Suspected food allergy is a common reason people bring their dogs to the Clinical Nutrition Service at Tufts. By the time they get there, they’ve often tried five, six, or even seven different diets with different ingredients, but none of them have stopped the dog’s itching, paw licking, throwing up, or other canine allergy symptoms. That’s because only 10 percent or less of the dogs suspected of being allergic to specific food ingredients actually are.
Most allergies in dogs are caused by environmental allergens in the air, like pollen, mold, and dust mites that land on the skin. That’s why, if it seems like your dog is having an allergic reaction, the solution is most often not nutrition-based. Don’t put your pet through a bunch of different experimental diets based on a hunch. Instead seek a professional diagnosis and treatment.