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Finding the right dog food can be a big challenge if your dog has allergies. As you may know, allergies cause a range of anaphylactic symptoms from minor itchy skin to serious gastrointestinal problems, and to other adverse health effects, including death. So then, what is the best dog food for dogs with allergies? The good news is that there are many hypo-allergenic dog food products available.
When it comes to shopping for the best dog food for dogs with allergies, it’s important to look for products that are free from known allergens. Some of the most common allergens in dog food include the various proteins present in beef, chicken, dairy, soy, and wheat gluten.
By eliminating these ingredients from your dog’s daily diet, you will reduce, but not totally eliminate, the risk of triggering an allergic reaction. Today, some dog food brands have specialized formulas to meet the unique nutritional needs of dogs with allergies.
Understanding Dog Allergies
If you think your dog has allergies, then this information should be handy in your search for the best dog food for your dog’s special dietary needs.
Common Canine Allergies
Dogs can react to or develop allergies to a variety of foods, including, but not limited to:
- Wheat gluten
Also, some dogs may be allergic to plant pollen, dust mites, flea bites, and any number of things that are present in the environment. You should work with your veterinarian to identify the specific allergens that may be affecting your dog.
Symptoms of Dog Allergies
The symptoms of dog allergies can vary depending on the type of allergy and the severity of the reaction.
Some common dog allergy symptoms include:
- Itching and scratching
- Red, inflamed skin
- Hives or bumps on the skin
- Ear infections
- Runny nose or eyes
- Sneezing or coughing
If you notice any of these symptoms you should immediately consult with your veterinarian to identify the specific allergen(s). Your vet may recommend allergy testing to identify the specific allergens that are affecting your dog. By doing this, you can take steps to manage your dog’s condition and get the best dog food to meet his or her specific needs.
The Importance of Diet
If your pooch has allergies, you know how miserable it can be for them. Allergies affect dogs in so many ways, including skin irritation, gastrointestinal upset, heart trouble, and respiratory distress. One of the most common reactions is dry, itchy skin and one of the most effective ways to manage many dog allergies is through diet.
Diet Helps in Dog Allergy Management
Diet plays a key role in managing allergies in dogs. The right diet can help alleviate symptoms and prevent allergic reactions, the wrong diet can make the problem worse.
Here are three ways that nutrition can help:
- Reducing Inflammation: Some ingredients in dog food can cause inflammation in dogs with allergies. By not feeding dog food that has reaction-causing ingredients and instead feeding one that has anti-inflammatory ingredients, you can help reduce inflammation and alleviate problematic symptoms.
- Strengthening the Immune System: A dog’s immune system plays a crucial role in managing allergies. A balanced and nutritious diet will support the dog’s immune system and noticeably reduce the likelihood of allergic reactions.
- Eliminating Allergens: Some dogs are allergic to very specific ingredients in some foods. Maybe this is wheat gluten or something else entirely. There is only one way to know for sure and that is by allergy testing. Yes, this can get pretty expensive. However, by identifying and eliminating all allergens, you can do away with all the guesswork and prevent food allergies. This one-time expense will improve your dog’s overall health and do wonders for your nerves.
It’s important to work with your veterinarian to find the best options. By testing your vet can identify significant allergens. He or she can then recommend appropriate foods that will meet your dog’s nutritional needs and minimize the risk of severe allergic reactions.
If your dog has known food allergies then switching to a special type of dog food should help alleviate those symptoms.
Here are three types of dog food that can be helpful for dogs with allergies:
Hypoallergenic Dog Food
Hypoallergenic dog food is made with certain proteins and carbs that your dog has not been previously exposed to. This kind of dog food may reduce the risk of an allergic reaction. Some of the common hypoallergenic proteins include venison, duck, and kangaroo, while common carbohydrates include sweet potatoes and peas. Hypoallergenic dog food can be expensive, but that higher cost is better than the alternative if your dog is suffering from severe allergies.
Grain-Free Dog Food
Grain-free dog food is made without filler grains like wheat, corn, and soy. These grains can be common allergens for dogs, so eliminating them from your dog’s diet may help reduce allergic reactions. However, it’s important to note that not all dogs are allergic to grains, in fact, some grains, like wild rice, are actually good for dogs. Also, grain-free dog foods may contain other allergens such as certain meat proteins, so you need to know what your dog is really allergic to.
Limited Ingredient Dog Food
Limited ingredient dog food is just what it says. It is made with a limited number of ingredients to help reduce the risk of an allergic reaction. These dog foods typically contain a single protein source and a single carbohydrate source. For example, a limited ingredient dog food may contain only salmon and sweet potatoes plus the essential vitamins and minerals.
Limited ingredient dog food can be a good option if you’re not sure what your dog is allergic to.
When selecting a dog food for its hypoallergenic ingredients, it’s important to work with your veterinarian or pet nutritionist. These professionals can help you identify which ingredients your dog is allergic to and recommend a dog food that meets your pooch’s needs.
What Is The Best Dog Food for Dogs with Allergies?
The Top Recommended Dog Foods for Allergies
If your dog suffers from allergies, buying the right dog food becomes a big deal.
Here are some of the top recommended dog foods for allergies:
Wet Dog Foods
Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Original Skin/Food Sensitivities Canned Dog Food: This wet dog food is formulated with hydrolyzed proteins to help minimize the risk of allergic reactions. It does not contain any soy, wheat, or dairy, making it a great option for dogs with food sensitivities. This brand is highly recommended by vets and pet nutritionists.
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein Adult HP Canned Dog Food: This wet dog food is made with hydrolyzed soy protein to reduce the risk of allergic reactions. It is highly digestible and contains a blend of antioxidants to support a healthy immune system.
Dry Dog Foods
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Formula Dry Dog Food: This dry dog food is formulated with hydrolyzed proteins to minimize the risk of allergic reactions. It is highly digestible and contains a blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to support good general health. Highly recommended by vets but does not list real meat.
Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Turkey & Potato Recipe: This dry dog food is made with a limited number of ingredients, making it a great option for dogs with food sensitivities. It is grain-free and contains no chicken, beef, corn, wheat, soy, or dairy.
Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Salmon & Potato Formula: This dry dog food is made with a limited number of ingredients, making it a great option for dogs with food sensitivities. It is grain-free and contains no chicken, beef, corn, wheat, soy, or dairy.
Remember — when buying dog food for your pooch with allergies, it is important to consult with your veterinarian first so that you are selecting the best option for your dog’s specific needs.
Consulting Your Veterinarian
Not all veterinarians will agree on the best diet or dog food for dogs with allergies.
If you suspect that your dog has food allergies, the first thing to do is to consult with your veterinarian. He or she can help you determine if your dog’s symptoms are indeed caused by food allergies and recommend the best course of action you should take.
Your veterinarian may perform various tests to diagnose your dog’s allergies. This may include blood tests, skin tests, and elimination diets. Once your veterinarian has determined the cause of your dog’s allergies, he or she can recommend the best food options for your dog. Bear in mind that it may take a few days to get the test results.
Be aware that not all veterinarians will agree on the best diet or dog food for dogs with allergies. Some veterinarians may recommend a homemade diet, while others may recommend a commercial hypoallergenic diet. It’s essential to discuss all options with your veterinarian and select the best option for you and your dog’s specific needs.
Your veterinarian can also provide some guidance on transitioning your dog to a new diet and monitor your dog’s progress. He or she will likely recommend a gradual transition to the new diet to avoid any digestive upset.
In addition to dietary changes, your veterinarian may recommend medications or allergy shots to manage the dog’s allergies. Follow your vet’s advice, it’s important!
Remember, while it may be tempting to try various diets and unproven supplements hyped online, it’s crucial to consult with your veterinarian or pet nutritionist before making any changes to your dog’s diet.
What Is The Best Dog Food for Dogs with Allergies?
There is no simple answer to this question. Finding the best dog food for dogs with allergies can be a challenge, but it is essential for their health and well-being. By working with your veterinarian to identify your dog’s specific allergens, you can choose a dog food that avoids those ingredients and provides the necessary nutrients for a balanced diet.
Based on our research, we recommend considering the following factors when selecting a dog food for allergies:
- Avoidance of common allergens such as beef, chicken, lamb, and wheat
- Use of novel protein sources such as fish, venison, or duck
- Limited ingredient diets with fewer ingredients to reduce the risk of triggering allergies
- Grain-free options for dogs with grain sensitivities
- High-quality ingredients with no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors
Remember to always read the ingredient label carefully and buy dog food that meets your dog’s specific needs. While it may take some trial and error to find the right food for your dog, the benefits of a healthy and happy pet are well worth it.