What Causes Skin Allergies In Dogs
Allergic reactions can come from a wide range of ingredients. The most common allergens in dogs may surprise you.
Some of the most widespread allergens are fillers like corn, wheat, or soy. No surprise there! Dogs aren’t built to digest those ingredients. So oftentimes, they will trigger skin allergies. It’s a defense mechanism for the body.
Luckily, it’s pretty easy to avoid those ingredients by going with a more premium brand. However, other common allergens like eggs, chicken, and beef are a bit harder to steer clear of.
Chicken and beef, in particular, are some of the most commonly used protein sources! If your dog is allergic to those, you have very few commercial choices.
Dogs may also experience skin issues due to additives in food products. Chemical preservatives, flavors, or colors are the worst offenders.
What To Feed When You Make Your Dogs Food
If you are interested in making your dogs food and wondering what to feed him, I can recommend my own book on home cooking for dogs Canine Cuisine: 101 Natural Dog Food & Treat Recipes to Make Your Dog Healthy and Happy. The book has lots of recipes you can make for your dog in your own kitchen and it includes both meals and treats. My dogs helped taste-test them. Theyre made with ingredients you can find at your local grocery store or health food store and Ive tasted a lot of them myself . Theyre pretty tasty. They dont contain anything that would be bad for people or dogs to eat.
In general, when you make a recipe to cook for your dog, you can put in ingredients in the following proportions:
- Organ meats 5-10%
- Eggs Few times per week, any way your dog likes them
- Dairy 10-15%
- Muscle meat or fish 50%
- Vegetables , starchy vegetables) 25%
- Fruits Small amount
As you can see, there is some wiggle room, depending on the ingredients you use and the meals you make. Not every meal will be the same.
Good starchy vegetables include potatoes, sweet potatoes, and winter squash, among others. You need to puree or steam vegetables so your dog can get the nutrients from them.
As far as fruits go, you can add apples, papayas, mangoes, berries, or melon to your dogs meals. Some dogs have fruits that they particularly like. Just avoid grapes and raisins since they are toxic to dogs.
Natural Balance Lid Chicken And Sweet Potato Formula
This dog food that is hypoallergenic for your pup includes a single source of animal protein as well as the carbohydrate powerhouse, sweet potatoesotherwise, its grain-free. Formulated to provide complete, balanced nutrition for adult dogs, the limited ingredients here make it easy to control your dogs sources of protein and carbohydrates.
Natural Balance LID Chicken and Sweet Potato Formula
This hypoallergenic dog food features chicken and sweet potatoes in its limited ingredient recipe.
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Best Foods For Dogs With Allergies
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.
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
Limited Ingredient Dog Foods
Limited ingredient dog foods address the presence of allergens by including just a single protein source, , 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 , as well as a “complete and balanced” claim from the manufacturer.
Limited ingredient foods that your vet may recommend include:
Why Make Homemade Food For Dogs With Skin Allergies
Homemade dog foods offer much more control over what’s going into your dog’s body. Take a look at the ingredient’s list of any cheap dog food on the market. Do you know what everything on that list is?
Therein lies the problem. Many manufacturers use cheap fillers or low-quality ingredients. There’s no way to know for sure where a product’s constituents come from.
Making your own dog food from scratch eliminates the unknown. You can choose the ingredients and make sure that everything is safe and sanitary along the way.
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How To Make The Best Homemade Hypoallergenic Dog Food
If you have a dog suffering from allergies, you know that its no fun for anyone. Youll want to do everything you can to alleviate allergy symptoms and make life easier for everyone in the household.
One solution is to switch your dog diet to a portion of homemade hypoallergenic dog food. This gives your dog food that is tailored to suit his digestive system, which makes it a lot less likely that hell suffer any allergic reactions.
The next step is to do research about your dog breed to know if there are known allergies related to the breed. If there is none or you are not sure of the dog breed, you may consult your vet to have your dog tested.
If after testing it was discovered that your puppy is suffering from a food allergy and you choose to go the route of homemade hypoallergenic dog food to safe your dog, l have below an expert guide about how to make the best homemade hypoallergenic dog food.
How Is A Food Allergy Diagnosed In Dogs
A food trial using a hypoallergenic dog food is the only reliable way to diagnose food allergies in dogs. There are two ways to do this using a novel protein source or hydrolyzed protein.
A novel protein source is one that is completely new to the dog, thereby reducing the chance of an immune response. In addition, the diet should contain a novel, single source of carbohydrates since plants also contain protein. Hypoallergenic dog food options include venison and potato, duck and pea, salmon and potato or even kangaroo, as long as the dog hasnt been exposed to these ingredients in the past. Lamb used to be considered hypoallergenic but is now in so many commercial dog foods that it is no longer novel.
Hydrolyzed diets are made when intact animal proteins are broken down into very small molecules that the immune system should not be able to recognize as allergens, virtually eliminating the possibility of an adverse food reaction. Starch or rice are typically used as carbohydrate sources because they are very infrequently associated with allergic reactions.
Once the food allergy has been diagnosed using a hypoallergenic dog food, a challenge should be performed to confirm the diagnosis. When the original diet is fed, the symptoms should return within two weeks. Following confirmation of the food allergy, single source ingredients may be added to the hypoallergenic dog food to determine exactly which ingredients must be avoided in the future.
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So Is Hypoallergenic Dog Food Just A Trend
In short, yes!
If the word has no real grounding, why do pet food brands and dog owners use it? The term hypoallergenic was allegedly first coined by another pet food brands marketing team. We dont like naming names, so you can find out which one here. They did rather a good job, and the phrase is now thoroughly embedded into the world of pet food. This has led dog owners to look out for it, believing thats what their pets need to live healthy lives, even if they dont have any allergies or intolerances. This reinforces the issue as new pet food brands are forced to also use the term to cater to how customers shop, ourselves included!
Its our pet peeve and we wish we didnt need to. However, when customers enquire whether we offer hypoallergenic dog food our answer remains the same Why are you asking and what ingredients are your fur babies intolerant to?. This allows us to clarify what hypoallergenic means, and better understand which of our products are suitable for their furbaby.
Does My Dog Have A Food Allergy
Many dog foods on the market make claims about being good for allergies, but how well do these claims hold up? How common are dog food allergies? And is hypoallergenic dog food right for your dog? To learn the truth about food allergies in dogs and what hypoallergenic dog food really means, keep reading.
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When Do Dogs Develop Allergies
No matter the case, dog food allergies can manifest at any point in your pups life.
You may, for example, feed your dog chicken-based food for most of her life, only to discover that at some point, she begins exhibiting signs of an allergy to the food. And because the proteins contained in chicken are very similar to those in turkey, she may become allergic to all varieties of poultry!
Making Your Own Dog Food
Of course, there was lots of advice about feeding dogs long before there was commercial dog food. Perhaps not surprisingly, most of it was similar to what we know about feeding dogs today. For example, some owners were advised to give their dogs liver and heart from deer, along with milk, cheese, and bread . Beloved pets usually ate better than yard dogs.
Today we have come full circle and many owners like the idea of making their dogs meals instead of feeding them a commercial diet. There are a number of benefits of making your dogs food.
Read Also: How To Know If Your Dog Is Allergic To Food
A Meal For You And Your Dog
Love cooking for your dog but never have the time? Rocky Kanaka from The CWs SAVE our SHELTER, Dog’s Day Out and founder of The Dog Bakery, has a solution. This easy to make salmon meal for yourself can also be made for your dog.
This recipe is designed for those who want to eat healthy and want their dogs to eat healthy as well but are always on the go. This is also one of the most eco friendly recipes we have seen. Instead of tossing things we would usually not eat such as broccoli stems, the recipe uses these as a key part to the dogs delicious meal.
This recipe also has a bonus tip on what to do with that salmon skin that is usually thrown in the trash. I get asked a lot if salmon skin is okay for dogs. While it is not safe if consumed raw, due to unwanted parasites, cooking in the oven for 20 minutes to make a crunchy, healthy, limited ingredient, organic, high omega dog snack that may help with heart health and give them a great skin and coat is a big win! says Rocky.
And there is more, when you cook for your dog you are more conscious of what you put in your body. For all of those reasons and more we give this recipe four paws up!
Healthy meals are important for you and your dog but the best thing about this recipe from Rocky Kanaka is it allows you to take time out of your day to spend time with your family two and four legged! Read on to find out how to do it or watch Rocky has he demonstrates!
Raw Bones For Calcium
Bones is another hypoallergenic source of nutrients for dogs. Some bones, like the thigh bones of cows, may be too hard for the dogs teeth and may break the dogs teeth if they persist in chewing it. Raw bones are better that cooked bones because they do not break into sharp splinters. Obviously, the bones are rich in calcium which may help create strong bones and harder stool.
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What Should You Givea Dog With Food Allergies
Once you have established that your dog has a food allergy, how do you feed him? Which types of food should you give him? The secret is giving him food sources that dont contain the ingredients for which he exhibits allergic reactions.
In other words, the best diet for a dog with allergy-related to a food item is a diet that doesnt include the food. If your dog has grain allergies, for instance, give him grain-free diets. And if hes allergic to wheat, you can use a substitute ingredient like rice flour.
Here are the most commonfood formulations for dogs with food allergies:
- Limited Ingredient Foods: These contain only one protein source such as lamb or chicken and may also include one source of carbohydrates. The goal of limited ingredient foods is to make it easier for dog owners to narrow down to specific ingredients when it comes to identifying the type of foods that may be causing allergic reactions totheir dogs.
- Grain-free Foods: As the name suggests, these are formulated for dogs with sensitivities to grains like wheat, corn, rye, or barley. Most grain-free foods are gluten-free. However, you should note that not all grains contain gluten. So, not all gluten-free dog foods are necessarily grain-free.
- Prescription Dog Foods: Are mostly recommended and obtained from veterinarians. Most vets will recommend a few dietary changes besides prescription dog foods.
- Hypoallergenic Foods: Are mostly limited ingredient foods found in pet food stores.
Make Sure Your Money Is Spent Wisely When Buying Hypoallergenic For Food Allergies Products
If you are in the market for a hypoallergenic for food allergies product, it is important that you take the time to check the price. You want to ensure that what you are paying is not too much or too little.
We all have that feeling that we should know the price of a hypoallergenic for food allergies product before buying it.
How to check a products price and tell whether or not its reasonable. There are 3 different ways in which you can do this: 1) by browsing reviews2) by looking at other similar products 3) by checking online.
Lets get started!
There are many factors that determine the price of an hypoallergenic for food allergies item.
For example, the location may play a role in determining how much something costs. Prices can also vary depending on what time it is and where you are shopping. Finally, there is no guarantee that any store will have everything at one low price either different stores offer different prices based on their own business model and inventory levels.
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What Exactly Is A Hypoallergenic Dog Food
Technically, the term hypoallergenic dog food is a bit misleading.
There really is no such thing as a universal hypoallergenic dog food its mainly a marketing term. This is because, due to the nature of allergies, one type of dog food could be considered hypoallergenic for an individual dog, but not another.
For a dog allergic to chicken, any food that does not contain chicken would be considered hypoallergenic for that individual canine.
However, another dog may be allergic to rice, not chicken, and therefore will have different needs, changing what would be classified as hypoallergenic for that specific dog.
Hypoallergenic dog food generally refers to a type of dog food that avoids common allergens although what is truly hypoallergenic depends on your dog and her specific situation. Since common allergens can be avoided through a variety of different methods, there several types of hypoallergenic dog foods.
The main forms of hypoallergenic dog foods include:
Note that a dog food can fit into more than one of these categories. For example, a hypoallergenic dog food relying on a novel protein source can also have limited ingredients.
Remember that you should look for single-source novel proteins and single-source carbohydrates .
Common combinations include:
- Salmon & Sweet Potato
- Kangaroo & Brown Rice
Hypoallergenic Dog Food Recipe
If your dog suffers from confirmed allergies or intolerances, finding a commercial dog food that meets his needs can be difficult. Often the best means of providing for a dog with special dietary needs is cooking homemade dog food. Just use suitable substitute ingredients in place of those your dog’s allergic to in a basic dog food home recipe.
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Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Hydrolyzed Protein Small Dog Dry Dog Food 88 Lb
- Helps reduce skin and GI reactions that may be a result of sensitivities to common proteins found in pet foods
- Helps minimize risk of reaction with proteins that are broken down to a size thats less likely to be recognized by the immune system
- Promotes a urinary environment unfavorable to the development of both struvite and calcium oxalate crystals
Natural Supplements For Dog’s With Itchy Skin
Traditional fish oil for dogs contains two kinds of omega 3 fatty acids – EPA and DHA.
Nutrients from shellfish, especially New Zealands green lipped mussels, actually contain an additional, third omega 3, called ETA.
These rare ETA fatty acids can lower enzyme levels responsible for your dogs skin inflammation and pain – thereby benefiting not only dogs with allergies and itchy skin, but those dogs suffering from joint pain and arthritis as well.Additionally, omega 3 fatty acids from green lipped mussels can help to repair damaged cartilage in joints – increasing mobility, range of motion, and ultimately, a dogs quality of life.