Feeding a Dog With Food Allergies

September 18, 2008

Mixed terrier with patchy fur.My dog Dazee has problems with allergies that cause her to chew, lose hair, and get sick. After treating her with cortisone shots, not only was it becoming expensive to visit the vet, she refused to eat the expensive foods we bought. Then this past January, she was in really bad shape. I had recently started eating yogurt a lot and it was helping me with my digestive system. I thought, well, I will try yogurt on her food.


She not only loved it and refuses to eat her food without it, but within a week she started chewing less and growing her hair back. She started getting her energy back as well. Within a month, all her hair had grown back, she gained weight, and she was as spunky as when she was a puppy. So if any of you are at your wits end with trying to help your dog with the allergies or digestive problems, give yogurt a try. I use organic, plain yogurt. It's a lot cheaper than trips to the vet. Here is a picture of what she looked like when we first started the yogurt treatment. It broke my heart when I couldn't help her. Thank God for yogurt!

By Heather from Clinton, WA


By dave h (Guest Post)
September 17, 20081 found this helpful
Top Comment

Hi, my dog had a similar problem. I gave her some cortisol tablets, stopped her old food. Now she has a hypoallergenic food, James well-beloved, not sure if you can get in the U.S, as I live in the U.K, but I'm sure you can find similar, now I give her a few cortisol tablets in the summer and she's completely fine.


Not sure about yogurt as my vet said she could be allergic to dairy, certain proteins, and flour. Hope that helps.

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November 13, 2014

If you are looking for a good quality grain free dog food, Taste of the Wild is a respected and trustworthy brand. Sometimes the best deals can be found online. This is a great deal for a 30lb bag of high quality dog food.


16 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

July 13, 2010

What is a safe alternative to dry special diet foods like Science Diet, if your puppy (now 6 months old) seems to be having allergies to it? He seems to be always chewing at his under belly and inner thighs. Thanks. This is my first small breed puppy and we want him to live a long and healthy life with us. Our grandsons love him to pieces.

By Sue 1 from Van, BC


July 13, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

For tens of thousands of years, dogs ate the same foods their owners ate. Dry dog food wasn't invented until 1860 (just 140 years ago), but through clever marketing, many people now believe you should only feed your dogs commercial dog food. A lot of the dog foods marketed today contain many ingredients that can cause allergic reactions in dogs, and the foods that are hypoallergenic are very expensive. Here is a site you can go to to get recipes for making your own pet food, as well as a list of foods to avoid:


July 14, 20102 found this helpful
Best Answer

My dog used to scratch and chew herself raw. This is what helps. Throw chicken in a pot boil it up. When cooked, pull the meat off the bones chop it up and add 2 cups of brown rice. If you want you can throw in some cooked peas or carrots (both). Theres nothing wrong with feeding your dog "people" food, they think they're people, don'they.

November 19, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Natural Balance is one of the best dog foods on the market, way better than science diet. And most of their selection is Limited Ingredient Formulated. I use to work at a pet store and switched tons of people to this food who were buying prescription diet foods and it was not only cheaper for them but their dogs did better on it then the prescription brand.


**A secret to saving a buck too is go to a pet supplies plus or a tractor supplies plus they sell this brand for pretty cheap take a photo of the price sign then go to a Petco. They will not only price match it for the cheaper price but if you buy 10 bags in 12 months they mail you a coupon for a free bag.

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April 4, 2016

My Parson Russell started "chewing and licking her feet" so I took her to the vet. We did the allergy test and she is allergic to beef, salmon, corn, oats, and duck.

+/- to: venison, milk, soybean, lamb, and kelp. Now what? All hypoallergenic dog foods have oats instead of wheat. What dry food can I buy for her? She just turned 7.


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April 6, 20162 found this helpful
Best Answer

I see from your 1 post that you are not a regular on this site. So a search of this site. there are tons of recipes and ideas for allergic dogs. You really shoould talk to your Vet to see if there is a food he could eat.


Otherwise, cooking for him may work well. I cooked for my cairn terrier for 17 years, once a week. Once I started he never had another problem. But search the site, my recipe is still there.

April 6, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

You'll need a grain-free, soy free food with chicken, or possibly a chicken and rice food with no other grains.

Look carefully at the ingredients on these foods:

And check all canidae dry products for dogs.

Also check:

And other Wellness dog foods. If these don't work, look at Blue, Taste of The Wild, Natural Balance, etc.

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April 22, 2012

My 6 year old lab Pepper is suffering from loss of appetite and terrible patches of oozing, bloody skin. I have had her to the vet 5 times. He wants 1800 dollars to allergy test Pepper. I love her very, very much, but I truly do not have that kind of money.

We changed her food from Iams to Blue Buffalo about a year ago. She is currently on the duck and potato recipe. The spots come and go, but her lack of appetite and lethargic behavior just started. Any suggestions from anyone?


By Mary S.


April 23, 20121 found this helpful
Best Answer

Dod food, like most prepared human food, is full of additives. Have you tried a more natural diet of raw meat? The allergy could also be something besides food; something that comes in contact with her skin.


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April 24, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

What a tough problem. I had a dog with skin allergies that chewed himself raw. I kept changing diets until I began to cook for him. Every time I changed diets he would improve for 6 months and then begin chewing himself again. So I would change the diet again.

Just as I was thinking I would have to go to the exotic meat store because I had used everything available at the local supermarket, I tried canned salmon (bones skin and all) and brown rice. The chewing stopped and never began again. He lived to be 17 years old on that diet.

I cooked it every week for him. It is hard to tell if your dogs skin condition is from the diet, but it sounds like it may be. If I were you I would be thinking hard about another vet. It is much easier and cheaper to try different diets than to spend $1800 allergy testing. I would be looking for a 2nd opinion. Best of luck to you and Pepper.

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September 2, 2011

My English Mastiff has food allergies. What besides lamb and rice dog food can I feed him?

By Amanda E. from Irwin, PA


September 4, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I don't give my dog anything with corn as an ingredient. I use Blue Buffalo dry food. Seemed to help.


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September 9, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

My allergic cairn terrier ate cooked brown rice with canned salmon (skin bones and all) until he was 17 years old. He was allergic to nearly everything else.

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August 20, 2017

I need a dog food that does not have the following items in it as my dog is extremely allergic: corn, peas, oats, lamb, salmon, or rice. I also need one that's not $100.


August 22, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

Myself I use blue wilderness but it has peas in it but not the other things you dog is allergic too. You can get it at petsmart as well as petco. It is one of the more expensive dog foods but worth the money. Why not do a search on dog food sites and look at the different dog foods both dry and canned and pay particular attention to the ingredients. You could also prepare you own dog food this way you know what's in it and no chemical or preservatives and get doggie vitamins and put them in the food. I think you can even get raw food for them as well and give it to them that way. That is expensive so if you would do that route get the meat yourself human grade then you know what you are getting from regular stores on sale.

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February 8, 2016

My Shih Tzu is over 10 years old and has always been bright and full of life. Lately she is having some skin issues - hot and red on her belly and back legs. She licks and is now not feeling very well. I did change her food, but to no avail. I know she is allergic to gluten, but I also went no yeast as well. I really want to make my own food for her, but would like some guidance please. If anyone can help, please let me know!


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February 9, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

Your dog clearly needs veterinary help now as she is suffering from skin and, perhaps, other problems as well. Her problem may or may not be related to food allergies, etc., but she needs help now!

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February 10, 2013

My dog is allergic to beef, lamb, and diary products. Can I feed her chicken and rice, as low allergic dog food is so expensive?

By Cinita


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February 15, 20130 found this helpful
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I am not sure that chicken and rice alone would meet all of his nutritional requirements. Please talk to your vet about the possibility of supplements.

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October 24, 2015

Help please, I'm in a state. My dog is allergic to lots of things and is nearly chewing her poor feet off. I have an English Bull Terrier who is a rescue dog so we don't know her history at all. Her feet and her underside are red and now her ears are going red and feel warm to the touch. I am feeding her rice and tinned dog food, but I know tinned dog food is bad. Now I have read what people have written so I have stopped the tinned junk. Anyway can anyone out there who has a Bullie please get in touch and let me know what to do and what to feed her?

Is it OK to carry on with the rice? I don't know were to start. I am a carer for my dad 7 days a week so I struggle with my money. I also have a rescue Staffy, he is 9. He was my next door neighbor's, but the old man died so I have him cause no one would have the poor little thing. Please take the time to answer me cause I need some genuine advice.

Staffie and Bull Terrier


July 10, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

A bit late probably for your question but better late then never. I have a Bull Terrier who is very sensitive to wheat and any kind of sweet or sugar nutrients. I had him on Blue Buffalo Salmon and brown rice (red bag) mixed about 50/50 with the freeze dried SOJOS wet food. He went from bloody paws to completely clear in about a week. I also find out mine is allergic to grass. He's a very strange dog but my best friend.

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September 19, 2017

Can I give my dog rice and pasta if she is allergic to grains? We have also been told not to give her chicken and beef. She is a Border Collie x Staffy.

Feeding a Dog That Is Allergic to Grains - black and white dog on bed


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September 19, 20170 found this helpful

You are better off working with your vet. Your dog may need a prescription diet, which is better than store-bought, because there may be traces of allergy-causing foods in store-bought food that won't be in the prescription food.


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September 19, 20170 found this helpful

Apparently you have been working with your vet to find out about problems your dog is having but it seems the vet would have recommended a dog food or given a prescription that would eliminate those ingredients. It will be difficult to eliminate all traces of these ingredients even with a prescribed food.

  • Many times there can be a problem with food intolerance that may appear to be an allergy.
  • A food allergy occurs when a dogs immune system mistakenly identifies a particular food ingredient as harmful. And then creates defensive antibodies to fight the invading enemy (the food).
  • The symptoms of an allergy can include skin rash, hives, itching, paw biting, obsessive licking and sometimes nausea or vomiting.
  • A food intolerance is a digestive problem rather than an immune response. An intolerance occurs when a dogs digestive system is unable to digest a specific ingredient.
  • The signs of food intolerance include (mainly) digestive distress, gas, bloating, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Here is a link that explains more about this.

Here is a link to a site that has a lot of information and you can ask a question about dog food (free info from a vet) and perhaps they have something that you could use.


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September 19, 20171 found this helpful

Do not feed him rice it is a grain. You can buy dog food that is grain free.


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September 21, 20171 found this helpful

I'd be careful with that. Try a grain free dog food. Here are some good ones:

Natures Variety Instinct Raw Boost
Horizon Legacy Salmon Dry Dog Food
Acana Regionals Grasslands Dry Dog Food

They are available online, as well.

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August 31, 2019

My dog can't have beef, milk, kelp, white potatoes, or brewer's yeast. He is also sensitive to salmon, bison, chicken, peas, lamb, turkey, and eggs. I had him on kangaroo for awhile on advice from the vet, but he doesn't care for it and it's 75.00 a bag.

I have two other dogs so I need them all to be on the same thing. Suggestions would be great. He is all red and itchy and yes he is also sensitive to some outdoor things I can't control.

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February 4, 2014

My Belgian Shepherd, Busta, has been suffering with major skin allergies for too long. He was diagnosed with epilepsy last year. The vet believes that the skin issues and seizures are linked, as when his rash has flared up his seizures get worse. At long last and many vets, specialists, and arguments ago I finally got an amazing skin specialist who is now doing many tests and so forth. She has requested we try a hypoallergenic food which is great, but the food she wants us to try is way too expensive so we are looking at alternatives. Any ideas would be great.

I'm also looking for homemade recipes, but here is where it becomes awkward because overall the food he has tried is canned and only has meats like venison, ostrich, and other rare ones, and an unusual carb and limited vegetables. Any help, advice, or websites would be fantastic. Thank you in advance just for taking the time to read this.

By Sara Benson Was B.


February 5, 20140 found this helpful

My dog has skin allergies. The very best thing I found was Immunitol. I also have a dog with a granuloma on his paw, it cleared that up too. It costs quite a bit. I can't afford it now since I lost my job. It really works!


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February 5, 20140 found this helpful

I had a tough time finding a diet for my allergic Cairn Terrier. I finally ended up cooking for him. I cooked brown rice, added a can of pink salmon (bones, skin, oil and all) I added a vitamin mix. He never had a problem after that. He had chewed himself practically hairless before I found the right combination. Strangely, the food he was most allergic to was broccoli. He lived to be 17 1/2 with no problems on that diet.

October 14, 20150 found this helpful

I make my dog food with boiled hamburger, white rice (I use minute rice) frozen vegetables no corn dogs get allergies from corn and so I boil hamburger when it is done I go ahead and add my rice & vegetables cook until vegetables are done let it cool put in containers, and freeze sometimes I mix it up I use chicken and sometimes mix with both meats but if your dog is used to the different meats you can do anything you want just as long as you handle their food as you would your own (safe), so as soon as food is cooled put away. Good luck your dog will love this.

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November 5, 2015

My puppy is allergic to eggs, soy, and grain. Are there any foods you know of without these ingredients?

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February 19, 2017

Unfortunately many dogs develop allergies to commercial dog foods. Low ingredient foods sometimes help, but if not, pet owners often try to provide homemade food. This is a page about recipes for a dog with allergies.

A dog eating food.


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

July 13, 2010

I have a 6 month old Shih Tzu. He is very itchy. I have tried giving him 1/2 a benadryl 2 times a day, but it doesn't work. My vet said it could be a possible food allergy.

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