Hypoallergenic dog treats are recommended for dogs with certain food sensitivities or intolerance to certain ingredients. The dog food industry has become more knowledgeable about what ingredients are best for dogs, and dog owners are paying close attention to the ingredients in dog foods.
Hypoallergenic dog treats are available or make your own
Certain dogs have developed allergic reactions to certain foods. If a different food is given and the reaction abates, it is highly likely that the dog is allergic to that food. Dogs have been developing allergies to the common ingredients in dog food. Grains like wheat, corn, soy, and gluten, which is a wheat protein, are plentiful in processed dog food and treats. Over time, with a lot of exposure, some dogs develop allergies to these products.
The dog’s digestive system isn’t built to break down these foodstuffs properly. Adverse reactions can include itching, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Dogs descended from wolves which were carnivores (meat eaters.) However, due to economic factors, dog food began to be supplemented with grain fillers, like corn. This made it cheaper to produce.
Just as humans can develop sensitivity to prolonged contact with certain substances, including foods, some dogs develop sensitivity as well. Grain products are widely recognized as causing dog allergies. But chicken, another common dog food ingredient, is also on the list of the most likely ingredients to cause sensitivity and allergic reactions too. Dog food manufacturers are now coming up with new dog foods that are heralded as “raw” and “grain-free” that do not include these ingredients.
Chicken is sometimes an allergen too, because it is a common ingredient in dog foods. If a dog is determined to be allergic to chicken, then the vet may suggest food with lamb, because lamb is not a common ingredient, and dogs haven’t been frequently exposed to it, so allergic reactions to lamb are not as common.
Dog treats that are wheat-free, gluten-free, soy free, and/or corn free are making their way onto pet store shelves to give dogs treats that are easier to digest.
Just as in the grocery store, the terms “wheat-free” and “gluten-free” are now applied to dog treats. Gluten is a wheat protein. Wheat and gluten are common binders used in commercial dog treats. Specialty brands are now popping up advertising healthier choices, but they do cost more.
If your dog really has a sensitivity and needs a hypoallergenic dog treat,. then he or she cannot have any treats with these ingredients. Wheat has been a common ingredient because wheat flour is inexpensive and easy to work with. There are other flours that are considered grain-free or gluten-free, but you need some experience using them to get dog biscuits to turn out correctly.
The regular grocery store is probably not going to carry these specialty hypoallergenic dog treats, because they tend to be pricier than the general mass-produced commercial brands. If you want a bag of treats that are already made, go to a boutique pet store or a dog bakery. Many dog bakeries offer their products online as well.
Here’s a recipe for hypoallergenic dog treats:
Recipe for gluten-free dog treats (courtesy of Tami’s Bow Wow treats)
- I cup brown rice flour
- I cup tapioca flour
- 1 egg
- 1 cup crushed pineapple in juice drained and liquid set aside
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- shredded coconut (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- In a large bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour and tapioca flour
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg and stir in the pineapple, coconut oil, and honey.
- Make a well in the dry mixture and pour in the pineapple mixture.
- Stir together until combined.
- If your dough is very dry use the pineapple juice you drained earlier to help the batter come together.
- Lightly spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
- Using a teaspoon-sized scooper, scoop out little round balls.
- Sprinkle a small amount of coconut on top of each cookie. Press down gently.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Turn off the oven and leave the treats in the oven to cool completely before serving.
Yield: using a teaspoon-sized cookie scooper, you should get about 2 1/2 dozen dog cookies to enjoy and share.
Dog treat icing
Magifrost dog treat icing contains no wheat, gluten, or dairy. Use it to decorate your special dog treats.
Keep in the refrigerator in a sealed container. They will stay fresh for up to a week. Or store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Does your dog really require gluten-free baking or hypoallergenic dog treats?
Celiac disease, also known as celiac sprue, is a hereditary condition affecting about 1 in 1750 humans. It affects women more frequently than men. Symptoms include chronic diarrhea, fatigue, and failure to thrive which results because the small intestine cannot absorb certain essential nutrients.
People with celiac disease have a reaction to the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye known as gliadin. Ingestion of gliadin results in the immune system attacking the body’s own small intestine tissue leading to inflammation and the small intestine cannot function properly. The only known treatment is a lifelong gluten-free diet.
The Irish Setter dog breed has been truly identified with a genetic disposition for celiac disease. This is not to say that other dogs do not develop this condition, but it is rare.
Typically, the condition will manifest in the first 6 months of a puppy’s life. (Many commercial pet foods have wheat products and the exposure will trigger celiac symptoms.) However. the symptoms can be mild and not readily recognized.
Gluten intolerance, (celiac disease), is NOT THE SAME as a wheat or gluten allergy. Again, this type of allergy is also not common.