The 8 Most Common Food Allergens in Dogs

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. September 5, 2017
The 8 Most Common Food Allergens in Dogs

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It's easy for dog owners to become a little complacent when it comes to feeding our dogs and particularly what we feed them. Some dogs don't have any food allergies and can ingest feed formulated with different ingredients, while other dogs can suffer food hypersensitivity and are affected by different types of food.

When the dog presents dermatological signs, you must consider they may have a food allergy, in which you must rule out foods to avoid. Discover on AnimalWised the 8 most common dog food allergens.

You may also be interested in: Food Intolerance in Dogs - Symptoms and Diet

Food allergy in dogs

There are many foods that can cause allergy in our best friend, but now we are going to show you the 8 most common food allergens in dogs:

  1. Veal
  2. Chicken
  3. Dairy products
  4. Fish
  5. Pork
  6. Wheat
  7. Corn
  8. Soy

Since the clinical symptoms are similar to those caused by other diseases, a correct differential diagnosis must be made with:

  • Endocrine diseases such as hypothyroidism
  • Parasitic diseases such as sarcoptic mange or demodecan mange
  • Other allergic diseases such as the reaction to environmental allergens (atopic dermatitis) or flea bite
  • Fungal infections (dermatophytes)

Contributing factors

Some of the factors that contribute to food allergy are poor digestion, that is, the longer the food passes through the intestine, the more exposed they are to immunoglobulins E (antibodies produced by immune system) and the likelihood of triggering the anaphylactic response. However, increased permeability of the intestine may also contribute. If the dog is parasitized, the wall permeability is increased thereby increasing the absorption of allergenic proteins.

The 8 Most Common Food Allergens in Dogs - Food allergy in dogs

How to figure out what your dog is allergic to

The main sign of a food allergy is of a dermatological nature: non-seasonal pruritus, i.e., the dog is itchy at anytime of the year. Secondarily to this itch, pyoderma form (skin infections). There are also other signs, though less frequent, such as diarrhea, vomiting, etc.

Food allergy may be accompanied by other allergies such as those discussed in differential diagnoses.


There are several ways how to figure out what your dog is allergic to, including the dog elimination diet. For a minimum of two months, the dog should be fed a diet of this nature.

These diets are made with exotic proteins to which the dog has not been exposed (deer, horse, rabbit, etc.) and carbohydrates such as potato or rice, or highly hydrolyzed proteins (due to their small size the immune system does not detect them and does not trigger the immune response). You can prepare a homemade diet, but always under supervision of our veterinarian so that they do not lack nutrients.

After this period, a provocation test is performed. That is to say the dog is fed with the diet that we believe originated the symptoms and the evolution is observed. If after this provocation, the dog begins to present pruritus, we will perform the dog elimination diet again and confirm the diagnosis.

Dog food allergy treatment

The treatment to follow is to feed the dog with protein and / or carbohydrates that do not generate allergy. To do this, our veterinarian can tell us a homemade dog food allergy specifically formulated, but we can also opt for hypoallergenic dog food, also supervised by the specialist.

The 8 Most Common Food Allergens in Dogs - How to figure out what your dog is allergic to

If you want to read similar articles to The 8 Most Common Food Allergens in Dogs, we recommend you visit our Diet problems category.

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