What is the best food for allergies in dogs?
Just like humans, dogs too can be allergic to food. While determining the best food for your dog can be challenging, having an allergic dog takes the difficulty to a whole other level.
An allergic dog can have a multitude of reactions, like rashes and severe diarrhea. And the normally available dog food has ingredients that elicit a reaction. So dogs with allergies do best with hypoallergenic dog food or homemade dog food for allergies.
Want to know the best dog food that will take away your dog allergy worries? Keep reading.
What’s The Best Food To Feed A Dog With Allergies?
The best dog food for dogs with allergies is either a limited-ingredient diet or hypoallergenic dog foods. As the most common source of food allergies in dogs is protein, foods for allergic dogs have hydrolyzed proteins that will not be identified as allergens. And the limited ingredients make it easier to find the allergen if the dog does experience an allergic reaction.
Feeding your pooch dog food for allergies has many benefits. For one, the allergen-free food will not cause a reaction and will not harm your dog, and secondly, it will help support your dog’s immune system, providing it with overall nutrition.
Can dogs eat clementines? This may be something you want to know if you’re picky about what your dog eats. The answer is yes. Clementine is a citrus fruit—a hybrid between the sweet orange and the willow leaf mandarin orange. Dogs can safely eat small amounts of this non-toxic fruit.
Best Dog Food For Skin Allergies
Unlike food allergies in humans, that correspond to an upset stomach, food allergies in dogs manifest as itchy skin.
Did you know dogs have sweat glands in their paws?
If your fido is extremely itchy, and you know that it is because of its food allergy, you might ask, what is the best food for a dog with itchy skin?
While hypoallergenic food for dogs is the best food for dog with allergies, you can try many other diets as well. They are:
Novel Protein Diets
What is the best meat for dogs with allergies? The answer is right here—novel protein diets. It is a great dog food for allergies, as it does not contain any meat or meat products that your dog may have encountered any time before.
The novelty lies in the fact that the protein source is new —one your dog has never eaten before and is not allergic to.
So, the best dog food for skin allergies would have a novel protein source like duck, kangaroo, bison, rabbit, or venison.
Although you may also consider fish-based diets a novel protein source, they have the added advantage of being skin-supporting. They have natural ingredients like fish oil, which is rich in nutrients that will keep the skin healthy.
So, fish-based diets are also good for dogs with unknown allergies, naturally dry skin, and other skin issues. Even if you are looking for the best dry dog food for skin allergies, make sure to get fish-based ones. The reason is that besides being a novel protein source, most of them are also grain-free.
You can also make homemade dog food for allergies using fish and other novel proteins. Because you’ll know exactly what’s going on inside your dog’s stomach, the chances of an allergic reaction are greatly reduced. However, balancing the food nutritionally may be an issue, and you may need the help of your vet.
How To Tell If Your Dog Has Allergy
Before looking for the best dog food for allergies, make sure your pet is allergic in the first place, as only 0.2% of dogs suffer from food allergies. However, if your dog displays any of the below symptoms, it may belong to the 0.2% minority.
- Inflamed, red skin
- Swelling on ears, face, lips, ear flaps, or eyelids
- Itchy ears
- Chronic ear infections
- Constant licking
- Itchy, runny nose
As you must have noticed, most of the symptoms are associated with the skin. This is because a dog’s skin has a high proportion of mast cells. When an allergic reaction activates these cells, they release histamine, which causes excessive itching.
If you find your dog is indeed allergic, talk to your vet as soon as possible and keep an eye on your dog’s diet to determine the allergen. Also, talk to the vet about possible diet plans and the best dog food for allergies.
Did you know? Your dog could be left- or right-pawed.
What Are The Most Common Food Allergens?
Food allergies in dogs are mostly genetic and are passed down through generations. It is due to the dog’s inability to digest certain ingredients, like proteins. Knowing the allergen helps you eliminate it from your dog’s diet and prevent adverse allergic reactions.
So, what foods should dogs with skin allergies avoid? Wheat, dairy, beef, and chicken are the most common ones that you must strictly avoid. Apart from these, some other foods that dogs can be allergic to are:
To determine the allergen, you will have to use the elimination method. This method involves successively eliminating one ingredient from your dog’s diet until you recognize the allergen.
You can carry out this method this way:
- Eliminate one ingredient from the diet (the first ingredient is mostly a protein source, as it is the most common reason behind allergies in dogs). So, if your dog is on chicken, replace it with duck or salmon.
- Observe your dog for the next six to eight weeks. If the allergic reaction goes away, you have found the culprit. If not, repeat the process but include chicken this time and eliminate another ingredient.
Once you have recognized the allergen, you just need to eliminate it from your dog’s diet to prevent it from developing any allergies.
Although the elimination method can successfully help you determine the allergen, it is very time-consuming and complicated. Instead, you can ask your vet for a blood or skin allergy test.
Once you know the allergen, you can either put your dog on a novel protein diet, make your own dog food, or ask your vet to prescribe food for your pet.
Watching your dog scratch endlessly can be tough, however, if it is an allergy, you can take care of it. When deciding on the best dog food for allergies, consider novel protein diets and fish-based diets if you do not know the allergen.