If your dog suffers from confirmed allergies or intolerances, finding a commercial dog food that meets his needs can be difficult. Often the best means of providing for a dog with special dietary needs is cooking homemade dog food. Just use suitable substitute ingredients in place of those your dog's allergic to in a basic dog food home recipe.
Determining the Allergy
Before you can create hypoallergenic dog food, you must determine the ingredients your dog is allergic or intolerant to. Your veterinarian may suggest an elimination diet, which will initially contain two ingredients, such as turkey and sweet potatoes. You feed this simple diet and watch for allergy symptom improvement. After a period, you and the vet will add ingredients, one at a time. With each addition, you monitor for allergy symptoms. When an ingredient triggers an allergic reaction, you've identified an ingredient you'll want to eliminate from your pet's diet.
Common Dog Allergies
According to Susan Wynn, former president of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, 10 percent of dog allergy cases are due to food. Symptoms include gastrointestinal issues, ear inflammation, diarrhea, vomiting and itchy skin. Beef, dairy, wheat, eggs, chicken, lamb, soy, pork, rabbit and fish are the most common ingredients responsible for dog allergies.
Once you have determined an ingredient your dog is allergic to, seek suitable substitutions. If beef or chicken causes allergic reactions in your dog, use turkey or lamb instead. If dairy is an issue, look for lactose-free recipes. For wheat allergies, avoid recipes with flour, or substitute rice flour or rolled oats in its place.
For a basic recipe, add 1 cup of brown or white rice to 2 cups or water in a slow cooker. Add 1 to 2 cups of assorted vegetables such as sweet potatoes, green beans or carrots. Top with a pound of meat protein, such as two chicken breasts or a pound of lean ground beef. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5 hours.
When making homemade dog food, it is essential that you meet your dog’s nutritional requirements. Discuss your recipe ideas with your veterinarian or a canine nutritionist to ensure your dog meets his nutritional requirements with your home-cooked diet. Armed with your recipes and knowledge of your dog’s dietary needs, your trusted vet will advise you on serving size, supplements and other tweaks.