What in the world is a naturally hypoallergenic dog food? Hypoallergenic products are unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. Well, a naturally hypoallergenic dog food is created with a limited mixture of high-quality ingredients more suitable for dogs with food allergies. The most common food allergens are:
- Dairy products
Because budget manufactured dog foods normally contain many ingredients, they are more likely to contain that particular ingredient your dog is reacting to. Limited ingredient naturally hypoallergenic dog foods offer a meal composed of only a few ingredients, making it much easier to narrow down or avoid that allergen!
What are Food Allergies
About 10% of all dog allergies are food-related, but food intolerances are much more common than food allergies. If a dog has a food allergy, his or her immune system over-reacts to ingredients (or an individual ingredient) found in his food, producing antibodies to deal with that ‘irritant’.
Food intolerances, on the other hand, cause adverse reactions (much like food allergies) but don’t involve the immune system. Imagine the example of a dog that suffers from a GI issue, perhaps like ulcerative colitis in humans, and can only handle certain foods without the problem becoming uncomfortable.
Too many additives, something very common in today’s average manufactured dog food, can cause intolerance. Carbohydrate intolerances (i.e. lactose intolerance) are becoming more and more common as manufacturers focus on cheaply grown plant ingredients. Even food poisoning would fall under this category.
Why a Naturally Hypoallergenic Dog Food?
Now that you know what hypoallergenic dog food is, what makes a food naturally hypoallergenic and why would you want to feed it to your pet??
Naturally hypoallergenic recipes are limited high-quality ingredient recipes prepared with wholesome, natural ingredients perfectly formulated for your pet! Using these naturally occurring ingredients, your tasty hypoallergenic dog food is free from all of the allergens and additives that may be harmful.
Let’s take a look at a great recipe!
Fish Recipe: Fish 50% (including Freshly Prepared Haddock 26%, Dried Salmon 17.5%, Trout Oil 4.5%, Salmon Stock 2%), Sweet Potato (24%), Peas(7%), Potato, Beet Pulp, Olive Oil, Linseed, Sunflower Oil, Minerals,Vitamins, Parsley (0.3%), Vegetable Stock, FOS (96 mg/kg), MOS(24 mg/kg)
As the first ingredient, you see several types of fish (50% of the entire meal). Not only is fish not a common allergen, but it also offers a high-quality animal protein source along with omega fatty acids for skin and coat health (among others).
You also have an animal source as half of the entire food, which will offer the right mixture of essential amino acids without all of the carbohydrates of many plant-based recipes. You do need some complex carbohydrates, (potato), but this shouldn’t be the main macro-nutrient source. For more recipes like this, go here.
You can also see how the recipe above contains about half the ingredients of a budget commercial brand. In fact, we don’t include any wheat, gluten, dairy, or soy in our whole food recipes! You won’t find any added sugar or artificial colors & preservatives either.
Beef, Chicken, or Pork Sensitivity?
Second only to dairy products, beef is a very common dog food allergen. If your pet suffers from allergic reactions to beef, why not give our duck, lamb, venison, or fish recipes a try?
Duck, lamb, and venison are all animal-based protein sources, offering the right mixture of essential amino acids your dog needs. You might see a complex carbohydrate like sweet potatoes making up a smaller portion of your hypoallergenic dog food, further down on the list.
As the pet industry grew, large-scale commercial dog food manufacturers would look for better ways to profit. In the US, these manufacturers must still meet USDA guidelines regulating pet food, so there are only so many corners that can be cut.
Dogs (and the wolves before them) are opportunistic carnivores, meaning they will scavenge from plant products when necessary but most of the natural diet consists of animal sources. It turns out raising cattle (or other stock animals) is much more expensive than simply growing ingredients for these commercial producers. These enormous manufacturers decided they could get away with foods created almost entirely of grains (corn, wheat, etc).
Dog owners around the world would see the colourful advertising and commercials of happy dogs enjoying their meals! These were also some of the most inexpensive brands on the market.
They didn’t know those grain-heavy foods would contribute to obesity (around 40% of UK dogs are estimated clinically obese), and rising cases of diabetes, cardiac problems, etc. A small percentage of dogs are allergic/intolerant to grains. Avoiding these common grains is also essential for a true hypoallergenic diet.