Try An Elimination Diet
Eliminating excessive ingredients from your dog’s diet can help you narrow down which ingredients might be the source of the reactions. The more ingredients in the food, the harder it will be to determine what they may or may not be reacting to. Start with a single protein diet, and limit other ingredients to avoid ingredients that are commonly overused in pet food.
Signs Of Food Allergies
Dogs, like humans, can be allergic to a number of things in their environment however, canine allergies are most commonly linked to food. How can you tell if your pup is suffering from food allergies? Here are some signs that he might be allergic to certain ingredients:
- Paw biting and licking
- Excessive hair loss he might have bald patches, for example
- Rashes on the skin
- Gastrointestinal issues nausea, vomiting, constipation, flatulence, diarrhea
- Bottom scratching
If your pooch is exhibiting any of these symptoms, theres a good chance that food allergies are to blame. However, do make sure that you have your vet conduct a comprehensive physical examination to determine if, in fact, food allergies are to blame. These symptoms can also be associated with other health issues, so you want to make sure that the cause is accurately diagnosed to ensure your pet is receiving the right treatment.
Dog Food Allergy Symptoms
The symptoms of a food allergy in dogs can be subtle, and they may often overlap with symptoms of an environmental allergy. The symptoms of a dog food allergy are often difficult to diagnose, explains Dr. Brock. She notes that some of the symptoms you might see include:
- Itching and scratching around the face, paws, and neck
- Redness and swelling of the skin
- Chewing paws or rubbing them against the ground
Dr. Louis DelGiudice, national emergency medical director at AmeriVet Veterinary Partners, adds that your dog may experience symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and chronic skin and ear infections. There may also be more subtle signs, such as hyperactivity, weight loss, or lack of energy. If youve noticed any of these problems with your pet, youll want to bring them to the vet for a professional diagnosis.
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Distinguishing Between Food Allergies Vs Simple Food Intolerance
In addition to recognizing the possible signs of a dog food allergy, its also important to distinguish between true food allergies vs a simple intolerance.
When your dog has an allergy, it means that your dogs immune system is overreacting to a normally harmless substance . Intolerance simply suggests your dog has trouble digesting something, in which case switching to a dog food for dogs with sensitive stomach may provide a quick fix!
You should always consult your veterinarian before self-diagnosing your dogs food allergies or intolerances. However, in general, dogs that have true food allergies will generally exhibit skin problems, while dogs with a food intolerance will just display intestinal upset. This commonly takes the form of gas, bloating, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Some food allergies may also cause digestive upset, but skin conditions are almost always the most prevalent problem.
Its very common for dogs to be intolerant of things like dairy products and fatty foods.
While dairy and high-fat foods often cause digestive issues in canines, many pooches can eat one but not the other. For example, my Rottweiler is capable of digesting fast-food quantities of fat , but a teaspoon of ice cream can make her hurl.
In an ideal world, you should probably avoid giving either type of food to your dog, regardless of the different biological factors at play.
What Is The Best Dog Food For Allergies
- Best Omega-Rich Dog Food for Allergies: AvoDerm Natural Dry & Wet Dog Food For Skin & CoatThis food features a rich mixture of avocado and fish oil to provide omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and combat skin allergy symptoms.
- Best Limited Ingredient Dog Food for Allergies: NUTRO Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Dry DogMade with ten or fewer key ingredients, this is a limited ingredient food that is made with the fewest ingredients on this list.
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Treatment Of Meat Protein Allergies In Dogs
In order to determine the best protocol for solving your dogs skin or ear infections, and to give advice on conditions like alopecia or extreme itching, determining the allergen is required. To test for food allergies, the most effective way is to use the elimination diet. The veterinarian will instruct you on what to do in detail, but it is usually done by taking away all foods and then starting over again with one food at a time to determine the culprit. The suspected meat protein will be removed from the diet and reintroduced when the veterinarian feels the time is right. Each food, when added back in, should be tried for several weeks to see if any of the symptoms return. Your veterinarian will be able to instruct you on which foods to try and may have a hydrolysed hypoallergenic food on hand in the clinic that you can start with.
Treatment will depend on your dogs symptoms and the results of the food trial. A goal of the veterinary team will be to alleviate the itching and inflammation in your dogs skin for his comfort, and because the skin mirrors what is going on inside the body. In order to do a food trial or elimination diet, your dogs skin has to be treated first.
Treating the Skin
It is important to get the skin back to normal as soon as possible. A hypoallergenic shampoo and anti-itch medicine for the rash and inflammation will help relieve the itching within a few days.
Food Trial/Elimination Diet
Whats The Best Dog Food For Ear Allergies
Does your dog have chronic ear infections or ? If so, food or environmental insensitivity could be the culprit. Some experts say that an excess of grain and/or sugar in food contributes to ear infections. But we encourage you to speak to your vet if your dog has a lot of ear infections to help determine the cause and get proper treatment.
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American Journey Lid Hypoallergenic Dog Food
This popular limited-ingredient and grain-free dog food recipe leads with salmon and replaces grain fiber with sweet potatoes, along with peas and beets. You can also find American Journey LID dog food thats hypoallergenic in turkey, duck, lamb, and venison versions.
American Journey LID Hypoallergenic Dog Food
Free of grains, this popular limited-ingredient leads with salmon as its main protein source, but you can also find versions with turkey, duck, or lamb.
Getting your dogs allergies under control can be a challenge. Dog food that is hypoallergenic, with limited ingredients and single sources of animal protein, can help. Below are additional articles on treats, shampoos, and testing that may further soothe an itchy, irritated pup.
Look Out For Common Allergens
The best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid common allergens. The most common food allergens are beef and chicken, but dairy and egg are also not uncommon.
It may come as a surprise, but dogs develop allergies to ingredients they eat most frequently. So, it can happen with the food they have been enjoying for years, and it can be an ingredient commonly found in many commercial dog foods.
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Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets
Image courtesy Natural Balance
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets is a grain-free, hypoallergenic dry food for adult dogs. It’s made with sweet potatoes, which are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
The first two ingredients are fish meal and fish oil to provide your pet with high-quality protein and essential omega-fatty acids. This dry food is also supplemented with live probiotics, vitamins, and minerals to support your pup’s overall health.
Signs Of An Allergic Reaction
When looking for the perfect dog food, its important to first know what an allergic reaction looks like.
Symptoms of a food allergy can affect multiple organ systems in your dog, but the skin tends to be the most affected, says Burch. Skin symptoms include severe itching along the face, paws, rear, and underbelly. Other signs can include fur loss from around the eyes, repeated ear infections, and secondary skin infections.
When you know the signs of an allergic reaction to look out for, you will be able to better pinpoint whats causing their discomfort.
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Blue Buffalo Natural Adult Salmon
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Salmon, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Pea Protein, 5. Menhaden Fish Meal
Because protein is a usual suspect when it comes to allergies in your dog, many pet parents worry about it. But you dont have to worry about proteins when it comes to this recipe. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Natural Salmon Dog Food is an amazing high-protein recipe that will keep allergies at bay. Deboned salmon and chicken meal satisfy the high protein needs of all breeds, including the large and giant ones. There is also a menhaden fish meal in the first five ingredients. It adds a tasty punch of protein and other nutrients. And then you have pea proteins as well.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon recipe also contains the patented LifeSource bits. Add it all up, and that makes this offering from Blue Buffalo, a good choice for your allergy-sensitive dog.
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:
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Most Common Causes Of Food Allergy In Dogs
The Best Dog Food For Allergies Reviewed
By Charles Grisham | Updated December 03, 2022
Reviewed by: Ivana Crnec, DVM
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Open Farms Dry Dog Food Recipes
Open Farms line of kibbles offers a strong range of choices for pups with food sensitivities. The selection of novel-protein recipes in both grain-inclusive and grain-free styles makes it easy to avoid your dogs allergens. We especially like the companys transparent sourcing that lets you enter your packages lot code to find out exactly where each of the ingredients comes from. Our test pupsincluding one very picky eatergave the kibble four paws up. Use code ROVER20 to get 20% off your first auto-ship order.
Open Farm Dry Dog Food
Open Farms kibble recipes offer a range of options for pups with sensitive stomachs, matching novel proteins to both grain-free and grain-inclusive picks.
Best For Grain Allergies: Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Natural Adult Dry Dog Food
Courtesy of Amazon
Key Ingredients: Deboned salmon, chicken meal, peas, pea protein, menhaden fish meal | Flavors: Salmon | Packaging Size: 4.5, 11, 20, or 24 pound bag
Sweet potatoes are a source of healthy carbs
Grain-free diets may not be best for every dog
Its always a good idea to consult your veterinarian if you are concerned about your dogs allergies. They may recommend changes to their diet that remove foods that could flare up their allergies, like grains or poultry. But being grain-free doesnt mean that this recipe is all protein either, it also features sweet potatoes and peas to help give your active doggy that extra boost of energy. Blue Buffalo also offers similar grain-free recipes for all life stages, including puppies, adult, and senior dogs.
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What Foods Should Dogs With Allergies Avoid
Certain foods should not be found on the ingredient list of the best dog food for allergies. Here is a list of those ingredients:
- Common Proteins. Protein sources from beef, chicken, and eggs are very common allergens. A hypoallergenic food may still have these ingredients, however, so it is important to either know what your dog is allergic to or know what they are not allergic to in order to give them the proper nutrition.
- Cheap Fillers. Ingredients such as corn, wheat, gluten meal, and poultry by-product meals are all examples of cheap fillers. These are inexpensive but highly processed foods that are more likely to cause an allergic reaction than whole foods.
- Artificial Ingredients. This includes things like added colors and unnamed natural flavors. If ingredients are not specifically named and identified, they must be avoided.
- Multiple Protein Sources: Protein causes allergic reactions. Having multiple protein sources increases the risk of a reaction as it causes exposure to more varied proteins.
Treating Food Allergies In Dogs
Once you and your vet have determined the cause of your dogs food allergy without any reasonable doubt, the obvious first step is to eliminate the offending food. If youve completed an elimination trial, its best to keep your pet on that food, especially if the symptoms have subsided. If you try to switch back to an over-the-counter diet, it may trigger your dogs food allergy symptoms to return.
Unfortunately, diagnosing food allergies in dogs can be a difficult and drawn-out process, and you dont want to see your dog suffering in the meantime. Thankfully, there are a number of effective ways to treat allergy symptoms in dogs, even from your own home.
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How To Find The Right Diet For Dogs With Food Allergies
If your dogs diagnosed with a food allergy, your veterinarian will help you determine what kind of diet is best for your pup.
There are two main diets your vet can recommend: limited-ingredient dog food and hydrolyzed dog food.
Limited-ingredient food can usually be purchased over the counter, while hydrolyzed dog food usually has to be prescribed by your veterinarian.
Zignature Turkey Formula Limited Ingredient Dog Food
When you give your best friend Zignature Turkey Limited Ingredient Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, fill their bowl with healthy food.
Your dog will be treated to a wonderful turkey dinner prepared with actual, farm-raised Turkey from the American Midwest, whole peas, chickpeas, and flaxseed. This meat-first recipe provides pups with the protein they require for optimum development while Zignature’s limited ingredient version eliminates problematic components like chicken, corn, wheat, soy, and eggs.
Combine that with key antioxidants, important fatty acids, and a comprehensive spectrum of vitamins and minerals for a well-rounded dinner that will become your pet’s signature food for life.
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The Benefits Of A Hypoallergenic Diet
Hypoallergenic dog diets are most effective for dogs who have multiple different allergies or intolerances. Breeds like Poodles, Chihuahuas, and Pomeranians are more prone to these issues and hypoallergenic diets help to relieve a lot of the symptoms, such as itching and bloating.
Hypoallergenic diets are also crucial for some dogs in order to avoid anaphylactic shock. Dogs who eat these types of foods can continue eating a tasty and nutritious diet without any of the discomfort that comes from eating traditional kibble recipes.