These Hypoallergenic Dog Treats Make a Walk In The Park Much More Fun
Did you know that dogs are more prone to food allergies or food hypersensitivities than people are? A food sensitivity that all dogs are afflicted with is lactose intolerance, believe it or not! This is different from an allergy but just goes to show the sensitivities that dogs can have.
That being said, it’s important to feed your dog hypoallergenic treats just as it is to give them hypoallergenic food. Not sure if your pup has an issue with certain foods? Keep reading and think about your pet while you do.
How Can I Tell if My Dog Has a Food Sensitivity?
Like with people, there are many ways to tell if your pup is having trouble with the foods they’re eating. Take a look at just some of the symptoms below:
- Itching - Your dog may have an allergy if they’re incessantly scratching at an itch after meals. This itch may be present in their paws as well, characterized by chewing on the feet.
- Sneezing - Just like people, an allergy may result in sneezing or wheezing.
- Stomach problems - This can be identified by vomiting, diarrhea, or even excessive gas.
- Rashes - In line with itching, sometimes rashes can occur as well, leading to painful welts or lesions.
All of these symptoms can be associated with a food allergy or a food sensitivity. If you’re concerned that your pooch might have a food allergy, try doing an elimination test to identify the food they are having trouble with, and consult your veterinarian.
Most commonly, dogs are allergic to specific proteins, such as specific meats or gluten, though any food can cause an allergic reaction. Because of this, a consultation with your vet may be necessary if you’re unable to determine the allergy yourself, as they can run specific tests for identification.
What Can My Dog Be Allergic To?
Unfortunately, dogs can be allergic to any number of things, and veterinarians advise that anything consumed by your pup can result in an allergic reaction. Dogs are incredibly sensitive when it comes to adverse reactions from consuming foods and other things like preservatives and additives.
Most notably, dogs have problems with certain proteins. This can mean they’re allergic to any meats (like beef, chicken, or fish), eggs, or even the wheat protein, gluten. These are the most common food-related allergies your pup can encounter. Here are some of the most common allergies as reported by vets:
- Dairy, especially lactose
- Wheat, mainly gluten
- Chicken (different than eggs)
Because of all of these known issues, many products have been developed as of late to accommodate their diets. But where do you go from here?
My Dog Has an Allergy or a Sensitivity, What Now?
If you’ve identified your pooch’s food allergy or sensitivity, likely, you’re already using hypoallergenic dog food to help avoid possible stomach issues. Often though, owners overlook the treats they feed their furry friends. This may be due to the nature of treats; they aren’t given to pets very often unless in a training scenario.
Treats, if they contain the ingredients that your dog is allergic to, can cause just as much discomfort as eating a meal filled with it. Check out these dog treats that are hypoallergenic and delicious and better for your pup’s health!
Single-ingredient Dog Treats
Once you’ve been able to identify the food your dog is unable to eat, try using single-ingredient dog treats rather than treats with more involved recipes. They’re often dehydrated like a tender jerky, making them delightfully chewy and nutritious.
Wonderful examples of these single-ingredient treats are the two currently being made by Wild One. Wild One offers two single-ingredient treats, their Chicken Tenders, and their Sweet Potato bites. These treats are easy to feed to pets who have food allergies and sensitivities due to there only being a single ingredient with no added preservatives.
Fresh Fruits and Veggies
Dogs love getting fed scraps from the table and love the idea of being pampered with people-food! Since the most common food allergies that dogs encounter have to do with proteins, fruits and vegetables are often a fun way to treat your pets.
The great thing about fresh fruits and veggies is that, like the single-ingredient treats, they’re only a single ingredient! The most important thing to do here is to make sure that you reference a list of safe fruits and veggies, like this one from the American Kennel Club. That way, you can be sure that your pooch is eating something healthy and delicious for them.
Another fantastic option for pups with allergies are treats that have very minimal ingredients. Over the last few years, major brands in grocery stores have moved to a simple ingredients approach to the food that people consume. The idea behind these foods is that if the ingredients can be pronounced or are simpler in nature than foods with complex chemical ingredients, they are most likely better for you.
The same way of thinking can be applied to your dog’s food and their treats as well. Minimal-ingredient treats with ingredients that can be pronounced allow you to identify foods that your dog will be able to enjoy. Wild One organic baked treats fit this bill exceedingly well. All of the ingredients are right on the front of the bag for you and can be pronounced. As a nice bonus, they’re all plant-based, which allows you to avoid meat allergies entirely.
Regular old peanut butter is a fantastic hypoallergenic treat for dogs. They love it, and they love you for giving it to them. Peanut butter contains plenty of good fats and proteins for your pup, in moderation of course. It fits right in with having a brief list of ingredients, too!
It is important to note that certain types of peanut butter should not be given to dogs, mainly those that are low in sugar or fat. There is an ingredient in these used as an artificial sweetener that is harmful to dogs called xylitol. Xylitol is toxic to dogs even in small quantities, so be sure to read your ingredients list prior to giving it to your pooch.
Following suit with the minimal-ingredients treats that can be purchased, oftentimes making your own dog treats at home can help in avoiding your puppy's food allergies. A few of the major benefits of making your own treats at home are:
- Ingredients - When you make your own treats at home, you have complete control over the ingredients that are going into them.
- Variety - You can expand the flavor of the treats for your pet beyond what is offered in the grocery store.
- Portion control - If you make your pet’s treats, you can portion them the way you’d like to, allowing you to control their diet.
There are many recipes available online, from no-bake peanut butter treats to more complex baked treats for your pups. If you’re so inclined to, you can make gourmet quality treats for your pooch with ease!
Quick Tips for Selecting the Best Hypoallergenic Treats for Your Pets
No matter what your pet is allergic to, you can follow these simple tips to make sure that you’re choosing the best treats for them:
- Avoid preservatives and additives - It’s important to remember that nearly any consumable can cause a negative reaction in your pet’s stomach. Preservatives and additives, even natural ones, can bother them.
- Look for simple ingredients - The simpler ingredients, the better. Opt for single-ingredient treats when possible, looking for preservative-free options.
- If not one, then few - A rule of thumb in regards to the number of ingredients a treat has; single-ingredient treats may be best, but minimal-ingredient treats are good, too. Look for treats with less than ten ingredients if possible, all of which you can pronounce.
- Homemade works, too - If all else fails, go the DIY route and make your treats at home. This allows complete control over every aspect of the treat.
- Fresh foods are great - Consider giving your pet fresh fruits and veggies that are dog-safe. These are nice little treats that often don’t have any adverse reactions with their tummies.
Your pup may have a sensitive stomach, but with all the options available on the market, there is certainly a treat out there for your dog. The market has come a long way with foods and is continuing to innovate with treats. Remember, as a general rule of thumb, the lower the number of ingredients often means the easier time you’ll have if your pooch has sensitivities. Happy snacking!
Dogs With Food Allergies: Symptoms, Common Triggers, and More | Fetch by WebMD
Fruits and Vegetables Dogs Can or Can't Eat | American Kennel Club
Food Allergies in Dogs | VCA Hospital