What dog food is good for dogs with allergies

Novel carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are large macronutrients which supply energy to the organism consuming them, and include nutrients such as sugars, oligosaccharides, and starches.[27] Dogs may become sensitive or allergic to certain carbohydrate sources in their diet, and novel carbohydrates may be used in an attempt to avoid this reaction.[7] Novel carbohydrates are carbohydrates which the dog they are being fed to has never consumed before.

Some examples of novel carbohydrate ingredients include brown rice and sweet potato,[3] as well as brewer’s rice.[28]

Omega-3 fatty acids

Essential n-3 fatty acids in dog food assist to treat the inflammation associated with allergic reactions.[6] These essential fatty acids assist to manage inflammatory responses by changing the levels of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory eicosanoids produced during a reaction.[6] They also assist to maintain healthy skin and to maintain cell structure.[6] These n-3 fatty acids are generally incorporated into dog food diets by using ingredients love fish oil.[21]

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is involved in cell growth and division, as well as hair growth and skin maintenance.[6] Since some of the key symptoms of food allergies include damage to the skin,[9] it is significant to include Vitamin A in hypoallergenic diets to assist clear up the damage done by any previous allergic reactions a dog may own had.

Ingredients in dog food that function as a source of vitamin A are fish oils such as cod oil.


Zinc supplementation in hypoallergenic dog foods aids in the maintenance of skin and jacket health.[6] Zinc also plays a role in mitigating inflammatory and immune reactions.[6] Zinc can be found supplemented as a mineral in the diet, but it can also be added in the diet through lamb meat, as this ingredient is known to be high in zinc.[26]

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant which has significant functions in immune health.[6] These compounds scavenge for free radicals, protecting cell membranes from damage caused by lipid oxidation.[6] This is beneficial to own in hypoallergenic dog food diets to assist maintain cell integrity in case damage does happen due to a reaction.

Vitamin E is commonly found just as a vitamin supplement in diets, but it is also present in other food ingredients such as soybean oil,[22] corn oil,[23] olive oil,[24] and sunflower oil.[25]


Negative digestive effects that accompany dietary food allergies can be reduced by including soluble and insoluble fibers. Insoluble fibers own a relatively low fermentability, which assist to decrease the negative digestive effects such as gas and soft stools.[8] When soluble fibers are mixed with water they form a gel-like substance which helps to reduce gastric emptying in order to increase the time available for nutrients to be absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract.[8] Compounds called fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are found in various soluble fibers, which aid in promoting intestinal health.[29] FOS act as a prebiotic to increase the growth of beneficial bacteria and hinder the growth of pathogenic bacteria in the animal’s digestive tract.

Common ingredients in dog food that provide such fibers include beet pulp, cellulose and chicory root.[29]

Diet types

Novel protein diets

Beef, soy, chicken, turkey and egg products are commonly used ingredients in commercial dog foods as a source of protein.[3][15] These protein sources own been proven to elicit an allergic response in dogs with food allergies.[3] Novel sources of protein can be used in put of these allergenic ingredients to meet the feeding requirements for a dog, while minimizing or eliminating the chances of an allergic response.

For a protein to be considered novel, it must be one that the dog has not consumed before.[16] Novel protein sources include venison, veal, kangaroo and fish, such as salmon.[17]

Hydrolyzed protein diets

One of the possible causes of food allergies in dogs is a reaction of the dog’s immune system to the proteins in a diet.[12] One method that may be used to attempt and combat this immunologic response in dogs with food allergies is the use of hydrolyzed proteins in the diet.

Whole proteins are composed of single amino acids organized into a chain, which then interact in order to fold the protein into its final three-dimensional structure.[13] Hydrolyzed proteins are whole proteins that own been broken below into smaller polypeptides through a process called protein hydrolysis. One method of protein hydrolysis involves the use of enzymes specific to proteins called proteases.[14] Proteases act by cleaving or cutting whole proteins at specific amino acids within their structure in order to form multiple little polypeptides from a single whole protein.[14] Diverse proteases are specific to diverse amino acids, and as such multiple proteases may be used in order to cut a protein at several diverse locations.[14] The theory behind the use of these little peptides in food as an alternative to whole proteins is that their little size will prevent them from stimulating the immune system of the gut, thereby reducing and/or preventing an allergic reaction.[12] When hydrolyzed proteins are used in hypoallergenic canine diets it is with the hopes of avoiding an immunologic reaction both in dogs that own consumed the whole protein previously and in dogs whose intestinal tract has never seen the whole protein before but has been known to react to other protein types.[2]

Limited ingredient diets

Introducing a food that consists of limited ingredients is a common method of reducing the occurrence of food related allergic reactions in dogs.

Limited ingredient diets are made up of fewer ingredients, typically limiting the formula to one protein, carbohydrate, and/or fat.[18] This is an attempt to improve digestion and reduce the likelihood of a reaction ensuing in dogs with sensitivities to common ingredients found in most commercial dog foods.[19] These diets will avoid protein and carbohydrate sources, such as beef, dairy, poultry, barley, and wheat.[4] There are numerous feed ingredients that own been observed to predispose animals to diet related reactions. This is due to their frequent exposure to such ingredients, which makes it likely for them to adopt sensitivities and allergies to commercial dog foods.[20] Studies own shown that it is possible for dogs to own symptoms caused by more than one ingredient in a given diet, this makes the use of a limited ingredient diet relevant as a result of the inclusion of single protein and carbohydrate sources.[20] If symptoms of food allergies persist after the introduction of this type of diet, it can also be helpful for determining the new allergen that is causing the adverse reaction due to the limited number of ingredients.[4] Although these diets consist of fewer dietary ingredients, they still provide every the necessary nutrients to meet the animal’s requirements.


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Allergies affect numerous diverse dog breeds, but collies are one of the breeds that are commonly affected[1]Rashes are common in dogs suffering from food-related allergic reactions[9]

Many dog foods on the market make claims about being excellent for allergies, but how well do these claims hold up?

How common are dog food allergies? And is hypoallergenic dog food correct for your dog? To study the truth about food allergies in dogs and what hypoallergenic dog food really means, hold reading.

Allergies affect numerous diverse dog breeds, but collies are one of the breeds that are commonly affected[1]Rashes are common in dogs suffering from food-related allergic reactions[9]

Many dog foods on the market make claims about being excellent for allergies, but how well do these claims hold up? How common are dog food allergies?

And is hypoallergenic dog food correct for your dog? To study the truth about food allergies in dogs and what hypoallergenic dog food really means, hold reading.

Food Allergies vs. Food Intolerance

It’s also significant to note the difference between an allergy and an intolerance. If your dog is unable to tolerate a certain type of food, such as lactose, this means he lacks the digestive enzyme necessary to properly digest that food, and gastrointestinal problems, such as vomiting and diarrhea, may result.

An allergy, on the other hand, is an immune response. When your dog comes into contact with something he’s allergic to, his immune system goes into overdrive attacking the allergen, resulting in skin problems, itching, or hair loss. If your dog is suffering from a food intolerance rather than a food allergy, then hypoallergenic dog food is unlikely to assist. We recommend seeing your veterinarian to get the best possible solution for your pet.

Allergen responses and symptoms

Allergens can elicit both immunologic and non-immunologic responses.[2] Immunologic reactions, also known as Type 1 reactions,[10] are caused by the binding of ingested molecules to specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies.[11] Once binding occurs, mast cell degranulation follows, releasing granules that initiate the symptoms of an allergic reaction in the body.[2] These immunological reactions are almost instantaneous,[10] and it is widely accepted that the molecules which bind to IgE antibodies are generally intact proteins.[2] Non-immunologic, or non-IgE mediated reactions are less understood, but are known to present similar symptoms as immunologic reactions.[3] These reactions can be classified under food sensitivities, and it is argued that they are not truly allergenic.[2] Whether a reaction is truly allergenic in nature or a sensitivity, it is significant that hypoallergenic dog foods provide the ingredients necessary to hold canines from experiencing discomfort.

The signs of a canine food allergy or sensitivity vary greatly, but the most common to glance for include rashes, swelling, itchy or tender skin, and gastrointestinal upsets.[9] These signs are extremely similar to, but should not be confused with canine atopic dermatitis, which is not caused by food allergies.[9]

What Causes Food Allergies?

According to Tuft University, «Food allergies happen when an animal’s immune system misidentifies a protein from a food as an invader rather than a food item and mounts an immune response.

The finish result of this response can be itchy skin or ear and skin infections in some pets, while it may cause vomiting or diarrhea in others.» Once an immune response is triggered, it grows stronger every time that type of protein enters the body, which means your dog’s allergy may worsen every time he eats that specific food.

Are Dog Food Allergies to Blame?

While people are often quick to blame a dog’s skin problems on what he eats, the truth, says Tufts University’s Cummings Veterinary Middle, is that food allergies in dogs are not every that common.

The most common causes of allergies in pets are environmental including fleas, dust mites, grass, pollen, and other environmental causes. If your pup’s allergies tend to clear up during the winter or become worse at the height of flea season, then it’s likely his allergies are environmental. But because actual food allergies can cause skin and ear problems similar to those caused by environmental allergies, it’s up to your veterinarian to assist you law out other types of allergies for certain before determining whether your dog’s food is to blame.