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Dog Allergies - Food for Dog Allergies
Evidence shows that dog allergies may be linked to enzyme robbing. Allergies show up when there is a lack of sufficient enzymes to digest certain foods - these foods are then rejected by the body and show up as 'allergies'.
A balanced homemade diet, raw or cooked provides the proper enzyme balance.
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The Causes of Dog Allergies
Veterinary literature covers a great deal of information with regard to the symptoms of food allergies in dogs, along with drug therapies and elimination diets. But there is very little information available with regard to the causes of allergic reactions to foods. Why do dogs become allergic to certain foods?
According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, “The number of offending food allergens varies from 1 to 5 ingredients per animal. The most frequently identified causative allergens in canine food allergy include beef, chicken, corn, wheat, soy and milk.” A strict elimination diet is recommended, as well as steroid drug therapy.
At Know Better Pet Food, we believe that the causes of dog food allergies are many, and they include:
1. Over processed and inappropriate commercial pet food ingredients which are ground, rendered, baked, colored, sprayed with preservatives and aromatizers, and then compressed into various shapes and dried at extremely high temperatures. They do not remotely resemble the original, raw material which went in to making them, but rather they have become dead food, completely devoid of wholesome nutrition, and incompatible with the maintenance of bodily health.
2. Lack of beneficial bacteria in the gut due to the administration of antibiotics, steroids and various other drugs.
3. The use of pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, growth hormones, steroid drugs, food preservatives, sterilizing agents, etc. to which our domestic livestock is exposed on a daily basis, for a lifetime.
4. Overuse of vaccines.
5. In our opinion, the most important cause, and perhaps the least understood is enzyme robbing. A lack of sufficient enzymes results in the inability to digest certain foods, these foods are then rejected by the body as foreign invaders, and show up as allergies.
Enzymes run every function in our entire body. Digestive enzymes break down the food we eat so it can be used as a source of nutrients and a source of energy. Every cell relies on the raw materials provided to the body by digestive enzymes. If you do not have enough enzymes you can develop a vast myriad of illnesses. All the food and nutritional supplements you consume will not do any good if they are not sufficiently broken down and absorbed by the body.
In other words, enzymes keep us alive! They are either contained in the body, or made through what we are fed. Enzymes are proteins, and like all proteins, they consist of amino acids. (I can see your eyes glazing over, but please stay with me.) By definition, enzymes are catalysts that make many essential biochemical reactions happen, and are not used up or chemically altered in the process. They help chemical reactions take place quickly and efficiently. In the digestive process, some chemical reactions would either happen very slowly or not occur at all without enzymes.
Food is essentially just a mixture of chemicals that are broken down by enzymes. Enzymes unlock the benefits of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and hormones and put them to work in the body. Food that has been cooked is devoid of enzymes, because heat-processing destroys these enzymes.
According to Swedish researchers, raw foods pass through a dog's stomach in about 4 ½ hours. On the other hand, dry kibble takes up to 16 hours to pass out of the stomach. A dog's stomach is designed to deal with raw foods, but why does it take so long to digest a dry diet? The answer is Enzymes. The dry matter will not digest efficiently because it has been heat-processed, and there are not sufficient digestive enzymes to do the job.
What happens as a result is something called 'enzyme-robbing'. The brain sends messages out to the various organs of the body, including the heart, the liver, the kidneys and various other parts of the body, to transport enzymes to the stomach. The food sits there until enough enzymes are available for digestion. And in the process, the organs of the body become deficient, and they become pre-disposed to disease. There is some evidence that enzyme robbing may be linked to a variety of 'allergies'. If there are not sufficient enzymes to 'do the job' of digesting certain foods, these foods are rejected by the body, and show up as 'allergies'.
Typical reactions to food allergies include ear infections, generalized itchiness around ears, feet, groin, forelegs, muzzle, axillary area (armpit), vomiting and diarrhea, sometimes poor coat health and skin lesions.
A whole foods protocol is essential if food allergies are suspected. This includes elimination of current processed foods, and an introduction of a completely different dietary regimen. A high protein diet based on raw meat is the most desirable option, followed by a cooked meat diet. A dog is a carnivore, and therefore requires proteins (amino acids), minerals, micro-nutrients, fats and vitamins in their raw state.