What Are Dog Food Allergies? Best Dog Food for Skin Allergies

Dog food allergies refer to immune responses triggered in dogs by ingredients commonly found in dog food, leading to symptoms like itchy skin, ear infections, vomiting, and diarrhea. Food allergies in dogs can develop at any age and to various proteins, grains, or additives.

Identifying and treating dog food allergies involves trialing specialty allergen-free diets under veterinary supervision. While allergies cannot be cured, they can often be effectively managed through dietary changes and other treatments to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.

 Symptoms and Causes of Dog Food Allergies

The most common symptoms of dog food allergies include:

Itchy skin or recurring ear/skin infections
– Excessive licking, chewing, or scratching at feet or other areas
– Red, inflamed areas or hot spots on the skin
– Hives or red bumps on the skin
– Chronic vomiting or diarrhea
– Weight loss

These symptoms tend to develop gradually over time and may initially be mistaken for other conditions.

Dog food allergies are caused by an overreaction of the immune system to an ingredient in a dog’s diet. This triggers inflammation and the release of chemicals like histamine that cause the bothersome symptoms. Any protein, carbohydrate, fat, or additive in dog food can provoke an allergy. The most common food allergens for dogs include:

– Proteins like chicken, beef, dairy, lamb, fish, eggs, corn, wheat, and soy
– Grains like corn, wheat, rice, barley, oats
– Additives like artificial colors/preservatives

While any food component can cause an allergy, proteins provoke most dog food allergies.

Best Dog Food for Skin Allergies

Best Dog Food for Skin Allergies

Switching to a veterinary-prescribed limited ingredient diet (LID) may help identify problem ingredients if a dog exhibits allergy symptoms. LIDs feature a single protein/carbohydrate source and few additives to reduce potential allergens.

Some top LID dog foods include:

– **Royal Canin Veterinary Hypoallergenic Hydrolyzed Protein Dry:** Features hydrolyzed soy protein peptides small enough to avoid causing allergic reactions.

– **Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Chicken Flavor:** Contains hydrolyzed protein from chicken liver as the sole protein source.

– **Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Turkey & Potato Recipe:** May work for dogs allergic to chicken or beef-based foods. Uses turkey meal as its exclusive animal protein with simple starches like potatoes.

Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Dog Food:** Clinically-tested food with prebiotic fiber to support digestive health. It is made without common allergy triggers.

Monitoring the dog’s symptoms while feeding an LID can help determine if certain ingredients provoke an allergic response. This approach is called an elimination diet trial.

– **Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food:** Contains a single animal protein source and simple grain like potato, pea, or brown rice to help isolate allergens.

When transitioning to a new dry food, mix it with the previous food over 5-7 days to allow adjustment to the dietary change. This can help avoid adverse reactions. Monitor the skin for improvements.

Best Dog Food for Food Allergies and Yeast

Antibiotics, hormonal changes, or an imbalance in bacteria levels can cause some dogs to develop a yeast overgrowth on the skin. This infection, known as yeast dermatitis, causes severe itching, redness, and hair loss.

Some dog food brands that may help dogs prone to yeast infections include:

– **The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Limited Ingredient Dog Food:** Contains easily digestible whole grains like millet, quinoa, or buckwheat.

– **Purina Veterinary Diets DRM Atopic Dermatitis:** Uses hydrolyzed protein and high omega-3 levels to reduce inflammation, driving allergic reactions and yeast growth.

Hill’s Prescription z/d Canine Ultra Allergen-Free:** Highly hydrolyzed protein with antioxidants to minimize immune reactions leading to yeast infections.

In addition to dietary changes, antifungal medications or shampoos may be needed to treat secondary yeast infections provoked by underlying allergies.

## Royal Canin Dog Food for Allergies

Royal Canin makes several veterinary and over-the-counter dog foods tailored for dogs with allergies and sensitivities like:

**Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hypoallergenic Hydrolyzed Protein Dry Dog Food:** Features soy protein hydrolysate, which breaks down antigenic protein molecules into smaller peptides that are too small to trigger immune reactions. It helps identify food allergies.

**Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein Canine HP Dry Dog Food:** Another hydrolyzed protein formula using soy peptides for dogs with food sensitivities. Plus, omega-3s help soothe the skin.

**Royal Canin Canine Gastrointestinal Fiber Response Dry Dog Food:** Contains prebiotics to balance digestion, salmon protein, and easily digestible carbohydrates. It may help resolve gastrointestinal symptoms of food allergies.

Under a veterinarian’s guidance, Royal Canin allergy diets can help determine problem ingredients through elimination trials. As symptoms resolve, dogs can be transitioned to over-the-counter blends while avoiding problematic components identified.

## Science Diet Dog Food for Allergies

Hill’s Science Diet offers several therapeutic dog food formulas to help manage allergies under veterinary supervision:

**Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Canine Ultra-Allergen-Free:** Highly hydrolyzed protein source to avoid triggering immune reactions towards unbroken antigens. Also antioxidant-enriched.

**Hill’s Prescription Diet d/d Duck or Salmon: **Features novel duck or salmon proteins for dogs allergic to more common proteins like chicken or beef. Natural fish oils provide omega-3s.

**Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Skin & Stomach Chicken Recipe:** Clinically-tested limited ingredient diet. Natural fiber supports healthy digestion. It is enriched with omega-6 fatty acids to nourish skin.

By testing Hill’s allergy formulas, veterinarians can pinpoint sensitivities. Pet owners can transition to Hill’s over-the-counter sensitive skin and stomach blends for maintenance as symptoms improve.

## Best Limited Ingredient Dog Food for Allergies

Limited ingredient dog foods feature fewer components, making isolating ingredients causing allergic reactions easier. Some top options include:

**Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Recipe with Real Lamb:** Simple recipe with cage-free lamb as the sole animal protein. It contains montmorillonite clay to support gut health and pumpkin for fiber.

**Natural Balance L.I.D. Sweet Potato & Venison Formula:** Novel protein source of venison and digestible carbohydrates from sweet potato. It is enriched with vitamins and fatty acids for skin health.

**Nutro Wholesome Essentials Simplistic Salmon & Sweet Potato:** Uses farm-raised salmon as its exclusive animal protein. It is formulated with non-GMO fruits/veggies and essential nutrients.

**Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon:** Features omega-rich salmon. Rice and oatmeal provide gentle grain sources. Prebiotic fiber nourishes digestive health.

Under veterinary guidance, systematically trying LIDs can help determine the food-provoking reactions. This facilitates tailored allergen avoidance for each dog.

## Purina Dog Food for Allergies

Nestle Purina PetCare offers several diets under veterinary consultation to help diagnose and manage canine food allergies:

**Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Chicken Flavor: **Hydrolyzed chicken liver protein is the sole antigen source. It helps identify food reactions.

**Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Chicken & Rice Entrée: **Wet food is the counterpart to the hydrolyzed chicken formula.

**Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets UR Urinary St/Ox:** Reduces urinary crystal formation that can result from food intolerances.

**Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon:** Omega-3 rich limited ingredients diet with salmon and rice. May maintain dogs with minor food allergies.

By gradually transitioning between Purina’s allergy formulas as necessary, veterinarians can pinpoint problematic ingredients for each dog to tailor management approaches better.

## Chicken Allergies in Dog Food

Since chicken is a ubiquitous protein source in commercial dog foods, some dogs develop hypersensitivities over time. This causes gastrointestinal distress, itchy feet, chronic ear infections, and skin irritation.

Some chicken-free dog food alternatives include:

**Natural Balance L.I.D. Beef & Sweet Potato Formula: **Features sweet potatoes and beef as its exclusive animal protein.

**Nutro Ultra Holistic Salmon Meal & Sweet Potato:** Uses farm-raised salmon with vitamins, minerals, and natural fiber sources.

**Blue Basics Limited Turkey & Potato Recipe:** Contains turkey meal plus digestible carbohydrates from potatoes.

**Instinct Limited Ingredient Duck & Turkey Meal Recipe:** Novel protein sources are less likely to trigger chicken allergies. Lentils and chickpeas offer gentle fiber.

Under a veterinarian’s guidance, an elimination diet can confirm suspected chicken sensitivities. Non-chicken limited ingredient or novel protein diets can be tailored to the dog’s tolerances.

## Best Dog Foods for Dogs with Chicken Allergies

Once a chicken allergy is identified through dietary trials, there are many high-quality chicken-free dog foods to consider, including:

**Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice:** Features omega-3 rich salmon. Fortified with nutrients for skin health.

**Iams Sensitive Naturals Salmon Sweet Potato Recipe:** Salmon protein and sweet potatoes provide limited, non-chicken ingredients. Fiber supports digestion.

**Merrick Grain Free Real Duck + Sweet Potato Recipe:** Uses duck meat as its sole animal protein. Includes vitamin E and fatty acids to nourish skin.

**Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Dog Food:** Uses fish protein from salmon and ocean fish meal. Legumes offer gentle fiber.

**Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe: **Pasture-raised lamb and sweet potato suit dogs with sensitivities to chicken. It is enriched with natural supplements.

Transitioning to these alternatives while avoiding chicken can help resolve allergy symptoms. Some dogs prefer boneless, skinless chicken breast to meals containing bones/fat.

## Best Dog Food for German Shepherds with Skin Allergies

German shepherds often develop skin problems related to genetic factors like sensitive immune systems or digestive issues. This predisposes them to adverse food reactions.

Some top dog food recommendations for German shepherds with allergies include:

**Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula:** Salmon protein and easily digestible rice support sensitive systems. Natural fiber benefits digestion.

**Natural Balance L.I.D. Sweet Potato & Bison Formula: **Features novel bison protein. Complex carbs and fiber promote gut health.

**Holistic Select Chicken Meal & Oatmeal:** No corn, soy, byproducts. Digestive enzymes aid food breakdown. Antioxidants fight cell inflammation.

**Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Game Bird Recipe:** Deboned quail, chicken, and turkey offer gentle proteins. It is fortified with glucosamine/chondroitin for joint health.

These diets rich in omegas, antioxidants, and probiotics can help German shepherds who are prone to reacting to triggers like hormones, stress, weather changes, etc. Prebiotics also balance gut flora.

## Best Dog Food for Bulldogs with Skin Allergies

Bulldogs often suffer skin troubles like yeast overgrowth and seborrhea that provoke severe itching. This results from factors like skin folds trapping moisture, inhibited airflow, compromised immunity from related health issues, etc. Environmental, seasonal, or food allergies can further inflame the skin.

Some suitable foods for bulldogs with allergies include:

**Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Entrée:** Features easily digestible salmon protein and rice with natural fiber. It is fortified with nutrients for skin barrier health.

**Royal Canin Bulldog Adult Dry Dog Food:** Tailored texture and kibble shape for a bulldog’s unique jaw. It contains essential nutrients like biotin and omega-3 fatty acids to nourish skin.

**Natural Balance L.I.D. Sweet Potato & Chicken Formula:** Limited ingredient chicken-based formula with digestible sweet potato. Balances bacteria levels, hindering yeast overgrowth.

**Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Dry Dog Food:** Small kibble size for bulldogs prone to choking. Probiotics promote healthy digestion and immunity strength.

In tandem with antifungal shampoos, these diets can help resolve allergy-related irritation. Minimal ingredients also aid in identifying triggers like particular proteins.

## Best Dog Food for Shih Tzus with Allergies

The long fur coats of shih tzus trap dirt, pollen, and mold allergens close to the skin, leading to reactions like itching, hot spots, infections, etc. These tiny dogs also often have sensitive stomachs.

Some suitable foods for shih tzus with allergies:

**Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Turkey & Potato Recipe: **Features easily digestible turkey protein and potatoes. Omega-3 and six fatty acids nourish skin.

**Purina Pro Plan Focus Small Breed Salmon & Rice:** Salmon and rice suit sensitive stomachs. DHA from fish oil supports healthy brain development. Antioxidants strengthen the immune response.

**Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Small Bite Dog Food:** Clinically tested to be highly digestible and enriched with vitamin E and prebiotic fiber to manage skin issues.

**Iams ProActive Health Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog Food:** Small kibble chunks prevent choking. Balances gut microflora populations for better food tolerance. Boosts immunity through antioxidants.

By enhancing digestion, gut, and immune health, these diets help resolve shih tzu allergies. Limited antigens also aid in identifying triggers. Paired with frequent grooming and paw washing, skin irritants can be minimized.

## Blue Buffalo Dog Food for Allergies

Blue Buffalo produces several lines of limited ingredient and specialty diets for dogs with food allergies or intolerance issues like:

**Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Diets:** Feature a single animal protein source like turkey, duck, salmon, or lamb paired with easily digestible carbohydrates like potatoes or oatmeal.

**Blue Freedom Grain-Free Recipes:** Contain no corn, wheat, soy, dairy, eggs, chicken, beef, or fish. Use alternate protein sources like boar, quail, or venison.

**Blue Natural Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed for Food Intolerances:** A Highly hydrolyzed protein diet allows clinical confirmation of adverse food reactions under veterinary guidance.

**Blue Sensitive Stomach Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe:** A nutritionally complete formula focused on digestive care with prebiotics and pumpkin for extra fiber.

By systematically trialing Blue Buffalo’s limited allergen and specialty diets, problem ingredients can be uncovered. This facilitates tailored long-term management of individual dogs’ food allergies and sensitivities.

## Canned Dog Food for Allergies

While dry food typically offers more protein options, canned wet food has fewer preservatives and additives that may trigger allergic reactions in dogs. Some top canned foods for dogs with allergies:

**Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Chicken Flavor Entrée: **Wet version of the hydrolyzed chicken liver protein diet used to diagnose food allergies.

**Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dog Food With Chicken: **Clinically-tested canned food with prebiotics and natural sources of omega-6s for skin health. I made it without additives.

**Iams ProActive Health Sensitive Skin & Stomach Grain-Free Recipe With Salmon:** Features omega-3 rich flaked salmon to nourish skin. Tomato pomace adds gentle fiber to balance digestion.

**Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Duck & Potato Formula: **Duck protein and potato offer limited potential antigens. It is enriched with vitamins and minerals.

For dogs struggling to tolerate dry foods, canned diets with fewer synthetic additives may be better tolerated. Natural broths also supply added moisture, which benefits urinary and gastrointestinal health.

## Best Grain-Free Dog Foods for Allergies

While grain allergies are less common in dogs, grains like corn or wheat can cause issues for some. Top grain-free dog foods for canine allergies include:

**Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Prairie Canine Formula:** Features roasted bison and venison with sweet potatoes, peas, and lentils for fiber.

**American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free:** Deboned salmon and chicken meal provide lean proteins. Cranberries and blueberries offer antioxidants.

**Merrick Grain Free Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe:** Contains deboned chicken with probiotic ingredients to support healthy digestion and immunity.

**Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Easy to Digest Salmon, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin:** Nutrient-rich limited recipe with spinach, cranberries, and L-Carnitine to help metabolize fats.