Dog Food for Allergies

Dog food for allergies is becoming more popular as there is a rise in consumer demand. Ten percent of dogs affected by allergies have a food allergy.

Food Allergies in Dogs Explained

No dog breeds are known to have an allergic reaction to food more often than another breed. Male and female dogs are equally as likely to have food allergies, and it does not matter if they have been spayed or neutered.

A dog that has an allergic reaction to food will usually not suffer from gastrointestinal problems like vomiting or diarrhea. Instead, a dog will become very itchy and develop problems with his skin (like dandruff). The parts most likely to be itchy are the face, ears, mouth, front legs, paws, the area that would be considered the armpits, and anus. As a result, a dog can develop infections of the skin, hot spots and hair loss. A dog with food allergies may be more prone developing ear infections. A dog owner may notice his dog has more bowel movements in a day.

Commercial Dog Food for Allergies

When purchasing food for a dog that has allergies, it is recommended that all the ingredients be whole foods that do not have preservatives or by-products. By-products are ingredients that include bones, chicken feet and other unwanted animal body parts that are considered waste.

The quality of commercial dog food is also important. Dog food must have the proper balance of nutrients in order to help a dog’s immune system stay strong. Some commercial dog foods have a lot of corn, wheat, dairy or soy. These are fillers that many dogs are allergic to. Consider purchasing food that has fiber, which is easier to digest (like barley or oats) and has more nutritional value.

Homemade Dog Food for Allergies

Some of the commercial dog food sold for pets with allergies can be hard on the wallet. You might want to consider preparing homemade food for you dog. Talk to your vet about the ratio of proteins, fats, vegetables and carbohydrates that your dog should eat.

Protein sources in homemade dog food should include meat which your dog is not allergic to. These foods can include:

  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Turkey
  • Pork
  • Duck
  • Venison
  • Lamb
  • Bison
  • Eggs
  • Whitefish

Since dogs need to eat vegetables, you can add tomatoes, carrots, peas, green beans and celery. Some dog owners even choose to add fruits, like apples, which can add a crunch dogs like.

Carbohydrates need to be added to the mix for energy and good digestion. Oats, brown rice, potatoes and sweet potatoes are popular choices for this. Other good options include cracked pearl barley, rice bran and millet.

Food allergies can make a dog miserable. Talk to your vet if you suspect your dog has this condition.