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can dogs develop allergies as they age?

asked 2015-12-12 12:13:58 -0500

My dog is 8 years old. For years, I had been feeding him beneful. I noticed recently that he was itching like crazy. He looked miserable. It wasn't fleas because I gave him his flea treatment not long before. I changed his food to Solid Gold and he stopped itching. This has never happened before. Could this have been a grain allergy?

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It sounds like a grain allergy. My 20 year old cat has always been fed high quality cat food. Last year she developed dry scabs she shed everywhere. I thought it must be bacterial, fungi or virus. I switched to grain-free (not thinking it would work). Within a few days it cleared up!

Kristine A.'s profile image Kristine A.  ( 2016-05-24 18:24:50 -0500 ) edit

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answered 2015-12-12 15:36:51 -0500

Yep - allergies can develop at any time in life. though it may not have been an allergy. My last dog had very dry skin, and while I found an oil-rich food that helped quite a bit (First Mate), I always had to add extra oil to his food to keep him from getting itchy (omega 3 and omega 6). I think the move to a higher quality food was a good choice, regardless, since the fillers in a lower grade food like Beneful add no nutritional value. The first ingredient is corn, which is largely undigestible; it just adds volume to the food, meaning you have to feed more of it (and pick up more poop) in order to get the same nutritional benefits of a cornless food. For more info, check out the following links:

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-foo...

vs

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-foo...

Like people, eating a low quality diet can have negative effects on health over the long term. What he may have tolerated well as a younger dog he might not tolerate as well as he ages. Keep feeding a healthy food and enjoy all the benefits that come with a healthier diet!

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Thank you!

Brittany W.'s profile image Brittany W.  ( 2015-12-14 17:07:50 -0500 ) edit
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answered 2016-05-24 14:59:50 -0500

As the others have said, yes.

Where is he itching and does he have hives. Hives on the underside are generally from environmental allergens, hives on top or all over are usually food-related. Try a high-protein, grain-free diet. Read the labels when choosing a food...manufacturers can be tricky. Find something grain-free without potatoes (sweet potatoes are okay) and lots of labeled protein (you want to know what animal). You'll want to look at your treats and make sure that they are grain-free too. If that doesn't help, start looking at eliminating specific meats. I like to feed my dogs duck and salmon. Find a quality brand of dog food that offers several flavors of dog food and see if there are some that he is allergic to (chicken and beef allergies are more common). These foods will cost more than Beneful, but are well worth it. I switched my dogs over to good food after 12 years on Purina One (my Boston had allergies and that was the only thing that didn't make him break out in hives). I saw what the good, grain-free food did for the foster dogs I was caring for. Both of my dogs made the switch easily with no problems.

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answered 2016-05-14 06:09:53 -0500

Absolutely! I had an Aussie mix that developed allergies when he got to be about 9. The vet gave special shampoo to use, I changed his food to grain free, and he still had issues, although not as bad. You should really take your dog to your vet and have them take a look, as it could be a number of things, not just a simple allergy.

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