7 Common Dog Food Allergies Pet Owners Should Know

Allergies are one of the most common health problems in dogs. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), between 10 and 20 percent of dogs suffer from some type of food allergy, which can cause a wide range of symptoms such as itchiness and hives.


Eggs are one of the most common allergens in dogs. According to the American College of Veterinary Dermatology (ACVD), up to 20% of dogs can have an egg allergy, which is typically caused by cross-reactivity between proteins found in chicken eggs and those found in other animal species.

Egg allergies can cause the following symptoms:

  • Itching and redness
  • Hair loss
  • Intestinal upset including vomiting, diarrhea, gas and bloating
  • Anemia due to low red blood cell production (this may be more common with chronic allergies)

Dairy products

Dairy products are one of the most common allergens in dogs. A lot of people think a food allergy means that itchy skin and chronic diarrhea are the only symptoms, but this isn’t true. Dairy can cause a wide range of symptoms from mild itching to serious health issues like anaphylaxis (when your dog experiences an extreme allergic reaction). A study published in 2014 found that about 28% of all canine allergies were to dairy products—and that’s just in American dogs!

Some dog foods contain whey protein isolate or casein as part of their ingredients because they’re cheap sources of protein, but both can cause allergic reactions. Plus, labeling laws aren’t strong enough right now so you need to be careful when reading labels. If you’re unsure whether or not your pet has a dairy allergy, it’s best to ask his veterinarian as soon as possible so they can figure out what might be causing his symptoms and help you manage them properly!


If you suspect that your dog has an allergy, it’s important to know that beef is a very common allergen. Anywhere from 20-30 percent of dogs are sensitive to beef or pork, meaning that they may develop a skin rash and possibly hives when these meats are consumed.

Beef and pork can be found in many different types of dog food, so if you suspect your pooch may have an allergic reaction, be sure to avoid both meats entirely for about two weeks. If there’s no change in his symptoms after this time period (or once you’ve reintroduced the meat back into his diet), it’s safe to say that he doesn’t have a beef/pork allergy—but if his symptoms do return after eating beef/pork again then talk with your vet about other possible food allergies!


Soy is a common allergen in dogs, and can be found in many different types of dog foods. Symptoms include itching, redness and hair loss on the skin. Many owners notice these symptoms when their pet has been eating soy for years without a problem, but suddenly develops an allergy to it as they get older.

A switch to a soy-free diet is usually necessary for this type of reaction – however if you do decide to keep feeding your pet soy-based products then you should reduce them gradually over time so that there is less chance for an allergic reaction to occur.


Wheat is a common ingredient in many dog foods, as it’s an inexpensive and easy-to-grow grain. Unfortunately, wheat can cause allergic reactions in dogs if they’re not used to it or are sensitive to it.


Chicken is one of the most common ingredients in dog food. It’s also a common ingredient in treats, and many dogs can suffer from chicken allergies.

Allergic reactions to chicken can cause skin issues such as hot spots or rashes, as well as gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea or vomiting. If you notice your dog breaking out with these symptoms after eating chicken-based foods, it’s likely he is allergic to the meat protein found in this food group.


Corn is a common food allergen and is used as a filler in many dog foods. Corn is also used to increase the protein content of dog food. This can cause issues for dogs with allergies, but not all dogs who react to corn are allergic to it.

Some dogs are sensitive to corn and may develop symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting after eating corn-based products like dog treats or kibble. In some cases, it’s possible for a pet owner to know if their pet is sensitive but not allergic by observing their reaction when they eat something that contains corn.

How you can help your dog avoid food allergies

You can help your dog avoid food allergies by:

  • Avoiding the foods that cause allergic reactions. If you know the culprits, stay away from them! For example, if your dog has a soy allergy and you are feeding her a grain-free diet, be sure not to include corn or wheat in her meals. If she’s allergic to beef, remove it from her diet as well.
  • Keeping an eye out for signs of food allergies and implementing changes accordingly. If you think your dog might have a problem with certain ingredients in his food but haven’t seen any symptoms yet, keep feeding him his current brand of kibble and add one new ingredient at a time so that you can tell which one causes problems.


It is best for your dog to avoid food allergies. If you suspect that your pet may have a food allergy, a vet should be able to help you figure out which foods may be causing it and how to treat it. There are many ways to do this, both at home and through prescription medications from the vet’s office.

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