Histamines, histamines, histamines…
This is my full research on histamines and what role they play in your dog’s diet.
A low a histamine diet for dogs?
Canine allergies are so common at the moment and seem to be the number one issue my client’s dogs are experiencing.
It’s important to remember that when treating allergy problems you take a holistic approach, as well rounded as possible. Sometimes you can get lost in the details and that can apply to owners trying to create low histamine diets, let me explain. (I’m also going to tell you how to approach it step by step)
Histamines are in mast cells.
Mast cells are activated when the immune system reacts to an allergen. The mast cells then release histamines which boost blood flow to the affected area, this is done to help flush the area of the allergen, but this histamine release causes inflammation the negative associated symptoms.
Lowering histamines is a part of the diet which can help, not all the time, but generally it is recommended if your dog struggles with allergies. However, the most effective route to controlling allergies is to reduce the immune system sensitivity, to avoid the mast cell release. That means trying to avoid the triggers of mast cell release and creating a specific anti-inflammatory diet through a food elimination trial.
The symptoms are a secondary effect of allergic inflammation, caused by the histamine release, so making sure natural anti-inflammatory foods are in the diet can help reduce sensitivity and increase immune system strength.
Another part of the controlling histamine is increasing the production of an enzyme called Diamine oxidase. Diamine oxidase (DAO) is a digestive enzyme which primary function is to break down excess histamine in your body (1).
With this in mind we’re going to take a step by step holistic approach.
Step 1 – Avoid the triggers of mast cell release
You will need to learn about your dog, where and when they’re reacting, so hopefully you can identify what too?
Remember initial exposure to an allergen produces a reaction, which is known as an early-phase reaction, this occurs within minutes of allergen exposure. The symptoms include conjunctivitis, asthma attacks, hive and vomiting and diarrhoea from food allergies or systemic (anaphylaxis). But many dogs, this is followed by a late-phase reaction. A reaction that typically develops after 2–6 h and peaks 6–9 h after allergen exposure.
Things to avoid:
- Your dog’s known allergies
- Specific ingredients
- Pollen, grasses, bushes
- Dust mites
- Hormone changes
- Inflammatory foods (like glutamates, oxalates, histamines, salicylates, lectins, additives, preservatives)
- Processed foods and additives, including carrageenan, flavourings, colourings, and preservatives
- Stress of any kind – emotional, mental, physical
- Some medications
- Infections – systemic and gut-related
- Heat or cold
- Chemicals, including those in perfumes, skin care products, cleaning products, and cigarette smoke
Step 2 – Food elimination trial using only low histamine food
Low histamine foods for dogs:
- Fresh meat and freshly caught fish
- non-citrus fruits
- gluten free grains, rice, quinoa
- fresh vegetables except tomatoes, avocados, spinach, and aubergine (eggplant)
- Organic cold pressed oils
Step 3 – Boost DAO enzymes levels
There are a number of nutrients that are effective at boosting DAO enzyme levels. These nutrients include:
- Omega-3 fatty acids – quality fish sources
- Saturated fat – organic grass-fed fats
- Phosphorus – organic eggs and quality meat
- Vitamin B12
Step 4 – Avoid all high histamine foods for dogs or foods that trigger histamine release:
- Processed or smoked meats
- Fermented foods, sauerkraut, yoghurt, aged cheese
- Dried fruits
- Aubergine (eggplant)
- Processed or smoked meats
- Citrus fruit
Get Cam’s help:
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