Choosing hypoallergenic dog food for allergies and intolerances

Choosing hypoallergenic dog food for allergies and intolerances

. 3 min read

Dogs can have food allergies — just like us

It’s estimated that dog food allergies and intolerances affect around 1–2% of dogs. Allergies can develop at any time of life, but most commonly arise during the first 12 months.

There’s no cure for these allergies, but they can be managed by avoiding the foods that cause them.

How to tell if your dog has a food allergy

The symptoms of dog food allergies and intolerances can be similar to those we experience.

One of the most common signs of a food allergy is itchy skin. So if your dog starts scratching a lot or biting its paws, it might not be fleas! Other common symptoms include:

• Vomiting
• Diarrhoea
• Excess wind
• Weight loss
• Sneezing
• Eye problems
• Hair loss
• Changes in the colour/texture of the skin

Behavioural changes, like aggression or hyperactivity, can also be a symptom.

fawn pug lying on the floor

What to do if your dog is showing symptoms

If your dog has any unusual symptoms, it’s always best to see your vet and get them checked out properly. Food allergies that are left untreated can affect your dog’s health in the long-term, so it’s important to act quickly.

How the vet tests for a dog food allergy

If your vet suspects a dog food allergy, they will probably recommend what’s known as a food trial or elimination diet. This involves feeding your dog a special, hypoallergenic dog food for around 8–12 weeks. If your dog’s symptoms get better on the hypoallergenic dog food, this will prove they were caused by an allergy or intolerance.

What to do if a dog food allergy is confirmed

If your dog has a confirmed food allergy, you have two main options. The first is to continue with the hypoallergenic dog food full time. The second is to gradually reintroduce foods back into your dog’s diet to find out what was causing the allergy. But this can be time-consuming. If you were previously using a complete dog food, with multiple ingredients, you would need to reintroduce each of those ingredients separately, one at a time. To make this process easier, it would help to know the most common dog food allergens, so we did our research and here they are.

pug covered in a blanket

The most common dog food allergens

These are some of the most common ingredients that cause allergies and intolerances in dogs.


• Beef
• Chicken
• Soy
• Lamb
• Pork
• Fish

Dairy and eggs

• Milk (lactose)
• Eggs


• Wheat
• Corn
• Rice

You should also be careful with gelatin, and additives like preservatives, colourings and flavourings.

Studies show, more than a third of dogs with food allergies are allergic to more than one food. So, if you’ve found one ingredient your dog is allergic to, there may be more as well.

Does your dog have a food allergy?

If your dog has a food allergy or intolerance, Bother can help. We sell a range of free-from and hypoallergenic dog food that your four-legged friend will love.

Our best grain-free dog food

Lily’s Kitchen Wild Campfire Stew

A naturally grain-free dog food, this wet food is made with freshly-prepared venison, salmon and pheasant.

Lily’s Kitchen Highland Venison and Duck Dry Adult Dog Food

A complete grain-free dog food, this dry mix is formulated specially for sensitive tummies and healthy digestion.

Meat-free dog food

Yarrah Adult Organic Vegan Dog Food

If your dog is allergic to meat protein, this vegan, meat-free dog food could help. It’s made with soluble and easily digestible vegetable proteins.

Additive-free dog food

Encore Chicken Breast in Broth

A complementary adult additive-free dog food, made with 100% natural ingredients and no artificial colourings, flavourings or preservatives.

Hypoallergenic dog food

Lily’s Kitchen Organic Chicken and Vegetable Bake

This dry, hypoallergenic dog food is vet-approved, grain-free and suitable for sensitive tummies.