How Will I Know Which Food Is Best For My Dog
Finding the best food for your dog is really a matter of trial and error. Theres no one fits all answer for this question. A food that works for one dog may not be good for the next one.
Factors to consider in choosing a food include the cost, your vets recommendations, and your pets reaction to the food. A good starting place is to find a food with totally different ingredients than the food your dog was eating when the issue started.
If youre unable to do that, the next best thing is to select a food with a new protein and a limited number of ingredients. That way, if your dog continues to have issues, it becomes easier to compare the few new ingredients to those in the previous food. If you find any ingredients are in both, youll then have your suspect list for which item your dog is reacting to. You can also buy food formulated for certain breeds, such as dog food for golden retrievers.
It may also be a good idea to evaluate the treats youre giving your dog. Sometimes all natural dog treats still can have ingredients you wouldnt necessarily want to give your dog. Finding treats specifically made for dogs with allergies or other healthy dog treat options are a good starting point.
Buying Guide For Hypoallergenic Dog Food
If youve ever experienced allergies you know how difficult they can make everyday life. But did you know that just like people, dogs can be allergic to a variety of substances? Dogs can experience skin or food allergies that can lead to many unpleasant symptoms.
Thankfully there are a number of options made specifically for dogs with allergies. Many of these brands have either or limited ingredient formulas, which remove the most common allergens known to affect dogs. In this guide, well review these types of foods, as well as allergy symptoms, typical foods to avoid, and the proper course of action to get your dog on an allergy free diet.
Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Real Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
Brand: Merrick is a brand that served our parents doggos and is staying around to serve yours. With decades in the industry, Merrick understands what it takes to make the highest-quality dog foods starting with fresh, premium ingredients.
The Important Ingredients: Deboned salmon, salmon meal, brown rice, oatmeal, barley, sweet potatoes, sunflower oil, natural flavor, flaxseed, vitamin E supplement, vitamin A acetate, niacin, biotin.
Price: Around $60 per 22-lb. bag.
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How Can I Tell What My Dog Is Allergic To
A vet can perform a number of tests to see if food allergies or flea allergies are the cause. The gold standard is endoscopy with biopsy where it is possible to take samples from the gut lining and look for evidence of microscopic gastrointestinal inflammation caused by a dog-food allergy.
Each year 3 million Americans experience pet allergies, which causes them to breathe in or consume allergens like animal dander and saliva that make them sneeze. Many people experience this dog allergy seasonally when they dont spend much time outdoors, while others may only be affected every now and again during their pets shedding periodsometimes both at once! A few telltale signs of this type of allergy are watery eyes, sneezing, wheezing, and an itchy nose.
What Are Allergies In Dogs
An allergy is a hypersensitive reaction to an allergen . These allergens cause the bodys defenses to overreact, which leads to the overheating of your dogs body. Some of the associated symptoms include itchy and reddened skin, panting, and restlessness. TCM states that the combination of warm and cool often creates a condition of wind within the body, which is what often causes fiercely itchy skin.
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Diets For Dogs With Allergies And Sensitivities
Trying to figure out if your dog has allergies and what to feed them in response can be a frustrating process. While the light at the end of the tunnel may be that your dog might not actually have an allergy at all, Earthborn Holistic has a recipe perfect for every paweven itchy ones! Keep reading to learn more about dog food for skin allergies and sensitivities.
Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Formula All Life Stages Dry Dog Food
Brand: Give your dog the diamond standard of dog foods with this amazing skin and coat formula from Diamond Naturals. Made with only natural ingredients, and salmon is the first ingredient to ensure your doggo gets those necessary Omega-3s in every bite.
The Important Ingredients: Salmon, fish meal, potatoes, lentils, peas, pea flour, dried yeast, canola oil, flaxseed, tomato pomace, kale, chia seed, pumpkin, blueberries, oranges, dried kelp, coconut, spinach, carrots, papaya, vitamin E supplement, biotin, niacin.
Price: A 30-lb. bag costs just under $40 on Chewy.com.
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Causes Of Dog Allergies
Some dog breeds may cause allergy symptoms while others do not, or that short-haired dogs are safe while long-haired shedding dogs are not. However, experts believe that is not the case. Two dogs of the same breed might have extremely varying allergen levels.
The actual issue is not the dogs hair or fur. Instead, most people are allergic to dandruff, flakes of dead skin, saliva, and urine. So, regardless of how long or short, the hair is, any dog can induce an allergic reaction.
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” 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 into their basic amino acid building blocks which can make the original allergen virtually invisible to your pets immune system.
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Simply Nourish Natural Solutions Skin & Coat Adult Dog Food
Brand: Simply Nourish offers this natural solution to skin and coat health, formulated with deboned salmon and salmon oil for a rich flavor and high dose of potent Omega-3s.
The Important Ingredients: Deboned salmon, whitefish meal, oatmeal, sorghum, millet, deboned whitefish, sunflower oil, quinoa, coconut, flaxseed meal, salmon oil, dried pumpkin, dried carrots, dried kale, dried blueberries, vitamin e supplement, niacin supplement, rosemary extract.
Price: About $50 for a 24-lb. bag.
Our Rating Of Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dog Food
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets lists both grain-inclusive and grain-free dry dog foods. Most recipes use at least a moerate amount of named meat meals as their dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
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Why Trust The Spruce Pets
Steven Rowe has experience caring for two nervous, picky-eating beagles. When he noticed that his dog started to chew his front paws after mealtime he tried out different proteins and discovered his little guy had a chicken allergy.
When writing this article, he chose products based on what he feeds his own tummy-sensitive doggos, his personal experience with the products, customer reviews, product ingredients, and recommendations from veterinarians.
Nutrition For Dogs With Food Allergies
A food allergy occurs when a dogs immune system confuses something in its diet, typically a protein, for a harmful invader like bacteria or a virus.
The resulting immune system response can cause a dog to experience a range of signs, including inflamed skin, itchiness, and diarrhea. To reduce the likelihood of a response, a vet may recommend a new diet, however, theyll usually try to determine the underlying cause of the reaction first.
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Canidae Pure Dog Food Lamb Goat & Venison
CANIDAE Pure is a limited ingredient dog food thats made with only 8 total ingredients. While there are several varieties, the lamb, goat, and venison recipe contains novel proteins that are less likely to trigger an allergic reaction. Added probiotics promote digestive health, while glucosamine supports your dogs joints.
- Limited ingredient diet that includes only 8 total ingredients
- Made with lamb, goat, and venison proteins most dogs arent sensitized to
- No corn, soy, wheat
- Available in multiple recipes including bison, salmon, wild boar, duck, and chicken
- Supports joint health with glucosamine and chondroitin
- Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for a healthy skin and coat
- Includes probiotics and antioxidants
- While most Canidae recipes are safe for allergies, some including the chicken flavors, may not be as effective
Zignature Turkey Formula Limited Ingredient Dog Food
When you give your best friend Zignature Turkey Limited Ingredient Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, fill their bowl with healthy food.
Your dog will be treated to a wonderful turkey dinner prepared with actual, farm-raised Turkey from the American Midwest, whole peas, chickpeas, and flaxseed. This meat-first recipe provides pups with the protein they require for optimum development while Zignature’s limited ingredient version eliminates problematic components like chicken, corn, wheat, soy, and eggs.
Combine that with key antioxidants, important fatty acids, and a comprehensive spectrum of vitamins and minerals for a well-rounded dinner that will become your pet’s signature food for life.
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Solid Gold Wolf King Bison & Brown Rice
Image courtesy Chewy
Solid Gold Wolf King Bison, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Dog Food will satisfy your best friend’s natural inclinations.
Real bison is the first ingredient, but this high-quality whole grain, holistic adult dog food with probiotic aid also includes superfoods like pumpkins, cranberries, carrots, blueberries, and more.
This recipe, which contains 90 million probiotics per pound, is meant to promote good gut bacteria and overall immune health in your dog.
Simply stated, your dog will love it! The amino acids present in this food will improve his/her coat’s texture, manage dandruff and keep their skin healthy. This is an excellent diet for dogs who get hot easily or live in warmer climates because of the inclusion of omega fats from salmon oil to help maintain their coat shiny and hydrated.
What Are The Most Common Allergens In Dog Food
When dogs eat something theyre allergic to, their immune system can respond with symptoms such as itchy skin, sneezing, and a sensitive stomach. If you think your dog is having an allergic reaction and youve ruled out other common causes, testing them for dog food allergies is a good first step. With some data in hand, your vet or a veterinary nutritionist can help you figure out how to make your dog feel better.
Food allergies and intolerances in dogs are most often genetic, passed down from parents to pups. Dogs with food allergies arent able to digest certain proteins . Once you know what proteins your dog is allergic to, you can choose a hypoallergenic dog food that excludes those proteinsputting an end to your pups symptoms.
When it comes to allergies, these are the most common problem foods for dogs:
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Instinct Raw Boost Gut Health Grain
Brand: If you want a good flavor, quality raw ingredients, and plenty of nutrients, you need Instinct raw gut blend. What your dog eats affects its skin, and poor digestion can exacerbate skin problems. This blend will help your pups gut function better, and thus, clear up skin allergies.
The Important Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, peas, chicken fat, tapioca, herring meal, freeze-dried chicken, menhaden fish meal, freeze-dried chicken liver, dried tomato pomace, pumpkin seeds, freeze-dried chicken heart, vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, carrots, apples, cranberries, dried kelp, salmon oil, blueberries, rosemary extract.
Price: Around $70 for a 21-lb. bag.
The Role Of Diet When It Comes To Your Dog’s Allergies
There are two types of adverse food reactions in dogs: Food intolerance and food allergy. Food intolerance in dogs is when there is an abnormal reaction to a certain food or additive that is not caused by the immune system. Food allergy in dogs occurs when the body has an adverse reaction to a protein in a particular food, and this is mediated by the immune system.
The following factors may contribute to the development of a food reaction in dogs: Previous diet, genetics, concurrent health issues, and immune system status. If a food antigen is able to stimulate the cells associated with allergies, it has the potential to cause an allergic reaction. Food allergy in dogs typically involves various types of hypersensitivity reactions.
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How Will My Dog’s Food Allergy Be Diagnosed
Similar to diagnosing food allergies in humans, dogs that are suspected of having food allergies will be placed on an elimination diet.
Your vet will provide you with specially formulated hypoallergenic dog food to feed your dog for a minimum of 8-10 weeks. It is essential that during this timeframe only the hypoallergenic food is given to your dog, not even the odd treat now and again. This gives your pup’s body time to adjust to the new diet and provides your vet with the opportunity to evaluate your dog’s condition.
Many dog owners see an improvement in their pet’s condition after the first 4-6 weeks, however, a number of breeds can take much longer to show signs of improvement.
If your dog’s symptoms clear up while on the elimination diet, your vet may ask you to return your pooch to their original diet in order to confirm the diagnosis. If your dog is suffering from food allergies, the original symptoms should reappear within two weeks.
Stella & Chewy’s Simply Stella’s Limited Ingredient Diet Grass
Brand: Your dog will love the taste of Stella and Chewys delicious dog foods, and with vitamin E, sunflower oil, and lamb as the first ingredient, your dogs skin will look and feel healthier than ever.
The Important Ingredients: Lamb, lamb meal, peas, lentils, chickpeas, sunflower oil, flaxseed, lamb heart, lamb liver, lamb kidney, lamb spleen, salmon oil, vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement.
Price: A 22-lb. bag costs about $70 online.
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Commercial Dog Food Could Be To Blame
Commercial dog food often has a lot of ingredients that are unhealthy for dogs. The grains, such as corn, fillers, and preservatives in a dogs diet can cause allergic reactions to canines. Commercial dog food may also contain dyes that cause reactions. However, there are also special dog food for allergies you can get. Another good option is to try any of todays best fresh dog food or subscribe to the best dog food delivery service brands to get your pup meals that are tailored to their dietary needs.
When you make homemade dog food recipes, you know exactly what it includes. A homemade dog food diet should contain real whole ingredients that are healthy for your dog and will stop the symptoms above.
Feeding your dog homemade recipes will help you through the elimination process to determine which foods are bothering your dog and causing reactions . Vets often suggest an elimination diet to figure out your pups food allergies. Common trigger foods include the following.
Avoderm Natural Dog Food For Adults
While not formulated for dogs with allergies per se, AvoDerms natural dog food for adult dogs offers a host of benefits that may help to alleviate allergy symptoms, by boosting their immune system, in addition to improving the condition of their skin and coat. The delicious, savoury chicken meal and brown rice formula makes feeding easy, even for fussy eaters, and is packed with protein for adult dogs, no matter the size or breed.
Ingredients & Nutritional Benefits
Boasting over 20 vitamins and minerals, the main ingredients in AvoDerm are chicken meal, ground brown rice, ground white rice and oatmeal. It contains both chicken and grain, which some dogs might be allergic to, but can benefit other dogs with skin allergies by boosting their overall health.
A unique ingredient in AvoDerm rarely found in other products is avocado, which is nutrient dense, high in crude fiber and rich in vitamins A, B6, C and E for the brain, eye, heart and muscles. It also contains folate, potassium, niacin and essential fatty acids for improved skin and coat health.
Other ingredients include rosemary extract, avocado oil, sage extract, pineapple stem, biotin , riboflavin, B12, Vitamin D3, minerals such as manganese, zinc, selenium as well as good bacteria for the gut in the form of dehydrated lactobacillus, bifidobacterium and enterococcus. The product is free from wheat, corn, soy, artificial flavours, colours and preservatives.
Safety & Quality
Value & Convenience
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What Are The Top Protein And Carbohydrate Allergens For Dogs
Lets briefly discuss the top food allergens that trigger an allergic reaction in dogs. While this isnt a comprehensive list, and your dog can become allergic to any foods at any time, the following are most common, according to veterinarians.
When switching dog foods in an attempt to help your dog with their allergy symptoms, its often best to avoid all of the above. Unfortunately, if you check the ingredient list of nearly every commercial dog food, youll find at least some of those listed.
You may have to really dig to find a better option, but that becomes much easier when you know what to look for on an allergy-supportive ingredient list.