What is the best kind of food for a dog with allergies?

A question from one of our website visitors:

“I have a dog who is constantly licking his paws. I heard that this might be caused by a food allergy. What in dog food would most likely cause this? What is the best kind of food that I should give him instead?”

The best food is one that he is not allergic to.

I don’t mean to sound silly, but an allergy could be caused by ANYTHING. The fact that he is licking his paws indicates to me that it is more likely to be a contact allergy, i.e. something he walks on that his or her paws come in contact with.This is known as an environmental allergy. But don’t guess you need to see your Vetrinary to find out what type of allergy your dog has.This is of primary importance for your dog’s well being. Also be aware changing your dog’s food is a big deal. For more information on this please take a look at the free guide on the home page we put together to help you help your dog.

Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe with Real Beef Natural Dry Dog Food by Nature's Variety, 20 lb


  1. Bonsylar

    Corn, wheat, soy, milk, chicken and beef all cause allergies.

    Look into Innova EVO. It’s doing great things for allergic pets.
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  2. believer

    It may be hay allergies – your dog may be allergic to the grass outside, so it may not be the food.

    Avoid foods that have wheat or wheat gluten in them, but talk with your vet, as it may not be the food!

    There are lots of high quality food (Natural Balance – which is what we use, Innova and Canidae that have "allergy" formulas so check those out – they are sold an holistic pet stores or some of them are even sold at PetCo/PetSmart in the high quality/natural pet food section!)
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  3. cagney

    you need to find out what your dog is allergic to. your vet can do an allergy test and you’ll know exactly what it is. it can be a food, the grass in your yard, even the type of trees in your neighborhood, to the kind of carpet you have. stress can also cause them to lick their paws and switching food will not help this. take your dog for a vet visit and see what your vet says. good luck. also don’t wait too long, sometimes the licking can cause what are called lick granuloma’s which are uncomfortable for the dog, and look like big sores on the feet and legs.
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  4. Isabella

    try a special science diet
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  5. al l

    Most food allergies are caused by fillers such as cornmeal and wheat gluten. Try using a filler free food. I use Innova Evo with my dog and I’ve heard Canidae works very well too.
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  6. heysanj75

    Corn, wheat, beef, soy, and chicken are all high allergen foods. Try Natures Recipe Venison and rice. This brand is specifically for dogs with allergies. I have made many many dogs very happy with this food. And the owners as well.

  7. Angel

    It is very possible, that it is a food allergy. What causes food allergies, is the food that has corn, wheat, soy, fillers and by products, like most of the food you would by in a store. I would very highly recommend Canidae All Life Stages, with Chicken, Turkey, Lamb and Fish. It is high quality, human grade, has NO corn, wheat, soy, grain fractions, fillers or by products. It is great for allergies and skin problems. It is very reasonably priced for such a high quality food . I switched my dogs to it a while ago, they love it and it’s the best thing I could have done for them. You can get more information on it, if you type Canidae All Life Stages or Canidae.com, in your search bar and get all the benefits and information there. If you do decide to switch, do it slowly because if you switch to fast, it will upset their digestive system. Start by mixing the old food with the new food, and over a period of a week, daily add more new food to the old food, until your dog is eating the new food only. It makes it alot easier on their tummies. I hope this helps! Good Luck!
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  8. Dogs'n'trike

    First of all, you have to determine if this is an allergic condition or not. You can test by giving an over-the-counter antihistamine such as Benedryl at the dose of 1/2 mg/lb up to 1 mg/lb. (Check with your veterinarian to verify the appropriate dose for your dog, or to see if he or she suggests another antihistamine.)

    If the paw-licking decreases, this is a good sign that your dog does have allergies. (Paw-licking can also be caused by other conditions, so, again, check with your veterinarian.)

    Next, we need to determine to what the dog is allergic. More commonly, paw licking is because of a contact allergy, such as to grass, or an inhalant allergy, such as pollen. But it could be due to a food allergy.

    If the dog’s symptoms vary by season, it’s probably a contact or inhalant allergy, not a food allergy.

    In order to find out if your dog has food allergies, he needs to be put on an allergy-free prescription diet such as Hills ZD or Exclude. These diets are specially made to have nothing in them that could possibly cause allergic reactions. Make sure that he gets nothing else — no treats, spilled food, cat food or people food. These special diets are only available from your veterinarian, who should be assisting you with this process.

    If your dog shows great improvement after being on one of these prescription diets, then you know he has food allergies. You should see improvement within the first week or two, but it’s a good idea to keep him on this limited diet for six weeks.

    Now that you know that he has food allergies, slowly start adding in one new food every week or two weeks, starting with cooked carbs like rice and potatoes. Usually, dogs are most allergic to the proteins, since they have the big-chain molecules.

    If you see the symptoms return, you’ll know what food caused them.

    After a few months, start adding in one protein at a time, again at the rate of one new food every two weeks or so.

    Most dogs with food allergies can be fed specific prescription diets with limited ingredients, so you don’t have to cook for them.Check out Just food for dogs here is a link to their website https://www.justfoodfordogs.com/ They help dogs who need a prescription special diet and help you so you can do it at home.

  9. ajflib

    Look for a speciality pet store. Don’t get the food from walmart or a chain pet store. My dog is allergic to everything. She eats California Natural, Lamb and Rice Formula. It is all human grade ingredients and has no fillers. You have to pay for a good dog food. Also, if you feed your dog a "high grade" dog food, do the same with any treats you give him too. You can’t feed them good food but buy their treats at walmart. It defeats the purpose of trying to help your dog.
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