A NEW LONG-TERM FEEDING STUDY
Your dog is itching like crazy and shaking their head constantly. Your vet just told you it could be a food allergy, food intolerance or food sensitivity. What can you do? Well, a new study reports that switching your dog to cricket protein food and treats could be the answer!
This new peer reviewed study published in the National Library of Medicine found no allergic reactions or other adverse effects in adult dogs (with existing symptoms from a food reaction) who were fed cricket meal in a feeding trial.
Signs That Your Dog Might Have a Food Sensitivity
The good news is that very few dogs actually have an allergy (defined as an immune system response and can be dangerous) however a bigger section of the dog population have intolerances or food sensitivities.
There are many different ways that your dog might show you that he or she has a problem. Sometimes it is one symptom, but sometimes you’ll see more than one (poor puppy). Here’s ten of the likely signs that your dog has a food sensitivity:
- Increased scratching – you will probably notice when you try to go to bed and hear a constant thump, thump, thump
- Constant licking – paws or other places within reach
- Itchy, red, moist skin (sometimes a hot spot) or red, weepy eyes
- Chewing at his feet or rubbing her face
- Itchy back or at the base of tail
- Hair loss – patchy looking fur
- Ear irritation or infections
If your dog has any of these symptoms, a good place to start is with your veterinarian. There are different testing methods that can be done to try to identify the cause – from skin tests to elimination diets. A change in diet can also be a great next step.
Food Types That Might Be an Allergen for Your Dog
While some dogs develop environmental allergies, we’re focusing on food issues here. There is an ingredient list of the “usual subjects” that tend to cause problems for the pups and many of these items are common ingredients in commercial dog foods!
The top ten food allergens for dogs (according to WebMD / Fetch) are:
And when a dog does suffer from sensitivities, they’re usually allergic to more than one thing.
Dog Breeds Prone to Allergies
Certain dog breeds are prone to food allergies – here’s a few examples:
- American Pit Bull Terriers tend to have problems with beef, wheat, rice and corn
- Boxers are particularly sensitive to dog food with a high grain content, including corn or wheat
- French Bulldogs – chicken, beef, dairy products
- German Shepherds – beef, chicken, corn, soy, dairy and wheat
- Golden Retrievers – soy, wheat, dairy, beef and some poultry
- Labrador Retriever – food allergies are triggered by common dog food ingredients like soy, eggs, beef, corn, fish and chicken
If you suspect that your dog is a breed that is predisposed to allergies there are lots of online resources that can help. We suggest googling the breed as a great starting place!
Cricket Protein for Dogs With Allergies – The Study
So, back to the study!
Edible insects (like mealworms, BSFL and crickets) contain energy, protein, fatty acids, minerals and trace elements and have been found to be high quality food sources. There has been interest in these proteins as a new food source for patients with adverse food reactions (as well as being of ecological and ethical interest). The study was to evaluate the effect of an insect protein-based diet on the clinical signs in dogs with skin problems due to food allergies.
Twenty dogs with these type of skin problems related to food sensitivities were fed cricket protein-based food in a long-term feeding trial, and 60% of them showed significant improvement in their symptoms. The conclusion of the scientists – the investigated insect protein-based diet is an interesting alternative for dogs with food intolerance.
Jiminy’s dog food Cricket Crave uses this amazing protein as its first ingredient. Our dog food was formulated by a veterinarian (also an animal nutritionist) to meet AAFCO standards for all life stages.