Shiba Inu Food Allergies Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

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Everyone has come across a story where Shiba Inus eats something they’re allergic to, thus booking a visit to the vet. Shiba Inu food allergies are common as their bodies are sensitive to many product ingredients.

If you’re looking to own a Shiba anytime soon, you might want to know about Shiba Inu food allergies.

Shiba Inu Food Allergies

Shiba Inus are allergic to more than 100 foods, especially foods with beef, turkey, lamb, dairy products, and chicken. Good foods to feed your Shiba Inus are AvoDerm, Castor & Pollux, and Canidae. Shibas are allergic to their food when they get itchy skin, diarrhea, vomiting, and digestive disturbances.

Since there is a lot of confusion about what Shiba Inus are allergic to and what they’re not allergic to, we’ll help you identify foods that won’t cause Shiba Inu food allergies.

See our post on, Shiba Inu skin allergies.

Are Shiba Inu Food Allergies the Same as Food Intolerance?

Allergies involve the immune system detecting some food as an intruder, while intolerances involve the digestive system being unable to digest some food.

So, Shiba Inu food allergies are different from Shiba Inu food intolerances.

In addition, Shiba Inu food allergies involve itching skin and rashes. Intolerances involve digestive upsets like diarrhea and vomiting. While allergies often lead to life-threatening conditions, intolerances don’t pose a severe threat to your Shiba.

If your Shiba Inu has a food allergy, they might lose hair due to excessive scratching. They scratch their skin a lot due to the itchiness resulting in hair loss.

Hair loss is common around the eyes, armpits, legs, mouth, and ears. These are the areas where itchiness is common.

For your information, food intolerance in Shibas doesn’t cause skin issues. So, if you see your Shiba vomit after eating, that’s intolerance.

However, some food intolerances might manifest in the form of skin itchiness. But that hardly happens.

What Are the Symptoms of Shiba Inu Food Allergies?

The primary symptoms of Shiba Inu food allergies are excessive scratching of the ears, eyes, and the face in general and licking of the paws.

In addition, you might also observe your Shiba Inu attempt to chew their hindquarters. On rare occasions, Shiba Inu food allergies cause them to have gastrointestinal problems.

Shiba Inu Food Allergies

As a result, gastrointestinal problems make Shibas start vomiting or diarrhea. This can happen immediately after your Shiba eats some food or can take some time before you start seeing the effects.

Shiba Inu food allergies cause a variety of symptoms. Symptoms that aren’t universal but are likely to happen due to Shiba Inu food allergies include irritability and inflammation of the skin. Inflammation affects the stomach lining mostly.

You might observe severe hair loss in some cases, which exposes the skin to more secondary infections.

One sure thing is that Shibas become lethargic when they have food allergies. Although not a must, your Shiba might also lose appetite due to food allergies.

Read our post on, can you shave a Shiba Inu?

What Food Does Not Cause Shiba Inu Food Allergies?

There is no silver bullet in foods that are good for Shiba Inus. Here, what helps is trial and error. You might want to try the elimination technique.

The elimination technique is the best way to determine if your Shiba Inus is allergic to a given food substance. This technique involves feeding your Shiba a novel protein they haven’t had before.

Therefore, you have to keep adjusting the diet, noting the effects. You have to note what food doesn’t cause an itchy effect on your Shiba during the variations. Since allergy symptoms take a few days, you have the chance to shift to a new food.

If you introduce new food and your Shiba Inu has itchy skin and excess scratching, you can avoid these foods. Also, you might want to know the ingredients.

You can learn what substances affect your Shiba if you know the components.

Continue testing other proteins and carbohydrates until you have a list of good and bad foods for your canine friend. Now, use the good foods to create a diet for your Shiba Inus.

How Can You Tell If Your Shiba Is Allergic to His Food?

The best way to tell your Shiba is allergic to a given food by when they start scratching excessively immediately after consuming that food. Also, vomiting and diarrhea are signs of Shiba Inu food allergies.  

You can diagnose Shiba Inu food allergy using symptoms you can see or your Shibas reaction after consuming a particular food.

If your Shiba Inus starts vomiting immediately after consuming a particular food, you might want to confirm with the vet if it’s an allergy.

Shiba Inu Food Allergies

Also, if you feed your Shiba Inus a given food and they start to diarrhea, that’s a sign they’re allergic to that specific food or an ingredient in the food.

Another way to tell if your Shiba Inus has an allergy to a given food is the sudden inflammation. Shiba Inu skin allergies often cause inflammation of the skin, especially the stomach lining.

In addition, Shibas with food allergies tends to be lethargic. Another sign is the loss of appetite.

How Can You Manage Shiba Inu Food Allergies?

Managing Shiba Inu food allergies requires you to understand what affects them and what doesn’t. The first step to take if your Shiba starts showing signs of an allergy is to visit the vet.

An example is if your Shiba is sensitive to foods with beef or chicken, avoiding foods with these ingredients helps a lot.

But, if your Shibas allergy is more severe, it might be a condition known as alpha-gal. This condition results from tick bites. Thankfully, Apoquel drugs treat this condition on a long-term basis.

In addition, excess scratching could cause seizures in your Shiba Inus. Also, in case your Shibas family has a history of seizures, use drugs such as prednisone. Seek a vet’s assistance since these drugs could also cause food allergies.

The vet’s diagnosis helps you determine the course of action to take. In any case, talking to the vet helps you know how to manage Shiba Inu skin allergies without causing further problems.

Which Are the Best Medicines for Shiba Inu Food Allergies?

Before purchasing any medicine, check with your vet about your Shiba’s food allergies.

Here are some medicines to help alleviate Shiba Inu food allergies.

  • Benadryl
  • Prednisone
  • Atopica
  • Apoquel
  • Cyclosporine

What’s more about these treatments;

1.     Benadryl

This medicine is an antihistamine. So, it helps reduce the symptoms of Shiba Inu food allergies. However, if it’s the only treatment available, it can help your Shiba heal from the itchy skin.

For your information, the Shiba Inu dosage for this medicine is higher than what people take. As such, be sure to ask your vet before administering it to your Shiba.

2.     Prednisone

This steroid has a proven track record of treating Shiba Inu food allergies and skin conditions. A good example is a treatment for atopic dermatitis.

Therefore, you can use it to help your Shiba heal from the itchy skin condition. But don’t only use it and fail to take further action like consulting your vet.

3.     Atopica

This is a prescription drug and works as an immunosuppressant. So, you can use it instead of corticosteroids. Applying it on your Shibas skin or the allergy hotspot areas helps reduce the itchiness.

Besides, it also treats other autoimmune disorders apart from food allergies.

4.     Apoquel

This is an approved medicine that you can use to treat Shiba Inu food allergies. It helps with the itchy skin as it inhibits the release of histamines in the body.

You can use it at high doses as the FDA has approved its usage. If you’re using it on your Shiba after the symptoms are already showing, use it twice a day. When the food allergy symptoms are over, you can now use it once every day.

5.     Cyclosporine   

This med works similarly to Apoquel. Note that you shouldn’t use this type of med for more than 3 months as it affects liver enzymes.

Only use it to treat severe cases of Shiba Inu food allergies. Also, if your Shiba has a pre-existing condition, you can as well use it on them.

What Are Some Tips to Live with Shiba Inus with Food Allergies?

You need to apply several tips if your Shiba Inus friend is pro-food allergies.

These tips include;

Wash your Shibas bed and cuddle toys often. Washing Shibas toys keeps them free from any possible causes of allergies. Since they’re always chewing the toys, an allergen could find its way into their body.

Trimm your Shibas nails. Shiba Inus like chewing their nails. Therefore, if the nails have dirt, the dirt could easily find its way into the digestive system causing food allergies. Thus, trimming their nails prevents allergies.

Have a safe place or room where your Shiba can stay to recover from an allergen. A room without furniture or a rug that Shiba can crawl on could help here.

Feed your Shiba Inus high-quality grain-free dog food. Most Shibas have an allergy to grain food. As such, you can avoid feeding your Shiba any food with grain components.

Check food ingredients. If you’re trying a new food for your Shiba Inus, be sure to check the ingredients. Avoid foods with components that your Shiba Inus is allergic to. Some of the common ingredients you might want to avoid include beef, dairy, chicken, wheat, eggs, and corn or soy products.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Shiba Inus Have Food Allergies?

Yes. Shiba Inus have food allergies as they’re allergic to various foods and ingredients.

Shiba Inu food allergies are annoying and cause itchiness and hair loss. If you don’t attend to Shiba Inu food allergies soonest, they cause chronic ear and paw infections.

Besides, they also cause stomach problems, thus leading to increased bowel movements.

What Are Shibas Allergic To?

Shiba Inus are allergic to foods or ingredients that their immune system finds difficult to adopt. This might include treats or commercial dog food products.

Other causes of Shiba Inu food allergies include preservatives, minerals, and vitamins given to Shibas. Most of them are found in kibble or canned food.

What Food Is Good for Shiba Inu?

There are no perfect food products; trial and error is the only way to determine what’s best for your Shiba Inu.

See the elimination technique above.

Try different foods and note the ones that cause any problem to your Shiba. That’s the only way to determine what food is safe and suitable for your Shiba Inu.

Are Shiba Inus Allergic to Anything?

No. Shiba Inus aren’t allergic to anything. They’re allergic to specific food products that their body’s immune doesn’t cope with.

The only way to identify what foods are allergic to your Shiba Inus is by trying different foods. Trying foods with different ingredients helps you determine what they’re allergic to and what they’re not allergic to.

Can I Give My Shiba Inu Benadryl?

Yes. You can give your Shiba Inu Benadryl every 8 to 12 hours if you observe they have signs of food allergies. That means you should administer the substance 3 times per day.

Of importance, ensure to follow the guidelines from the vet. If you administer the substance more frequently, it ends up losing effectiveness.

Concluding Sentiments Regarding Shiba Inu Food Allergies

Shiba Inus are allergic to myriad foods and food ingredients that you might have no idea about. So, you should be keen and observant of what your feed your furry friend.

Take note that when you feed your Shiba Inu something, they start scratching their skin and licking their paws; that’s a clear indication that your Shiba is allergic to that food or some of its ingredients.

If you see any unclear reaction from your Shiba Inu after consuming something, visit the vet with immediate effect. Don’t make conclusions by yourself; you might give the wrong diagnosis leading to further problems.

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