Can you make your own allergy-free dog treats?
The answer is yes.
They are also referred to as hypoallergenic dog treats or allergy dog treats.
Let’s first get an understanding of food allergies in dogs.
It is estimated that 1 in 7 dogs are affected, and heredity can cause it. The food producing the problem is usually one that the dog has been eating for a while. Over time, his immune system develops a sensitivity to it and that’s when the allergy occurs.
If you notice your dog constantly scratching after being treated for fleas or ticks, you will want to take him to the vet to determine if he has a food allergy.
If he does, he will be placed on a hypoallergenic diet which is a special diet containing a limited number of ingredients and no food coloring, preservatives, or flavorings. After several weeks, other ingredients will be slowly added to the diet to pinpoint the one causing the problem.
Typical food allergens include what are known as “food binders”:
- Wheat and gluten (a protein found in wheat) – common ingredients in processed dog food and treats
- Soy – soy protein is often used in commercial dog food instead of grain fillers to help keep cost down, but many dogs are allergic to it
- Corn and corn byproducts – two of the most common ingredients in commercial dog foods
(Dogs eating processed foods will have been continuously exposed to these allergens.)
- Peanut allergy. Peanut butter is a dog-friendly flavor. But do not use regular store-bought peanut butter. We recommend using peanut butter powder for making an all-natural dog treat.
Not every dog malady is related to a wheat allergy. Many dog owners are purposely staying away from wheat and grain products. Use your own judgment, but it does not appear that you have to panic if your dog eats a piece of dog cake or a dog biscuit that has wheat flour in it. Not every bite has to be an allergy-free dog treat!
In fact, wheat can be helpful in some conditions, as the discussion about struvite urine crystals reveals.