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Dog Food Skin Allergies: How to Be Allergy Free With A Raw Diet

Updated on July 3, 2011

Tackle Dog Food Allergies Like Ray Lewis

Dog food allergies are the third most common cause of persistent dog itchiness, followed by its fellow rivals: the flea bite and the inhalant allergy. Dog food allergies can make it almost impossible for you and your four-legged friend to get any rest as they wreak havoc on the largest organ in the body, the skin. If itching and scratching or irritated, red ears have become a way of life for your furry family member, get ready to throw it into high-gear and combat those dog food allergies with the information provided in this article.

Spoiler Alert: You may be gaining an extra guest at the dinner table; be prepared to experience less than novice dining etiquette.

Put Dog Food Allergies in Check So Your Pup Can Stand Tall

Photo Credits: Maolaun
Photo Credits: Maolaun

How do I know if dog food allergies are the cause of my dog's discomfort?

The obvious first response to an itchy pet is to determine the cause of his discomfort. The chances are it is either caused by dry skin, fleas and/or a flea allergy, an environmental trigger, or dog food allergies.

Take a look at your dogs coat and skin to determine possible dryness; if this is suspected try adding a capful of olive oil to his food once daily. You may also use other oils to replenish the skins hydration such as fish oil or coconut oil. One of these oils tends to do the trick if dry skin is the issue.

It should be fairly easy to determine if the responsible allergen is fleas; although fleas can be difficult to spot if the infestation in minimal, if a closer look at your pet's skin reveals small black specks, known as "flea dirt", fleas are present and a plan of action is needed immediately.

If there is no trace of fleas on your pet and you haven't noticed a difference in itchiness with the change of seasons, start to suspect that dog food allergies are at the root of this battle and continue reading this article.

Cure Dog Food Allergies Naturally

Photo Credits: Maolaun
Photo Credits: Maolaun

The Proof is in the Puddin'

I am writing this article as a service to all of our beloved pets that are suffering from dog food allergies. I have personally seen two of my pets through this struggle and in the end they are amazing and living happy, itch-free lives.

My first run-in with food allergies was with my seven-year-old adopted cat, Gwen. When I found her at the shelter her body was littered with scabs but didn't think anything of it; this may be because I was gripped by her fantastically large paws and gorgeous facial markings.

Upon bringing Gwen home it became apparent that there was something systemically wrong. I noticed that she was constantly itching and losing patches of hair. Trying to find an answer for the cause of this, I brought her to my trusted veterinarian who determined that she was suffering from some sort of allergy. Due to her additional diagnosis of a heart murmur, she was not eligible to receive a steroid shot and was given an oral daily steroid instead; This had very minimal effect on the itching frenzy I would always find her in.

Next, the vet recommended that I switch her to a hypoallergenic diet. We tried brand after brand and variety after variety of commercial diets designed for pets with allergies without seeing any improvement. In the meantime, Gwen was constantly getting urinary tract infections and seemed to always be on a course of antibiotics. There were several times were her scabs became so large and infected that she had to be on antibiotics anyway. After about a year of this mess we decided to try something completely different; within two weeks her itching ceased and to this day has not suffered another UTI.

Before You Know it He'll Be Back to Enjoying the Finer Things in Life

Photo Credits: Maolaun
Photo Credits: Maolaun

Dog Food Allergies? Not For Long...

Compelling, isn't it? Here's what you do.

Now that we have determined that your dog is suffering from food allergies, its time to start him on a new, delicious and insurmountably beneficial diet. A homemade diet. This is where the extra table setting comes into play; you'll be preparing an extra plate for Mr. D-O-G. In doing so, you will be able to eliminate all of the unnatural preservatives, grains, and additives your dog is exposed to and have greater control of his intake. It will also be imperative that you eliminate all treats, rawhide, flavored chews, table scraps, etc. until you determine the root cause of his suffering.

If you are ready to take part in some trial and error in order to verify if your dog's discomfort is a response to dog food allergies, please continue reading.

You should begin by feeding your dog a single protein, limited variety of vegetables, and forgo grains altogether. Since we are trying to find a precise dog food allergy, this will enable you to verify which ingredients your pup can and cannot tolerate. It can take several weeks to see improvement in your dogs skin condition and level of discomfort decline. Do not be discouraged if your first trial is not successful; switch the protein and allow another 5-7 weeks. Eventually, your dog will be dancing the boogie without having to stop to itch.

What You Should Feed Your Dog

Please view the list below to see what ingredients are safe to be fed to your pup and get on track to eliminating those pesky dog food allergies. Although I will not go into detail here I personally suggest feeding your dog raw meat and vegetables. I know the raw meat part may sound scary, but the canine digestive tract is designed to handle the extra bacteria that can be found in raw meat; it is shorter and has a higher pH to fend off bacteria. Just like vegetables, the process of cooking meat kills many of the nutrients your dog is starving for and the majority of commercial diets do not provide. If you do not feel comfortable feeding raw meat, do cook it but avoid giving your dog cook fats such as chicken skin, this can cause gastrointestinal upset or even pancreatitis.

Please note that on average you should serve your dog 1 part veggies to 2 parts meat and bones. Never feed your dog cooked bones as they can splinter and cause severe and fatal complications; however, raw bones are safe to feed to healthy pets. Just like anything, there is always a risk that your dog could choke on a bone, but the benefits outweigh the risks.

Now, Get Started and Lose Them Dog Food Allergies

Meat is Much More Nutritious When Its Raw

Protein You Can Feed Your Dog

  • chicken
  • lamb
  • beef
  • turkey
  • venison
  • buffalo

Feed Raw Organic Vegetables

Photo Credits: Maolaun
Photo Credits: Maolaun

Veggies Must Be Ground Into Flea Size Pieces In Order to Be Fully Digestible

Photo Credits: Maolaun
Photo Credits: Maolaun

Vegetables You Can Feed Your Dog

  • ¬†asparagus
  • broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • cauliflower
  • celery
  • corn
  • dandelion leaves
  • kale
  • kohlrabi
  • okra
  • parsnips
  • peas (& pods)
  • pumpkin
  • rutabagas
  • sprouts
  • squash
  • sweet potatoes
  • turnips
  • zucchini


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    • maolaun profile image

      maolaun 7 years ago from Boston, MA

      Hi Tricandy. Thank you for reading and I love your profile; it looks like we're on the same page. : ) Its amazing how much I must have saved once I switched to the raw diet. Not only was it beneficial for allergies, my other cats diabetes subsided and he was taken off of insulin. More savings! Though money is not the issue, its nice when you can regulate your little pet family without the "help" of vets.

      Hella, the other day it came up in conversation with someone in passing that I feed my dogs raw veggies and meat and the guy looked at me like I was an alien. Why is it so surprising that a dog would eat food in its natural state? Thanks for following!

    • HELLA profile image

      HELLA 7 years ago from Boston

      Tricandy, I feel the same way. It's amazing that because it's not the norm it's frowned upon. The food is cheaper even though I buy organic and even if it does end up costing more, the price of food compared to the price of my dog's life is much more worth it I think!

    • Tricandy profile image

      Tricandy 7 years ago

      I've had a dog with allergies, very bad. I also found natural foods do wonders, but the vet bills before that were enormous. Good information.

    • HELLA profile image

      HELLA 7 years ago from Boston

      Isn't it amazing how healthy dogs can be when they are fed their natural diet? It's the norm to feed dogs kibble, as when I mentioned to my friends about the raw food diet their expression was, "Why would you do that?" My question to them is, "Why would you feed them processed junk with contents unknown"?

      This is a great hub and I hope others try this diet and reap its rewards. Your dog WILL live longer and be more vibrant.