Friday, July 19, 2024

Do Dogs Have Food Allergies

What Is Ringworm In Dogs

5 Signs Of Food Allergies In Dogs

Despite the name, ringworm isnt actually caused by worms, but rather by a fungal infection. Ringworm is contagious to humans and can be transferred from dogs to humans and other animals.

The symptoms of ringworm in dogs are itching and patches of hair loss, usually located on the head, ears, and forelegs. This helps to differentiate it from a flea bite allergy.

Symptoms Of Food Allergies In Dogs

Food allergies in canines can develop at any age, but the majority of dogs do not acquire food allergies until they are older than three years old. Skin reactions are often located around the face, groin, under the front legs, or between the toes.

  • Poor puppy or adolescent growth
  • Skin infections


Food allergy – An allergy to food is a response by the bodys immune system to defend itself against a threat. An allergic reaction doesnt happen the first time an individual is exposed to the allergen but rather after repeated exposures. Any food can cause an allergic reaction, but some foods, such as beef, dairy, chicken, and eggs tend to cause allergies in canines more often than others.

Food intolerance – While a food allergy is the bodys immune system reacting to what it perceives as a threat, food intolerance has no immune involvement. An intolerance to a food type is more likely to cause a gastrointestinal response than allergies do. Additional symptoms, such as a change in the consistency or color of the stools and gurgling sounds from the digestive system are common with a food intolerance.

Dogs Can Get Seasonal Allergies Too

Dogs can be bothered by seasonal allergies too. If youre noticing your four-legged friend scratching more than normal or catching them with a runny nose, its possible seasonal allergies are to blame.Check out this really helpful, in-depth guide by the experts at, explaining what you need to know about identifying and treating seasonal allergies in dogs.

Lets look at some of the dog food allergy symptoms, and how it differs from dog food sensitivity.

Vet Visits and Costs can quickly add up! Check out this really helpful guide on some of the many easy Ways To Save On Vet Costs

Recommended Reading: Can You Get Dog Food With Food Stamps

Common Dog Food Allergens

While true dog food allergies may only affect less than 5% of the canine population, it remains an important issue to monitor. Naturally, dogs cant communicate their feelings, so its up to owners to keep an eye out for potential allergies. This is especially important if you suspect an allergen may be an ingredient in your dogs daily food or treats. Below are some of the frequently reported culprits for food allergies in dogs:

  • Cocker spaniels

Treatment For Food Allergies

Food Allergies in Dogs  Pet Info Alley

The treatment for food allergies in dogs is to feed a hypoallergenic diet for 8-12 weeks. This is the only way to determine if your dog has a food allergy.

Hypoallergenic diets either have limited ingredients with an uncommon protein source or are processed in a special way to be less likely to cause allergic reactions. The concept is that a dog cannot be allergic to a food that it has not been exposed to before.

Consult your veterinarian to choose the proper diet. Over-the-counter foods are not recommended for a proper food trial. Treats, flavored medications, and human foods may also have to be eliminated during this trial period.

Other allergy treatment for dogs are aimed at reducing the symptoms while waiting to see if the diet change is helpful. Cytopoint, Apoquel, or steroids may be used to help control itching while waiting to see if a hypoallergenic food trial results in improvement of your dogs allergy symptoms.

Read Also: What Is The Best Dog Food For Rottweilers

Has Zignature Faced Any Legal Controversy

Zignature was included on the FDAs list of brands that are grain-free with a potential link to heart disease in 2019.

After the FDA investigation, Zignature started working with BSM partners to ensure formulas with balanced nutrition and safe ingredients.

There was also a peer-reviewed paper published by the BSM scientist that did not find a link between canine heart disease and grain-free diets.

Is Zignature Good For Your Dogs Skin

Yes, Zignatures foods are loaded with omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids which will help keep your dogs skin and coat looking and feeling great.

If youre specifically looking for food that supports your pets skin, look for one made from fish as this has more fatty acids, such as the Zignature Limited Ingredient Formula Grain-Free Trout & Salmon Meal Dry Dog Food.

Read Also: Is Grandma Lucy’s Dog Food Raw

Are Some Ingredients More Likely To Cause Allergies Than Others

“The most common food allergens in dogs are proteins…”

The most common food allergens in dogs are proteins, especially those from dairy, beef, chicken, chicken eggs, soy, or wheat gluten. Each time a pet eats food containing these substances, the antibodies react with the antigens, and symptoms occur. Virtually any food ingredient can produce an allergy, however. Proteins are the most common culprits but other substances and additives can also be responsible.

Common Allergens In Dog Food

Explaining Dog Food Allergies and Diet Trial

The most common foods to trigger an allergic response in dogs are animal proteins including chicken, beef, dairy, and eggs, says Tufts. Lamb, pork, and fish are less likely to cause allergies, although it is possible. While some dogs have proven to be allergic to wheat and corn, this is actually much more rare than common wisdom would have you believe. Instances of other grains, such as oats or rice, causing allergies are rare to nonexistent.

Read Also: 4 Health Puppy Food Reviews

Dog Food Allergy Test And Other Diagnosis Methods

So, how can you tell if your dog is allergic to food? First, it’s helpful to know how you might distinguish a food allergy from an environmental one. “Environmental or flea allergies are far more common,” explains Shmalberg. If you suspect either of those, consult your vet, who can help identify and treat fleas, or do a combination of blood tests and/or intradermal allergy testing to assess environmental allergies.

But if your dog has the following signs, talk to your vet about setting up an elimination diet trial.

Telltale Signs Your Dog May Have a Food Allergy :

  • If the symptoms occur at a very young agetypically, puppies younger than age 1 don’t experience environmental allergies
  • If the symptoms aren’t tied to a seasonal change or don’t change in different parts of the country
  • If the reaction doesn’t respond to steroids
  • If your dog has both skin and gastrointestinal symptoms

Dog Food Elimination Diet

It’s also important you refrain from feeding treats, table scraps, snacks, and flavored medications and supplements of any kind that don’t match the specific ingredient combo you’re using for the trial. After at least eight weeks, to truly prove the food allergy, you must then feed the original foodthe suspected allergic protein or proteinsagain. If there’s a reaction or breakout at that point, that’s a pretty good indication of an allergy.

Other Types of Dog Food Allergy Testing

Aside from elimination diets, there are a couple of other test options worth a look.

Your Dogs Feet Smell Like Corn Chips And They Wont Stop Licking Them

While most humans think that the corn chip smell is normal for a dogs feet, its actually a sign of bacteria. If your dog is also licking their feet, its not because theyre cleaningtheir feet are itchy.

If your dogs hair is a light color, you may notice fur staining of the feet, a symptom in which the fur takes on a dark red, coppery color due to the dogs saliva.

The classic corn chip odor of the feet, which many people believe to be completely normal in dogs, is caused by skin infections, either from bacteria or fungi . So how is this symptom related to allergies?

The inflammation associated with skin allergies breaks down the normal skin barrier over time. As a result, opportunistic microbes like yeast and bacteria can go from resting peacefully on the surface to diving deeper, where they set up infections and cause problems.

Addressing these secondary infections will be one of the first steps that your veterinarian will want to take in treating your allergic dog.

Also Check: Blue Buffalo Wet Puppy Food

Diagnosis Of Food Allergies In Dogs

The symptoms that your dog will be showing due to an allergic reaction will prompt your veterinarian to collect skin scrapings from any affected areas for cutaneous cytology. Cutaneous cytology is the microscopic evaluation of the skin cells to look for problems like mites, yeast infections, or signs of disease. When these are not found on the dermal cells, then a food allergy may be suspected. In order to confirm the allergy, an elimination diet is usually implemented. An elimination diet usually involves changing the dog’s food to either a reduced ingredient commercial food or a diet of bland human food, such as a boiled protein and a simple carbohydrate like rice.

  • Flavored medications or supplements
  • Flavored plastic toys

Other Things That Cause Skin Problems

Does my dog have a food allergy?

Itching and skin infections most often come from:

  • Allergies to fleas
  • Allergies to things in the air or in the petâs surroundings, like dust mites, pollen, or grasses

When fleas or a flea allergy are behind your petâs skin condition, thatâs usually the easiest thing to figure out. If you see fleas, your vet will fix you up with a product that kills them, and possibly also a medication to stop the allergic reaction to fleas. If the symptoms clear up, thatâs it.

Itâs harder to nail down if your dog or cat is allergic to things like pollen. Your vet will examine your pet, ask you about its health history, and do skin tests.

Once you know what your pet is allergic to, your vet can work out how to handle it. You may have to:

  • Keep your pet away from whatever itâs allergic to, if thatâs possible.
  • Help your pet keep its coat clean.
  • See that your pet gets regular allergy shots or whatever medicine your vet prescribes.

Whatever the solution is, youâll have to make a long-term commitment to stick with it. Your pet will depend on you.

Show Sources

Also Check: What Does Dog Food Taste Like

Bronzing Around The Lips

This is most noticeable, again, in breeds with white coats. You will notice their lips, feet, or skin are pink and inflamed. This can indicate a yeast colonization, often triggered by an allergy.

What It Looks Like: Lips, jowls, and toes may be red, pink, and inflamed. Dog will itch often.

What It Means: Yeast-based infection or food allergy.

But First! Rule Out Yeast infection or sunburn

Try This

  • Wipe the area with a 50/50 mix of purified water and organic apple cider vinegar.
  • You can also add apple cider vinegar to your dogs water or food to reduce acidity and discourage yeast.
  • Avoid many veterinary-grade solutions such as benzoyl peroxide-based products, which can dry out the skin, increasing irritation.

RELATED: Yeast can be a pain. Here are 5 natural solutions to help clear it out

Tips For Making Your Own Dog Food At Home


Making your own food from scratch is hands-down the most reliable way to ensure your dogs diet has not come into contact with anything theyre allergic to. Weve got some healthy dog food recipes to share with you and some great dog food recipe hacks to make cooking for your dog less of a chore.

We hope this guide to dog food allergies helps you find a solution to your dogs symptoms. As a reminder, please always talk to your vet before introducing your dog to a new food.

Recommended Reading: Where To Buy Open Farm Dog Food

Treating Itchy Skin And Ear Issues Caused By Food Allergies

The only way to treat a food allergy is to remove the offending food from the dogs diet, but there are options for temporarily treating the symptoms caused by food allergies.

Oral and topical medications are sometimes prescribed to help minimize itching. Any secondary problems, like skin or ear infections, will also have to be addressed.

If youre concerned about any symptoms your dog is experiencing, or youre simply wondering whether the food youre offering is the best choice for your pet, speak with your veterinarian.

Allergy Testing And Elimination Diet

5 Signs of Food Allergies In Dogs

While various allergy tests using blood or saliva are available to pet owners, theyre not considered to be very accurate. Rather, veterinarians typically recommend a dietary elimination trial, a process that may take place over several months:

The only food given to your pet is a specially formulated diet recommended by your veterinarian or a specific home cooked recipe containing only two or three ingredients.

  • This diet is followed strictly for several weeks to months, depending on your pets history and symptoms.
  • If your pets condition improves significantly, a food allergy can then be confirmed by a relapse after the pet is returned to their original diet.
  • Your pet will then return to the test diet until symptoms subside. One new ingredient at a time is added to this diet until the specific food allergy can be identified.
  • You May Like: Is Nutro Dog Food Grain Free

    Common Food Allergies In Dogs Explained By A Vet

    Diagnosing food allergies in dogs can be tricky. Learn about common culprits, plus allergy treatment options.

    Everything we create is factually accurate and biased toward science meet our team of experts

    As many of us can confirm, allergies are super unpleasant. In basic terms, allergies are caused by the body mistaking a foreign substance as harmful, even if it isnt. The immune system responds by creating antibodies to attack the antigen. This reaction leads to symptoms like sneezing and runny eyes, itching, swelling, and rashes, and/or gastrointestinal distress.

    Unfortunately, allergies are among the common conditions affecting both humans and dogs alike. While human allergies affect up to 50 million Americans each year, the estimates for dog allergies are harder to calculate. One reason is that theyre often mistaken for food sensitivities, which may involve similar symptoms, but dont cause immune responses.

    Dogs with environmental allergies can also show the same symptoms as those with food or flea allergies . It can be challenging to determine the cause of the allergy, especially since environmental allergies are far more common than food allergies. However, true food allergies do exist in dogs, and they can be dangerous if left untreated.

    Understanding how to recognize and treat your dogs food allergies is important for any pet owner, and the knowledge may just end up saving your dogs life.

    Is Zignature Good For Dogs With Sensitive Stomachs And Allergies

    Yes, Zignature is highly recommended for pets with food allergies. Most of their food offers a single source of meat protein and is also free of grains, wheat, chicken, eggs, potatoes, and corn so pet parents dont have to worry about allergies becoming a problem.

    Because they are both low glycemic and gluten-free, it makes the perfect meal for a pet with a sensitive stomach.

    Recommended Reading: Best Dry Dog Food For Pancreatitis

    Food Allergies In Dogs And The Hypoallergenic Diet

    As almost everyone has an opinion about food allergy in pets, there are many myths and misconceptions about food allergies in dogs. It is easy to form an opinion on something quite common, thus food allergy does fall prey to different opinions and beliefs.

    The diagnosis, signs and treatment of a food allergic dog can vary based on individual experience, so it is only valid to have differing opinions. Following are some well-known facts about for allergies that are not based on experience and belief alone. These are facts based on documented scientific evidence that veterinary dermatologists often use to help determine how best an itchy, allergic, or food sensitive dog patient should be treated.

    It is estimated that about 10% of dogs affected by itchy skin or persistent skin problems, severe enough to be presented to veterinary dermatologists, are affected by food allergies. A bigger proportion of dogs are usually diagnosed with environmental seasonal or non-seasonal allergies as well as flea allergy dermatitis . Such data indicates that while food allergy is a significant and relatively easily treated problem of our canine companions, other allergic causes should also be considered for dogs affected by itchy skin, infected ears or recurrent skin problems.

    What Does An Allergic Reaction Look Like On A Dog

    What Dog Owners Ought to Know About Dog Food Allergy Diet

    Skin allergies are often caused by exposure to flea/ticks, plants or yard treatment chemicals that cause your dogs skin to become irritated. Clinical signs seen most commonly with this are redness of skin itself, itchiness, or even the presentation of hives .

    Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Dog Food For Pekingese

    Itchy Skin Red Underbelly And Dull Coat

    Together, these signs can indicate an allergy. Your dog itches constantly without relief, possibly causing hair loss in the affected patches.

    What It Looks Like: Skin underneath the hair is red or pink, dry, and inflamed. No relief with baths, conditioners, or over-the-counter allergy medications. Excessive, near-constant scratching.

    What It Means: Environmental allergies or food allergies.

    But First! Rule Out

    Shampoo residue on your dogs skin is a leading cause of contact dermatitis, and often resolves by switching to a milder shampoo and rinsing thoroughly. Try this trick: Shampoo your dog, and rinse him until you think you are done. Then, rinse two more times to be safe!

    Shampoos containing artificial colors , sodium laurates, phthalates, mineral oil, and fragrances can all cause irritation. Try switching to a species-appropriate, all natural rinse for your dog, such as ones that contain apple cider vinegar or coconut oils.

    RELATED: Your shampoo could be the problem, so heres how to keep bath time safe for your dog

    Pollen Allergy: Your dog may also have a pollen allergy: try wiping him down with a cool, damp cloth every time he comes inside to eliminate exposure to pollen.

    Fleas: Make sure your dog does not have fleas, as flea allergy dermatitis will also cause irritated skin.

    Try This

    RELATED: Heres how to use aloe vera for cooling relief

    Popular Articles
    Related news