Dog Food for Dogs with Allergies

Any organism with an immune system can have allergies, including domesticated dogs. Some dogs are allergic to some common ingredients in dog food, so special types of dog food for dogs with allergies have to be made without the specific ingredient that serves as an allergic trigger in the dogs.

What Is an Allergy?

When a dog is allergenic, it has an immune system that recognizes one particular harmless substance as dangerous. The allergic reaction is an autoimmune response that usually involves swelling, itchiness and/or respiratory problems. It occurs when the dog comes into physical contact with the specific substance or particle that triggers the allergic reaction, otherwise known as the allergen or trigger substance.

There are a few ways a dog can come into contact with possible allergic triggers, including inhaling particles of the allergen from the air, skin contact with the allergen, or oral consumption of the allergen. The most common kind of allergy that domesticated dogs experience is food allergy, in which a substance in the dog's food is causing allergic reactions. A dog will develop the allergy between the first five months and the first twelve years of age, although the condition is much more likely to develop between the ages of two and six years.

Common Food Allergens

There have been studies that have determined dogs are much more likely to be allergic to some substances than others. Foods that frequently cause allergic reactions in dogs include wheat, corn and soy products, eggs and dairy products, and meat such as beef, chicken, lamb and fish. It is no coincidence that the most common allergenic foods for dogs are the most common ingredients in dog food, because it has been shown that dogs are more likely to develop an allergy to a food after a significant time of consistently eating that food.

An Allergic Dog's New Diet

If you suspect that your dog is allergic to the dog food you are giving it, you will have to find the specific substance in that food that the dog is allergic to. This can be accomplished with a trip to the veterinarian, where the vet removes some of the cells from the location in the dog's body that is affected by the allergy, and tests them with different substances, narrowing down the possible options. If the symptoms are mild, another alternative is to experiment with different foods until you find one that the dog does not react to.

Since an allergic dog will react in almost the same way every time it comes into contact with its allergen, allergy symptoms are chronic never heal if left untreated. If your dog suffers from a food allergy, the best way to avoid having to regularly purchase and administer allergy medications for your dog is to simply stop feeding the dog it's current diet, and look for a new diet that does not contain the allergen that the dog reacts to.