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Common Food Allergies for Dogs and How to Avoid  Them

Common Food Allergies for Dogs and How to Avoid Them

. 4 min read

If your dog is like mine they LOVE to eat. They’d eat anything you give them. Okay fine, maybe not lettuce or raw green beans, but the list is short and the things your pup won’t put in their mouth are probably few and far between.

As a pet parent, it's your responsibility to keep your dog safe, which includes ensuring that the food and treats you offer are safe for them to eat.

In addition to making sure food is stored at the right temperature and fresh, it also means making sure your dog isn’t eating anything they’re allergic to.

You might be wondering how to tell if your dog has food allergies or sensitivities, so we broke down some of the most common food allergy symptoms and the allergens themselves, so you can help your dog avoid them and stay healthy.

How to tell if a dog has food allergies?

Anaphylactic shock aside, there are several more subtle signals that your pup has food allergies. If you’re noticing any of the following it is a good idea to check in with your vet:

  • Itchy skin
  • Hives
  • Gastrointestinal issues like gas, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Facial swelling
  • Chronic infections in their ears or paws
  • What are the most common food allergies for dogs?

    If you suspect your pup has food allergies, your vet will be able to help you confirm. This could include a combination of bloodwork and diagnostic testing and dietary change. The most common food allergens for dogs are:


    • Poultry (including chicken)
    • Many pups are allergic to poultry including chicken or turkey which are popular proteins used in many brands of dog food. If your pup can't eat poultry you'll want to choose a food and treats made from other sources of protein including beef, lamb or fish.


    • Wheat/gluten
    • While wheat is not essential to dogs, many pups are allergic to wheat or a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye called gluten. Pups with a gluten allergy should avoid food and trats with gluten containing grains. Pups who are allergic to wheat need to avoid wheat.


    • Soy
    • Soy is an inexpensive filler often used in dog food and treats. On the positive side, soy can be a good source of protein and easy for some pups to digest. For pups with allergies, it should be avoided.


    • Corn
    • Corn is also used as a filler in dog food. It can be a good source of carbohydrates. If your pup isn't allergic popcorn can be a fine snack to share with your dog.


    • Rice
    • For dogs who can't have wheat or gluten, rice is a good source of grain/carbohydrate. While it is tolerated while by many dogs it is still a common allergen and should be considered if your dog is showing symptoms of food allergies.


    • Fish (including salmon)
    • Like poultry, fish allergies are also common in dogs. If your pup is allergic to fish, avoid food containing fish as a source of protein as well as fish skins or treats containing salmon or cod.

      How do I help my dog avoid allergies?

      If your pup has allergies or food sensitivities, you’ll need to proactively read all food and treat ingredient labels! This may sound like a bit of work, and it is at first, but once you know some safe food and treat options, you won’t have to check as often. Food ingredients can change so it is important to check regularly. You can’t just look once and never look again. Just in case.

      If your pup attends training classes, goes to daycare, or any place others may offer them treats, it's important to communicate you dog’s food allergies and keep your pup out of harm's way. You may want to ask that your dog not be fed communal treats and provide your do with their own special treats that you know are safe for them to eat. Make sure the vet also has allergies noted in your dog’s records.

      Similarly, if you are going to offer another dog a treat, ask about their parent about any known allergies first, as well. Although your offer comes from a place of good intentions, you don’t want to make someone else’s dog sick by accident.

      At Ollie, we take food allergies seriously. Our recipes feature single animal proteins so if your pup has a food allergy, chances are we can still accommodate them!

      You're able to let us know of any allergies your pup may have in our food quiz as well as by keeping your pup's profile up-to-date. This allows us to ensure all of the food we are recommending for your pup is safe and free from allergens.

      Our recipes are formulated with the highest quality human-grade ingredients and we never use fillers like corn, soy or wheat which are also common dog allergens.

      Our Chicken recipe is the only recipe with rice or grain. While grain-free diets have come under scrutiny in recent years, they can benefit pups with food allergies or sensitivities. Our recipes are overseen by a veterinary nutritionist who ensures they are safe for your pup!

      If you have any questions about our recipes and your pup’s allergies, don’t hesitate to contact us for additional information.

      The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out