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my dog is allergic to meat what can i feed him?

my dog is allergic to meat what can i feed him

Food allergies are not often seen in dogs, but when they do happen, they can cause discomfort for your furry friend. In this article, our Thornton veterinarians provide information on the most suitable foods to give your dog if they are suffering from food allergies.

Food Allergies in Dogs

If you suspect that your dog has food allergies or a sensitivity to something in their regular food, it is crucial to identify the problematic ingredient so that you can eliminate it from their diet while still ensuring they receive adequate nutrition.

Signs & Symptoms of Food Allergies in Dogs

Food allergies and sensitivities may not manifest until a dog turns one year old, despite being able to develop in dogs at any stage of their life.

If your dog is showing any of these signs, it could be a food allergy and you should take them to the vet for further examination to identify the underlying cause:

  • Itching
  • Red irritated skin
  • Rashes on the ears and feet
  • Gassiness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Common Causes of Food Allergies in Dogs

In many cases, the source of food sensitivities in dogs is typically proteins found in animal or plant-based ingredients such as beef, corn, dairy, and wheat. These ingredients are known to be among the most problematic for sensitive dogs.

It may seem contradictory, but it can take a while for symptoms of food allergies to show up. Dogs can develop allergies to a food they have been eating for months, giving the appearance of a sudden onset.

Diagnosing Your Dogs Food Allergies

If your vet suspects that your dog is experiencing the symptoms of a food allergy or food sensitivity after a careful evaluation, they will probably suggest starting an elimination diet for your dog.

Elimination Diet for Dogs With Food Allergies

If your dog is advised to follow an elimination diet, a hypoallergenic food tailored for them will be prescribed. Over a period of 8-10 weeks, you will only give your dog the prescribed food while excluding all other food sources from their diet.

Removing the regular food from your dog's diet, if it contains any triggering ingredients, can help alleviate your dog's symptoms and improve its health.

It is crucial to remember that in order for the elimination diet to be effective, you need to refrain from giving your dog any treats or regular food during this time. Only the hypoallergenic food should be given to your dog while they are on the elimination diet.

Putting your dog on the elimination diet for 10 weeks will give their body time to get used to the new prescribed food, and also allow your veterinarian to evaluate your dog's overall health.

If your dog's allergy symptoms improve while on the elimination diet, your veterinarian may suggest reintroducing their original diet to determine if the symptoms return.

Although an elimination diet can assist in identifying food allergies in dogs, there are other tests available that can offer fast and effective results.Caring Hands Veterinary Hospital is a place where animals receive compassionate care.The laboratory we have on-site enables our veterinarians to identify the underlying cause of your pet's issue and provide a personalized treatment strategy to begin the recovery process.

Best Foods for Dogs with Allergies

After food allergies have been diagnosed, your veterinarian will collaborate with you to find the most suitable diet and treatment plan for your dog. There are various dry food choices that can help reduce food allergy symptoms in dogs.

Prescription Dog Food

In cases of severe food allergies in dogs, the vet might suggest switching to a specialized dry food prescribed for the condition. Although this choice may come with a higher cost, prescription novel protein and hydrolyzed diets are generally better quality compared to those found in regular pet stores.

Following a specific diet can assist in keeping your dog healthy and preventing allergy symptoms. Your veterinarian may suggest prescription foods for dogs with food sensitivities:

  • Dry dog food for small dogs with hydrolyzed protein sourced from canines
  • Hill's Prescription Diet d/d Canine Potato & Venison Formula is a specialized dog food that is made with potato and venison.
  • Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Adult Salmon & Rice Formula is specifically designed for adults with sensitive skin and stomachs.
  • Hill's Prescription Diet Dog i/d Sensitive Dry is designed for dogs with digestive sensitivities.

Limited Ingredient Dog Foods

Limited ingredient dog foods aim to reduce the presence of allergens by containing only one type of protein, like beef, lamb, or chicken, as well as one type of carbohydrate.

It is crucial to look for a seal of approval from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and a statement of being "complete and balanced" by the manufacturer when purchasing limited ingredient dog foods.

Foods with a restricted number of ingredients that your veterinarian may suggest comprise:

  • Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets offers a dry dog food in chicken flavor that is specially formulated with hydrolyzed proteins.
  • Hill's Prescription Diet d/d Canine Skin Support Potato & Salmon Formula is a specialized type of dog food that is designed to help support the skin health of dogs.
  • Adult dog food from Nutro with limited ingredients, made from natural salmon and lentils. It is grain-free and free from genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
  • CANIDAE® PURE® Dog Food is made with a limited number of high-quality natural ingredients, is free of grains, and features chicken as the main protein source.
my dog is allergic to meat what can i feed him

Novel Ingredient Dog Food

New and innovative dry dog foods now use novel ingredients like venison, salmon, or duck instead of the more common proteins found in traditional dog foods like beef and chicken.

Novel ingredient dog foods can also contain uncommon carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes to assist in improving the diet. Your veterinarian may suggest trying a novel ingredient dog food like:

  • Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Adult Salmon & Rice Formula is designed for sensitive skin and stomachs.
  • Hill's Prescription Diet d/d Canine Potato & Venison Formula is a specialized food for dogs that contains potatoes and venison.
  • CANIDAE PURE Dog Food is a natural, grain-free option for dogs that contains limited ingredients and is made with duck meat.
  • Nutro Adult Dog Food is a natural, limited ingredient formula made with duck and lentils. It is grain-free, non-GMO, and designed to provide a healthy and balanced diet for adult dogs.

Grain-Free Dog Food

If it is discovered that your dog is intolerant to corn, wheat, or other grains, your veterinarian may suggest switching to a grain-free dog food. These foods are also gluten-free and some options that your vet may suggest include:

  • Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Grain Free is a dog food specially formulated for adult dogs with stomach and skin sensitivities.
  • Purina Pro Plan Savor Adult Dog Food is a grain-free formula made with turkey and chicken.
  • Science Diet® Adult Grain Free Dog Food is a type of dog food that does not contain grains and is specifically designed for adult dogs.
  • Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Dog Food is a natural, grain-free option made with lamb and sweet potato, and is non-GMO.

Alternative protein sources

When your beloved dog has a meat allergy, it can be challenging to find suitable alternatives to traditional dog food. Fortunately, there are plenty of alternative protein sources available that can fulfill your dog's nutritional needs. In this article, we will explore various options for feeding your meat-allergic dog and discuss the benefits of each alternative.

Plant-based dog diet

One popular option for dogs with meat allergies is a plant-based diet. While dogs are primarily carnivorous, they can thrive on a well-balanced plant-based diet if carefully formulated. Plant-based dog foods are often made from a combination of vegetables, legumes, and grains, which provide essential nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, and fiber.

Hypoallergenic dog food

If your dog has a meat allergy, it's crucial to choose hypoallergenic dog food options. Hypoallergenic dog food is specially formulated to minimize the risk of triggering allergic reactions. These foods usually contain novel protein sources, such as duck, salmon, or venison, which are less likely to cause allergies in dogs. Additionally, hypoallergenic dog food often avoids common allergens like wheat, soy, and dairy.

Meat-free dog food

For dogs with severe meat allergies, a meat-free diet is the most appropriate solution. Meat-free dog food options are specifically designed for dogs who need to avoid all meat-based ingredients. These foods are often formulated using plant proteins, such as soy, peas, and lentils, and supplemented with other essential nutrients to ensure a balanced diet.

It's important to note that before making any drastic changes to your dog's diet, it's always best to consult with a veterinarian who can provide personalized advice based on your dog's individual needs. They can help you determine the most suitable alternative protein sources for your meat-allergic dog and ensure that their nutritional requirements are met.

Remember, a meat allergy doesn't mean your dog can't enjoy a delicious and nutritious diet. With the abundance of alternative protein sources and meat-free dog food options available, you can find the perfect solution to keep your furry friend happy, healthy, and allergy-free.