Is Fresh Food Better for Dogs with Allergies?
Food allergies are one of the five most common allergies & hypersensitivities affecting dogs with symptoms such as itchy feet, skin problems, and digestive issues. Deciding what food to feed your dog with allergies can sometimes be an overwhelming process. We want the best possible option for our fur babies, but with so many options out there it can be hard to feel like you’re making the right decision.
In this article, we’ve broken down the reasons why minimally-processed, fresh food is the best option for pets with allergies. Fresh food can take the stress out of finding your dog food to help combat those skin allergies. Fresh food offers optimal health support in reducing the root cause of allergies and inflammation.
How Commercial Food For Pets Can Lead to Allergies
Allergies in pets can be caused by many things, and commercial pet foods are not helping.
Commercial diets have preservatives and additives in order to extend their shelf life. Unfortunately, these preservatives can play a part in your pet's food allergies. Preservatives such as sulfites cause a depletion of thiamine in food, an essential nutrient your pet needs. Severe illness can occur when thiamine is lacking in a pet’s diet.
BHA & BHT are two common synthetic antioxidants, chemicals put into your pet's food. Synthetic antioxidants (BHA & BHT) are added to preserve the organic compounds (lipids) from deteriorating in the food. These compounds are fats and oils that are a part of commercial diet recipes.
Research has shown that commonly found food preservatives can cause health hazards such as hypersensitivity, allergy, asthma, hyperactivity, neurological damage, and cancer.
BHT: Butylated Hydroxytoluene is defined by the World Health Organization as a carcinogen, and has been shown to cause kidney and liver damage in rats. It has also been banned as a food preservative for humans in The UK, and several other countries, although it is used in other industries such as cosmetics, rubber products, and food packaging.
BHA: Butylated Hydroxyanisole is used in both packaging material and foods containing fats and oils, this synthetic antioxidant is a common additive in commercial pet foods. The State of California & The World Health Organization also recognizes this synthetic antioxidant as a cancer-causing agent.
When these added preservatives are being fed to our beloved pets, they begin to have a lasting effect on them. An immune system that is being diminished slowly leaves room for illness in many forms. Allergies are a prime example.
Artificial Palatants: Palatants are lab-made coatings to persuade cats and dogs to eat something they would otherwise avoid. Pat Moeller, AFB’s Vice President at the time stated, “They may have more fish meal in one and more poultry meal in another, but the flavors may or may not change” in regards to wet cat food. This means commercial diets will state the recipes are different, i.e. fish or chicken, but ultimately will taste the same. Animals can eat a small amount of processed foods, but consuming a lifetime of it is detrimental to their health.
Storage Mites: Grain-rich food is a breeding ground for storage mites. This occurs once the bag has been opened, allowing for moisture to develop and mold to grow. Pets are exposed to storage mites through ingestion and/or inhalation and allergies often arise after their new bag food has been contaminated.
High Heat: The destruction of nutrients at high temperature changes the molecular structure of the protein. Food allergies commonly arise because our pet's immune system does not recognize this new protein structure. This could explain why our pets may be allergic to a specific protein in kibble, but be fine eating that same protein in an unprocessed form. Heavy processing like this can also cause an “off-flavor” which means companies add a large number of additives and artificial palatants to make it edible.
Why Fresh Food for Dogs With Allergies?
Finding food for dogs with allergies can be challenging - but it doesn’t have to be!
Food allergies are most commonly seen in pets who are eating the same over-processed food every day because they have developed an allergy to it.
Feeding your dog a diet made with minimal, natural ingredients can do wonders for your dog's health. By offering a fresh food diet with novel proteins such as rabbit, turkey, or duck, alongside organic leafy greens and fruits that are antioxidants your dog is now being given the nutrients it needs to build up their immunity and begin reducing irritation and inflammation in their body.
Besides being highly digestible and tasty, fresh food diets contain a great balance of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fatty acids that the body can properly utilize. When the body properly utilizes these nutrients you will begin to see an increase in energy, a shiny & beautiful coat, bye-bye to stinky breath and even making the stool smaller.
What To Look For In Fresh Food
When you begin looking for a new diet to help with your dog's allergies make
sure you are opting for recipes with minimal, natural, & organic (when possible) ingredients that support and promote health and immunity. You should be able to find the same ingredients in your pet food at your local grocery store.
For example, seeing a chicken allergy in dogs is extremely common, this is often due to the overprocessing of chicken in commercial diets. When you are looking for a fresh food diet you want to try a protein that would be considered novel to start with. A novel protein is a protein your pets have never tried before such as turkey, rabbit, or duck. Although turkey and chicken may seem similar, turkey offers a higher amount of vitamins and minerals which helps boost your pet's immune system. Turkey is also not as intensely farmed as chicken meaning turkey is the more expensive protein making it used far less often than chicken.
We start with a novel protein so that the body can be stripped of all the toxins the current food is currently feeding it. By changing your dog's diet, its body begins to recognize this new food as actual nutrients and is now able to send healthy, immune-supporting nutrients into parts of the body that need to heal.
This is where external symptoms like inflammation, itching, red ears, yeast infections, red and dry flaky skin, and hot spots begin to heal. It’s not just the external body at work here either, your dog’s GI tract begins to heal allowing good bacteria to populate again giving power back to your dog's immune system.
While picking food with a novel protein is important, it is equally important to make sure that the correct vitamins & minerals, omega fatty acids, and fruits & veggies are being incorporated into the diet.
This is where you see transformations happen.
Why Choose Kafka’s Organic?
Kafka’s Organic is science-based and vet-backed to be the optimal fresh food diet for your pets, especially those with allergies or skin sensitivities.
All our meals are carefully formulated with a variety of ethically sourced proteins, vitamins, minerals, omega fatty acids, organic leafy greens, fruits, and even bone broth for added moisture, flavor, and a rich protein-filled source of collagen!
A healthy option formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages with all of the prep work already done for you.
Kafka’s Organic recipes are made by hand in small batches and stored in the freezer (no preservatives or additives!) so all you need to do is thaw and serve.