Here at Kero and Bree, we know what having dogs with allergies is like; we have two ourselves. Finding suitable dog treats for a dog with allergies can be challenging; we get it, and we wanted to take the hassle out of this, which is why we introduced our range of hypoallergenic treats for dogs.
Not only that, we've put together a list of our top tips for identifying and choosing suitable treats for dogs with allergies or intolerances.
1. All-Natural Dog Treats
Choose treats that are close to natural as they possibly can be. For example, these can be treats such as ears or skin or treats made from air-dried meat. Treats should be made from recognisable ingredients. Avoid those with long chemical names that nobody understands. Avoid treats made using meat, fish or vegetable derivatives. You cannot assess the quality and ingredients used, making it incredibly challenging to identify whether you can feed the treats to a dog with allergies. Sticking to all-natural dog treats also means you avoid horrible artificial colours, flavours, and preservatives often added to conventional dog treats.
2. Hypoallergenic Dog Treats
The thinking behind hypoallergenic treats for dogs is they cause fewer allergic reactions or are less likely to cause an allergic reaction as they avoid common allergens when made. These types of dog treat are perfect for dogs with allergies or intolerances.
3. Single-Protein Dog Treats
When looking for single-protein dog treats, it is best to find out what your dog can and can't have. Knowing this information will make choosing treats a breeze. Novel proteins like rabbit, venison, kangaroo and ostrich are excellent for dogs with allergies or intolerances. Novel proteins are those that have never been fed to your dog or has been fed very little as part of their regular diet.
4. Minimal or Limited Ingredient Dog Treats
Minimal or limited ingredient dog treats are just that; they have fewer ingredients in them. Treats with minimal ingredients are more likely to have ingredients that you recognise, making it easier to assess quality. It makes it easy to identify if they are suitable for your dog and if anything may cause a reaction. It means you can avoid specific treats if necessary.
5. Grain-Free Dog Treats
Grain-free dog treats avoid using any grain when made. Dog treats baked with flour, including, but not limited to, wheat, oat, rye or rice flour, contain grain. Dog treats made using flours such as chickpea, coconut, or buckwheat are naturally grain-free. These flours are excellent grain-free alternatives to look out for on the ingredients label if purchasing premade dog treats. They are also perfect for home baking if you would like to avoid feeding grain to your dog and fancy having a go at baking dog biscuits or treats.
If avoiding grains, this could include feeding treats made from meats fed a grain-based diet such as chicken, turkey or pheasant. If your dog is not allergic or intolerant to grain, this is not a big issue and avoiding these meats is unnecessary; however, if your dog is sensitive to grains, it is worth considering.
6. Gluten-Free Dog Treats
Gluten is a general term for the family of proteins found in grains. As with grain mentioned above, dog treats baked with flour, including, but not limited to, wheat or rye flour, contain gluten. Dog treats made using flours such as chickpea, coconut, or buckwheat are naturally gluten-free.
7. No Artificial Ingredients
Choose a dog treat made without artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. They are not required and only increase your dogs' likelihood of reacting to the treats. These artificial additives aren't needed. Many air-dried dog treats have long shelf lives and are naturally tasty anyway!
8. Consider Avoiding Common Allergens
The best way to deal with food allergies and intolerances is to find out the root cause, and you should do this in consultation with your vet. They will help you identify the specific allergens that cause your dog to react.
In the meantime, you may consider avoiding common allergens that are more likely to cause a reaction. Common food allergens include but are not limited to:-
- Proteins - chicken, beef, eggs
- Dairy - milk, yoghurt, cheese
- Grain - wheat, rice, corn
- Legumes - soy, peas
- Root vegetables - potato, beets
9. Consider Avoiding Fruit and Vegetables (Sugar)
Including fruits and vegetables in your dogs' diet is an excellent way to add variety; however, if you have a dog prone to yeast issues, which is one of a few common allergy symptoms in dogs with allergies, it can aggravate the problem. Here's the thing, yeast is a fungus. It ferments sugar to survive and thrive. If more sugar is available to the yeast, the yeast becomes more active. When the yeast becomes more active, it then grows faster, which, of course, you do not want when dealing with a dog with allergies as you wish to provide symptom relief for your dog, not make it worse.
10. Avoid Conventional Hypoallergenic Treats for Dogs
Conventional hypoallergenic treats for dogs often have a long list of unnecessary ingredients. They often contain cereals, grains and additives, among other questionable ingredients, so it is best to avoid these.
Are there any tips that you have that we have missed? Has your dog ever had any issues with food allergies or intolerances? Share your tips and experiences in the comments below; we'd love to hear from you.
Don't forget to check out our fabulous range of hypoallergenic treats for dogs.
Related Blog Posts:
- Understanding Food Allergies And Food Intolerances In Dogs: Symptoms And Treatment
- How An Elimination Diet Solved My Dogs' Food Allergies