Food allergies can express themselves through a lot of different annoying (or worse) symptoms, like itchy skin, rashes, hives, and even ear infections. It can be concerning and frustrating when your pup is having a reaction and you just don’t know what’s causing it.
Discovering and understanding your dog’s sensitivity to certain foods can go a long way in keeping your dog safe and healthy. And when so many of the dog food options out there are filled with additives and preservatives, filler ingredients, and questionable protein sources, making your own dog food (with the guidance of your vet) is a great way to narrow down ingredients and determine the culprit.
In this article we’ll be discussing the process you’ll go through when working with your vet to diagnose food allergies. We’ll also be explaining how to prepare your own homemade, top-notch hypoallergenic dog food. Let’s get started!
Understanding Our Dog’s Food Allergy
To understand your dog’s food allergy, the first step is to figure out which specific foods are causing an allergic reaction in your dog. It is important that you work with your vet to determine and diagnose any food allergies. They can also help you to rule out other potential environmental causes, too.
There are hypoallergenic dog foods available in the market today, but making your own homemade dog food puts you in total control of your dog’s diet and everything that’s going into their food. This way you can really effectively observe their reactions to different ingredients and learn what is causing the allergy.
Some common allergic reactions to dog food include:
- Itchy skin
- Chronic ear infections
- Hair loss
- Saliva staining
(As a side note, even if your dog’s allergies prove to be environmental rather than dietary, providing a nutritious all-natural diet will still be helpful in improving their health and minimizing their symptoms.)
Dog Food Elimination Trial
Once you’ve taken your dog to the vet to diagnose possible food allergies, they will have to undergo an “elimination trial.” This will involve following a special, closely monitored diet that you will feed your dog for a limited period of time, usually no longer than 12 weeks.
You’ll simplify what you’re feeding your dog, limiting ingredients and closely watching how your dog reacts to their diet. This simplified diet should alleviate the allergic response that your dog was having. From here, the purpose of this elimination trial is to slowly, gradually introduce more and more ingredients, observing your dog carefully as you go to discover what’s causing the reaction.
You might be surprised to hear that food allergies aren’t always caused by a new food source. It’s also possible that your dog has started to develop an allergic reaction to a food they’ve been eating for months or even years. Dogs are most often allergic to high-protein foods such as beef, pork and chicken. Wheat, dairy and soy can be problematic as well.
For this elimination trial to be effective, you have to feed your dog only the hypoallergenic meals. That means no treats and no table scraps! And be sure that your trash can is well secured, so your dog has no opportunities to get into anything they’re not supposed to.
Our Hypoallergenic Dog Food Recipe
Once you’ve confirmed that your dog has a food allergy, you can try our hypoallergenic recipe. This recipe will be avoiding all of the most common allergens for dogs, such as beef, pork, wheat, and soy.
We’ll begin by collecting and preparing the following ingredients:
1-2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cooked through until the potatoes become soft
2-3½ cups of our Bully Max Total Health Powder for a healthy protein source
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 cups of assorted vegetables (such as carrots, spinach, pumpkin, etc.)
1 cup of Plain yogurt
¾ tsp per cup of food of powdered eggshell
Once your sweet potatoes have cooled down to room temperature you’ll want to either mash em’ up, or chop them into small, bite-sized pieces. You’ll do the same with your veggies. Dogs aren’t always the most thorough chewers, so it’s important that you really chop everything up into pieces that they can digest and assimilate. You could put your homemade dog food through a food processor, but it isn’t necessary. Avoid all seasonings, including salt and sugar.
Preparing homemade meals for your pup is a healthy and loving thing to do. The only limitation is that homemade dog food almost never contains the full spectrum of different nutrients that are so necessary for your dog’s health and longevity. This is why our Bully Max Total Health Powder is so perfect to include in hypoallergenic recipes. It’s free of all of the more common allergens, packed full of healthy protein, and it also contains all of the essential nutrients for dogs, including omega 3 fish oils and calcium.
To learn more about which vegetables are safe and acceptable to use, check out our article, What Fruits and Vegetables Can Dogs Eat?
Serve Up Your Hypoallergenic Dog Food
After preparing your potatoes and veggies, simply collect all of your ingredients, mix them up in a large serving bowl, and voila! Your leftovers will keep for 7 or 8 days as long as they’re kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It’s advisable that you avoid heating your dog’s food in the microwave. You can simply leave out the portion of food you plan to serve your dog for 20 or 30 minutes before dinner time to let it warm up a bit. You can also add some hot water to their meal. Just be sure it’s not too hot!
Supplement With Bully Max 30/20 High Performance Dog Food
Thank you for trying our recipe. We hope your furry best friend loves it! Remember that it’s important to work with your veterinarian when diagnosing allergies and reintroducing foods after your elimination trial.
And if you haven’t already, you’ll want to take a look at our Bully Max 30/20 High Performance Dog Food. It’s an all-natural, top-rated dog food that offers full label disclosure. It’s also free of corn, wheat, and soy, so you might benefit from making the switch if your current brand of dog food is causing problems for your dog. It’s also great when used to supplement homemade meals with added nutrition.