Homemade Dog Food Recipe for Skin Allergies (Vet-Approved)
Is home cooked food better for dogs with allergies?
It's that time of year when allergies cause humans to pull out the tissues and sneeze. Dogs start licking their paws and scratching at their belly, face and ears.
You may be wondering how processed food contribute to a dog's allergies? I'm going to draw from years of research related to the diseases in humans linked to ultra-processed diets. Such diets in humans have been linked to obesity, cancer and heart disease, and I would argue that inflammation contributed by diet is at the root.
There is the inflammatory state that being overweight creates. Over 50% of dogs and cats are considered obese. A majority of dogs and cats are eating ultra-processed diets.
One would have to ask if the obesity epidemic is related to eating ultra-processed food that packs a lot of calories cup for cup over fresh food, but encourages an inflammatory terrain in the body. Skin allergies are the number one area that pet owners spend their money on at the vet.
Again, I would argue that both obesity and skin allergies are a consequence of what pets are eating, more so than a true food allergy.
Simply changing from an ultra-processed kibble diet to homemade dog food will often alleviate allergies of any type, as they decrease the threshold of inflammation in the body.
Many are familiar with the Mediterranean eating style in humans is often recommended as an anti-inflammatory diet. The diet is rich in whole, minimally processed foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and healthy fats. It also includes moderate amounts of lean protein, such as fish and poultry, and limited amounts of red meat and processed foods.
I would argue that adopting a "Pet-iterranean-style diet", by feeding minimally processed foods with healthy Omega-3 fatty acids can improve their overall health and reduce the risk of chronic disease in pets as well. This can be especially beneficial for pets with skin allergies, as inflammation can often cause itching and discomfort. By incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods into their pet's diet, owners may be able to help manage their pet's allergy symptoms and improve their overall health and well-being.
What Causes Skin Allergies in Dogs and cats?
The skin is the largest interface with the environment. Pollen and other environmental allergens contact the skin and cause inflammation. Skin irritation in dogs may also arise from flea and tick bites. The least common cause of skin allergies is dog food.
What are the symptoms of food allergies?
Food allergies are the least common allergy but always worthy of consideration when your dog or cat is suffering from year round issues such as ear infections, scooting, and sometimes even frequent bowel movements or gastrointestinal upset.
How Do You Diagnose food allergies in a dog or cat?
Elimination food generally involves feeding a dog limited ingredient or hydrolyzed protein diet for several months to see if the allergic symptoms subside.
How do you diagnose environmental allergies in a dog or cat?
Pollen allergies can be diagnosed in pets by a veterinarian. The diagnosis process typically involves a thorough physical examination, including a review of the pet's medical history and symptoms. Skin tests or blood tests may also be performed to help identify specific allergens that are causing the reaction in the pet.
What about flea allergies in dogs and cats?
Flea allergies are a common condition in both dogs and cats and can cause significant discomfort for pets. When a flea bites a pet, it injects saliva into the skin, which can cause an allergic reaction. Pets with flea allergies typically are itchy around their tail base and "below the belt line."
Treatment options for flea allergies may include topical sprays such as Wondercide or BugMD's topical spray, and using FleaBusters powder in the environment. If these more natural interventions do not work, ask your veterinarian about the risks and benefits of topical and oral medications available. It's important to remember that environmental control measures are most important as fleas live predominantly in the environment and not on the pet.
What ingredients should be in dog food with allergies?
As a veterinarian, I often recommend a limited-ingredient diet for dogs with gastrointestinal issues and food allergies. These diets eliminate common allergens such as chicken, beef, dairy, and wheat, and instead contain a single or limited number of protein and carbohydrate sources. Novel proteins such as venison, rabbit, or duck are often used to reduce the likelihood of an allergic reaction. I'm not a fan of feeding hypoallergenic hydrolyzed protein diets in pets. They are helpful in helping diagnose skin allergies in some instances, but they are made from chicken and can potentially be problematic if your pet has a chicken allergy.
Homestyle Turkey and Vegetables with Quinoa in The Instant Pot
- 3 pounds of at least 85% ground turkey
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 4 ounces kale chopped with large stems removed
- 1 pound carrots
- 2 cups raw quinoa
- 5 cups bone broth, low salt broth, or water
- 2 teaspoons HVB Icelandic Omega-3 fish oil OR two 4.5 ounce tins sardines in water OR a 6 ounce can wild salmon
- 2 tablespoons HVB/30 grams Canine Limited Premix
- Add the coconut oil to the pot and saute' the turkey enough to break it up. Add the kale and allow it to wilt some (3-4 minutes).
- Add the carrots and water or broth.
- Set on manual for 4 minutes with the vent closed. Let the contents of the pot vent naturally (20-30 minutes). After the contents have vented, remove the lid and allow the contents to cool.
- Once cooled, add the Omega-3 source of your choice and premix. Package the meals for daily feeding and freeze the rest.
What can I add to my dogs food to help with allergies?
Adding fish oil to a dog or cat's diet can provide numerous health benefits and is essential for a healthy immune and nervous system and healthy skin and coat. Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation in the body, which can be beneficial for pets with arthritis, allergies, and other chronic conditions.
How Do You Know How Much to Feed Your Dog?
Feeding guide for homemade diet:
Weight in pounds - Cups to feed*
5-10 pounds. ½-1 cups
11-25 pounds. 1-3 cups
26-50 pounds. 3-5 cups
51-75 pounds. 5-7 cups
75-100 pounds. 7-10 cups
>100 pounds. Consult your veterinarian
*Keep in mind that caloric needs vary as much as 50% for maintenance and regular energy needs
As a veterinarian, I see the impact of allergies on quality of life and how frustrating they can be to deal with. If your dog suffers from skin allergies, homemade dog food can be a great option to provide them with the necessary nutrients and avoid harmful allergens. It's important to keep in mind that homemade dog food should be nutritionally balanced and designed to meet your pet's individual needs. These homemade recipes have been created to provide optimal nutrition while minimizing allergens that can trigger allergic reactions. As with any new diet, it's important to consult with your veterinarian and monitor your dog's health to determine if the diet is working for them. With proper care and attention, homemade dog food can be a great option for dogs with skin allergies and help maintain their overall health and well-being.