Dogs and allergies: Foods to avoid if your dog has allergies

dog eating

As a dog owner, you ultimately want nothing but the best for your fur baby.

But just like humans, dogs can also suffer from allergies and it can be challenging to determine the root cause of their issues as they can be allergic to many things including environmental factors and diet.

Food is a common cause of allergies but by far not the most common. Actually, environmental allergies account for more cases of allergies in dogs than anything else.

Certain foods can trigger a range of allergic reactions and responses in dogs that can range from itchy, upset skin to gastrointestinal signs.

As a pet owner is is crucial that you know what food to avoid to keep your dog healthy and happy.

In this article, we take a close look at the top 10 foods to avoid for dogs with allergies.

dog eating

Understanding allergies in dogs

Dogs just like humans can suffer from allergies which are the result of an overactive immune system to a substance that it perceives as harmful.

Many times allergies are environmental and common allergens for dogs include dust mites, pollen, and grass.

Common symptoms of allergies in dogs

  • Itchy skin
  • Hives
  • Digestive problems like vomiting and diarrhea
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Chronic gas

Top 10 foods to avoid if your dog has allergies

dog food eating

1. Dairy

Dairy products like cheese, milk, and yogurt can cause digestive problems in dogs, not only because they can be lactose intolerant but because the body will attempt to attack proteins and cause inflammation.

2. Chicken

Chicken is by far the most common ingredient in dog foods that cause allergies. This is because chicken is a very common ingredient in many dog foods so it has more of a chance to cause allergies.

Read more about Chicken Allergies in Dogs and how to treat them here.

3. Beef

Next on the list of top common allergens in dogs is beef and this is because it is a very common protein in dog food and dog treats.

4. Wheat & gluten

While not as common as chicken and beef, wheat can be a common allergen for dogs. Sometimes it is used as a filler in dog foods, if your dog does have a wheat allergy look for foods and treats that are free from wheat or other grains.

It is actually rare that a dog will have a gluten allergen.

5. Corn

Yes, dogs can develop an allergy to corn as well.

6. Eggs

Eggs are a common allergen although not as much as chicken. There are some cases where dogs can be fed eggs with no issues but chicken makes their allergies flare.

7. Fish

Dogs can have or develop allergies to fish like salmon.

8. Soy

If soy is used as a protein source in your dog’s food and they begin to experience signs of an allergic reaction or intolerance keep this in mind and bring it to the attention of your vet so you can test for allergies

9. Artificial preservatives

Artificial preservatives like BHA and BHT can cause allergic reactions in dogs although not common

Keep these things in mind when feeding a dog with food allergies

  • Dogs can develop allergies to some proteins (like fish or turkey) over time even if they did not have a previous allergy, so you may have to switch the protein often
  • There is a difference between an allergic response and an allergic reaction, read more about that here.


In conclusion, the proper diet is crucial for dogs with allergies. Knowing what foods to avoid can help alleviate allergy symptoms and improve your dog’s health overall.

If you suspect that your dog has allergies consult with your veterinarian to determine the cause and treatment.