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:
• Excess wind
• Weight loss
• Eye problems
• Hair loss
• Changes in the colour/texture of the skin
Behavioural changes, like aggression or hyperactivity, can also be a symptom.
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.
The most common dog food allergens
These are some of the most common ingredients that cause allergies and intolerances in dogs.
Dairy and eggs
• Milk (lactose)
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
A naturally grain-free dog food, this wet food is made with freshly-prepared venison, salmon and pheasant.
A complete grain-free dog food, this dry mix is formulated specially for sensitive tummies and healthy digestion.
Meat-free 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
A complementary adult additive-free dog food, made with 100% natural ingredients and no artificial colourings, flavourings or preservatives.
Hypoallergenic dog food
This dry, hypoallergenic dog food is vet-approved, grain-free and suitable for sensitive tummies.