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Published: Nov 22, 2011

Dogs can develop allergies to pollens in the air, certain scents or soaps and even by different types of foods. In fact, VCA Animal Hospitals reports that food allergies are one of the five most common allergy types known to affect dogs.

According to VCA, clinical signs that a dog may be allergic to a certain food include itching and skin break-outs, or digestive disturbances such as vomiting or diarrhea. Other subtle changes that can occur over time include hyperactivity, weight loss or aggression in some cases.

The most common food allergies in dogs are from proteins found in the following products—dairy, beef, chicken, wheat, eggs, corn and soy—however, food allergies can develop to any protein or carbohydrate in a pets food.

If a dog is itchy, exhibiting digestive signs, or if an owner suspects something in their dog’s food is making it sick, they should bring the animal to a veterinarian health clinic right away. The vet may recommended putting the dog on an 8 to 12-week food trial during which time a dog will be fed exclusively a special commercial or home-cooked hypoallergenic diet. This elimination process can help vets determine if the dog reacts better when off certain foods that are commonly found in commercial dog foods. The elimination process can be challenging but is the gold standard to help identify a true food allergy.