Best Dog Food For Allergic Dogs

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Best Dog Food For Allergic Dogs, If you have an allergic dog, then the first thing to do is have a chat with your vet. There are many allergies that dogs can suffer from and some can be life-threatening.

If your dog has food allergies, you know how miserable they can be. Not only are they uncomfortable, but they’re also sometimes itchy, lethargic and unhappy. The first thing to do is start looking at what’s in their food.

Best Dry Food for Dogs with Allergies

How to Choose The Best Dry Food If Your Dog Has Allergies

Food allergies in dogs are uncommon but when they do occur the symptoms can be unpleasant for both you and your dog. Today, our Memphis vets share the best foods to serve your dog, if they are diagnosed with food allergies.

Food Allergies in Dogs

If you believe that your dog is suffering from food allergies, or a sensitivity to an ingredient in their usual food it’s important to find out what the troublesome ingredient is in order to remove it from their diet, but still maintain optimum nutrition. Here at Memphis Veterinary Specialists our dermatology services include testing for and treating allergies in dogs.

Signs & Symptoms of Food Allergies in Dogs

In dogs, signs of food allergies often begin to appear as the dog reaches their first birthday, although allergies and sensitivities can develop at any age.

The most common signs and symptoms of food allergies in dogs include:

  • Itching
  • Red irritated skin
  • Rashes on the ears and feet
  • Gassiness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Common Causes of Food Allergies in Dogs

In many cases, proteins from animal or plant-based ingredients in the diet are the cause dog allergy symptoms. Corn, dairy, beef, and wheat are some of the most problematic foods for dogs., and while it may seem counterintuitive, it can take a long time for the symptoms of food allergies to appear. It is not unusual for a dog to ‘suddenly’ become allergic to a food that they have been eating for many months. 

Diagnosing Your Dogs Food Allergies

Our specialist vets can test your dog for a range of food allergies to help pinpoint the most problematic dog food ingredients and recommend treatment options and appropriate food. That said, an elimination diet will also recommended for many dogs suspected of having food allergies.

If your vet believes that your dog is suffering from a food allergy, a specially formulated hypoallergenic dog food will be prescribed for your pet. For 8-10 weeks you will only feed your dog the prescribed food. This elimination of the regular dog food from your pet’s diet should help to alleviate your dog’s symptoms.

For the elimination diet to work it is important to also stop giving your dog treats during this period. Only the hypoallergenic food should be fed to your dog while they are on the elimination diet.

This special 10 week diet will allow your dog’s body to adjust to the new prescription food, and give your vet the opportunity to assess your dog’s overall health.

If symptoms clear up while your dog is on the elimination diet, your vet may request that you return to feeding your dog their original diet. If original symptoms return then your vet can be confident that your dog has a food allergy.

Following the diagnosis, your vet will work with you to determine the best diet for your dog. A number of food options are available to help alleviate your dog’s allergy symptoms.

Prescription Dog Food

If your dog’s food allergy symptoms are severe, your vet may recommend that you feed your dog a prescription dry food. While this option can be expensive, novel protein and hydrolyzed diets available by prescription are typically superior to those that can be purchased through pet supply stores.

Sticking to a prescribed diet may help your dog to stay healthy and comfortably free of allergy symptoms. Some of the prescription foods your vet may recommend for dogs with food sensitivities include:

  • Canine Hydrolyzed Protein Small Dog Dry Dog Food
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet® d/d Canine Potato & Venison Formula
  • Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet® Dog i/d® Sensitive Dry

Grain-Free Dog Food

If your dog is found to have a sensitivity to corn, wheat, or other grains, grain-free dog food may be recommended. These foods have the added benefit of also being gluten-free. Some of the grain-free foods that your vet may recommend include:

  • Hill’s Science Diet® Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Grain-Free dog food.
  • Purina Pro Plan Savor Adult Dog Food – Turkey & Chicken, Grain-Free
  • Science Diet® Adult Grain Free Dog Food
  • Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Dog Food – Natural, Lamb & Sweet Potato, Grain-Free, Non-GMO

Limited Ingredient Dog Foods

Limited ingredient dog foods address the presence of allergens by including just a single protein source, (such as beef, lamb, or chicken), often combined with just a single carbohydrate.

When you are shopping for limited ingredient dog foods it’s important to check for a seal of approval from the Association of American Feed Control (AAFCO), as well as a “complete and balanced” claim from the manufacturer.

Limited ingredient foods that your vet may recommend include:

  • Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Formula Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food
  • Hill’s® Prescription Diet® d/d® Canine Skin Support Potato & Salmon Formula
  • Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Dog Food – Natural, Salmon & Lentils, Grain-Free, Non-GMO
  • CANIDAE® PURE® Dog Food – Limited Ingredient, Natural, Grain-Free, Chicken

Novel Ingredient Dog Food

Novel ingredient dry foods replace traditional dog food proteins such as beef and chicken with more unusual proteins such as venison, salmon, or duck.

These may also include unusual carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes to help balance out the diet. Your vet may recommend a novel ingredient in dog food such as:

  • Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet® d/d Canine Potato & Venison Formula
  • CANIDAE® PURE® Dog Food – Limited Ingredient, Natural, Grain Free, Duck
  • Nutro Adult Dog Food – Natural, Limited Ingredient, Duck & Lentils, Grain-Free, Non-GMO

Best Dog Food For Allergic Dogs

If you believe that your dog is suffering from food allergies or sensitivity to an ingredient in their usual food it’s important to find out what the problematic ingredient is in order to remove it from their diet, but still maintain optimum nutrition.

Here at our Cordova animal hospital, our vets help care for and manage dermatological (skin) and allergy issues in cats and dogs.

Signs & Symptoms of Food Allergies in Dogs

Food allergies and sensitivities often don’t appear until the dog reaches their first birthday, although they can develop in dogs of any age.

If your dog is displaying any of the following symptoms it may be suffering from a food allergy and should be examined by your vet to determine the root cause of the symptom:

  • Itching
  • Red irritated skin
  • Rashes on the ears and feet
  • Gassiness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Common Causes of Food Allergies in Dogs

Often in dogs with food sensitivities, proteins from animal or plant-based ingredients in the diet are the cause. Beef, corn, dairy, and wheat are some of the most problematic ingredients.

It may seem counterintuitive, but it can take a long time for symptoms of food allergies to become apparent. Often dogs appear to ‘suddenly’ become allergic to a food that they have been eating for months.

Solutions for Dogs with Allergies

When it comes to food for your dog with allergies, you have two options: limited ingredient food or hypoallergenic food.

Limited Ingredient Food

Diets with fewer components can make it easier to tell which specific ingredient your pup is allergic to. Once you figure it out, you can feed your dog a diet with limited ingredients to ensure they are avoiding the allergen. Limited ingredient foods come in a wide range of flavors and styles and you can find one tailored to your pup’s specific needs.

Hypoallergenic Food

Hypoallergenic dog food diets use unique protein sources that are generally not recognized by your dog’s antibodies as being antigens, meaning they won’t cause a reaction. Many hypoallergenic foods use proteins that have been “split” (hydrolyzed) into their basic amino acid building blocks, rendering the original allergen virtually “invisible” to your pet’s immune system. Hydrolyzed soy protein is a good example of a protein that could be found in hypoallergenic food.

In some cases, your vet may need to write you a prescription for hypoallergenic food.

Many are made using proteins that have been chemically “split” (hydrolyzed) into their basic amino acid building blocks… which can make the original allergen virtually “invisible” to your pet’s immune system.

Foods for Dogs with Allergies

Here is a list of some of the foods we recommend if your pup suffers from food allergies. There are lots of options available and it may take some trial and error before you find a food that works for you and your dog. It is always best to check in with your vet before you make any major changes to your dog’s diet.

1. Nom Fresh (Limited Ingredient Food)

Nom sells made-to-order, pre-portioned fresh dog food through a subscription service. Their food contains no chemicals, preservatives, or artificial flavors. You can choose from a range of flavors that suit your dog’s needs. They use simple, quality ingredients that are suitable for many dogs with food allergies.

2. Wellness Simple (Limited Ingredient Food)

The Wellness Simple line of dry dog food keeps things simple with a single protein source and carbohydrates that are easy to digest. They have a variety of flavor options and their food contains no fillers or additives.

3. Royal Canin Veterinary Diets Hydrolyzed Protein (Hypoallergenic Food)

Royal Canin Veterinary Diets Hydrolyzed Protein kibble draws the bulk of its protein from hydrolyzed soy protein which may make it suitable for dogs who suffer allergic reactions related to certain meats. They have a few different options based on the size and dietary needs of your dog. This food requires a prescription from your vet.

4. Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet (Limited Ingredient Food)

Merrick Limited Ingredient diets come in a range of flavors. They also offer a wet canned food option for dogs that prefer (or need) to eat softer foods. Merrick food contains just the essential proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins your dog needs to thrive without any fillers or additives.

5. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets (Hypoallergic Food)

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diet is another vet-prescribed hypoallergenic food that may be suitable for your dog. It uses hydrolyzed protein and comes in a few different styles based on your pup’s size and needs.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet. 

Diagnosing Your Dogs Food Allergies

After a thorough examination, if your vet believes that your dog may be suffering from the effects of a food allergy or food sensitivity they will likely recommend beginning your dog on an elimination diet.

Elimination Diet for Dogs With Food Allergies

If an elimination diet is recommended for your dog, specially formulated hypoallergenic food will be prescribed. For 8-10 weeks you will only feed your dog the prescribed food, completely eliminating all other food sources from your pet’s diet.

If one or more of the ingredients in your dog’s regular food is the source of the symptoms, the elimination of the regular dog food should help to improve your dog’s condition.

It’s important to note that, for the elimination diet to work you must stop giving your dog treats during this period as well as their regular food. Only hypoallergenic food should be fed to your dog while they are on the elimination diet.

Being on the elimination diet for 10 weeks will allow your dog’s body to adjust to the new prescription food, and give your vet the opportunity to assess your dog’s overall health.

If the allergy symptoms clear up while your dog is on the elimination diet, your vet may request that you return to feeding your dog their original diet to see if the allergy symptoms reappear.

While an elimination diet can be helpful in determining food allergies in dogs, other tests can also be useful, and provide quick results. Here at Germantown Parkway Animal Hospital our in-house lab allows our vets to test for the root of your pet’s problem and offer a customized treatment plan to start the healing process.

Best Food for Allergic Dog

Following the diagnosis of food allergies, your vet will work with you to determine the best diet and treatment plan for your dog. There are a number of dry food options available, to help alleviate food allergy symptoms in dogs.

1.     Pupper Chicken Topper

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Pupper Fuel is a high quality dog food that is perfect for dogs with allergies. It is made with all natural ingredients and does not contain any artificial additives, flavors, or preservatives. Pupper Fuel is also GMO free and gluten free.

This food is perfect for dogs with allergies or sensitivities to these ingredients. Pupper Fuel’s chicken recipe is also high in protein and low in fat. This food is also grain free and has no soy, corn, or wheat.

Pupper Fuel’s chicken recipe is perfect for dogs with allergies or sensitivities to certain foods.

2.     Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey and Potato

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Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey and Potato Formula is a great food for dogs with allergies. It is made with only six ingredients, all of which are natural. This food does not contain any artificial additives, flavors, or preservatives.

This food is perfect for dogs with allergies or sensitivities to these ingredients. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey and Potato Formula is also grain free and has no soy, corn, or wheat.

Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey and Potato Formula is a great food for dogs with allergies.

3.     Nom Nom Fresh

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Nom Nom Fresh Dog Food is a great choice for dogs with allergies. It is made with all natural ingredients and does not contain any artificial additives, flavors, or preservatives.

Nom Nom Fresh Dog Food is also grain free and has no soy, corn, or wheat. This food is perfect for dogs with allergies or sensitivities to these ingredients.

4.     Canidae Grain-Free Pure Real Salmon and Sweet Potato

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CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Limited Ingredient Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food will create a new passion for dinner with its delectable, nutritious flavor.

This recipe comes with just eight pure components to satisfy all canines, including those with allergies—with salmon as its first component for a protein-dense dinner that your dog will adore.

A blend of probiotics, antioxidants, fatty acids, and vitamins and minerals helps his vital systems and promotes ongoing good health while nutritious veggies provide him with a robust source of nutrition.

This salmon formula, which is made without fillers or trouble additives like corn, wheat, soy, grain, or man-made components, has everything your best buddy needs to thrive!

5.     Taste of the Wild Prey Angus Beef Limited Ingredient Dog Food

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Taste of the Wild Prey Angus Beef Limited Ingredient Dog Food is a great choice for dogs with allergies. It is made with all natural ingredients and does not contain any artificial additives, flavors, or preservatives.

This food is also grain free and has no soy, corn, or wheat. This food is perfect for dogs with allergies or sensitivities to these ingredients. Taste of the Wild Prey Angus Beef Limited Ingredient Dog Food is a great choice for dogs with allergies.

6.     Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Chicken Flavor

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Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food is a great food for dogs with allergies. It is made with all natural ingredients and does not contain any artificial additives, flavors, or preservatives.

This food is perfect for dogs with allergies or sensitivities to these ingredients. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food is also grain free and has no soy, corn, or wheat.

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food is a great food for dogs with allergies.

Benefits of Dog Food

1.Increased Satiety

When you are hungry and you eat foods that are less than optimal to satisfy that hunger, you will notice that you become hungry again soon after. This is a result of how the body utilizes the nutrition that you offer to it. “Junky” foods are broken down quickly and the resulting macronutrients are used as fuel for the body. The poor quality fuel that results from these foods is burned through rapidly which results in a “sugar crash”.

The same principle plays into your dog’s diet. When they eat poor quality foods that are low in nutrition, ingredients in that food are broken down and used rapidly. When this happens, your dog is going to experience increased hunger within a short period of time. Additionally, some of the ingredients in low-quality foods are not used by the body at all! This is why you will notice that your dog uses the bathroom more often when you feel a low-quality food.

When you feed your dog a high-quality species-appropriate food, they will experience a higher level of satiety. This is due to the “usability” of that food’s ingredients. You see, a species-appropriate food targets ingredients that are optimal for your dog’s biological needs!

2.Good Muscle Tone

Just like us, our dogs require protein in their diet to maintain healthy cells, tissues, and organs in their body. Protein is the only source of the amino acids we need to repair these things when they are damaged through daily functions. If we do not provide good, high-quality proteins, our dogs have limited access to these necessary amino acids. What does this mean? It means that minimal repair can be performed and the result is muscle atrophy and poor muscle tone.

Providing high-quality protein, however, ensures that your dog gets the amino acids that they need to perform daily “maintenance” on internal systems.

3.Controlled Weight

Ever notice that when you eat a diet that is too high in fat or carbohydrates that you start to gain weight? The same thing happens to your dog! Unfortunately, because fats and carbohydrates are more affordable ingredients, cheaper dog foods are often full of them! This is why when you feed your dog a poor quality food, you will notice that their weight becomes harder to control!

High-quality dog food, in comparison, provides whole nutrition. For example, increased protein content, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats all provide nutrition without contributing to weight gain in the way that “junk” ingredients do.

4.Appropriate Energy Levels

Just like us, our dogs experience a level of energy that is a direct result of the food that they eat. The body requires energy to function. This energy is obtained through the breakdown of foods. Some foods break down faster than others and provide a fast release of energy. Some foods break down slower and provide a prolonged release of energy.

A good example of this is looking at how you feel when you eat a candy bar versus when you eat whole grain crackers as a snack. The energy from the candy bar is a fast release, but it isn’t long until you experience that “sugar crash” once your body has used up all of that fast release energy. When you eat the whole grain crackers, however, your body can “cut off” smaller “pieces” of fuel from the larger complex fuel sources. This means that energy is available over a longer period of time and the dreaded sugar crash doesn’t take place.

How is this relevant? The same process takes place in your dog’s body when they eat. High-quality dog foods provide energy sources that are usable over a longer period of time because they take longer to break down.

5.General Wellbeing

Once again we go back to how you feel when you eat a whole and nutritious diet versus how you feel when you eat a diet packed with junk food. You wouldn’t eat fatty take-out food and candy bars for the rest of your life! Your body needs real nutrition that provides necessary vitamins and minerals and so does your dog’s!

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