Can My Dog Be Allergic To Chicken And Other Meat?

Does your dog scratch or bite himself a lot? Does he have a rash? You might think he’s been in contact with a certain plant or even something he’s allergic to. What’s often overlooked is our dog’s diet. Like us, our pets develop allergies to certain foods. 🐔

It took me over a year to discover that Duvel had a food allergy. His hair was falling out, and he was regularly throwing up. Every day he was biting on his paws and back. He was always in a bad mood and had no energy. At first, we were told it was linked to stress. When it got worse, we did plenty of echoes and other exams. Nothing showed up. Several vet bills later, a young vet at the clinic said that food allergies are hard to discover as they don’t appear in most tests but can cause harm and discomfort. 😖

We started an elimination diet and slowly discovered Dudu was allergic to chicken, beef and pork. We started a new diet, feeding him freshly prepared duck, fish, quinoa, sweet potatoes and vegetables. This went well for a year, and then he started developing new allergies. It reached the point where we are now: a mono-protein diet of horse meat.

The reason for his allergies turned out to be IBD (irritable bowel disease, an autoimmune disease like Crohn’s in people). If you think your dog might suffer from IBD, ask the vet to do a biopsy of the intestine. This is the only way to find out.

Below we will discuss how to recognize the symptoms, what such an allergy actually means and what you can do about it.

How do I know if my dog ​​is allergic? 🤔

Common symptoms of a food allergy are:

  • Itchiness
  • Obsessive licking, biting and scratching
  • Dull coat
  • Hair loss
  • Lethargy
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Chronic ear infections

Fresh food prevents allergies

What do you feed your dog? Kibble, raw or maybe canned wet food? Our dogs are not made to eat kibble. If I were to ask you: “What does a wolf eat?” You might answer that they eat deer or rabbit, but definitely not a bag of kibble.

So why do we feed our dogs processed food? Processed food contains a lot of chemicals: preservatives, colours, aromas and flavours,… These unhealthy substances accumulate in the body until they become the straws that break the camel’s back. Your dog’s body has been able to tolerate these substances for a long time, but not anymore. The intestine is confused and therefore no longer absorbs healthy proteins.

How does a food allergy develop?

Allergies develop over the long term. The more often your dog eats something to which he’s allergic, the stronger his body reacts. It’s protesting.

The immune system is hypersensitive to certain proteins in the diet, often animal proteins. Antibodies such as histamine are then released in the body. These antibodies cause the allergic symptoms. However, histamine does not only occur naturally in the body, but is also found in all kinds of food.

Processed foods – such as kibble – contain a much higher level of histamine. This worsens the allergic reaction, especially when the intestinal flora is also out of balance. Your dog’s intestines are just so overstimulated that they have to recover first. This also applies to the stomach. If you only give your dog fresh food, he will be much less likely to suffer from an excess of histamine.

How do I find out if my dog ​​has a food allergy?

You can ask the vet to investigate this. However, finding out exactly what your dog reacts to is difficult, just like with humans. There’s a lot of research involved and it’s often very pricey. Don’t panic, you can largely figure this out yourself by following the elimination diet.

Give your dog a meal consisting of a few simple ingredients and alternate them. Sometimes you let out a certain type of meat and you look at the result. If the symptoms are no better, leave out something else next time and keep working on it. On average it takes about five weeks before you see results. Follow each elimination diet for eight weeks to make sure if his symptoms are going away or not.

Since it’s often the protein source that causes the allergy, you might get good results quickly when you use meat your dog has never eaten. You could go for duck, deer, kangaroo or ostrich. We used to alternate between fish and duck. Duvel loved it! Many dogs are allergic to chicken, beef and pork as it’s been used way too much in most dog foods.

When adding vegetables, always check if your dog can eat these. What’s healthy for you isn’t necessarily healthy for your dog! It’s a mistake people often make. Using an unhealthy vegetable for your dog can give a distorted image. Below are some examples.

Healthy vegetables:

  • Beetroot
  • Asparagus
  • Spinach
  • Green beans
  • Sweet potato
  • Peas
  • Cucumber
  • Pumpkin
  • Zucchini
  • Carrot

Unhealthy vegetables:

  • Onion
  • Leek
  • Avocado
  • Raw potato
  • Mushroom
  • Tomato
  • Bell pepper
  • Eggplant

Feed your dog fresh food for a healthy digestion

Your dog is less tolerant of certain types of food. This is the reason why dogs build up more and more allergies over the years and pass this onto next generations through their genes. That’s why preparing duck, kangaroo and other ‘uncommon’ meats is better for your sensitive pooch. No allergies have been built up for these.

A dog’s digestive system is not made for digesting grain. That’s why it’s better to give him grain-free food. Another popular snack that dogs actually can’t digest properly is pig ears. As much as your dog loves them, it’s best to leave these at the store.

The raw diet has certainly gained popularity in the past few years. More and more dogs are struggling with digestion issues and people start seeing the many advantages. All of our dogs are raw-fed. It goes into the freezer, and we defrost it by laying it in warm water right before feeding time. Your dog’s meal should consist of 80% meat and bones, and 20% fruit and vegetables. Bear in mind that you need to add the right mineral supplements, and things like fish oil. Ask your vet to make a little list so you don’t forget anything, and you get the quantities right.

Does your dog suffer from food allergy? Please share your experience with us in the comments! ☺

*If you live in Spain, we highly recommend Puromenu (fresh meat delivered to your doorstep), and Wild Balance for supplements.


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