What You Need to Know About Dog Food Allergies in Dogs


Does Your Dog Have a Dog Food Allergy?

Dogs are alike in many ways, but one thing we all know is that they love to scratch. But when your dog’s scratching becomes obsessive or noticeably harmful resulting in hot spots or bald patches of irritated skin, there’s something different going on. It’s more than a simple scratch here and there..it’s either dry skin or allergies.

Either way, you can bet your dog’s diet plays a major role in his allergy symptoms, if that’s really what they are. You see, it can be hard to tell the difference between a dog food allergies and a nutritional deficiency due to poor diet. Even vets misdiagnose all the time, causing dog owners hundreds if not thousands of dollars in treatments or special diets & supplements which don’t pan out in the end.

What can you do if you think your dog has a food allergy? Take a close look at his diet, for starters. Below, you’ll learn what exactly it is about today’s dog food that might be contributing to “allergy symptoms”, if that’s what they are, and what you can do about it.

The Sad State of Today’s Dog Food

Dog food is one of the most overly processed food substances on earth. Feeding your dog a diet that consists solely of commercial grade kibble is like feeding your kids nothing but boxed, processed food every single day. It’s like eating boxed macaroni & cheese every day for the rest of your life.

There are simply not enough nutrients in processed food to sustain a healthy animal. The fault lies partly with the ingredients, and partly with the heat processing that zaps nutrients, omega fatty acids, and enzymes.

If the only protein source in your dog’s food is something like “chicken by-product meal” or “Animal digest”, then you’re doing your dog a great disservice by continuing to feed him this food.

Dogs Need Real Meat

Do your dog a huge, life-saving favor and find him a dog food where the first ingredient is real meat. But don’t stop there. One of the other top ingredients should also be meat. In the top ingredients, you should see no fillers, no preservatives, and no meat by-products. You want the ratio to be heavily weighted against carbs, grains and fillers.

You could even make your own dog food out of meat, eggs (shells included), rice, and some nutritional supplements containing Omega Fatty Acids.

What May Happen

As a result of eating a healthier diet full of skin-hydrating omega fatty acids and nutrients he needs, your dog’s coat will get healthier. Dry skin will improve, and if that’s the cause of your dog’s scratching, those “allergy symptoms” will clear up. If you’re lucky enough to have this occur as a result of improving your dog’s diet, then he never had a food allergy in the first place. He simply suffered an insufficient diet.

Even if your dog did indeed have allergies, they may clear up as a result of increased beneficial probiotic bacteria and fish oils. These can lead to increased production of natural antihistamines, which as we all know fight allergies.

The take-away for dog owners is: before you spend too much time, effort, and money treating your dog for allergies, try improving his diet first and you may see things clear up. Be sure to give it three months, however, because that’s how long it takes the dog’s body to react to his new diet and begin clearing up his symptoms.

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  1. Took a huge recall (’07) for me to realize why my Lab spent her days scratching. Once I realized what I’d been feeding her by doing hours of research, I started to home cook for her. Did a ton of research there too. Now she gets only the best grain free kibble & very little. Primarily home-cooked human food. It’s very easy to pour kibble in to a bowl at meal time but not good for your dog (or cat for that matter). Feeding is a hassle but I have a happy, healthy dog. She still has allergies (mostly fillers/grains in dry food) but as long as I don’t feed that kibble to her, she’s fine. I won’t even mention the money I spent on vets & not one so much as mentioned the fillers/grains in dry food. Buyer beware.

    • Paul - BFD Staff on

      I’m glad you figured it out! Most people aren’t as lucky as you and they continue wasting money on vet bills and giving their dog’s unneeded medication.

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