Basset Hound care is relatively simple, especially when it comes to grooming their smooth coat. That being said, not all care you need to provide your dog is external. There are other factors that may lead to poor health and distress in your dog such as allergies to food.
Although food allergies are not necessarily a health concern for most Basset Hounds, this doesn’t mean that a Basset Hound cannot develop them. Allergies can occur at anytime, usually develop between the ages 2 and 6, and affect about 10% of all dogs. This means that your dog can develop an allergy to a food he was once not allergic too.
On the other hand, it is possible for your dog to suffer from food intolerance and not allergies. Food intolerance creates digestive distress in a dog, very similar to how a human reacts to food intolerance such as eating too much spice or rich food.
Regardless if your dog suffers from food allergies or food intolerance, you need to know how to respond so you can provide the best Basset Hound care to your dog.
How will you know if your Basset Hound suffers from food allergies? Check for the following symptoms:
- Itching and scratching
- Shaking of head
- Inflammation in ears
- Loss of hair
- Rubbing face
- Loss of appetite
- Itchy anus
- Excessive licking of feet
What types of food cause food allergies in dogs? Although it is often difficult to determine the exact food product that causes a negative reaction, the following ingredients in food that are considered to be the most likely culprits:
- Protein – beef, chicken, pork, turkey, lamb, eggs, fish, etc.
- Milk products
- Grains – wheat, corn, soy
As soon as you suspect a food allergy, you need to seek Basset Hound care from your veterinarian. If your vet believes that your dog is suffering from a food allergy, he/she will put your Basset Hound on an elimination diet.
An elimination diet is one that does not include any of the food ingredients listed above, and then works to slowly introduce each food back into the diet to find out the source of the allergy. In order to provide your dog with this diet, you can either prepare his/her meals, or purchase a grain-free commercial food recommended by your vet. Make sure you find out all the details you must follow from your vet, regardless if you are feeding your dog a commercial food or home meal plan.
Introducing the elimination diet to your dog should be done the same way you introduce any new food to your dog. You slowly add more and more of the elimination diet to their regular food each day, until they are fully on the diet.
In addition, part of Basset Hound care when it comes to the elimination diet is to make sure he/she is not fed treats, bones, vitamins, supplements or even chewable heartworm pills. All of these can interfere with the elimination diet and hinder the progress of determining the cause of the food allergy.
Once each type of protein is slowly added back into the diet and there are no reactions, grains can then slowly be added to find out if they are the cause of the problem and so on.
Make sure you stay in close contact with your vet during the elimination diet process. Finding out your dogs food allergy is how you can improve your Basset Hound care so he/she can live a more healthy and happy life.