What to avoid with potato allergies

Dog food allergy treatment boils below to one underlying principle: identify foods your dog is allergic to and avoid feeding those.

«What most people ponder of as a dog food allergy is more appropriately called an cutaneous adverse food reaction, or CAFR,» says Dr. Justin Shmalberg, a DVM and NomNomNow’s own veterinary nutritionist. «It basically means there’s some association between a food and a certain group of symptoms—usually skin problems or gastrointestinal problems.»

In a true dog food allergy, according to Shmalberg, the culprit is often a food protein that triggers an adverse immune response, which then causes cells in the body to release histamines, or compounds that lead to itching and numerous other allergic signs.

A dog food intolerance, on the other hand, doesn’t involve an immune response—but the signs of dog food intolerance can glance beautiful similar to the signs of a food allergy.

One example is a lactose intolerance, which happens when a dog’s body just doesn’t process lactose in milk products well, leading to gastrointestinal problems (often diarrhea).

Both allergies and intolerances drop under that category of CAFRs, or, in more general terms, adverse food reactions. So, how prevalent are adverse food reactions in dogs? One 2017 research review published in BMC Veterinary Research examined just that. The findings propose that, of dogs seeing vets for any diagnosis, 1 to 2 percent own food intolerances or allergies; among dogs with skin diseases, the number jumps up a bit, to about 6 percent.

For dogs with itching and allergies, even more—about one in five—show signs of adverse food reactions.

Still, true allergies, in which the immune system is attacking a food protein, are definitely less common than food intolerances. The takeaway, says Shmalberg, is this: «If your dog is otherwise normal, even if he’s scratching a lot, a food allergy is unlikely. That said, diet can certainly frolic a role in helping to manage skin conditions and diseases, regardless of whether or not your dog has a food allergy.» We’ll discuss more about how you can tell the difference below.

Back to top


Long-Term Effects of Dog Food Allergies

If a food allergy goes untreated, there are some more serious health issues that could develop.

These include secondary skin infections, development of more allergies, worsened symptoms, behavioral changes, and a poor quality of life.

It’s that final point that is most pertinent. «Usually animals don’t die from a food allergy, but it does affect their quality of life,» says Shmalberg. «If they’re itching every the time, it can feel love having a thousand mosquito bites every the time. While that’s not as catastrophic as something love organ failure, from a day-to-day standpoint, it can be beautiful hard on the dog.» So, when a dog is feeling bad, that’s when you may start to see some of those behavioral issues listed above.

To avoid chronic ailments and problems, diagnosis and treatment are crucial. Read on for the details.

If your dog is constantly itching, it can feel love having a thousand mosquito bites every the time and lead to poor quality of life.

Back to top


Dog Food Allergy Symptoms

Sneezing. Ear infections. Chronic Diarrhea. Restlessness. Dog food allergy symptoms run the gamut from skin reactions to gastrointestinal troubles to behavioral issues. Under you’ll discover a full list, broken below by category, to assist you identify whether your pup might be suffering from a food allergy or intolerance.

Note, it’s estimated that about a quarter to a third of dogs with a food allergy also own environmental allergy, which «has similar, and at times indistinguishable, symptoms,» says Shmalberg.

Rarer Symptoms of Food Allergies in Dogs

These symptoms aren’t as common as those above, but may happen in some dogs.

  1. Secondary urinary tract infections (due to overgrowth of skin bacteria)
  2. Nasal discharge
  3. Seizures (food allergies could trigger them in predisposed dogs)
  4. Breathing issues
  5. Weight loss (in combination with severe diarrhea and/or vomiting)

Most Common Signs of Food Allergies in Dogs

These are the signs you’ll see most often with a food allergy, says Shmalberg, starting with the single most common symptom: itching.

  1. Ear infections
  2. Sneezing
  3. Leathery skin texture
  4. Skin rashes
  5. Scaly and/or oily skin
  6. Hot spots
  7. Eye discharge
  8. Hair loss
  9. Pigmented skin
  10. Itchy paws
  11. Itching (aka pruritus)
  12. Red eyes
  13. Secondary yeast or bacterial infections (aka pyoderma) of the skin or ears

One study ranked the parts of the body most often involved in itching related to food allergies, as follows:

  1. Inner thigh/belly (53 percent)
  2. Ears (involved 80 percent of the time)
  3. Paws (61 percent)
  4. Eye or front leg area (33 percent).

Gastrointestinal Food Allergy Symptoms in Dogs

According to Shmalberg, only 10 to 30 percent of dogs with confirmed food allergies own gastrointestinal, or GI, symptoms love vomiting or diarrhea.

«This is a condition that is much more often linked to skin symptoms,» he explains (see above). «Sudden and short-lived GI symptoms are almost never caused by a food allergy. On the other hand, food allergies can contribute to or cause certain chronic symptoms.»

  1. Vomiting
  2. Diarrhea with or without blood and/or mucus in stool
  3. Straining to pass stool
  4. Abdominal pain

Behavioral Symptoms

The symptoms under are also more rare, and generally secondary to or linked to discomfort from symptoms listed above.

  1. Withdrawal or reduced interest in playtime
  2. Frequent scratching of self on furniture, owner’s legs, etc.
  3. Frequent shaking ears or scratching ears
  4. Restlessness
  5. Biting at paws, rear finish, and/or tail
  6. Anorexia, or disinterest in or refusal of food

Back to top


Genetic Predisposition to Dog Food Allergies

Wondering whether your dog might be predisposed to food allergies or intolerances?

Certainly there’s some evidence that if a parent has an allergy, their offspring is more likely to inherit it. So in that way, genes do frolic a role. But what doesn’t seem to be a factor is a dog’s breed.

What to avoid with potato allergies

In fact, science has never confirmed that any one breed is more at risk for food allergies than another. «It can happen in any breed and in any dog,» says Shmalberg.

He also notes that some breeders and owners may own the view that deviating from the ancestral diet of certain breeds might predispose to allergies. For example, Huskies are accustomed to fish diets in their natural habitat—so could feeding them poultry lead to an allergic reaction? In short, no. «There is no evidence to support that theory. Most dogs seem beautiful adaptable to a range of foods,» says Shmalberg.

The age or sex of the dog also appears to own no relevance to food allergies or intolerances. Some vets do report that food allergies own been found in dogs less than 1 year ancient. So even young puppies can be affected (whereas they typically aren’t as susceptible to environmental allergies at this age).

Here are the top 10 breeds most frequently d along with the term «food allergies» or «dog food allergies»:

  • Westies (aka West Highland White Terriers)
  • Dachshunds
  • Pitbulls
  • German Shepherds
  • Pugs
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Shih Tzus
  • Bulldogs
  • Yorkies (aka Yorkshire Terriers)

Keep in mind, food allergies can happen in any breed, and, of course, some breeds may be searched more frequently just because they’re more favorite in general.

Back to top

Keep in mind, food allergies can happen in any breed, and, of course, some breeds may be searched more frequently just because they’re more favorite in general.

Back to top


Dog Food Allergy Test and Other Diagnosis Methods

So, how can you tell if your dog is allergic to food?

First, it’s helpful to know how you might distinguish a food allergy from an environmental one. «Environmental or flea allergies are far more common,» explains Shmalberg. If you suspect either of those, consult your vet, who can assist identify and treat fleas, or do a combination of blood tests and/or intradermal allergy testing (which involves injections of potential allergens under the skin) to assess environmental allergies.

But if your dog has the following signs, talk to your vet about setting up a dog food allergy test or elimination diet.

Telltale Signs Your Dog May Own a Food Allergy (vs. an Environmental or Flea Allergy):

  1. If the reaction doesn’t reply to steroids
  2. If the symptoms happen at a extremely young age—typically, puppies younger than age 1 don’t experience environmental allergies
  3. If the symptoms aren’t tied to a seasonal change or don’t change in diverse parts of the country (e.g.

    if you travel or move with your dog from a dry climate to a humid one)

  4. If your dog has both skin and gastrointestinal symptoms

Dog Elimination Diet

The most dependable way to diagnose a food allergy is to feed your dog something entirely new, and relatively pure, for at least eight weeks. For precise results, you’ll need to feed a non-contaminated simple ingredient diet (it can be commercial or cooked) for the entire trial.

What to avoid with potato allergies

Most importantly, says Shmalberg, «the diet should include a single-source animal or vegetable protein and a single source of carbohydrate calories, without other natural flavors (that could own unidentified proteins)—and it must be a food your pet hasn’t had in the past. Classic examples include venison and potato, rabbit and pea, and fish and potato.» There are newer options out there too, love alligator and coconut.

It’s also significant you refrain from feeding treats, table scraps, snacks, and flavored medications and supplements of any helpful that don’t match the specific ingredient combo you’re using for the trial. After eight weeks, to truly prove the food allergy, you must then feed the original food—the suspected allergic protein or proteins—again.

If there’s a reaction or breakout at that point, that’s a beautiful excellent indication of an allergy.

«The reality is that most owners don’t finish this part, as they don’t desire their dog to own symptoms again,» says Shmalberg. «An owner might just continue to feed the trial food if it seems to be agreeing with the dog.» But reintroducing the suspected allergens is really the only way to confirm an allergy. Shmalberg suggests cycling through potential allergens one by one—chicken, beef, egg, dairy—to see what does (and does not) trigger symptoms.

Other Types of Dog Food Allergy Testing

Aside from elimination diets, there are a couple of other test options worth a look.

  1. Blood tests: Blood tests exist, but they’re not extremely precise.

    «There are new food allergy blood tests in development, which appear better than those on the market,» says Shmalberg. «That means, for now, a food elimination diet is the best option.

  2. Patch tests: Patch tests are generally thought to be more precise than blood tests. Yet, according to Shmalberg, «They’re not commonly done but may be offered in a dermatology clinic, where a protein (e.g. beef) is mixed with petroleum jelly and taped on the skin for about two days, then tested a day later.

    If there’s irritation (redness, hives), it’s considered a positive test; if not, it’s negative.

Back to top


Most Common Dog Food Allergens

Wondering what is in dog food that causes allergies? «Meat, dairy, and eggs are often thought to be the most common dog food allergens,» says Shmalberg.

What to avoid with potato allergies

«Yet generally, it’s the protein part of those foods that tend to be problematic, rather than, tell, the meat itself.» Hold in mind, veggies can contain protein, so they’re not automatically safe.

That same review BMC Veterinary Research identified some of the most frequently reported dog food allergens involved in adverse food reactions. Here’s a glance, from most-reported to least-reported.

Top Dog Food Allergens (source: BMC Veterinary Research)

Dog Food Allergen Percentage of Dogs With Reported Reaction
Beef 34%
Dairy Products 17%
Chicken 15%
Wheat 13%
Soy 6%
Lamb 5%
Corn 4%
Egg 4%
Pork 2%
Fish 2%
Rice 2%

Shmalberg calls out two significant caveats to hold in mind here.

  • No two foods are exactly the same.

    There’s not a excellent deal of evidence to propose that a dog who has a reaction to one food it is going to react to a similar food. That is, a dog allergic to chicken won’t necessarily be allergic to turkey.

  • Newer research is needed. Numerous of the studies out there, and those sourced in this review, are older, when dog foods were being made and processed differently than they are today. Allergies tend to change over time along with foods, and as new studies emerge, we may see diverse allergens rising to the top of the list.
  • With fats, purity matters.

    Pure fats, love a pure fish oil, are free of protein and shouldn’t trigger a response. But traces of protein can sneak into oils and fats during processing, and in a highly allergic dog, cause issues.

  • Where there’s one allergy, there may be more. It’s estimated that more than a third of dogs with one food allergy are allergic to at least one additional food.
  • Peanut allergies are rare in dogs. And if they do happen, they typically aren’t of the severity reported in some humans.

    Excellent news if your pup is one of the numerous who love a PB treat!

  • Watch for additives. Chemicals, preservatives, colorants, and flavorants aren’t likely to cause a true allergy, but they could trigger an adverse reaction or intolerance symptoms.
  • Look out for gelatin. Supplemental oils often come in gelatin capsules, and that gelatin can trigger allergies in some dogs.
  • Starches are safer. Pure carbohydrates, aka starches, are beautiful low in or free of protein, which means dogs generally aren’t allergic to them. There are exceptions: while potato starch is probably safe, whole potatoes might cause an allergy because they contain proteins.

    Same goes for higher-protein grains love corn and wheat. But overall, grain allergies are much less common than meat allergies.

  • The more common a food is, the more likely the allergy. «For an allergy to a food to develop, a dog needs to be exposed to that food,» says Shmalberg. «That may explain why the proteins most commonly found in dog food, love beef and chicken, drop higher on the list.»
  • Food labels don’t always tell the whole tale. Some non-fresh kibble and canned foods own tested positive for proteins even when they’re not listed on the label.

More facts about dog food allergens that are helpful to know:

  1. Watch for additives.

    Chemicals, preservatives, colorants, and flavorants aren’t likely to cause a true allergy, but they could trigger an adverse reaction or intolerance symptoms.

  2. Where there’s one allergy, there may be more. It’s estimated that more than a third of dogs with one food allergy are allergic to at least one additional food.
  3. Peanut allergies are rare in dogs. And if they do happen, they typically aren’t of the severity reported in some humans.

    Excellent news if your pup is one of the numerous who love a PB treat!

  4. With fats, purity matters. Pure fats, love a pure fish oil, are free of protein and shouldn’t trigger a response. But traces of protein can sneak into oils and fats during processing, and in a highly allergic dog, cause issues.
  5. Look out for gelatin. Supplemental oils often come in gelatin capsules, and that gelatin can trigger allergies in some dogs.
  6. Starches are safer. Pure carbohydrates, aka starches, are beautiful low in or free of protein, which means dogs generally aren’t allergic to them.

    There are exceptions: while potato starch is probably safe, whole potatoes might cause an allergy because they contain proteins. Same goes for higher-protein grains love corn and wheat. But overall, grain allergies are much less common than meat allergies.

  7. No two foods are exactly the same. There’s not a excellent deal of evidence to propose that a dog who has a reaction to one food it is going to react to a similar food. That is, a dog allergic to chicken won’t necessarily be allergic to turkey.
  8. Food labels don’t always tell the whole tale.

    Some non-fresh kibble and canned foods own tested positive for proteins even when they’re not listed on the label.

Back to top

More facts about dog food allergens that are helpful to know:

  1. Watch for additives. Chemicals, preservatives, colorants, and flavorants aren’t likely to cause a true allergy, but they could trigger an adverse reaction or intolerance symptoms.
  2. Where there’s one allergy, there may be more. It’s estimated that more than a third of dogs with one food allergy are allergic to at least one additional food.

    What to avoid with potato allergies

  3. Peanut allergies are rare in dogs. And if they do happen, they typically aren’t of the severity reported in some humans. Excellent news if your pup is one of the numerous who love a PB treat!
  4. With fats, purity matters. Pure fats, love a pure fish oil, are free of protein and shouldn’t trigger a response. But traces of protein can sneak into oils and fats during processing, and in a highly allergic dog, cause issues.
  5. Look out for gelatin.

    Supplemental oils often come in gelatin capsules, and that gelatin can trigger allergies in some dogs.

  6. Starches are safer. Pure carbohydrates, aka starches, are beautiful low in or free of protein, which means dogs generally aren’t allergic to them. There are exceptions: while potato starch is probably safe, whole potatoes might cause an allergy because they contain proteins. Same goes for higher-protein grains love corn and wheat. But overall, grain allergies are much less common than meat allergies.
  7. No two foods are exactly the same.

    There’s not a excellent deal of evidence to propose that a dog who has a reaction to one food it is going to react to a similar food. That is, a dog allergic to chicken won’t necessarily be allergic to turkey.

  8. Food labels don’t always tell the whole tale. Some non-fresh kibble and canned foods own tested positive for proteins even when they’re not listed on the label.

Back to top


How to hold stressful dietary discussions off the holiday menu.

A food allergy, sensitivity, or intolerance can make the difference between passing the mashed potatoes — and passing on them.

JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images

A food allergy, sensitivity, or intolerance can make the difference between passing the mashed potatoes — and passing on them.

JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images

Out of every the Thanksgiving dishes Kim Yates has helped prepare for her large family over the years, one batch of mashed potatoes stands out clearly in her memory.

About 30 guests were gathered that year, at her sister’s home in Palo Alto, Calif., and Yates had made a point of taking on responsibility for the mashed potatoes so that her young daughter Tessa (who was dealing with extreme food allergies to eggs, dairy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish) would own at least one safe side dish to eat.

The kitchen was crowded and chaotic that day, Yates remembers, and she stepped away from the counter for just a moment.

That was endless enough for a relative to pick up the handheld mixer and plunge it into the pot of steaming potatoes.

«He thought the beaters were clean, but my dad had just been using them to beat the eggs for eggnog,» Yates says. «There was no way we could serve those to Tessa. Hours of work, below the drain.»

«That’s when I was love, ‘I’m done — I will never do another Thanksgiving with this numerous people.

It’s just too hard,’ » she says.

«I own a large family, and I adore them, and I’m so unbelievably blessed that they attempt to be caring about food allergies,» Yates adds. «But even still, holidays are stressful and stuff happens. I can’t imagine what it’s love for people whose families are not as thoughtful.»

As numerous as 8% of U.S. children and 5% of adults own some type of food allergy. The most common culprits, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, wheat, soy, peanuts and tree nuts.

Typical food allergy symptoms include hives and swelling, or stomach or intestinal distress.

But food allergies also can become life-threatening — sending a kid or adult into anaphylactic shock.

Meanwhile, food intolerances such as lactose-intolerance are not immediately life-threatening, but can cause miserable GI symptoms, if a Thanksgiving side dish contains undisclosed dairy, for instance. And regardless of whether someone suffers from gluten sensitivity, a wheat allergy, or Celiac disease, even a dusting of flour can be enough to cause symptoms.

For families with food issues, the trouble with holidays love Thanksgiving is that emotions run high around the ritual and tradition of a shared family meal. So it can be hard to negotiate health needs without offending anyone or facing suspicions that a food sensitivity isn’t «real.»

«It can be extremely hard for the parents to explain to aunts and uncles and grandparents what’s safe for their child,» says Marté Matthews, a family therapist who works with kids and families with allergies in Northern California.

Running up against rituals can make for a «poignant conversation,» she says, when parents of a kid with a food allergy — or intolerance or sensitivity — own to enquire their relatives to change a traditional recipe, or leave something off the menu entirely.

Numerous families own some version of Grand Aunt Velma’s renowned cranberry relish that no one actually enjoys eating but everyone agrees «it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving» without.

Want to short-circuit that specific brand of holiday stress this year? Attempt these tips:

Reach out ahead of time to the host

It might be a little tardy for this Thanksgiving, but in general, if you or your kid with food issues are headed to another home for the large meal, reach out to the hosts early. Tell or remind them that there are certain foods you or your kid can’t eat.

What to avoid with potato allergies

Then brainstorm with that friend or family member about simple solutions that take the allergy into account. Sometimes that will mean you’ll bring a dish you’ve prepared, and other times, the host’s recipes can be tweaked.

Sometimes friends or family simply don’t realize the severity of the risk. Supplying more information about food allergies from a reputable source might get them on board. Matthews recommends resources from FARE as a excellent start.

Pick your battles

Remember that this is a dinner, not a debate stage. You needn’t convince everyone at the table that your food issue is genuine to be capable to get through the event safely.

«Simplify your objective,» advises Tamara Hubbard, a licensed clinical professional counselor in the greater Chicago area who specializes in working with people managing food allergies. «Do you really need to change that person’s mind? Or can you enquire yourself ‘What do I need to get through this one specific holiday get-together?’ «

Diffuse defensiveness with humor, empathy and collaboration

When a change to a cherished recipe is proposed, some people default to «No!» («But, we always put marshmallows on the mashed yams!»)

Figuring out how to urge someone to accept a new thought is «the million dollar question,» says Pauline Tsai, a cultural psychologist and assistant professor at Georgetown University.

What to avoid with potato allergies

«I ponder it’s about starting where everyone is at. And be certain that when you’re making requests about food, they don’t come across as judgmental.»

Ask the host for their assist in keeping the kid who has allergies safe, says Matthews. «Showing vulnerability can hold the conversation from getting overheated.»

Start a new tradition

Allergen-free doesn’t own to mean bland.

Hubbard, who has a lot of food allergies in her own family, now goes out of her way to bring tasty, allergen-free desserts to holiday meals that everybody can enjoy.

«People don’t always go willingly toward change, but it’s a constant in life,» Hubbard says. Who knows, maybe 2-ingredient chocolate truffles or Rosemary-lemonade popsicles will spark a new holiday tradition, at your table — the internet abounds with alternatives to pumpkin pie.

Tips for hosts: Take a deep breath and be flexible

Once you’ve already taken on cleaning the entire home, decorating the table and shifting the feast’s start time so it doesn’t conflict with your nephew’s new girlfriend’s flight schedule, it might feel impossible to also factor in every guest’s food needs.

So, take a deep breath.

If you’re annoyed by the extremely request, attempt to remember that your guest feels awkward, too. «People with food allergies — it’s not something they own control over,» says Jamie Saxena, a nurse practitioner at the Sean N. Parker Middle for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University. «And it’s not something they desire to own to enquire people to accommodate.»

If you can’t meet their request, for whatever reason, it’s OK to enquire the guest to bring a prepared dish that works for them and your menu.

Give thanks for each other

No matter whether you’re the host or a guest, recognize that holidays are often stressful, even when joyous.

Chances are, most people gathered around your table will be trying their best.

«Whether we’re talking about food allergies, or politics,» Matthews says, «or every those other things that come up around the Thanksgiving table and over the holidays — attempt to extend each other a little grace.»

Emily Vaughn is an intern on NPR’s Science Desk.

Picture this: Your dog is constantly itching, scratching, and biting fur, and you can’t figure out why. Maybe you’ve tried everything from changing grooming routines to special shampoos, to medications. But own you tried changing your dog’s diet?

Food is one culprit behind allergic reactions in dogs that owners often overlook.

In fact, there are dog food allergies and dog food intolerances. Just love us, canines can suffer from either or both. And food allergies in dogs can cause not only digestive problems love vomiting and diarrhea, but also skin issues, and even behavioral problems. If you or your vet suspect your pup may own be having an adverse reaction to certain foods, and you’re wondering what it every means, you’re in the correct place.

We talked to Dr. Justin Shmalberg, a DVM and NomNomNow’s own veterinary nutritionist, to collect what you need to know.

We’ll cover the following:


RELATED VIDEO:

What to avoid with potato allergies