Just like humans, dogs can develop allergies to their environment and their food! These could be allergies they're born with or they develop over time. Here, our Port Jefferson vets suggest the best dog foods for pups with food allergies.
Causes of Allergies in Dogs
Your dog's allergies can make them (and you) miserable! Dogs can have allergic reactions to a range of things, from environmental allergens like dust, pollen, or grass to the food they've been eating for years. Your vet can offer you suggestions on how to rule out common allergens to get to the bottom of your dog's reactions.
Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs
A dog suffering from food allergies may exhibit these symptoms:
- Scabs or rashes on the skin
- Chronic ear infections
- Red, inflamed skin
- Gastrointestinal issues (vomiting, diarrhea, excess gas)
Food Solutions for Dogs with Allergies
Owners of dogs with food allergies or intolerances have two main options when it comes to their pup's diet:
- Limited Ingredient Food. Diets with fewer components make it easier to tell which specific ingredient your pup is allergic to. Once you and your vet narrow it down and figure out your dog's specific allergy, you can feed your dog a diet with limited ingredients to ensure they are avoiding that specific allergen.
- Hypoallergenic Food. Hypoallergenic dog food diets use unique protein sources that are generally not recognized by your dog's antibodies as being antigens, meaning they won't cause a reaction. Many hypoallergenic foods use proteins that have been "split" (hydrolyzed) into their basic amino acid building blocks, rendering the original allergen virtually "invisible" to your pet's immune system. Hydrolyzed soy protein is a good example of a protein that could be found in hypoallergenic food.
In some cases, your vet may write you a prescription for hypoallergenic dog food. Many are made using proteins that have been reduced to their basic amino acid building blocks, making them "invisible" to a dog's sensitive immune system.
Best Foods for Dogs with Allergies
Below are some brands of hypoallergenic dog food our Port Jefferson vets recommend. We do still recommend consulting your veterinarian for the best possible dog food for your specific dog, as their needs can change depending on their specific allergy, age, and breed.
1. Nom Nom Fresh (Limited Ingredient Food)
Nom Nom sells made-to-order, pre-portioned fresh dog food through a subscription service. Their food contains no chemicals, preservatives, or artificial flavors. You can choose from a range of flavors that suit your dog's needs. They use simple, quality ingredients that are suitable for many dogs with food allergies.
2. Wellness Simple (Limited Ingredient Food)
The Wellness Simple line of dry dog food keeps things simple with a single protein source and carbohydrates that are easy to digest. They have a variety of flavor options and their food contains no fillers or additives.
3. Royal Canin Veterinary Diets Hydrolyzed Protein (Hypoallergenic Food)
Royal Canin Veterinary Diets Hydrolyzed Protein kibble draws the bulk of its protein from hydrolyzed soy protein which may make it suitable for dogs who suffer allergic reactions related to certain meats. They have a few different options based on the size and dietary needs of your dog. This food requires a prescription from your vet.
4. Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet (Limited Ingredient Food)
Merrick Limited Ingredient diets come in a range of flavors. They also offer a wet canned food option for dogs that prefer (or need) to eat softer foods. Merrick food contains just the essential proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins your dog needs to thrive without any fillers or additives.
5. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets (Hypoallergic Food)
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diet is another vet-prescribed hypoallergenic food that may be suitable for your dog. It uses hydrolyzed protein and comes in a few different styles based on your pup's size and needs.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.