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Just like people, dogs can suffer from allergies if their immune system recognizes a common substance as harmful. Allergies can cause a variety of skin, digestive, or respiratory issues in your dog. Learn how switching to a raw diet can provide much-needed relief to your dog.

Can Dogs Have Allergies?

Just like in humans, allergies in dogs are caused by your dog’s immune system recognizing something in the environment as harmful. To try to protect itself, their body rebels causing different symptoms.

How Do Dog Allergies Develop?

Typically, an allergy develops over time. Whether environmental or food-based, when your dog is exposed to something, over time the symptoms may shift from subtle to unbearable for your dog.

In other cases, as in an allergy to flea saliva, a scary and dramatic response can sometimes be seen the first time your dog encounters something.

My male dog has horrendous food allergies to the point we were in a vet’s office every week. The day after switching him to Darwin’s his GI system was completely clear. After about a month his eyes weren’t red anymore and his fur was no longer pink. – Daniel N., Washington State

Types of Dog Allergies

There are all basically only two kinds of dog allergies– environmental and food1, but some of the most common substances that bother dogs are:

  • Trees, Grass, Weeds, and Pollen
  • Mold
  • Dust and Dust Mites
  • Dander
  • Feathers
  • Ingredients in the Food (corn, wheat, soy)
  • Fleas or Flea-Control Products
  • Household Cleaning Products

It is possible for your dog to be experiencing multiple kinds of allergies at once, which can make using the process of elimination to figure out what is bothering them extremely difficult.

Allergy Symptoms

No one knows your dog better than you. If you notice that your pet starts scratching, itching, or licking himself more than usual there is a good chance that they are suffering from allergies. Keeping watch over your dog, and intervening when his behavior seems to change. Mentioning the changes to your vet early on can sometimes prevent sensitivity from turning into a full-blown allergy.

It is also important to note when your dog’s allergies occur. Does your dog start to have reactions only, for example, in July and August? This might mean he has a seasonal allergy. Does your dog have frequent reactions? This can mean either he has become allergic to his food or there is something in your home 365 days a year that is irritating him2.

The symptoms of both kinds of allergies can be quite similar, making it hard to assume an allergy is food based or environmental based.


There are many ways vets address an allergy diagnosis, and depending on if you visit a traditional vet or a holistic vet3, the treatment they suggest will be different.

Having a strong immune system is one strong defense against fighting any allergic reaction. Feeding your pet a variety of meals that are well assimilated and naturally anti-inflammatory creates a foundation of good health, and is critical if your dog has either kind of allergy.

Treating an Environmental Allergy

If your dog has an environmental allergy, giving his immune and digestion systems as much support as possible is a real consideration if you want your dog to heal. A comprehensive raw diet can only help to strengthen your dog’s overall health and offer anti-inflammatory benefits.

Treating a Food Allergy

It’s estimated that only 10% of allergies in dogs are food based. The myth that “a dog should be kept on the same food for his whole life” was first introduced decades ago from large commercial pet food companies and has been debunked4.

In this way, dogs are just like us. We don’t eat only one food day after day after day for years because that wouldn’t be nutritionally sound. Just like humans, dogs need a well-balanced diet throughout their life to promote health and longevity.

A diet of all natural raw food provides your pet with a variety of meats and vegetables to keep their bodies nourished and their immune systems strong. The stronger the immune system, the better chance they have to fight off allergies on their own without medication.

Learn about our raw food for dogs


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