Dog Food For Allergies


Dog Food For Allergies. Well not just any dog food, we are talking about Hypoallergenic Dog Food. You see a lot of allergic dogs out there these days and the food they eat affects their skin as well as digestion. Have you noticed them scratching uncontrollably, experiencing vomiting, or having loose stool? Those are all symptoms of an allergic reaction. Here we have explained food for allergy dogs in detail.


Dog eating food

Does your dog chew at his tail or feet? Does your cat have a dry, dull coat (or even bald patches) and always seems to be itchy? Are you constantly at the vet for ear infections or digestive issues? Food allergies or insensitivities may be to blame! While grain allergies are the most common seen in dogs, they can, and often do, develop allergies to specific proteins in their diets.

Dogs and cats are not born with allergies to specific proteins; they are developed over time by feeding the same ingredients over and over. If a dog is given chicken every day of his life, for example, over time his body may become less equipped to break down those proteins. The body begins to mistakenly identify chicken as a harmful ingredient, and creates defensive antibodies to fight against the food. This is what causes the symptoms that many of us have become familiar with.

How can you prevent these allergies from developing? The best way is through a rotational diet, much like our own. Each day, we eat a different assortment of foods than the day before. This helps us to receive a wide variety of nutrients, and of course, prevents boredom from eating the same thing over and over. Dogs and cats also benefit from a varied diet, and switching foods can prove to save a lot of money on veterinary care over the course of a dog’s life.

Many pet parents are afraid to switch their pet’s food for fear that it will cause diarrhea, vomiting and other gastrointestinal issues. They think that finding one good food and sticking to it will keep their pet healthy and happy for life. This is what many food companies want you to think as well, as it keeps your pet food dollars coming in their direction for 10-15 years. In reality, however, the minor G.I. issues that may form from switching foods are nothing compared to the major issues that may happen if the dog or cat becomes intolerant to their diet.

It is recommended by progressive vets that your pet’s food be switched a few times per year. If you have a sensitive dog or cat, you may need a few weeks to gradually transition your pup onto the new food. If you feed a rotational diet, such as Taste of the Wild, Fromm or Acana, you can stick to the same brand for a longer period of time, but you want to be sure to switch up the protein. This will not only help to prevent allergies, but will make mealtime more interesting.

If you have a dog with an allergy to chicken, for example, and you find a salmon-based food that they do well on, your instinct may to be stick to this food. In reality, though, you should already be planning the next protein to switch to. Lamb used to be the go-to hypoallergenic food, as chicken and beef are more commonly used in dog food. After feeding lamb for a long time, however, it is just as likely for a dog to develop a lamb allergy!

In extreme allergy cases, a “novel” protein might be necessary. Novel proteins are ingredients that your dog or cat’s body is not familiar with. Chicken, beef, turkey, and lamb are meats used most often in pet food. Novel proteins for pets eating these ingredients would include venison, rabbit, duck, kangaroo or ostrich. Because the pet’s body has never been exposed to these ingredients, they are unlikely to solicit a negative response from the body. It is important to also use a novel carbohydrate when trying to fully eliminate allergic reactions. If a cat was eating a chicken and rice based food, a novel food for them might be duck and potato.

So remember: a diet with a wide variety of proteins makes for a happy and HEALTHY pet, and can prevent dietary insensitivities down the road!

Dog Food Allergies: What They Are and How To Feed Your Dog

It is widespread for dogs to have dog food allergies (or food sensitivities), and it’s one of the most typical hypersensitivities in dogs that pet owners must deal with.

Unfortunately, you cannot cure a dog’s food allergy, but you can help manage it.

Still, it can be easily managed through avoidance and knowing how to feed dogs with food allergies.

The most difficult part of this process is figuring out what is causing an allergic reaction in the dog.

But once the offending allergen (ingredient or ingredients) has been identified, it’s fairly simple to develop a dietary plan for the dog that does not include that ingredient(s).

There is dog food for allergies and homemade recipes that can help.

Note that food allergies in dogs are not the same as food intolerance.

While food intolerance in dogs manifests itself mostly through symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, a food allergy will also involve the dog’s immune system.

It will cause itching, rashes, a variety of skin problems, and digestive problems.

This article covers feeding dogs with food allergies (food sensitivity) and not a food intolerance.

What are Dog Food Allergies?

Dogs can suffer from allergies just like humans do, and while the incidence is still unknown, some studies show food allergies make up around 14% to 33% of all allergy cases in dogs .

After prolonged exposure to the allergen (a carbohydrate or a protein), a dog’s immune system will begin fighting it by producing antibodies, which then cause the symptoms in the dog.

The most common signs of food allergy in a dog include :

  • Itchy skin (and skin related problems)
  • Digestive problems (diarrhea and/or vomiting)
  • Weight loss
  • Hyperactivity

A dog’s food allergy is a genetic issue, and it’s triggered by exposure to the food or ingredient that the dog is inherently allergic to .

In addition to genetics, the environment can also play a certain role in developing food allergies. You cannot cure this problem, but you can manage it and navigate it fairly easily after diagnosing it.

The road to diagnosing a food allergy in a dog can be complicated .

The first thing to do is to eliminate other possible allergies, like skin or blood allergies, which is done with simple commercial food tests using the elimination trial.

Studies show that the most common ingredients that cause food allergies in dogs are proteins – primarily beef, dairy products, chicken, lamb, fish, chicken eggs – followed by carbohydrates, such as corn, wheat, and soy.

A dog’s breed or gender has no relation to food allergies.

All kinds of dogs, both female and male, and neutered/spayed and non-fixed dogs, have an equal probability of developing food allergies.

Symptoms of food allergies can appear any time throughout the dog’s life, in puppies of 6 months and up to senior dogs of 12 years old .

dog food allergies

Dog Food Allergies and Diet

The first thing to do if your dog has food allergies is to start with an elimination diet or a food sensitivity diet to determine which ingredient(s) is causing adverse reactions.

It would help if you took your pet dog off of all food you’re currently feeding them and put the dog on a limited ingredient diet with novel proteins that they’ve never eaten before .

Once the dog’s food allergy symptoms subside, you can start gradually, one-by-one, introducing back old foods that you suspect have caused the problem.

If your dog reacts badly to one of those ingredients, you’ve found the culprit.

Some dogs are allergic to multiple foods, and to do this process properly, you should coordinate this with a vet.

It would help if you were not feeding the dog any treats while going through the elimination diet.

Since it takes around six weeks for allergens to leave a dog’s body, any foods other than those included in the sensitivity diet that you chose not only can harm the dog and bring the allergy back but will also mess with your identification of allergens.

Dog Foods for Allergies: Food and Skin

Consult with your veterinarian about the plan to rule out food sensitivities in your dog and which dog food for allergies to pick.

There are many variations of hypoallergenic dog foods to choose from, most of which will include rare ingredients which are less likely to cause allergic reactions in the dog .

Hypoallergenic dog food brands are actually very effective and can also be fed long-term if needed.

Not every hypoallergenic food will be ideal for every dog, so it’s important to discuss this with your veterinarian. The three most popular formulations that show the best results are:

Novel protein diet – Novel protein dog foods usually contain a single source of protein in the form of some non-typical meat that your pet has never eaten before.

Some popular choices of novel proteins in dog food include salmon, buffalo, duck, or venison.

Since your dog never had this type of protein before, chances that he never developed an allergy to it are pretty high.

Hydrolyzed protein diet – This diet consists of proteins that have been broken down into small pieces of amino acids that make up the protein.

Since they are small, your canine’s body probably won’t notice the protein, allowing your dog to avoid an allergic reaction.

Most hypoallergenic dog food diets are made of hydrolyzed protein.

Therapeutic diet – This diet is basically a novel or hydrolyzed protein diet, but with higher levels of omega fatty acids because they can decrease the symptoms of food allergies.

You’ll only be able to acquire this type of diet through your veterinarian, and these dog foods are usually the most expensive.

Dietary Guidelines for Dogs with Food Allergies

dog food for Allergies

Once you pinpoint the foods that cause your dog’s food allergies, you’ll need to avoid those trigger ingredients.

They’re not only going to be in dog food recipes either. Look for these foods in your dog’s treats and medications, as well as anything else he ingests.

For example, some toothpaste made for dogs has chicken as an ingredient, and if your dog is allergic to chicken, this can cause an allergic reaction.

If your dog shows some symptoms of food allergies after you have eliminated the trigger food, that means that it might have another allergy.

It’s not unusual for dogs to develop a new food-related allergy. Therefore, you might have to do the elimination diet again if that’s the case and figure out what the new allergen is.

Pick commercial pet foods that are easy on your dog’s stomach, and if you choose to cook for the dog (sometimes an easier approach), then make all meals easily digestible for the dog.

It’s recommended to cook starchy vegetables and healthy wholesome grains alongside novel proteins that you are sure your dog isn’t sensitive to.

To make your dog’s digestion process easier, feed him more often in smaller meals.

Foods to Avoid

What foods you should avoid in your dog’s diet depends only and specifically on your individual dog and exactly what he is allergic to.

Every dog will have a different allergen causing this problem. Once the culprit has been diagnosed, that is the only thing you should avoid.

If the dog is allergic to multiple foods, then you should avoid them all.

Foods to Include

After you determine the foods that you should avoid, then find the best possible substitutions for them. There are many options out there, regardless of what your dog is allergic to.


If your dog is allergic to some of the common protein sources like chicken, lamb, beef, or fish, you can make a change to other protein sources.

Turkey, duck, rabbit, pork, venison, buffalo, and other exotic meats are all great substitutes for the protein source your dog is allergic to.

Eggs are also a good protein source, but animal-based proteins are better for your dog.

They are the best source of important amino acids necessary for growth, repair, and reproduction since they are the foundation for his organs, tissues, cells, and antibodies.


Even though carbohydrates are not nutritionally necessary for dogs, they are good for their intestinal health and provide your canine with energy.

Carbs are also a natural source of antioxidants, fiber, and trace minerals.

If your dog is allergic to grains like wheat and corn, you should substitute them with brown rice, barley or barley flour, rice flour, potato flour, or any other flour that is not made of corn and wheat.

Keep these to a very minimum, as your dog doesn’t really need that many carbs, especially those with a high glycemic index.

Most fruits and vegetables are also rich in carbohydrates, like sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, pumpkin, apples, pears, etc.

They will be lower in calories and higher in fiber, which is why they should be your first choice for the source of carbs.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins are important because they help your dog’s metabolism, while minerals are good for his bones and teeth.

These ingredients are found in many things, especially in vegetables and fruits like apples, pears, pumpkin, beet, carrots, turnip, green beans, broccoli, etc.

Dairy products are also rich in minerals. However, many dogs are allergic to dairy or even lactose intolerant, and if that is the case, you should stick to fruits and veggies.

As far as dairy goes, even if your dog is not allergic, you should stick to low-fat cheeses, like cottage cheese.

The best source of minerals is organ meats, like the heart, liver, kidney, or lungs.


Fat is a great energy source, but it also protects your dog’s organs and provides insulation.

Fats from sources like fish (salmon or sardines), fish oil, flax-seed oil are also rich in essential fatty acids like omega-3, which are extremely important for healing purposes and their anti-inflammatory properties.

Other good fat sources can be meats, poultry, eggs, pumpkin seed oil, and soybean oil.


Probiotics are great for your dog’s digestive system, and they can help him with his food allergies as well.

Studies have shown probiotics help with many allergic reactions in humans, but there are no trials with dogs yet.

You can use probiotic supplements or just put a couple of teaspoons of yogurt in your dog’s meal to help him with digestion.

Homemade Dog Food for Allergies

Making your own food from scratch is the safest way to ensure that your dog is protected from foods that trigger his food allergy.

Many commercial foods are made from ingredients that are themselves made from other ingredients. For example, corn is used in many commercial foods, in one form or another.

However, if you haven’t cooked for your dog before, before you switch to a homemade diet, you should talk to your vet or an animal nutritionist to ensure that your diet is well-balanced and nutritional enough.

Here are a couple of video examples of homemade dog food for allergies:

  • Homemade Dog Food for Allergies Recipe
  • Hypoallergenic Homemade Dog Food Recipe

Chicken and Carrot Meal

There are two reasons this recipe is recommended for dogs with food hypersensitivity.

First, the main protein source – in this case, chicken – is generally just a placeholder for whatever other protein you may need to use instead, and it’s easy to make the substitution.

Second, this meal is straightforward to make, so if you are starting to cook for your dog, you might want to consider this recipe.

It is also great for his digestive tract because it has potatoes and carrots, full of fiber to help his digestion.


  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of cottage cheese
  • 1/2 pound of fried, ground chicken
  • ½ cup of grated carrots
  • 1 cup of mashed potatoes


Mix carrots, mashed potatoes, and chicken in a pot until all the ingredients are distributed evenly.

Then put them in the microwave oven and heat them for 3-4 minutes. After the mix cools off, add cottage cheese and serve it to your dog.

Remember that you can always substitute any ingredient from the recipe if your dog is allergic to it.

If your dog is allergic to chicken, use different meat, like turkey or duck. If he is allergic to dairy, don’t use cottage cheese or any cheese at all. Your dog will still love this recipe.

Best Hypoallergenic Dog Foods for Food Allergies

While every dog will have a unique allergy to a specific food, veterinarians have noticed trends in most common ingredients causing food hypersensitivity in dogs.

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