Canine food allergies are not something you should ignore. Dogs can suffer from serious allergies just like humans. While usually not life-threatening, skin allergies can negatively impact your dog's quality of life. You wouldn't want to deal with constant rashes and itchiness. So, why let your dog suffer through the same?
Unfortunately, skin allergies are becoming more and more common. Most of the dog food products out there use common allergens. As a result, your options are very limited when it comes to providing relief for your pooch.
You could turn to a specialty dog food or prescription diet. But, many owners of allergy sufferers choose to go the homemade route.
Why Make Homemade Food for Dogs With Skin Allergies?
Homemade dog foods offer much more control over what's going into your dog's body. Take a look at the ingredient's list of any cheap dog food on the market. Do you know what everything on that list is?
Therein lies the problem. Many manufacturers use cheap fillers or low-quality ingredients. There's no way to know for sure where a product's constituents come from.
Making your own dog food from scratch eliminates the unknown. You can choose the ingredients and make sure that everything is safe and sanitary along the way.
What Causes Skin Allergies in Dogs
Allergic reactions can come from a wide range of ingredients. The most common allergens in dogs may surprise you.
Some of the most widespread allergens are fillers like corn, wheat, or soy. No surprise there! Dogs aren't built to digest those ingredients. So oftentimes, they will trigger skin allergies. It's a defense mechanism for the body.
Luckily, it's pretty easy to avoid those ingredients by going with a more premium brand. However, other common allergens like eggs, chicken, and beef are a bit harder to steer clear of.
Chicken and beef, in particular, are some of the most commonly used protein sources! If your dog is allergic to those, you have very few commercial choices.
Dogs may also experience skin issues due to additives in food products. Chemical preservatives, flavors, or colors are the worst offenders.
Related: Dog Foods (brands) to Stay Away From
Diagnosing the Problem
The only real way to diagnose an allergy is by going to your vet. In most cases, vets will order an elimination diet. Basically, this is a process of trial and error that's used to figure out the exact irritants your dog responds to.
It's important to do this under a veterinarian's supervision only. The process takes time, but understanding your dog's body can make all the difference.
Homemade Dog Food Recipes to Address Skin Allergies
Making your dog's food at home is easier than you think. The goal is to use safe ingredients that won't cause skin flare-ups. The following recipes are easy to make and utilize only a handful of ingredients. Plus, they're flexible enough to adjust based on your pup's needs.
#1. Lamb and Rice Meal
Here's a quick cooked recipe that only contains two main ingredients: Lamb and rice! Lamb is a great alternative to chicken or beef. Brown rice is great, too. It has a higher protein content than white rice.
The recipe also contains a source of omega fatty acids. The fatty acids can keep the skin supple, which does wonders for dogs with skin allergies.
First things first, you must prepare the lamb. You can cube the lamb up to create larger chewy bites. Or, you can grind it up for something easier! Choose an option that works best for your dog.
Cook the lamb in a skillet. Add just enough water to cover the meat. Wait until the water comes to a boil. Then, lower the heat to a simmer and cover the meat. Let it cook for about 30 minutes before draining any excess liquid.
While that's going, you can cook the brown rice in a separate pot. Use the instructions on the package to cook the rice. Generally, this involves adding about 3 cups of water and simmering until the rice fluffs up.
Let the meat and rice mixture cool down completely. Once they are room temperature, add all of the ingredients together. This includes sunflower oil and vitamins. The meal is ready to serve!
#2. Homestyle Turkey and Vegetables
This recipe has a few more ingredients. But, it's still pretty simple to make.
The main star here is turkey. Turkey is the main protein source. You're also going to add some organs for vitamins and minerals. A healthy source of vegetables rounds up the ingredients list.
The great thing about this particular recipe is that you don't need to add any vitamin supplements. The ingredients have everything your dog needs!
Start by preparing the vegetables. Cut off the stems of the broccoli and cauliflower. They are too tough and can cause digestion issues. Stick with the florets only. For the carrots, just chop them up finely.
Now, steam the vegetables for about 10 minutes and let them cool.
In a blender or food processor, puree the turkey liver until it's a fine mash. Mix it with the ground turkey meat and cook it in a skillet until fully browned.
After everything has cooled down to room temperature, mix the ingredients together. This should result in a mashed food with a similar consistency to canned products! It's full of nutrition and tasty enough for your dog to love.
Caring for a dog with skin allergies is never easy. But, it doesn't have to be as difficult as you think.
Preparing homemade meals is the best way to give your dog a comfortable and rash-free life. You have full control over what they consume. Stick to wholesome ingredients and simple recipes. Your dog will love you for it!