Foods for Dogs with Atopic Dermatitis
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Canine atopic dermatitis (CAD) is one of the most common skin conditions in dogs. It causes intense itching, wounds from scratching, rash or redness. Thus, owners of atopic dogs must provide the animal with specific skin care in order to alleviate the symptoms produced by the pathology and promote their emotional stability. Constant discomfort can lead to a state of stress and frustration in the dog.
Among the basic care for dogs with dermatitis is the modification of their diet, because an adequate diet can considerably favor the clinical picture and improve skin health. Therefore, in this AnimalWised article we will talk about foods for dogs with atopic dermatitis.
How does eating relieve symptoms of atopic dermatitis?
Because it is a skin condition, eating can help boost the immune system and repair damage to the skin more quickly. Given that CAD causes intense itching, redness of the skin, irritation, inflammation and multiple wounds as a result of excessive scratching, improper feeding can worsen the clinical picture, causing damaged tissue not to be repaired correctly or to enhance dry, even scaly skin.
For all of the above, read the following criteria for what to consider when choosing food for a dog with atopic dermatitis and what to avoid so you don't make the situation worse.
How to choose the best food for atopic dermatitis in dogs
Modifying the diet of a dog with atopic dermatitis has three distinct objectives: to help restore damaged skin tissue, reduce itching and promote proper growth of the coat. To do this, it is important to review the composition of the feed and opt for a feed designed for atopic skin. In addition, it contains alternative protein that reduces the risk of allergic reactions and provides great flavor. But, what are the recommended components? What food is ideal?
Rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
The deficiency of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids not only promotes the development of canine atopic dermatitis, but also worsens the condition of the dog's skin and impairs the health of their coat. Thus, the consumption of these substances helps to relieve symptoms such as irritation and itching, and to repair the injuries produced. Choosing a diet rich in omega 3 and 6 is more than recommended, both for atopic dogs and for dogs without this cutaneous condition.
Omega 3 fatty acid is found mainly in blue fish such as salmon or trout, in vegetable oils and green leafy vegetables. Omega 6 is also found in vegetable oils mainly.
One of the most popular plants worldwide for its healing properties, aloe vera has the ability to keep the lipid levels of the patient's epidermis balanced and, in general, to keep the skin barrier in perfect condition. In this way, it benefits the cicatrization of the lesions produced by the scratching and favors the correct regeneration of the skin.
On the other hand, aloe vera is antibacterial, a fact that results in the prevention of possible topical infections through wounds. Also, it has important moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties, necessary to relieve the itching and irritation associated with atopic dermatitis in dogs.
Rich in biotin and collagen
Biotin, also known as vitamin B8, B7 or vitamin H, is a key vitamin in the process of creating hemoglobin, regenerating cells in skin, hair and nail tissue, and metabolizing carbohydrates, fats and amino acids. Therefore, it is not surprising that an adequate diet for dogs with atopic dermatitis should contain biotin in its composition, since a deficit of the same can increase hair loss of the affected canine and worsen the state of skin lesions. Where can we find it? In legumes, whole grains, brewer's yeast, nuts and other products like carrot, potato or salmon liver.
Collagen is a protein that binds the connective tissues of the tendons, cartilage, joints, bones, muscles and skin, among others. Thus, it is an essential substance to maintain the correct health of the dermis and, therefore, if the dog with atopic dermatitis is fed based on feed it is recommended to opt for a product containing collagen peptides.
With vitamin E
Vitamin E plays a fundamental role in the prevention of cell oxidation of the dog and the consequent care of the skin. For this reason, feeding rich diets and vitamins is mandatory to keep the animal healthy and strong. Also, vitamin E, in addition to promoting the skin of the atopic dog, reduces itching caused by dermatitis and accelerate the process of regeneration of the dermis, helps strengthen the immune system and also promotes eye health.
Foods like green leafy vegetables, cereals like rice or fruits like avocado, are excellent natural sources of vitamin E. Be careful with the avocado, only give small portions and be sure to never let your dog near the pit of the fruit.
Foods to avoid with atopic dermatitis
After reviewing the recommended compounds to alleviate the symptoms of atopic dermatitis in dogs, it is time to mention those foods that should be avoided to prevent the occurrence of skin reactions. Because many of the cases of dermatitis are related to food allergies, it is logical to ask the veterinarian to identify the food allergen, if any. Once found, it should be completely removed from the atopic dog diet.
Food allergies usually occur after consumption of a particular ingredient or compound of the food, not the product itself, the most common being veal, chicken, dairy, egg or wheat proteins. However, this is not an exact science and therefore there are also dogs that have allergies to specific fish proteins or cereals. Therefore, it is recommended to opt for manufactured and quality feed to facilitate the digestion of dogs and reduce the symptoms of dermatitis. In case you want to follow a home diet, it should be the veterinarian who prepares it.
Is changing diet enough to treat atopic dermatitis in dogs?
Although there is no cure for atopic dermatitis, feeding is the main element to alleviate the symptoms of the disease. However, to reinforce the effectiveness, it is recommended to opt for specific prizes and goodies that are part of your dietary routine.
Thus, it is advisable to opt for dietary supplements designed to strengthen the skin's natural barrier and enhance the appearance of the skin, rich in omega-3 and 6 fatty acids.
Once the dog's feeding with atopic dermatitis has been adapted and approved by the veterinarian, a dermoprotective shampoo should be purchased with aloe vera, collagen and olive leaf extract to treat atopic skin and reduce itching, rash and irritation of the skin.
On the other hand, because atopic dermatitis can also be caused by environmental factors and irritants such as pollen or dust, if these are the reason for the skin reaction, prevent the affected dog from coming into direct contact with them.
If you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to leave them in the comments section!
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