Like humans, dogs also suffer from food allergies, which can evolve from slight irritation to a fatal symptom. Owners must be aware that dogs can be sensitive to some ingredients. In most cases, hypoallergenic dog foods are the best solution to keep your pet well-fed and happy without the worry of triggering their allergies.
But does your dog really need it?
Some factors need to be disclosed before deciding to switch your best friend’s meals. We will discuss what hypoallergenic dog foods are, what they are composed of, whether your dog needs them, and some best food brands available in the market.
Understanding Dog Allergies
Dogs of different breeds can have allergies to ingredients that are usually found in common-brand dog foods. Ranging from meat to grains, most allergic triggers come from the protein source. Common meat allergies include chicken, pork, and beef, while corn and wheat ingredients are common allergy triggers.
Common allergic reactions for dogs include vomiting, excessive itching, gassiness, and skin rashes. If left unsupervised, these reactions could further down to infections and may lead up to a life-threatening disease.
While removing those ingredients is the usual solution for our pets, a potential risk is we would be letting our pets miss out on their nutritional needs. Fortunately, dog food manufacturers have been creative over the years, finding new ways to cater to our food-sensitive friends. This is where hypoallergenic dog food comes in.
Hypoallergenic Dog Food
Hypoallergenic dog foods are alternative meals that do not consist of common dog food ingredients like grain, dairy, and meat. Some may exclude artificial ingredients, soya, and chemical preservatives.
Hypoallergenic dog foods also offer grain-free diets available. And while grain allergies are not that common for dogs, it is readily available in most pet shops if your dog is experiencing grain allergies. Some manufacturers took a step further and added what is known as “novel ingredients.
Novel ingredients are dog food products you may not see in everyday pet stores. Novel ingredients typically use substitutes that may seem unusual to your pet. Ingredients include duck, kangaroo as protein, or sweet potatoes as a novel carbohydrate. Novel dog foods are useful for extreme cases wherein your pet is only limited to ingredients that won’t trigger an allergy.
Best Hypoallergenic Dog Foods
Different dog foods cater to different dog breeds, and here are some of the best hypoallergenic dog foods that would go well with your pet.
1. NomNomNow’s Customizable Food
NomNomNow supplies pets with pre-portioned dog meals that cater to their sensitive and specific nutritional needs. Owners need to fill up a survey about their dog’s breed, goal plan, and allergies before purchasing the dog food. The company will send out specialized meals that are allergy-free and meet all their nutritional requirements through a wide selection of fresh turkey, beef, pork, and chicken.
Since this company offers restaurant-grade meals, you would less likely find any artificial and chemical preservatives usually found on commercial dog foods. This is a tailor-fit choice for pets with sensitive stomachs.
NomNomNow has been garnering a good reputation and excellent feedback from different communities, mostly Dog Lovers Pup’s reviews.
2. Freshpet’s Select and Vital
FreshPet offers refrigerated dog meals prepared under FDA and USDA requirements. Meals come in rolls or pouches, which are then cooked without preservatives. Freshpet’s Select and Vital dog meals are specifically made for dogs with digestive issues and food allergies.
Suppose you are unsure about what foods to avoid or order for your pet. FreshPet has a product selector on their website that guides owners into picking the best meal using a series of questions about their dog’s weight goal, wants, and allergies, allowing pet owners to select the best meal for their furry companions. Proteins available include bison, lamb, turkey, whitefish, and even eggs and salmon. FreshPet creates its food without rendered meat or byproducts.
3. Purina Pro Plan Hydrolyzed (Veterinary Meal)
Purina Pro Plan’s hydrolyzed dog meals are considered veterinary meals. This means that you can only purchase them with a prescription. The hypoallergenic formula is a veterinarian diet that includes a soy-based protein and a single carbohydrate source.
Materials are then broken down into smaller parts for easier digestion for dogs with bowel issues.
4. Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Meals
Best for pets with beef and chicken allergies, Nutro’s meal formulation features novel ingredients like lamb and venison meat in exchange for the much common ingredients. Their fish-based formulas are also rich in nutritional ingredients that foster good digestive health without the threat of an allergic reaction. Additionally, their dietary formulation does not include artificial flavoring, color, or preservatives.
5. Taste of the Wild PREY (Trout Diet)
The PREY selection is Taste of the Wild’s line of diet formulas that feature limited ingredients. Taste of the Wild provides meals focused on mimicking former meals that ancestral dogs would hunt in the past. PREY is made with non-GMO ingredients, grain-free, and with less than four ingredients found in each pack.
Should owners try to limit their dog food’s ingredients, then this is the best choice since the PREY dog food packs take a limited ingredient diet in a literal sense.
Preventing Dog Food Allergies
If your dog does not have an allergy to their meals, sometimes it is best to have preventive methods to sustain their health. While dog allergies come from genetics, some allergies may come from environmental factors, pre-existing illnesses, or overexposure to an individual ingredient.
Rational feeding is one theory that could prevent dog allergies. The concept is swapping meals with different ingredients each time to avoid overexposure to a single diet. The catch is owners might consider getting novel ingredients in the long run, which is harder to purchase from pet stores.
Whether your dogs have food allergies or not, giving attention to what they eat impacts their overall health positively. Numerous factors need to be considered, but as long as you choose the best diet formulation, you can always feed your dogs full while meeting the essential nutrients that they need and avoiding allergy reactions.