Food aller­gies are com­mon in dogs, and we rec­om­mend that you avoid foods that con­tain ingre­di­ents such as corn (any form), wheat, brew­ers yeast, any form of by-prod­ucts and arti­fi­cial flavours and colour­ings (even if it’s called “nat­ur­al” flavour – there is no reg­u­la­tion of the word nat­ur­al in pet food). These grains are the most com­mon aller­gens and in any case, are not a good nutri­tion­al basis for dogs as they are not well designed to digest grains.

Some­times dogs can be aller­gic to par­tic­u­lar meat pro­teins though. Turkey and beef are com­mon cul­prits, though dogs can also be aller­gic to chick­en, lamb, fish – in fact just about any­thing. Some man­u­fac­tur­ers do pro­duce foods made with few­er and less com­mon meat pro­tein sources and with­out grains that can be very use­ful for aller­gic dogs. Exam­ples include duck and pota­to, veni­son, bison, or fish and pota­to formulas.

If you sus­pect your dog has aller­gies, then choos­ing a food with a low num­ber of grains and only one or two dif­fer­ent meat pro­tein sources is a good start (eg. a food with chick­en and lamb, rather than chick­en, turkey, lamb and fish). Com­mon signs of food aller­gies are red itchy skin, ears or feet, per­sis­tent ear infec­tions, diar­rhea and throw­ing up, and raised bumps on the skin.