Dogs, like humans, experience allergies. Environmental factors like pollen or changing seasons can play a part. Your dog could even be allergic to you. But that’s pretty rare. The most common allergy for dogs is found in their food bowl. Food allergies make up about 10 percent of dog allergy cases. Dogs can also have food intolerance issues. While allergies and intolerance are not the same things, both impact your dog’s health and well-being and can have unfortunate side effects like flatulence and excessive itching.
Beef, chicken and dairy are the most common sources of food intolerance or allergies for dogs and among the most common ingredients found in dog food — along with turkey and lamb.
Pets aren’t born with food allergies. Allergies can develop over time and repetition. Your dog may happily eat lamb for years and then start to manifest symptoms. Genetics can also play a role in dog allergies. Some breeds may be more prone to allergy development.
Rotating proteins and carbs can help reduce the likelihood of a dog developing a food allergy, but if your dog is already showing symptoms of a food intolerance, you’ll need to determine what protein is causing symptoms first.
While there are dog allergy skin and blood tests, the most cost effective way to determine what food is causing your dog issues is an elimination diet, which is sometimes called a restricted diet. This process takes longer, but can be done by the dog owner.