The Best Diet for Dogs with Allergies

Does your dog have allergies? You’re not alone. Many pets struggle with allergies, and finding the right diet is key to keeping them healthy and happy. Discover the best diet for dogs with allergies in this article!

Quick facts: Best Diet For Dogs With Allergies

  • ✅ The best diet for dogs with allergies is a hypoallergenic diet that is tailored to the individual dog’s specific needs. (American Kennel Club)
  • ✅ The best diet for dogs with allergies should focus on high-quality proteins, grains, and vegetables. (American Kennel Club)
  • ✅ Avoiding commercial pet food products and opting for fresh, home-cooked meals can help reduce the effects of allergies. (PetMD)
  • ✅ Supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics can help reduce symptoms of food allergies in dogs. (Cesar’s Way)
  • ✅ The number of U.S. homes with pets that have allergies has doubled in the last 10 years. (PetMD)


Food allergies in dogs are one of the most common pet health problems. Dogs can experience allergic reactions to various foods, and these reactions can range from mild to severe and life-threatening. While any type of food could potentially trigger a reaction, some of the most common culprits are proteins, including dairy, fish, beef, chicken and eggs. A diet designed specifically for dogs with allergies is critical to mitigate the symptoms and help them feel better.

When it comes to choosing a diet for your dog, look for foods that contain protein sources that he has not been exposed to before. Hypoallergenic diets typically use novel proteins (such as venison or duck) that have a lower chance of creating an allergic reaction in your pup. Additionally, wet food often contains less allergens than dry formula since the ingredients are cooked at higher temperatures during production. Finally, seek out grain-free formulas that contain an alternative carbohydrate source like sweet potato or chickpeas since grains can sometimes be problematic for pups with allergies.

Symptoms of Dog Allergies

Dog allergies can be caused by various environmental factors, such as pollen, dust, and grass. Common symptoms of an allergic reaction in dogs can include itching, redness, and sneezing. Other signs of allergies in dogs may include excessive scratching, licking, and biting at the affected area.

If you are concerned that your dog may have an allergy, it is important to consult with your veterinarian right away, as prompt diagnosis and treatment can help your dog to feel better.

Skin Irritation

Skin irritation is a common symptom of allergies in dogs. If your dog has skin allergies, they are likely to display symptoms such as facial redness and swelling, itchiness, excessive scratching, or small bumps or raised patches on the skin. These signs can range from mild to severe and can be accompanied by a rash or scabs that may have occurred due to frequent scratching. Dogs with skin allergies may also experience ear inflammation which causes them to shake their head and scratch at their ears.

The best diet for dogs with allergies is one that is free of foods that can trigger an allergic reaction and contains ingredients that will help to heal their skin irritation. Your vet may recommend specific foods for your dog depending on the type of allergy they have.

Respiratory Problems

Respiratory problems are common symptoms of dog allergies, and they involve sneezing, coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing. Whether caused by contact with an allergen or something in the air, respiratory problems due to allergies can be reversible when proper treatment is sought.

Allergens in the air may include pollen, dust mites or other airborne particles. The main difference between any respiratory issue and an allergic reaction is that allergies cause inflammation of the respiratory tract. This can lead to symptoms such as wheezing, coughing and difficulty breathing due to constriction of the airways caused by swelling. Allergies can also manifest themselves as skin issues such as hives or rashes. Speak with a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment options specific to your pup’s individual needs.

Gastrointestinal Problems

Gastrointestinal (GI) problems are one of the most common symptoms of allergies in dogs. A dog’s GI tract can become inflamed and irritated when it is exposed to allergens, such as dust mites, pollen, or certain foods.

Common symptoms include

  • chronic vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • weight loss
  • flatulance

Additionally, digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can also be signs of a food allergy.

It is important to take your pet to a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis so that an effective treatment plan can be implemented. A diet that excludes the allergen(s) is often recommended for pets with allergies. Foods formulated for sensitive stomachs or made with anti-inflammatory ingredients may also help reduce allergic symptoms and provide relief from GI distress.

Causes of Dog Allergies

Dog allergies are one of the most common afflictions amongst canines, caused by various allergies to materials such as grass, pollen and even food. While the causes can vary from dog to dog, the most commonly reported allergens are environmental allergens, food allergens and fleas.

Understanding the causes of allergies is an essential step in determining the best diet for your pet.


Pollen is a common cause of dog allergies and can trigger skin irritation and other allergic symptoms. Pollen is a very small, lightweight particle that is found in the air and can be spread by wind. It can come from trees, grasses, weeds, and other plants. Pets are most exposed to pollen allergens when they are outdoors. Therefore, keeping your pet from roaming free outdoors or taking them for walks around high grass or vegetation areas can help reduce their exposure to pollen allergens.

If your dog already suffers from allergies caused by pollen, there are several dietary options that may reduce the symptoms of its allergy.

  • Adding Omega-3 fatty acids to your pet’s diet may reduce inflammation as well as provide natural antihistamine benefits;
  • Providing high-quality proteins like fish oil helps soothe the skin;
  • Using protein sources like chicken meal helps strengthen the immune system;
  • And introducing probiotics into your pet’s diet may also improve overall gut health.

Dust Mites

Dust mites are one of the most common causes of allergies in dogs. These tiny creatures feed off of the dust and dead skin particles found in our homes and are responsible for many cases of allergic dermatitis, or inflammation of the skin. Dogs with dust mite allergies will often have red, itchy, irritated ears that may contain a yellowish or brown discharge. In addition to itchy, red skin and ears, a dog may also exhibit symptoms such as coughing, sneezing or rubbing their face on the floor or furniture in an attempt to relieve discomfort.

The best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to limit a dog’s exposure to dust mites by regularly vacuuming carpets and furniture, washing bedding often, and keeping humidity levels low. Choosing pet-friendly cleaning supplies can also help reduce allergens in the home environment. Additionally, adding omega-3 fatty acids by way of fish oil supplement may help reduce inflammation associated with allergies.


Mold is one of the most common causes of food allergies in dogs. Allergy-causing molds are found in a variety of foods, including grains and dairy products.

Dogs allergic to mold may show signs of skin irritation, such as scratching their skin or chewing at their paws. Other symptoms include coughing, sneezing and wheezing, or even gastrointestinal issues like vomiting and diarrhea. Allergens from mold can also cause inflammation of the eyes, nose and sinuses.

If you think your dog might be allergic to mold, your veterinarian may recommend special tests or a change in diet to identify the allergen and reduce symptoms.

Food Allergens

Food allergies are one of the most common causes of allergies in dogs. Allergies can be caused by an ingredient in the food, such as a protein or carbohydrate, or even a preservative or artificial flavoring. The most common sources of canine food allergens are beef, dairy products, chicken, eggs, seafood, lamb, and wheat. Other less common sources can include soy products and corn.

If your dog’s allergy is caused by any of these ingredients, you will need to identify them in order to efficiently treat your pup’s symptoms.

The best way to identify what ingredient is causing your dog’s allergy is through an elimination diet trial. This process involves cutting out all potential allergens from the diet for several weeks before slowly reintroducing each one at a time and observing any changes in the dog’s health after each ingredient is added back into their diet. Doing so helps you identify which ingredient is causing the allergies and allows you to create a custom food plan tailored specifically to your pup’s needs.

Diet Recommendations for Dogs with Allergies

Dietary modifications are one of the best ways to care for a dog with allergies. A veterinary-supervised, hypoallergenic diet can be effectively used as part of a treatment plan for many allergic skin and stomach issues.

It’s important to note, however, that not all foods are created equal. Let’s discuss the best diet choices for dogs with allergies:

Elimination Diet

An elimination diet is a systematic way of identifying what ingredients are causing your dog’s allergies. It involves removing all of the potentially “allergenic” ingredients from their diet and then reintroducing them one at a time. During this process, any changes in symptoms can be monitored to gauge the ingredient’s effect on your dog. Elimination diets are generally used for pets with food allergies, but may also be beneficial for those with skin or environmental allergies.

Elimination diets involve introducing new foods gradually and gradually taking away other foods from your pet’s current diet. To start, you should feed only one protein source that your pet has not had before, like lamb or venison, for two weeks straight. Any new proteins and carbohydrates should be introduced separately every 2-3 weeks. If symptoms improve within a certain amount of time and then return once other foods are added back into the diet, that food can be identified as a potential allergen.

Limited-Ingredient Diet

A Limited-Ingredient Diet (LID) is an excellent option for dogs who suffer from allergies. It’s a type of diet that restricts the number of ingredients contained, so there are fewer potential allergens present in each meal. This can help reduce and control the symptoms associated with allergies and provide relief for both your pup and you.

An LID usually avoids grains or sources of carbohydrates, such as oats or potatoes, and instead focuses on proteins as the main energy source. The protein sources in an LID are typically limited to one single animal source that is not commonly used in other pet foods (think deer, rabbit, duck etc). This helps to prevent your pup from developing sensitivities to specific proteins that may result in allergic reactions if ingested regularly over time. In some cases, vegetable proteins may be used but these should be identified as possible allergens prior to making any decisions about an LID diet.

Hypoallergenic Diet

A hypoallergenic diet is recommended for dogs with allergies. A hypoallergenic diet is a limited-ingredient diet that contains single proteins, easily digestible carbohydrates and other limited ingredients. It is designed to reduce the risk of triggering a food allergy or intolerance reaction in your pet.

Hypoallergenic dog food contains proteins and carbohydrates that are unfamiliar to the body, which makes them less likely to cause an allergy or intolerance reaction in susceptible dogs. Common sources of protein used in hypoallergenic diets include venison, duck, rabbit, and salmon. Common carbohydrate sources include oatmeal, barley, and sweet potato. These diets also contain essential fatty acids such as omega-3s and omega-6s which are important for healthy skin and coat as well as overall health.


In conclusion, the best diet for dogs with allergies is a diet that is hypoallergenic, meaning it is low in allergens like grains and preservatives. Ideally, this should include a high-quality protein source like salmon or lamb, limited to no grain content and minimal amounts of other allergens.

Additionally, fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as supplements like omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial in keeping your dog’s allergies under control.

It’s important to note that any change in diet should be done gradually over the course of several weeks so as not to cause any digestive upset or discomfort. Finally, speaking to your veterinarian prior to changing your pet’s diet is always essential for his/her health and wellbeing.

FAQs about: Best Diet For Dogs With Allergies

Q: What food should I feed my dog if it has allergies?

A: It is best to feed your dog hypoallergenic dog food that is free of common allergens such as corn, wheat, soy, dairy, and eggs. Additionally, you can look for food specifically made for dogs with allergies.

Q: What ingredients should I avoid when feeding my dog with allergies?

A: You should avoid ingredients such as corn, wheat, soy, dairy, eggs, beef, chicken, pork, fish, and other proteins that may contribute to allergies. Additionally, look for food that is free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

Q: What are the health benefits of a hypoallergenic diet for my dog?

A: A hypoallergenic diet for your dog can reduce the severity of their allergies. This can help to reduce itching, sneezing, and other allergy symptoms. Additionally, it can boost your dog’s immunity and help to keep their skin healthy.

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