In fact, reactions caused by food allergies account for approximately 10% to 15% of all allergic skin disease in dogs and cats.1
Allergy related skin reactions are frequently located under the dog’s front legs, around its face and groin area, or between the toes. Although there are exceptions, most dogs who develop food related allergies do so after they reach three years of age.
A food allergy is an over-reaction of your dog's immune system to an unwelcome protein that is present in a particular ingredient of their diet.
Dogs With Food Allergies: Symptoms, Common Triggers, and More
Allergies in Dogs: Symptoms and Triggers - Pets WebMD
In extreme allergy cases, a “novel” protein might be necessary. Novel proteins are ingredients that your dog or cat’s body is not familiar with. Chicken, beef, turkey, and lamb are meats used most often in pet food. Novel proteins for pets eating these ingredients would include venison, rabbit, duck, kangaroo or ostrich. Because the pet’s body has never been exposed to these ingredients, they are unlikely to solicit a negative response from the body. It is important to also use a novel carbohydrate when trying to fully eliminate allergic reactions. If a cat was eating a chicken and rice based food, a novel food for them might be duck and potato.Please keep in mind that if the elimination diet is conducted during allergy season (and your dog has an atopic dermatitis) only a partial response will be measured with a diet change. This is important to understand so that you have a more realistic expectation for the results of a diet change during allergy season. It has been found that client compliance is a major cause for failure of a hypoallergenic dietary trial. Deviating, even once, from the diet recommendations, can derail the entire process. Absolutely NOTHING other than the recommended diet can be fed to your dog. This means NO treats and NO table food. This also means all flavored vitamin supplements, preventative medication, and fish oil supplements must be stopped or a non-flavored version substituted during the food trial. All raw hide chew toys, pig ears, cat food, etc. must be placed out of reach. Outdoor pets should be confined during the course of the trial to prevent dietary indiscretions. Even the litter box must be made unattainable to the indiscriminate canine palate. Tell grandma, grandpa and all children how important this is and that allergies are in fact real! Please be realistic during this trial. You can usually only expect a 50% resolution of clinical signs after 4 weeks of the dietary trial, but sometimes it takes longer in other animals. It is important to stick with the process until the very end. The biggest problem for owners is usually the no treat recommendation. While we strongly recommend NO treats, sometimes medications can be hidden in a piece of banana (an uncommon allergen for dogs). However, we urge you not to add any extra variables to the trial. It may help you to keep a diary during this trial that you can show us during each visit. Please include everything (any treats grandma or grandpa may have given), anything you needed to use in order to medicate your dog, boarding history etc. There is no detail that is unimportant. This will help us maintain a thorough history while we investigate which food is the culprit to your dog’s allergic reactions.