet for advice. Normally, your vet will place your dog on a prescription diet that doesn’t contain any chicken to see whether it’s the culprit behind your dog’s allergy symptoms.
After your dog has been on their new food for at least 8 weeks and their allergy symptoms have disappeared, you can reintroduce chicken. If your dog’s symptoms reemerge after eating chicken, then a chicken allergy can be confirmed.
Once your dog has been diagnosed with a chicken allergy, you should remove it entirely from their diet. A lot of commercial dog foods and treats contain chicken, so it’s important to thoroughly look at the ingredients on any edible product before you offer it to your pooch.
Ideally, look for brands that are natural, high-quality, and use limited ingredients. If real meat is listed as the first ingredient, that’s a plus. You should also opt for foods that use less common meat sources like rabbit and venison.
Alternatively, you could feed your dog a homemade diet to make sure they don’t accidentally ingest chicken. It’s a good idea to speak to your vet about your pooch’s new diet to check if it meets their nutritional needs.
Dog Allergic to Chicken – Is Turkey OK?
Turkey is another common ingredient found in foods and treats for dogs, so you might be wondering whether turkey is off-limits if your pooch has a chicken allergy.
Just because your dog is allergic to chicken doesn’t mean they are allergic to turkey. Dogs can have a chicken allergy but not a turkey allergy because the proteins in both poultries are different.
So, if your dog is sensitive to chicken, it’s completely fine to feed them turkey instead. But bear in mind that some dogs can be allergic to more than one ingredient.
If you notice your dog experiencing undesirable symptoms after eating turkey, then they could be allergic to both chicken and turkey or poultry in general.
If My Dog Is Allergic to Chicken, Is He Allergic to Eggs?
If a dog is allergic to chicken, surely that means they are allergic to chicken eggs, too? Surprisingly, just because your dog is allergic to chicken does not automatically mean they are allergic to eggs.
This is because the proteins in chicken and eggs are different, and allergies are caused by proteins specific to that food. However, eggs are still a common allergen for many dogs.
If your dog experiences side effects like vomiting, diarrhea, or itching after eating eggs, then they might be allergic to them in addition to chicken.
So, to sum things up, dogs can be allergic to chicken either through genetics or over time. The best way to confirm a chicken allergy diagnosis is by removing the offending ingredient from your dog’s diet before reintroducing at a later date.
If your dog’s symptoms come back, then chicken is likely the culprit. However, just because your dog has a chicken allergy doesn’t mean they are allergic to turkey and eggs. This is because the proteins in both of these foods are different than the ones present in chicken.
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