Just like humans, dogs can develop allergies to many things around them, including their food! In this post, our Newtown vets suggest our top dog foods for dogs with food allergies or intolerances.
Causes of Allergies in Dogs
If your dog suffers from allergies it can make them (and you) miserable! Just like humans, dogs can have allergic reactions to a myriad of things, from environmental allergens like dust, pollen, mold, or grass to food allergens. It can be difficult at first to figure out which allergens your pup is reacting to. Your vet can offer you suggestions on how to rule out common allergens to get to the bottom of your dog's allergies.
If you and your vet come to the conclusion it is a food-based allergy that is causing your dog to suffer, the best route of treatment is to eliminate the ingredients causing the allergy from your pup's diet.
Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs
If your dog is suffering from allergies they may be exhibiting some of the following symptoms:
- Scabs or rashes on the skin
- Chronic ear infections
- Red, inflamed skin
- Gastrointestinal issues (vomiting, diarrhea, excess gas)
Food Solutions for Dogs with Allergies
When it comes to food for your dog with allergies, you have two options: limited ingredient food or hypoallergenic food.
Limited Ingredient Food
Diets with fewer components can make it easier to tell which specific ingredient your pup is allergic to. Once you figure it out, you can feed your dog a diet with limited ingredients to ensure they are avoiding the allergen. Limited ingredient foods come in a wide range of flavors and styles and you can find one tailored to your pup's specific needs.
Hypoallergenic dog food diets use unique protein sources that are generally not recognized by your dog's antibodies as being antigens, meaning they won't cause a reaction. Many hypoallergenic foods use proteins that have been "split" (hydrolyzed) into their basic amino acid building blocks, rendering the original allergen virtually "invisible" to your pet's immune system. Hydrolyzed soy protein is a good example of a protein that could be found in hypoallergenic food.
In some cases, your vet may need to write you a prescription for hypoallergenic food.
Many are made using proteins that have been chemically “split” (hydrolyzed) into their basic amino acid building blocks… which can make the original allergen virtually “invisible” to your pet’s immune system.
Best Foods for Dogs with Allergies
Here is a list of some of the foods we recommend if your pup suffers from food allergies. There are lots of options available and it may take some trial and error before you find a food that works for you and your dog. It is always best to check in with your vet before you make any major changes to your dog's diet.
1. Nom Nom Fresh (Limited Ingredient Food)
Nom Nom sells made-to-order, pre-portioned fresh dog food through a subscription service. Their food contains no chemicals, preservatives, or artificial flavors. You can choose from a range of flavors that suit your dog's needs. They use simple, quality ingredients that are suitable for many dogs with food allergies.
2. Wellness Simple (Limited Ingredient Food)
The Wellness Simple line of dry dog food keeps things simple with a single protein source and carbohydrates that are easy to digest. They have a variety of flavor options and their food contains no fillers or additives.
3. Royal Canin Veterinary Diets Hydrolyzed Protein (Hypoallergenic Food)
Royal Canin Veterinary Diets Hydrolyzed Protein kibble draws the bulk of its protein from hydrolyzed soy protein which may make it suitable for dogs who suffer allergic reactions related to certain meats. They have a few different options based on the size and dietary needs of your dog. This food requires a prescription from your vet.
4. Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet (Limited Ingredient Food)
Merrick Limited Ingredient diets come in a range of flavors. They also offer a wet canned food option for dogs that prefer (or need) to eat softer foods. Merrick food contains just the essential proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins your dog needs to thrive without any fillers or additives.
5. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets (Hypoallergic Food)
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diet is another vet-prescribed hypoallergenic food that may be suitable for your dog. It uses hydrolyzed protein and comes in a few different styles based on your pup's size and needs.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.