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Dog Food Allergy Symptoms

Dog Food Allergy Symptoms
A veterinarian checking a dog for allergies.

Dog Food Allergy Symptoms and What You Need To Know

Dog food allergy symptoms can be detected in dogs in many different ways.

One of the best ways to observe these symptoms is to keep a close watch on your dog for subtle changes. Changes can occur in your dog’s coat or skin and may be in their behavior.

Often, dogs that suffer from food allergy symptoms become lethargic.

If the allergen is not dealt with, the symptoms will likely deteriorate. In most cases, dogs start off with additional licking and scratching and over time, this may lead to hair loss around the eyes and muzzle.

Other dogs may shake their heads more often than normal which can be an early sign of an ear infection. Basically, dog food allergy symptoms will begin with an overall itchiness which in turn leads to increased licking and scratching.

Most commercially prepared dog food products contain additives that could result in a dog food allergy, making our dog look unhealthy.

One of the best diets for a dog is a raw meat diet garnished with crushed eggshells, vegetable scraps, and sardines. As much as you love your pet, you may be surprised to learn that you could be incidentally feeding them with something that could be harming her.

These commercial dog food manufacturers are experts in convincing pet owners that their food is safe and healthy for your dog when in reality this is not really the case.


Food intolerance is quite different from an allergy, yet they can also look similar.  Unlike an allergy, intolerance to a certain food never activates the body’s inflammatory responses. Typically, the body will attempt to get it out of the body. This means it will usually cause vomiting or cause the dog to have loose stool.

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Meats, beef, and grains are the major ingredients in dry dog food that causes allergies. The list below might be surprising as it includes most common dog food ingredients.

Food allergies can wind up becoming active overnight. Most proteins having excessive antigenic properties may lead to allergic reactions if included in your dog’s diet.

Other things you need to keep an eye out for are dairy products, corn, fish, eggs, and pork.

If you observe that your dog is suffering from a food allergy, then you need to carefully pay attention to the ingredients in the foods you feed them.

You then need to change their diet to the ones that don’t contain any of these ingredients and it must be something that is entirely new to your dog. Hypoallergenic nourishment’s are most likely the best.

There is a misguided fact that a dog food allergy will only occur when a dog’s diet has been changed or switched.

However, the allergies in a dog may develop when the same food is consumed by a dog for years.

The symptoms make the situation confusing and frustrating for dog owners because it occurs without any noticeable life variations.

Meanwhile, most dogs can develop symptoms later in life. In a nutshell, a dog can eat the same food for four or five years and their bodies, this makes their body change and they become allergic to that particular meal(s).

The following are the symptoms shown by dogs with a food allergy or intolerance:

  • Itchy skin
  • Flaky skin
  • Hair loss
  • Dry skin
  • Hot spots
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Itchy feet and paws leading to biting and chewing at the paws
  • Excessive scratching
  • Vomiting
  • Reoccurring ear infections
  • Reoccurring skin infections
  • Excessive bowel movements
  • Skin rashes and hives
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These common ingredients are allergic:

  • Sheep
  • Beef
  • Wheat
  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Corn
  • Eggs
  • Dairy Products
  • Soy


Diagnosing a dog food allergy can be very complicated. But first, you should ensure that your dog allergy doesn’t originate from the following problems:

The dog food allergy symptoms to watch for are:

  • Yeast or bacterial infections
  • Intestinal problems due to parasite (Consider a probiotic supplement in this case.)
  • Flea or insect bite
  • Atopy, amongst others.

Allergies such as inhalant allergies have similar symptoms and skin irritation might as well be a common cause. If your dog allergy hails from the aforementioned problems, you should see the vet.

Skin irritation is a common and dangerous symptom because it leads your dog to scratch, lick, and even bite delicate parts of the body. The legs, stomach, ears, and tail are certain areas of the body that are usually bothered.

The veterinarians will perform series of blood tests including:

  • Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay – ELISA
  • Radioallergosorbent – RAST
  • Intradermal skin testing

Above all, food trial testing is the only best way to diagnose your dog food allergies symptoms accurately.


If you have already diagnosed the dog food allergy symptoms and it is something related to your dog’s diet, there is no need for an extra treatment.

Still, you should start feeding your pet with the diets that they are not allergic to. Note that your dog may become allergic to a new food as well. Hence, avoidance becomes the main treatment for a dog-related allergy.

Once you have discovered a diet of food type that does not upset your dog, do not change it.

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If you are making homemade dog food, experiment with different ingredients until you find the one that is not allergic and stick with it. Also, remove the ones that are allergic from their diet completely.

Gradually, include new, non-allergic ingredients to the homemade food and stop buying food that comprises fillers, which triggers allergic reactions in dogs.

Incorporate vitamins and minerals in your dog’s diet for good health. As soon as you observe the symptoms of dog allergy, diagnose the source, and take the necessary steps to treat the allergy, you will have a happier and healthier pet.