Can dog foods cause allergies? (Explained) 2022

  • By: Hs Saini
  • Time to read: 12 min.

Dog parents notice their dog’s continuous itching and licky behavior, but they never understand the reason behind it. In some specific events, a question may pop up in their mind that can dog foods cause allergies. And the same type of search just brought you to our blog.

 Dog food is one of the significant reasons behind dog allergies which dog owners quickly notice. Sadly, food allergies never come alone and bring environmental allergies with them. Even, quarter to a third of the pups with food allergies also suffers from the environmental allergy.

Both of these allergies are almost the same in their symptoms, and dog parents may confuse them. The guide is going to be helpful for the dog parents because it will vanish all confusion.

Just like humans, dogs also suffer from food allergies. Some of the dogs are allergic to a particular food by birth; some may get them over time due to changes in their body. The effects of a dog food allergy may vary from food to food.

But the symptoms are almost standard for each pup. Similarly, the causes along with the treatment are also much similar for each dog.

Know the clear glass answer to your question, can dog food because of allergies? Just keep yourself engaged with the blog.

Before knowing about dog allergies, you must know about their difference with intolerance.

How dog food allergy differs from dog food intolerance?

In an actual meaning dog, food allergy is due to some food protein that triggers the immune response and affects the body. The trigger causes the dog’s body cells to release histamines along with some harmful compounds.

In this way, the dog starts feeling itching at a different part of his body and starts showing weird behavior. Sometimes, the food allergy can be painful if not treated at the right time.

While on the other hand, dog food intolerance is not about the immune response, but it is somehow different. The most common example of this condition is lactose intolerance which is caused due to the lousy processing of lactose in the body.

The dog who is intolerant to some food also suffers from vomiting along with gastrointestinal problems. As dog food intolerance symptoms are similar to dog food allergy, the dog owner may confuse it.

The percentage of dogs who face food allergies is much higher as compared to intolerance. From 5 to 10 dogs are more likely to suffer from adverse food reactions and keep itching.

In the end, let me clear that you must make sure about the condition of your dog; otherwise, you may provide him with the wrong medicine.

Dog food intolerance is not our topic of discussion here, so moving ahead with dog food allergy, know about its allergens.

Dog food allergens

We mentioned the dog food allergy but not stated the allergens. Allergens are the foods that are becoming the source of allergy in pups.  There is a wide range of dog food allergens that should be known to dog owners.

Meat, eggs, along dairy products are more likely to cause dog allergies. As all of these ingredients are the primary items in each dog food, that is the reason that food allergy is increasing day by day.

At the same time, some of the green vegetables are also dangerous for the health of your darling pup. But the chances of getting allergy due to veggies is less because dogs are not dependent on vegan food.

According to research, there is a specific percentage of dogs with reactions due to allergens. For example, beef is responsible for affecting 34% of dogs. At the same time, dairy products affect almost 17% of dogs and harm them with allergies.

The chicken got a percentage of 15. Moreover, soy, lamb with corn, as well as pork are somehow less dangerous for the dogs in terms of allergies

Some additional facts about allergens

Keep reading and know about some additional facts about the allergens. We focus on these facts because they may help the dog parents protect their pup from allergens. Clearing some misconceptions will be accessible after knowing about this piece of information.

There can be more than one allergens at a time.

There is a possibility that if one of the dog food is causing allergy, other available foods may cause spread it. Most of the time, single dog food contains more than one allergens in it.

Do starches are safe for dogs.

Luckily, the presence of pure carbohydrates, also known as starches, does not cause dog allergies. Their low protein nature makes it suitable for dogs and hence never acts as an allergen.

However, there are some exceptions related to other starch-rich foods. For instance, potato is a carbohydrates source and contains protein but still acts as allergens for dogs. Similarly, high protein grains such as corn along with wheat also cause dog food allergy.

But, the chances of getting allergies due to grain are much less compared to the other foods.

Purity matters when it comes to fats

Pure food items do not cause many allergies if compared with the processed items. Pure fats such as fish oil are not the reasons for dog allergic reactions.

However, when the same fish oil or pure fats are processed by combining them with other items, they become the triggers to allergic reactions in dogs.

Must check the presence of gelatin

It is crucial to mention that gelatin within dog food is the primary reason for activating allergic triggers. Therefore, you must check the dog food items and ditch the food with gelatin availability.

Peanut allergies also exist in dogs.

Yes, you read it right; almost all dogs also suffer from peanut allergies. If you are not getting the peanut-allergic report, it is not severe. The excellent news maybe your pup is a lucky one who loves to have a PB treat and never got an allergy.

Two foods are not the same.

It is not an excellent approach to restrict some other food because your pup has reactions due to some similar food. As a dog parent, you should know that foods are never the same, neither their taste nor their effects.

For example, if your pup is allergic to chicken, he may not show any reactions while eating turkey. So please don’t cut off the other similar food from his diet when he is not allergic to them.

Keep checking additives

Moving ahead, chemicals along with artificial colors and as well as preservatives may not cause allergies. But they act as the triggers to activate the dog food allergy. Due to this trigger, most people interpret them as allergens. However, these additives may cause food intolerance.

Can dog foods causes allergies

Food labels never say it all.

Please don’t rely on the packet or the dog food labels because they are never accurate. Most of the time, canned foods contain allergens, but they never mention it on the label.

After reading the facts about dog food allergens, it will be apparent that, yes, dog food cause allergies. The new question is, how to detect that our dog is in trouble, i.e. suffering from dog food allergy.

Let’s bring the dog food allergy symptoms under the limelight and know each detail about them.

Symptoms of dog food allergy

Knowing about the dog food allergy symptoms will make it easy for the dog parents to bring the proper medication at the right time.

Sneezing and chronic diarrhea, and ear infections are the most noticed symptoms of dog food allergies. Some dogs may also show restlessness in their behavior.

Moreover, dog food allergy symptoms also include the gamut from the skin and severe gastrointestinal issues.

Behavioral issues can also be noticed when your dog is suffering from food allergies. For deep understanding, let’s break these issues into the cat orgies and revolve around their explanation.

As mentioned above, all types of dog food allergies reflect the same symptoms so that that dog parents may get confused. Due to categories, it will become easy for the dog parents to identify allergy types from which their darling pup is suffering.

As mentioned above, all kinds of dog food allergies reflect the same symptoms, so that that dog parents may get confused. Categorizing dog food allergies shows its importance when it comes to bringing the proper medications.

Common signs of dog food allergies

Within the list of the common symptoms of dog food allergies, the first one is itching. While additional symptoms are

Pruritus, also known as itching

Maybe you are noticing the continuous itching behavior of your dog, don’t ignore it. There is a possibility that your dog is suffering from some food allergy. Must keep track of the meals and food items


When your pup is not going out and is not smelling something sharp but still sneezing, food allergy can be the reason.

Itchy paws

May your dog keeps licking his paws, must check the food items in his meals, and consult a good vet.

Skin rashes

The presence of skin rashes at different parts of a dog’s body can be another symptom of dog food allergy.

Oily or scaly skin

Your dog may get oily skin along with some scaly touch even after taking a bath.

Pigmented and leathery skin

Dog food allergic reactions may cause pigmentation along with leathery skin. Soon after noticing the different texture of your pup’s body, consult the vet

Some additional causes of dog food allergies

The list of the symptom is not ended yet; it also covers the following points.

  • Eye discharge
  • Red eyes
  • Hair loss
  • Ear infection
  • Bacterial infections

Symptoms of Gastrointestinal food allergy in dogs

This section is the clear answer to the query that can dog foods cause allergies as gastrointestinal issues? Read the following symptoms to judge right about the dog food allergy

  • Diarrhea can happen with bleeding or sometimes without bleeding when your dog is suffering from a gastrointestinal food allergy
  • The stool is another common symptom, along with the abdominal pain
  • Vomiting is also a sign of dog food allergies

Some rare symptoms of dog food allergies

The list of symptoms is not standard, and even these signs are not noticed in each dog.

  • Nasal discharge is a rare symptom, along with the breathing issues
  • Seizures can be noticed in some breeds when they suffer from dog food allergies
  • Secondary urinary tract infections also include themselves in the signs
  • Sudden weight loss in dogs when they suffer from food allergies

Dog behavioral changes due to food allergies

Behavioral changes are rare to notice in dogs which can be due to some irritation in the body.

  • Scratching his body on walls or with the owner’s leg
  • Restlessness due to the itching and irritation
  • Shaking ears or maybe continuous ear scratching
  • Biting the paws and tail
  • Loss of appetite in some dogs
  • No interest in playing
  • Sadness and stress can also be noticed when your pup is going through dog food allergies.

What are the long-term effects of dog food allergies?

 Furthermore, answering “can dog food cause allergies” also covers the effects of reactions. Know that if your dog food allergy remains untreated for a long time, it may cause serious health hazards.

Secondary skin infections along with some more allergies may take place in the body of your dog. The signs of a dog food allergy may become worse and hence becomes the cause of immoral life.

It is crucial to mention that dogs never die because of allergies, but they may get a lousy quality of life full of itching and irritation. Your dog may start itching like thousands of mosquitoes are biting him; isn’t it painful?

None of us likes a dull and stressed dog who is always busy scratching himself with furniture and wall. Therefore, it is highly recommended to consult the vet and provide proper medication to your dog to protect the quality of his life.

Diagnosis method for dog food allergies

Once you know the symptoms and the allergens of dog food allergies, the next concern is diagnosis. How will you judge that your dog is allergic to some specific food? To guide you straightforwardly, I am here with some easy methods to diagnose dog food allergies.

After noticing the dog food allergy symptoms, going for the blood test of your pup is a good approach. In this way, you can confirm whether it is an environmental allergy or some food allergy.

Notice the following signs in your dog to determine from which food your pup is having reactions.

  • If your dog is showing some allergic reactions at a young age, note what he is eating. Know that young dogs never interacted with environmental allergies.
  • Is symptoms are not like the seasonal change, it can be a food allergy
  • The reaction which is not a response of steroid
  • Skin and gastrointestinal symptoms at the same time reflect the presence of dog food allergies.

Diagnosing the type along with the allergens is going to pay off in the treatment section. If you are good at determining the issue, you can efficiently treat severe allergic reactions in dogs.

Treatment of dog food allergy

The treatment of dog food allergy works on the following principle, identify the foods which act as the allergen for your pup and avoid bringing it home.

In simple words, eliminating the harmful items from your dog’s meals is the best treatment of allergies. But, in case if you fail to determine the food allergens, follow some treatment methods.

Antihistamines along with Other Medications

Antihistamines such as Benadryl can reduce the sensation of itching within your dog. This treatment is much safe for your dog, and you can easily follow it at home without the help of a third person.

  • Additionally, using anti-allergic shampoos or lotions may also help your dog to get rid of allergic reactions.
  • Antibiotics
  • Antifungals also show their importance in the treatment of dog food allergies.
  • Similarly, anti-inflammatory medication such as steroids can also give calm effects to your darling pup.

Homemade Dog Food

Moving ahead in knowing the treatment of dog food allergies, the next one is homemade dog food. The experienced vet highly recommends cooking fresh food such as Rice and some other foods at home to keep your pup safe from allergies.

In this way, you can control the quantity of the food items and can make additive-free food. Homemade dog contains fresh and organic stuff, which makes it healthy for all dog breeds.

Even when your dog got interacted with food allergies, you can give him home-cooked food. Add the sources of minerals and essential nutrients to provide him with enough strength. Show care to your dog and cook tasty and healthy food for him.

Vegan Dog Food Diets

Furthermore, most dog owners and vets are in favor of serving the dogs vegan food. A vegan diet is the best thing that you can offer a dog.

A vegan diet never causes food allergies and even provides strength to your dog. Rather than selecting some oily type of protein for your dog, choose vegan food for him.

When your dog is allergic to meat or chicken, a vegan diet is the best replacement. Mentioning, don’t go with the canned or processed vegan meals because they again may affect your pup’s health.

Organic vegan food can complete all diet portions of the dogs and also protect them from allergens.

Bring a novel protein diet.

A novel protein diet is an uncommon source of protein along with some portion of carbohydrate. Minerals, vitamins, and as well as essential nutrients can also be found in these novel proteins.

In this way, they can be used as a complete dog meal to keep healthy and active. Consult the vet and let him help you to select an adequate diet that is trusted enough to contain healthy ingredients.

Moreover, some of the veterinary diets are highly recommended as compared to store-bought meals.

Hydrolyzed protein for dogs

These are the proteins that are processed and broken in a way to change their overall effect. In this way, the immune system never understands the triggers or the type of ingredient.

Replacing the chicken with hydrolyzed protein can be the best option. The vet recommends following some food trial steps to make sure that you are selecting the proper diet for your dog.

To wrap it up

Treating dog food allergies demand a complete knowledge relation to allergic reactions. Most dog owners keep exploring the internet to know “can dog foods cause allergies”. Therefore, we took this responsibility to guide our readers in all possible ways.

The overall blog is covering information about food allergens along with the signs of food allergies. According to us, knowing about the symptoms and the causes of allergy in a dog can be a practical approach to offer him the proper medication.