Food Allergies in Dogs: What Causes Them?
Unfortunately, while researchers know that food allergy are caused by an immune system response, they don’t know why some dogs are more susceptible to the food allergy phenomena.
Some people believe that food allergies are caused by a genetic aberration (as they are in humans) and that your dog is born with them.
While, Others feel that food allergies are caused by the environment, i.e., what your dog eats and is exposed to.
The fact that some breeds and bloodlines tend to be more prone to food allergies than others supports the hereditary hypothesis, while the fact that dogs from similar regions generally have similar sensitivities supports the environmental idea.
Despite the many unanswered factors regarding food allergies, scientists are certain of one thing: allergies develop in response to exposure to a specific allergen, and they can take a long time to manifest.
Dogs rarely display symptoms of a food allergy the first time they eat it; symptoms arise with repeated exposure.
Some veterinarians advise minimizing the number of proteins you give your dog over her lifetime. They suggest that this can ideally reduce the number of allergies that occur, and it will make treatment much easier if your dog develops a food allergy later in life.
For example, a dog who has been fed lamb, beef, and chicken throughout her life has been exposed to a variety of foods, any of which could trigger an immunological reaction.
While a dog given a wide variety of protein sources may be susceptible to several allergens, a dog raised only on the chicken can continue to be fed a variety of protein sources to which she has never been exposed.
Is It Antibiotics That Are At Work?
Antibiotics given early in a puppy’s infancy may also cause allergies, according to some vets. They suggest giving young pups a probiotic supplement to help boost healthy gut flora as a possible remedy.
However, this proposed treatment hasn’t been properly tested in dogs, and human-based research in this field has produced mixed results, so there’s no certainty of a cure just yet.
When Do Dogs Start Getting Allergies?
In any case, your dog’s food allergies can appear at any time during his or her life.
For example, you may feed your dog chicken-based food for the majority of her life, only to discover that she develops an allergy to the diet at some point. And, because the proteins in chicken and turkey are so similar, she could develop an allergy to all types of poultry!
The elimination-challenge diet is the only approach to figure out exactly which elements are causing problems for your dog.
When a patient is suspected of having a food allergy, veterinarians frequently recommend an elimination-challenge diet.
However, elimination diets aren’t just for verifying your suspicions; they can also be used to address the condition. An elimination diet entails removing certain elements from your dog’s diet to determine which food is causing an allergic reaction.
Identifying Your Dog’s Allergies
When a dog eats something to which they are allergic, their immune system reacts with itchy skin, sneezing, and a sensitive stomach.
If you suspect your dog is having an allergic reaction and have checked out other possibilities, a test for dog food allergies is a smart place to start.
Food allergies and intolerances in dogs are frequently inherited from their parents. Certain proteins are indigestible to a dog with a food allergy (most common allergens are proteins). Removing that sort of protein from your dog’s diet should help.
These are the most prevalent problem foods for dogs when it comes to allergies:
Commercial skin and blood allergy testing are available, and your veterinarian may advise you to start there. Prefer to opt for Elimination diet for better results.
After you’ve identified the problematic elements in your dog’s diet, the next step is to provide your dog with a balanced diet that excludes these foods.
There are a few different paths to take.
- Purchase food that has been recommended by a veterinarian.
You must offer the merchant the prescription or the contact information for your veterinarian so that they can verify the prescription and ask any required questions.
- Buy hypoallergenic commercial dog foods made with a limited components.
If your dog has itchiness or distress at different periods of the year, it could be due to an environmental or seasonal allergy rather than a food allergy.
High quantities of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which help support healthy skin, are included in the best dog food for skin allergies.
Symptoms of Allergies:
If you suspect that your dog may be allergic to something, watch out for the following symptoms :
- Scabs or rashes on the skin
- Chronic ear infections
- Red, inflamed skin are all symptoms of an allergic reaction in dogs.
- Hair loss (alopecia)
- Self-mutilation induced by frequent chewing/scratching
- Dry, crusty skin
- Thickening of the skin
- Gastrointestinal pain
- Ear infections
It’s critical to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible if you see these symptoms in your dog.
Pay attention to your dog’s behavior as well; it’s not always easy to detect if your dog has skin allergies because their licking and/or scratching may appear to be normal.
As your dog’s skin is furry, it may be difficult to discern redness and irritation on the surface.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your canine companion’s health.
Skin allergies could be to fault if your dog looks to be more uncomfortable than usual, licking, chewing, and scratching themselves excessively. It’s time to contact the veterinarian.
Allergy-Prone Dog Breeds
Any dog can be affected by allergies, but some breeds are more sensitive than others.
Allergy-prone dog breeds include:
- Bichon Frisé
- Chinese Crested
- Cocker Spaniel
- German Shepherd
- Lhasa Apso
- Pekinese | Poodle
- Shar Pei
- Shih Tzu
What Is An Elimination-Challenge Diet, and How Does It Work?
Step 1: Get Rid of Allergens
- You begin an elimination-challenge diet by attempting to eliminate any probable allergies found in your dog’s food. This usually entails switching to a food with a novel protein source, such as:
- Ingredients in hypoallergenic dog food: Kangaroo, bison, pheasant, and venison are some of the most unusual protein sources.
- Other hypoallergenic animal protein sources to consider are Alligator, Emu, Yak, and Millet.
- Brown rice, sweet potato, or even white potato, which rarely cause allergies in dogs like wheat or maize, are common sources of carbohydrate in acceptable elimination-challenge foods.
- To avoid overstimulating the immune system, additives, artificial flavors, yeast, and other supplements should be maintained to a bare minimum.
- Hopefully, your dog’s problems will go away as a result of the restricted diet.
This will help her to acquire the nutrition she requires without having to deal with an adverse reaction all the time. This can assist your dog is feeling better and healing!
You’ll have to stay watchful, but it’ll be worth it when you finally figure out the elements your dog is allergic to, allowing you to choose the finest food for their needs and improve their quality of life.
Step 2: Reintroduce yourself!
After 12 weeks, if your dog’s allergy symptoms have decreased or disappeared, it’s time to reintroduce the problematic foods you suspect are causing his allergies.
- Gradually reintroduce one food item that you suspect is an allergy.
- If nothing happens with the initial food item you add, try adding another one at a time.
- You’ll know which substances are to blame if one of the food items causes allergic reaction symptoms to flare up again.
Then, like the plague, void them.
Pointers to follow when Performing Elimination Diet:
Follow this when performing elimination diet:
- The dog must be provided with a novel protein and carbohydrate source she has never encountered before.
- Diet must be followed by the dog for at least 12 weeks.
- Special diet and water should be allowed to be ingested.
- No rawhide, chews, treats, flavored toothpaste, flavored medications, or anything else!
- Keep a close check on your dog during this period.
- During mealtimes, keep your dog out of the dining room!
- Even a few crumbs dropped by a rambunctious toddler can cause you to restart your dog’s elimination diet.
What Should a Food-Allergic Dog Eat?
Due to worries about allergies in many dog meals, limited ingredient dog food has become popular. It usually only contains one protein source, such as chicken or lamb, as well as one carbohydrate source.
A variety of dog meals are available for dogs with various allergies:
- Grain-free dog food and treats: For dogs who are allergic to grains such as wheat, barley, corn, and rye. Gluten should not be included t this.
- Novel ingredient dog food: It is a diet focusing on a protein that your dog has never encountered before choose
Instead of choosing a typical protein like beef or chicken, which may irritate a dog with food allergies, a novel diet may focus on a less-common protein like deer, duck, or salmon. Limited ingredient dog meals frequently contain novel proteins.
- Prescription dog food: It is expensive, but it may be necessary if your dog is having severe reactions.
- Hypoallergenic dog treats : They are treats with a limited number of ingredients that may be bought at most pet stores.
- Novel Protein Source: Look for dog food that contains a novel protein source that your dog has never tasted before. Kangaroo, venison, fish, and other animals could be used as new protein sources.
- Fish-based Food: For dogs with food allergies, this is the best option. Fish is a good source of protein, and the omega-3 fatty acids in it can help an allergic dog reduce inflammation.
- Raw Dog Food: Feeding an all-natural raw dog food with no additives or fillers is another option to handle your dog’s food allergies.
Your dog’s immune system will be stronger, giving him a better chance to combat allergies without the use of medicine.
What can I do to Help My Allergic Dog?
Consultation with a veterinarian is the first step in assisting your dog with allergies. Only a veterinarian can determine whether your dog’s symptoms are actually due to diet.
You’ll need to identify the allergen once you’ve determined it’s a food allergy.
This diet comprises moving to a different protein and carbohydrate source than previously consumed—for example, going from chicken and rice to lamb and sweet potato.
If you see a difference in your dog’s behavior, you’ll know it’s time to switch to chicken-free dog food. A good technique to determine your dog’s food allergy is to switch to hypoallergenic dog food.
Hypoallergenic dog diets contain “novel” proteins and carbohydrates (proteins and carbs that your dog has never eaten before), such as venison and potato or duck and pea.
To see a difference, your dog must eat hypoallergenic dog food for at least 8–10 weeks.
What Is Hypoallergenic Dog Food, Exactly?
The term “hypoallergenic dog food” is technically incorrect. There is no such thing as a universal hypoallergenic dog food; the word is purely marketing. This is because, because of the nature of allergies, one type of dog food may be hypoallergenic for one dog but not for another.
Any food that does not contain chicken would be considered hypoallergenic for a dog sensitive to chicken.
However, another dog may be sensitive to rice rather than chicken, necessitating different demands and altering what is considered hypoallergenic for that dog.
Although what is actually hypoallergenic depends on your dog and her individual situation, hypoallergenic dog food is a sort of dog food that avoids common allergens.
There are various types of hypoallergenic dog diets available since common allergens can be avoided in a variety of ways.
How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Allergies
At the end of the day, there is no one-size-fits-all dog food for skin allergies.
The best option for your pet is determined by their specific situation and the allergies they react to, whether they are food allergens or environmental allergens such as pollen. However, by working closely with your veterinarian and selecting a diet that has high-quality ingredients and is tailored to your dog’s specific needs, you can help your dog’s skin allergies go away.
Here are our best options for allergy-prone dogs:
1. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food
- Allergy-friendly dog food recommended by veterinarians
- Prebiotics are abundant.
- The digestive system will appreciate it.
- Vitamin E and Omega-6 are beneficial to the skin and coat.
- This product contains grains.
This kibble has been developed for improved nutrient absorption and easier feces pick-up while being gentle on the stomach and skin. This combination supports a shiny coat and healthy skin by being high in vitamin E and Omega-6 fatty acids.
Beet pulp, a rich source of prebiotic fiber that stimulates gut bacteria and supports a balanced microbiome, is a great addition to this dish.
All dog breeds will benefit from the smaller kibble size, and a grain-free option is also available if your pet requires an even softer formula.
This kibble is devoid of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, and is backed by veterinarians. It is made with only real meats and the best quality ingredients.
2. Gastrointestinal Low-Fat Royal Canin Veterinary Diet
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- This is the best dog food for allergies that include Omega-3 fatty acids, prebiotics, and an antioxidant combination.
- Proteins that are easy to digest
- Promotes skin and coat health
- Grain and pork by-products are present.
Due to the high fat level, dogs who enjoy wet food but have a sensitive stomach are frequently forced to forego their favorite meal.
Thankfully, Royal Canin comes to the rescue with this low-fat recipe that is both tasty and soft on the stomach.
Many dog parents consider Royal Canin to be a lifesaver brand, and this product is no exception. Royal Canin has a stellar reputation for providing high-quality nourishment that you can trust, and this offering is no exception.
This is an excellent choice if your dog is prone to quickly upset stomachs, vomiting, or diarrhea.
This highly digestible mix is sure to get two paws up from your dog, with prebiotics to assist the growth of beneficial gut flora, dietary fibers for healthy digestion, and Omega-3 fish oils to soothe the GI tract.
Not only is this an excellent alternative for stomach support, but it’s also a great option if your dog has recurrent urinary tract troubles because the recipe prevents crystals from developing in the bladder.
If you have an older dog who is becoming more inactive, you’ll like how the high-fiber, low-fat composition increases energy while preventing weight gain.
3. Large Breed Bites
- It is ideal for large breed dogs
- With this dry formula enriched with lamb meal and brown rice, Natural Balance offers our overall favorite hypoallergenic dog food.
- You’ll reduce the amount of potential allergens that could irritate your pet, as with any limited ingredient diet.
- The protein comes from a single high-quality source (lamb), which is the first component on the list.
- This means there’s no chicken, and there are fewer food sources that could cause allergies in your dog.
- With so much brown rice in the mix, your dog’s digestive system should run smoothly.
- Antioxidants in this food support a healthy immune system in dogs, so you’ll be strengthening your dog all around while feeding him some tasty dry food.
4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult
(https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Buffalo-Protection-Formula-Adult/dp/B0009YWKUA?&linkCode=ll1&tag=caninejournal-20&linkId=e8097c6856712107f07be794e4b56&language=en US&ref =as li ss tl) is the best dry
- Is a super-healthy blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
- Selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists to support your dog’s whole-health requirements.
- Great balance of high-quality lean proteins and carbohydrates.
- No chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives are used in this recipe.
It’s not grain-free, but many experts believe that if your dog doesn’t have allergies, he or she needs healthy grains in their diet.
5. Wellness Complete Health
(https://www.amazon.com/Wellness-Complete-Natural-Food-12-5-Ounce/dp/B000WFRYWU?&linkCode=ll1&tag=caninejournal-20&linkId=8ffe9175effa76e44ee888f6a08a50e6&language=en US&ref =as li ss tl) is the best wet/
- It is a food brand that emphasizes whole-body health by using natural ingredients (no fillers).
- They sell a large selection of high-quality wet and dry dog and cat food.
- This canned turkey and sweet potato dish, like all of their dog foods, is nutrition and protein-rich to keep your pup energized.
- It also contains carefully selected ingredients to support immunological and digestive health.
- Supports healthy coat and skin.
6. Castor & Pollux Organix Dry Dog Food
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- Organic, free-range chicken is the main ingredient.
- It contains all of your dog’s essential nutrients as well as a blend of organic superfoods like flaxseed, blueberries, and coconut oil.
- It’s also free of maize, wheat, soy, and artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.
- Castor & Pollux Organix also has recipes for puppies, tiny breeds, elders, and other animals with healthy grains.
7. Holistic Select Natural (30 pound) is the best holistic dog food
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- Our top recommendation for the best holistic dog food is Holistic Select Natural dry dog food (food containing special ingredients for overall body health).
- To support a healthy digestive system, this lamb recipe incorporates adequate protein levels.
- Includes prebiotics and probiotics, live yogurt cultures, digestive enzymes, and natural fiber.
- Salmon oil and flaxseed contain omega 3 fatty acids, which help to maintain a healthy coat and skin.
- Recipe includes Antioxidants (for the immune system), glucosamine (for joint health), taurine (for heart health), and other nutrients are included.
8. Wellness CORE Grain-Free
(https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VTTAMY?&linkCode=ll1&tag=caninejournal-20&linkId=6812ed51b5ff5c9f76a9b8496311e997&language=en US&ref =as li ss tl)
- is the best grain-free dog food on the market.
- Wellness CORE’s kibble is a great choice if your dog has allergies or has trouble digesting grains.
- It has 34 percent protein, 16 percent fat, and 4 percent fiber (deboned turkey and turkey and chicken meal).
- Contains antioxidants, glucosamine, probiotics, and taurine for overall body health.
- It also contains, omega fatty acids from salmon oil and flaxseed to support a healthy coat and skin.
9. Canidae Pure
(https://www.amazon.com/Canidae-Grain-Elements-Formula-Fresh/dp/B07BWTFZVL?&linkCode=ll1&tag=caninejournal-20&linkId=64c5236c395785&linkId=64c5236c395785&linkId=64c5236c395785&linkId=64c523627d1538a2606d07e28&language=en US&ref =as li ss tl)
- If your dog has a sensitive stomach, a restricted ingredient dog food is generally the best option, and Canidae Pure, with only eight fundamental ingredients, could be the answer.
- Real lamb, goat meal, venison meal, lentils, peas, tapioca, canola oil, and sun-cured alfalfa are all included in this grain-free adult dog food.
- This recipe also includes all the vital vitamins and minerals.
- It also contains probiotic combination to support a healthy gut.
10. Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach
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- Purina Pro Plan dog food mix works wonders with skin allergies.
- Salmon is the main ingredient, rather of the conventional protein sources of chicken, turkey, or beef, which might worsen skin sensitivities.
- It’s also free of maize, wheat, and soy.
- This recipe also incorporates easily digestible oats as a nutritious carbohydrate source, as well as live bacteria for digestive and immunological health.
- It’s also a good substitute for our top pick for the best sensitive stomach dog food.
Remember to use Hypoallergenic Treats as well.
Treats, even if they don’t make up a large part of your dog’s diet, can cause allergic reactions.
Many treats contain allergies like maize, wheat, poultry, pig, or beef, which could jeopardize your efforts to keep allergens out of your dog’s diet.
Fortunately, there are several hypoallergenic dog treats on the market, including pumpkin, sweet potato, and duck, which are unlikely to cause allergic reactions.
Although no one understands why specific elements in a dog’s diet can trigger the immune system to overreact, purchasing the best dog food for allergies will help keep them happy and healthy.
After all, the best way to ensure that your four-legged companion does not become unwell as a result of consuming certain foods is to avoid offering them to them in the first place. As a result, you won’t have to worry about creating antibodies that trigger an allergic reaction.
Dietary allergies can be a source of frustration for both you and your dog, but they don’t have to be the end of the world. Determine the allergy that is causing the problem and find food that does not contain it.
You can definitely locate food that eliminates your dog’s itchy skin with a little hard work, drive, and endurance. The finest dog food for allergies will assist dogs with allergies in leading a normal and happy life.
We hope this article was helpful in finding you the right information about allergies and enabled you to find some of the best Dog foods for allery0prone dogs.