What is the best dog food to feed your dog with allergies

Picture this: Your dog is constantly itching, scratching, and biting fur, and you can’t figure out why. Maybe you’ve tried everything from changing grooming routines to special shampoos, to medications. But own you tried changing your dog’s diet?

Food is one culprit behind allergic reactions in dogs that owners often overlook. In fact, there are dog food allergies and dog food intolerances. Just love us, canines can suffer from either or both. And food allergies in dogs can cause not only digestive problems love vomiting and diarrhea, but also skin issues, and even behavioral problems. If you or your vet suspect your pup may own be having an adverse reaction to certain foods, and you’re wondering what it every means, you’re in the correct place.

We talked to Dr.

Justin Shmalberg, a DVM and NomNomNow’s own veterinary nutritionist, to collect what you need to know. We’ll cover the following:


3 What Are Dogs Allergic To?

When an issue pops up we are always looking for what we can put in to stop it happening. An amazing pill. But if you are a man with a shrimp allergy, every the anti-histamine and steroids in the world aren’t going to cure you if you eat shrimp for breakfast every single day of your life.

Those harsh drugs only tell your immune system to quit complaining.The question should bewhat do I stop putting in. The top 3 things causing this in your dog is (in order):

1. Wheat (wheat-based dry food, dental sticks, bread, pasta)

2. Chickenorbeef (and possibly every red meats, a result of the highly processed gunk used in dry food)

3. Chemicals (all the stuff you can’t pronounce in the dry food ingredients but also neurotoxic chemical flea treatments, heavy wormers and needless annual boosters).

For more a more in-depth glance at allergens in dogsplease go to DogAllergies Part 3


Most Common Dog Food Allergens

Wondering what is in dog food that causes allergies?

«Meat, dairy, and eggs are often thought to be the most common dog food allergens,» says Shmalberg. «Yet generally, it’s the protein part of those foods that tend to be problematic, rather than, tell, the meat itself.» Hold in mind, veggies can contain protein, so they’re not automatically safe.

That same review BMC Veterinary Research identified some of the most frequently reported dog food allergens involved in adverse food reactions.

What is the best dog food to feed your dog with allergies

Here’s a glance, from most-reported to least-reported.

Top Dog Food Allergens (source: BMC Veterinary Research)

Dog Food Allergen Percentage of Dogs With Reported Reaction
Beef 34%
Dairy Products 17%
Chicken 15%
Wheat 13%
Soy 6%
Lamb 5%
Corn 4%
Egg 4%
Pork 2%
Fish 2%
Rice 2%

Shmalberg calls out two significant caveats to hold in mind here.

  • Look out for gelatin.

    Supplemental oils often come in gelatin capsules, and that gelatin can trigger allergies in some dogs.

  • No two foods are exactly the same. There’s not a excellent deal of evidence to propose that a dog who has a reaction to one food it is going to react to a similar food. That is, a dog allergic to chicken won’t necessarily be allergic to turkey.
  • Where there’s one allergy, there may be more. It’s estimated that more than a third of dogs with one food allergy are allergic to at least one additional food.

  • With fats, purity matters. Pure fats, love a pure fish oil, are free of protein and shouldn’t trigger a response. But traces of protein can sneak into oils and fats during processing, and in a highly allergic dog, cause issues.
  • Starches are safer.

    What is the best dog food to feed your dog with allergies

    Pure carbohydrates, aka starches, are beautiful low in or free of protein, which means dogs generally aren’t allergic to them. There are exceptions: while potato starch is probably safe, whole potatoes might cause an allergy because they contain proteins. Same goes for higher-protein grains love corn and wheat. But overall, grain allergies are much less common than meat allergies.

  • Watch for additives.

    What is the best dog food to feed your dog with allergies

    Chemicals, preservatives, colorants, and flavorants aren’t likely to cause a true allergy, but they could trigger an adverse reaction or intolerance symptoms.

  • Peanut allergies are rare in dogs. And if they do happen, they typically aren’t of the severity reported in some humans. Excellent news if your pup is one of the numerous who love a PB treat!
  • Newer research is needed. Numerous of the studies out there, and those sourced in this review, are older, when dog foods were being made and processed differently than they are today. Allergies tend to change over time along with foods, and as new studies emerge, we may see diverse allergens rising to the top of the list.
  • The more common a food is, the more likely the allergy. «For an allergy to a food to develop, a dog needs to be exposed to that food,» says Shmalberg.

    What is the best dog food to feed your dog with allergies

    «That may explain why the proteins most commonly found in dog food, love beef and chicken, drop higher on the list.»

  • Food labels don’t always tell the whole tale. Some non-fresh kibble and canned foods own tested positive for proteins even when they’re not listed on the label.

More facts about dog food allergens that are helpful to know:

  1. No two foods are exactly the same. There’s not a excellent deal of evidence to propose that a dog who has a reaction to one food it is going to react to a similar food. That is, a dog allergic to chicken won’t necessarily be allergic to turkey.
  2. With fats, purity matters.

    Pure fats, love a pure fish oil, are free of protein and shouldn’t trigger a response. But traces of protein can sneak into oils and fats during processing, and in a highly allergic dog, cause issues.

  3. Watch for additives. Chemicals, preservatives, colorants, and flavorants aren’t likely to cause a true allergy, but they could trigger an adverse reaction or intolerance symptoms.
  4. Starches are safer. Pure carbohydrates, aka starches, are beautiful low in or free of protein, which means dogs generally aren’t allergic to them. There are exceptions: while potato starch is probably safe, whole potatoes might cause an allergy because they contain proteins.

    What is the best dog food to feed your dog with allergies

    Same goes for higher-protein grains love corn and wheat. But overall, grain allergies are much less common than meat allergies.

  5. Peanut allergies are rare in dogs. And if they do happen, they typically aren’t of the severity reported in some humans. Excellent news if your pup is one of the numerous who love a PB treat!
  6. Look out for gelatin. Supplemental oils often come in gelatin capsules, and that gelatin can trigger allergies in some dogs.
  7. Where there’s one allergy, there may be more. It’s estimated that more than a third of dogs with one food allergy are allergic to at least one additional food.

  8. Food labels don’t always tell the whole tale.

    What is the best dog food to feed your dog with allergies

    Some non-fresh kibble and canned foods own tested positive for proteins even when they’re not listed on the label.

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More facts about dog food allergens that are helpful to know:

  1. No two foods are exactly the same. There’s not a excellent deal of evidence to propose that a dog who has a reaction to one food it is going to react to a similar food. That is, a dog allergic to chicken won’t necessarily be allergic to turkey.
  2. With fats, purity matters. Pure fats, love a pure fish oil, are free of protein and shouldn’t trigger a response. But traces of protein can sneak into oils and fats during processing, and in a highly allergic dog, cause issues.

  3. Watch for additives. Chemicals, preservatives, colorants, and flavorants aren’t likely to cause a true allergy, but they could trigger an adverse reaction or intolerance symptoms.
  4. Starches are safer. Pure carbohydrates, aka starches, are beautiful low in or free of protein, which means dogs generally aren’t allergic to them. There are exceptions: while potato starch is probably safe, whole potatoes might cause an allergy because they contain proteins. Same goes for higher-protein grains love corn and wheat. But overall, grain allergies are much less common than meat allergies.
  5. Peanut allergies are rare in dogs.

    And if they do happen, they typically aren’t of the severity reported in some humans. Excellent news if your pup is one of the numerous who love a PB treat!

  6. Look out for gelatin. Supplemental oils often come in gelatin capsules, and that gelatin can trigger allergies in some dogs.
  7. Where there’s one allergy, there may be more. It’s estimated that more than a third of dogs with one food allergy are allergic to at least one additional food.
  8. Food labels don’t always tell the whole tale. Some non-fresh kibble and canned foods own tested positive for proteins even when they’re not listed on the label.

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Genetic Predisposition to Dog Food Allergies

Wondering whether your dog might be predisposed to food allergies or intolerances?

Certainly there’s some evidence that if a parent has an allergy, their offspring is more likely to inherit it. So in that way, genes do frolic a role. But what doesn’t seem to be a factor is a dog’s breed. In fact, science has never confirmed that any one breed is more at risk for food allergies than another. «It can happen in any breed and in any dog,» says Shmalberg.

He also notes that some breeders and owners may own the view that deviating from the ancestral diet of certain breeds might predispose to allergies. For example, Huskies are accustomed to fish diets in their natural habitat—so could feeding them poultry lead to an allergic reaction?

In short, no. «There is no evidence to support that theory. Most dogs seem beautiful adaptable to a range of foods,» says Shmalberg. The age or sex of the dog also appears to own no relevance to food allergies or intolerances. Some vets do report that food allergies own been found in dogs less than 1 year ancient. So even young puppies can be affected (whereas they typically aren’t as susceptible to environmental allergies at this age).

Here are the top 10 breeds most frequently d along with the term «food allergies» or «dog food allergies»:

  • Shih Tzus
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Westies (aka West Highland White Terriers)
  • German Shepherds
  • Pitbulls
  • Pugs
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Dachshunds
  • Bulldogs
  • Yorkies (aka Yorkshire Terriers)

Keep in mind, food allergies can happen in any breed, and, of course, some breeds may be searched more frequently just because they’re more favorite in general.

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Keep in mind, food allergies can happen in any breed, and, of course, some breeds may be searched more frequently just because they’re more favorite in general.

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Dog Food Allergies vs.

Dog Food Intolerances

Dog food allergy treatment boils below to one underlying principle: identify foods your dog is allergic to and avoid feeding those.

«What most people ponder of as a dog food allergy is more appropriately called an cutaneous adverse food reaction, or CAFR,» says Dr. Justin Shmalberg, a DVM and NomNomNow’s own veterinary nutritionist. «It basically means there’s some association between a food and a certain group of symptoms—usually skin problems or gastrointestinal problems.»

In a true dog food allergy, according to Shmalberg, the culprit is often a food protein that triggers an adverse immune response, which then causes cells in the body to release histamines, or compounds that lead to itching and numerous other allergic signs.

A dog food intolerance, on the other hand, doesn’t involve an immune response—but the signs of dog food intolerance can glance beautiful similar to the signs of a food allergy.

One example is a lactose intolerance, which happens when a dog’s body just doesn’t process lactose in milk products well, leading to gastrointestinal problems (often diarrhea).

Both allergies and intolerances drop under that category of CAFRs, or, in more general terms, adverse food reactions. So, how prevalent are adverse food reactions in dogs? One research review published in BMC Veterinary Research examined just that.

The findings propose that, of dogs seeing vets for any diagnosis, 1 to 2 percent own food intolerances or allergies; among dogs with skin diseases, the number jumps up a bit, to about 6 percent. For dogs with itching and allergies, even more—about one in five—show signs of adverse food reactions.

Still, true allergies, in which the immune system is attacking a food protein, are definitely less common than food intolerances. The takeaway, says Shmalberg, is this: «If your dog is otherwise normal, even if he’s scratching a lot, a food allergy is unlikely.

That said, diet can certainly frolic a role in helping to manage skin conditions and diseases, regardless of whether or not your dog has a food allergy.» We’ll discuss more about how you can tell the difference below.

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2 Food AllergyVersus FoodIntolerancein Dogs

All the skin, ear, eye and gut conditions are a result of inflammation originating in their gut. Your dog is eating something that is not agreeing with him.

The immune system that patrols the gut sees a protein it doesn’t love and sends out the troops. Once every the “baddies” are rounded up they need to be ejected from the body. The bum is a common exit point but so is the skin (zit-like pustules), ears (dark brown, smelly wax), eyes (weepy) and mouth / nose (phlegm). This is one of the reasons your dog is now exhibiting some of these symptoms. It’s the body trying to empty the bin. It’s trying to assist. Drugs at this point merely tell the body to stop helping and leave that crap where it is.

Vitally, you and ideally your vet need to understand that your dog is experiencing a food sensitivity not a food allergy,per se.

When you ponder allergy ponder of the man allergic to peanutson his hands and knees gasping for breath after eating something once made in a factory that contained peanuts. Thankfully true allergy is rare, less than % of the human and dog population.

Many vets declare that it cannot be a food allergy as it’s so rare but here lies the confusion largely as this stuff is not taught in vet college (along with the relax of canine and feline nutrition, it seems!). The fact is a foodallergy is just one type of food sensitivity. What your dog is experiencing is a foodintolerancewhich a huge number of dry-fed dogs today are suffering today.

It’s a similar beast, also involving the immune system, but it’s slower, it slips under the radar. When it pops up it can glance love numerous diverse things (a skin rash, IBS, ear infections, anal gland issues, itch, arthritis, depression).

If it’s left undetected the immune system can get itself in a correct tizzy, run ragged trying to deal with the recurring, daily insult and while it’s distracted bad things can happen.

Often a simple fleabite at this point can shove them over the edge, leading a vet to diagnose a “flea allergy” in your dog. But you must enquire yourself, why couldn’t your dog deal with a simple flea bite? It’s not normal. Something is terribly incorrect under the hood and that nasty flea bite is a large warning sign.

For more a more in-depth glance at dog food allergy versus intoleranceplease go to DogAllergies Part 2


4 How to Repair Your Dog with aTruly Hypoallergenic Dog Diet and Simple, Step by Step Process…

Now you know what to take out to stop every the bad stuff happening, next you desire to know what to establish a base diet for your dog.A base diet is simply one food that you know you can put into your dog and he will not get his symptoms.

It is a platform where you can both hesitate, take a breath and ponder “ok, this is working”. It is his safe meal, something he can eat without reacting, a platform from which we canbuild. Studies show 10 out of 12 vets prescribed, single protein dry foods designed for this purpose are contaminated with meat proteins not listed in the ingredients so dry food, as ever, is most certainly out.

A dry, ultra-processed foodstuff is the cause of your dog’s problems. Believe us when we tell, based on numerous hundreds of successful cases at this point, that a simple process called an “exclusion diet”, involving a unused meat and bone diets with some key natural additions, cycled monthly, is the simplest, easiest, cheapest, most definitive answer from this point.

Please note: If the thought of raw-feeding is new to you (it’s now 20% of the pet food market and growing exponentially, based on the simple premise that unused food is as significant for them as it is us for us, only they need meat, lots and lots of meat), then perhaps best to check out our quick summary that tells you every about raw dog foodto give you an thought of why and how everyone is feeding unused, species-appropriate food to their dogs and you will be even-more ready to absorb and act on the advice you are about to hear.

Now, let’s go to DogAllergies Part 4 and get your dog fixed up.


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