Finding the right dog food to treat your pet’s allergies can seem like an uphill battle. With all the different types of hypoallergenic food on the market, how do you know which dog food brands to trust?At Rick’s Dog Deli, we believe that healthy dog food is the best way to treat dog allergies of any kind, whether you’re dealing with itchy skin or GI issues. Just like humans, dogs deal with the uncomfortable effects of allergies. And, just like humans, a nutritious diet made up of real food is the key to alleviating their symptoms. Environmental and Skin Allergies in Dogs There are several things that can cause your dog to suffer from allergic reactions. The most common are sensitivities to environmental allergens and reactions to certain foods, more commonly proteins. Environmental allergies are experienced when the immune system recognizes a substance as potentially harmful to the body. When the body recognizes the substance as a potential threat, the immune system is activated and a series of defensive actions are taken to contain the foreign invasion into the body. Environmental allergy symptoms can include itchy skin, hotspots, runny eyes, poor coat health, and a low quality of life.Allergies to things such as pollen, grass, and household dust are somewhat more difficult to control since they are present in every aspect of a dog’s life. Fortunately, the elimination of a highly processed commercial dog food helps eliminate the majority of these problems. Food Allergies in DogsIn recent years, food allergies have become a common problem for dogs. The cause of this problem is still to be determined, but most believe it to be a result of inbreeding and over-vaccination.Regardless of the cause, dog food allergies are of great concern for most pet owners. Eliminating the symptoms associated with food allergies is possible by simply restricting known allergens from your dog’s diet.Although allergy testing is readily available, unfortunately, it is unreliable and inconclusive. The only way to be sure of your dog’s suspected allergies is to use the elimination diet as a tool to identify these intolerable foods. Dog Elimination Diet The elimination diet is a simple and effective way of determining your dog’s allergies. We would recommend following the Rick’s Dog Deli Goat Protocol. This is a process where we place your dog on a limited ingredient dog food using goat meat as the main source of protein. Since goat meat is uncommon in the United States, most dogs have not been exposed to it. This gives us a constant in a world full of variables. Once the dog’s system has removed the last remnants of every other protein, we can go back and introduce various proteins to determine if they cause an allergic reaction in the body. For example, after following the Goat Protocol for a period of eight weeks, we reintroduce chicken into your dog’s diet. If we see a reaction, we can safely determine that the dog has a chicken allergy. ConclusionThe solution to relieving most dog allergy symptoms—whether environmental or food—is a species-appropriate diet. The best diet for dogs with allergies is one that consists of real meats, fruits, vegetables, and carbohydrates/grains mixed in the proper ratios. Science is realizing more and more that a healthy diet is the foundation for overall health in humans, and your dog is no different. Feeding your pets fresh dog food will keep them happy, healthy, and allergy symptom-free so they can keep being your best friend.