Food Allergies in Dogs - Common Symptoms and Allergens

Did you know that food allergies in dogs are not a sudden reaction but an immune system condition that has developed over time? 

Food Allergies in Dogs - Common Symptoms and Allergens

An allergy occurs when there is a misguided reaction to a foreign substance by the body’s immune system.

And just like humans, dogs have allergies too!

A true food allergy in dogs, causes them to create defensive antibodies to fight ingredients that their immune system finds to be “harmful”. This leads to their body rejecting the food and showing signs of an allergic reaction. 

Important Discussion Points In This Guide

  • Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction in Dogs
  • 10 Foods that Cause Allergies in Dogs
  • What to do if your Dog has a Food Allergy
  • How to Figure Out your Dog’s Allergy

Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction in Dogs 

If your dog consumes food that he is allergic to, his immune system stands alert creating various symptoms.

The signs of an allergic reaction in dogs can vary from an upset stomach to teary eyes. Though many dog parents confuse these symptoms to be a skin allergy or environmental allergy, there are high chances of it being caused by your dog’s diet.

Few common symptoms that point to a true food allergy in dogs are: 

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Itchy skin 
  • Chronic ear infection
  • Pigmented skin
  • Eye discharge 
  • Leathery skin texture & 
  • Anaphylaxis (in rare cases) 

"Other subtle signs of an allergic reaction can range from weight loss or inactiveness to even aggression"

10 Foods that Cause Allergies in Dogs  

Though almost any food can be an allergen to your dog, protein has been the most common dog food allergen (especially those found in dairy products).

Other than protein, few other common allergens to look out for are: 

  • Dairy 
  • Wheat  
  • Soy 
  • Beef 
  • Egg 
  • Chicken 
  • Lamb 
  • Pork  
  • Rabbit 
  • Fish 

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What to do if your Dog has a Food Allergy 

It is natural to be worried when you find your bud at home with one or more of these symptoms.

The best way to get you and your bud back to your usual selves is by figuring out the cause of the allergy and eliminating it from their diet or introducing a new allergy-conscious dog diet (after consulting your vet!)

Other than commercial allergy tests, there are other ways you can figure out your dog’s allergy.

These steps can be taken at home, but always make sure to consult your vet before you introduce any of these steps as each dog has a unique requirement.

How to Figure Out your Dog’s Allergy

How to Figure Out your Dog’s Allergy

Elimination Diet

A home-cooked or prescribed dog diet by the Vet, that carries a source of protein and carb, that your dog has never been fed before. Usually, this diet lasts for 12 weeks, till which the allergen can be detected. 

Find the Allergen 

Once the allergen is found, your veterinarian will help you rule it out of your dog’s diet and lifestyle.

Switch to a New Diet

A major step to your dog’s new “allergy conscious life” is switching to a new diet. You could either opt for a home-cooked or commercial diet for your dog.

If you feel overwhelmed about home cooking your dog’s new diet, there are multiple hypoallergenic dog diets available in the market that are made specially keeping in mind allergens like soy, wheat, and poultry.

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However, always check with your Veterinarian before you make any big lifestyle or diet changes to your dog. Our little buddies notice the tiniest changes and react to them in different ways!

Let us know if you found this informative. We would love to hear from fellow pet parents! 

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