Dry Dog Food For Allergies
By Hungry Bark | October 10, 2020
Allergies can really sideline you. The minute plants start blooming, you feel that old familiar tingle in your nose and your eyes start to water. Dogs can also suffer from allergies. It seems odd to think about the ancestors of wolves being allergic to grass, but at least 10% of dogs currently suffer from some form of allergy. Food allergies are one of the least common allergies in dogs, but dogs may be more susceptible to developing one if they are already allergic to other things.
Flea allergy dermatitis, grass allergies, and seasonal allergies are all common to see in dogs. It is very rare for a dog to go into anaphylaxis, but it is possible. If you suspect your dog may be suffering from allergies, it is important that you find out as soon as possible so you can determine the best course of action to keep your dog healthy.
Making things comfortable for your dog with allergies can be challenging. If you think your dog may be suffering from allergy symptoms, but you aren’t sure what you should be watching for, keep reading to find out some of the common symptoms of allergies in dogs and how you can help your dog manage their symptoms.
How do you know if your dog has allergies?
Signs of allergies in dogs can be very subtle and even mimic other things. For this reason, if you notice your dog suddenly begins to exhibit any of these behaviors, watch to see if there are any more that you notice. Keep notes so you can take them to your vet and tell them the symptoms, especially if you notice these after a change in food or if you have used a new topical treatment on your dog.
Allergies generally begin to appear after your dog has turned 6 months old. So if your puppy suddenly develops any of these symptoms, there is a good chance they may have an allergy. Allergies can develop suddenly in older dogs too. This can be from repeated exposure to a substance for which they have developed an intolerance.
- Constant licking
- Head shaking
- Inflamed skin
- Runny eyes
What To Do If Your Dog Has Allergies
If you suspect your dog may be suffering from allergies, you need to identify the allergen. If you know you recently gave them a new type of food, or they got a bath with a new type of shampoo, it may be easier to identify. If you think you know what the allergen is, stop using it immediately.
Even if you’re certain of what your dog is allergic to, make your dog an appointment to see their vet. If they are allergic to one thing, there may more and you will need to find out if there are other things you need to avoid. If your dog has a seasonal allergy or flea allergy dermatitis, he may need an allergy relief medication since he may not be able to avoid these allergens.
If you and your veterinarian suspect it may be a food allergy, the next course of action will be an elimination diet. All steps must be properly followed during the elimination diet or it will not be effective.
During an elimination diet, your veterinarian will put your dog on either a prescription diet or a homemade diet that consists of a protein and a carbohydrate your dog has not had before. This can be rabbit and sweet potato, rice, and venison, anything “novel” to their diet. This lasts long enough for all symptoms to begin to clear up.
During this time, there should be no treats or chews so all potential allergy sources are completely removed. After the symptoms show signs of improvement, your dog’s prior food is added back in. If this causes a reaction, the ingredients from their old diet will be reintroduced to pinpoint the culprit.
Some dogs may end up on a lifelong home-prepared diet if the source of their allergy can not be determined. This is rare, and most dogs can go on to eat a good quality kibble diet, provided you pay attention to the ingredients list.
The Best Dry Dog Food For Allergies
If you are thinking the best food for a dog with allergies is grain-free, you might be surprised. Some dogs do have problems digesting grains, but this is usually unrelated to allergies. Dogs are most commonly allergic to proteins. Beef is the number one food allergy in dogs, followed by dairy. Wheat does make the list at number three, and finally, there’s chicken and eggs.
First and foremost, when searching for dog food for your allergy-prone dog, you want to make sure that you are choosing a recipe with high quality ingredients. Lower quality ingredients can cause inflammation and exacerbate your dog’s allergies.
Then, you’ll want to look for something with a “novel protein” - a protein they have never been exposed to before. Duck, rabbit, venison, and salmon, are all proteins that are uncommon in dog food. If you have concerns about grains, there are plenty of grain-free options. As long as they are nutrient-dense, and have a novel protein source, these are just fine for your dog.
Hungry Bark’s Grain-Free Salmon dog food recipe is a great option for an allergy-prone dog. Salmon is a novel protein that provides your dog with healthy omega-3 fatty acids. It is grain-free, so it’s also perfect for dogs that have a difficult time with grains. All Hungry-Bark kibble recipes include probiotics which help maintain gut health and have been shown to have a positive effect on allergies.
Hungry Bark kibble is loaded with powerful superfood ingredients that give your dog the nutrient boost that they need each and every day. Hungry Bark recipes are made in a clean kitchen, and not a factory, so you don’t have to worry about allergens cross-contaminating your dog’s food. Hungry Bark sustainably sources their ingredients, and all ingredients can be traced directly back to the supplier.
Allergies can be difficult to manage, especially for our dogs who can’t tell us how they’re feeling. You know your dog best, and if they seem to be acting strangely to you - maybe they seem itchier or seem to be scratching more - trust your gut. Get your dog to the veterinarian so they can help you come up with a plan to make sure your dog lives their happiest, itch-free life.