Allergies in dogs: what is a food mite allergy?

If your dog suffers from a food mite allergy, then its immune system reacts to tiny, spider-like animals that can nest in the dog food. But where do these mites come from and what can you do as a keeper? In both dry and wet feed, mites can hide - Shutterstock / Jaromir Chalabala

If your dog regularly scratches his entire body and this even creates sores, a food mite allergy could be the trigger for this. This overreaction of the immune system is widespread in both dogs and cats. Triggers are tiny mites, not visible to the naked eye, which unfortunately feel very comfortable in the food of your four-legged friend. But not only the mites themselves, but also the faeces of the parasites can be a problem for a dog if he suffers from a food mite allergy.

This is where feed mites prefer to nest

Food mites are attracted to protein-containing substances such as hay, straw or cereals in dog food. But microorganisms such as mold also have a very inviting effect on the arachnids. In addition, when the temperature is between 25 and 30 degrees and the air is very humid, it is like a paradise for mites and they multiply rapidly.

Food mite allergy is often a cross allergy

In the rarest of cases, a dog has only a pure food mite allergy. The disease usually occurs together with other allergies - mostly the allergy to dust mites. The food mite allergy is therefore often a so-called cross reaction. Every now and then it is accompanied by an allergic reaction to individual components of dog food - which is why it is often difficult to correctly diagnose the food mite allergy.

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Where do feed mites in dog food come from?

Dog food may become contaminated with mites during manufacture. The likelihood of dry food is lower than that of wet food: The high temperatures in the manufacture of dry food usually kill the arachnids. Under certain circumstances, however, the parasites can also get into the packaging of the feed after the manufacturing process. To be on the safe side, you can either buy dog ​​food that has been tested to be mite-free, or freeze common food for two to three days to eliminate the mites.