Does your dog constantly itch, lick or scratch? Is their fur thin or their skin dry? Do they constantly lick their irritated patches whenever they get the chance?
The problem could lie in what you feed your pup on a daily basis. Food allergies are responsible for numerous health problems in dogs including rashes, excessive scratching, and hair loss.
A homemade allergy dog food diet allows you to control what ingredients go into your pet’s food.
Homemade food makes it easier to weed out ingredients that may cause an allergic reaction for your dog.
Remember to always consult with a vet before changing your dog’s diet to make sure they are getting a well-balanced diet.
What are the symptoms of food allergies?
- Signs of food allergies can range from:
- Chronic ear infections
- Licking their feet
- Red and inflamed skin
- Sneezing or sniffing,
- An itchy bum
- Digestive issues
The above symptoms are most commonly linked back to allergies of dairy, wheat, egg, soy, and beef.
Why are Certain Dogs Allergic to Foods?
While allergies are caused by multiple factors, the environment and genetic predisposition are the two main culprits.
If your pup was treated with antibiotics when they were young, they are more prone to developing food allergies later in life because of how antibiotics effect the gut.
They can also be born with allergies if they come from a long line of dogs with allergies.
How Do You Diagnose Allergies in a Dog?
If your dog is experiencing a symptom you feel could be allergies, take them to the vet to double check.
Sometimes, food isn’t the issue and your pup may be experiencing allergies from flea bites or things like hay fever.
If the vet suspects your dog’s allergies may be related to their diet, they may offer medical tests or an elimination diet to determine what could be causing your dog’s allergies.
Elimination diets usually consist of feeding your dog a two-ingredient meal (normally chicken and rice) for a period of time to see if your pup’s symptoms go away.
If they do, other ingredients are added to their diet until the allergies return, determining the problem. It is then important to feed allergy dog food that contains only items your dog can manage.
How Do You Know How Much to Feed Your Dog?
Your dog’s diet should consist of about 50% protein, about 25% starches and about 25% vegetables. It should also contain sources of fat and calcium.
When switching to a homemade allergy dog food, it can be hard to determine how much food your dog needs. It is much different than just feeding dry kibble.
To help, we found this formula to determine how much homemade dog food to feed your dog.
Weight of your dog x 16 oz = _______
Take that number and x by .02 to find out the minimum daily amount or x by .03 to find the maximum daily amount.
For example: If your dog’s weight was 11lbs the formula would look like this
11 x 16 oz = 176
176 x .02 = 3.52 oz min daily
176 x .03 = 5.28 oz max daily
To get you started making allergy dog food, we put together three go-to recipes for dogs with allergies. All of these recipes avoid common allergy foods such as dairy, wheat, egg, soy, and beef.
Easy Ground Turkey with Vegetables and Rice
While many of us have heard you’re not supposed to feed your pup leftover turkey from thanksgiving, serving your dog unseasoned, ground turkey can be a great source of lean protein. This recipe uses lean protein, rice and healthy fats to create a meal that is easily digestible for your pup.
- 1/2 cup carrots
- 1/4 cup broccoli
- 1/4 cup cauliflower
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 6 cups water
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 capsule fish oil
- 1/2 cup rice
Cut carrots, cauliflower and broccoli.
Add six cups of water and coconut oil to ground turkey in a large pot and boil until cooked.
Add vegetables and fish oil to pot and continue cooking until vegetables are tender, drain after.
Cook the rice in a separate pot and combine it with turkey and veggie mixture.
Let cool and serve! (can be frozen in separate portions for later)
Pork and Veggie Meatballs
There are few things more difficult than getting a dog with allergies to eat when they’re a picky eater. This recipe is irresistible to even the pickiest of pups and contains Omega-3s and calcium rich foods
- 3/4 cup vegetable blend of broccoli, carrots, sweet potato and zucchini
- 1 lb. pork
- 1 tsp. ground flaxseeg
- 1.5 cup quick oats
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- 1 tsp. fish oil
Preheat oven to 350F.
Combine pork, flax seed, oats, yogurt, coconut oil, and fish oil in large bowl. Mix well.
Form into 1 oz meatballs and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool before serving.
Pork and Vegetable Stew for Dogs
This recipe is easily customizable, wheat and dairy free (and smells delicious!)
- 1 sweet potato
- 1/2 cup green beans chopped
- 1/2 carrot chopped
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- 1 lb. pork cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/4 cup almond meal
Microwave sweet potato until cooked and dice.
Chop green beans and carrot.
Melt coconut oil in sauté pan and sauté pork and set aside.
Gradually add almond meal and water in pan to create a roux.
Add vegetables and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat. Stir pork back in and add fish oil.
Let cool and serve! (Can be frozen in individual portions for later)
Making your own allergy dog food can be daunting at first, but we promise both you and your dog will enjoy the wholesome meal.