PDSA

I recently introduced a new food to my dog. He is now completely on it and has become extremely itchy and is taking chunks of fur out of himself. Could the new food have caused this?

John Burns advises…

This could be a coincidence, as skin disorders are more likely to happen in warmer weather. However, I am not a great believer in coincidence, so there is a good chance that your dog has had an adverse reaction to one or more ingredients in the new food.

You don’t say why you changed his food so, unless there was a reason you weren’t completely happy with it, you could go back to it. Food allergy testing is completely unreliable so, if you are looking for a new food, the best way is by trial and error. To minimise the possibility of error, I suggest a hypoallergenic food that contains only a few natural, wholesome ingredients, is high in complex carbohydrate such as brown rice, and low in fat and protein.

Over the years, I have found this works very well for itchy dogs. For the best results, avoid all treats initially. Overfeeding can stimulate an intolerance reaction, so it is important to feed sparingly. It is also advisable to get professional advice from the food manufacturer rather than try to do this alone.

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